Spring Retreat 2020 with Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick

1-4 OCT 2020


Coming Soon!

Writer and retreat leader, Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick, has been teaching at Mana Retreat Centre for almost 20 years. Her Easter and Spring retreats attract return participants from around the world. While part of the magic of those retreats is, as Stephanie says, “being at Mana and immersing ourselves in its peace and beauty”, we nonetheless believe that we can effectively use technology and the intimacy of deep teachings and trustworthy leadership to allow you to have a genuinely special experience.


Retreat Dates 1-4 October 2020


To allow participants greatest ease of access, we will start the Retreat on Thursday evening, 1 October. On Friday and Saturday our retreat experience will deepen with two sessions daily, timed for maximum engagement especially in Australia and New Zealand. On both those days there will be a 2-hour morning session that will include a short period of guided meditation plus a talk from Stephanie Dowrick, a response and personal comments from Rev Hilary Star, plus guidance from Stephanie and Hilary for retreat practices through the day (for those who can commit to that.) In the early evening on those two full days, we will again gather for a 90-minute interactive QandA, followed by meditation. The Retreat will end with a 2-hour morning session on Sunday. 

Our Retreat practices and teachings will emphasise the qualities we need to live hopefully at this time of wide uncertainty. When so many freedoms are curtailed, how do we connect meaningfully with others – and ourselves? Where and how do we receive our most sustaining support – and give it? How can we re-think “choice” in a time of restriction? What do we need to learn about listening, acceptance, courage, self-forgiveness? What can we draw from our physical environment? How do we best understand the differences between “isolation” and “solitude”?

Stephanie will particularly draw on two of her books, “Intimacy and Solitude” and “Seeking the Sacred”. Some of the exercises will be from her books, “The Universal Heart”, “Creative Journal Writing” and “Choosing Happiness: Life & Soul Essentials”. All these books are available in print and also e-book editions.

The retreats guided by Stephanie are genuinely inter-spiritual and draw abundantly on the world’s wisdom traditions. Stephanie (and all participants) will also be supported by the wisdom of her dear friend and colleague, Rev Hilary Star from the Auckland Spiritual Community.

Included in this online experience

  • SIX 2-hour LIVE Sessions on Zoom, led by Stephanie with responses from Hilary.
  • Community Q&A with a chance to email your questions to Stephanie or Hilary during the day.
  • Access to break-out discussion rooms for those who want that.
  • Clear, careful referencing to where you can follow up on the teachings in Stephanie’s books and those of other writers.
  • Administrative and technical support from the on-line team at Mana.


This retreat is ideal if:

  • You are eager to participate in a spiritually inclusive retreat
  • You have previously attended Stephanie’s retreats at Mana Retreat Centre.
  • You want to enrich your inner resources and experience greater steadiness and peace of mind.
  • You feel you would benefit from spiritual self-enquiry, positive teachings and deep guided meditation.
  • You would like to give and receive community support in a gathering of trust.

Included in your fee:

  • Access to all Zoom sessions
  • Guidance re the teachings from Stephanie and responses from Hilary
  • Access to email for your questions (early evening QandA)
  • Optional discussion in break-out rooms
  • Guidance to the technical experience from Jade at Mana

What we ask of you:

  • That you commit to being present for all the sessions where possible.
  • That you spend some part of the day in “retreat mode”.
  • That you honour the sacred space of the retreat through deep listening and confidentiality, particularly if in an OPTIONAL “breakout room”.

Not all that tech-savvy? That’s ok. We will walk you through the process of getting set up for our daily LIVE teachings on Zoom, everything you need to know to log on and be an active participant in our gatherings. It is our intention to make these teachings as easy and accessible as possible, wherever you are in the world!  We will aim to make the times as “kind” as possible to include people from several time zones.


The Teaching Team

Dr Rev Stephanie Dowrick

Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick has been leading workshops and spiritual retreats for many years in Australia and overseas, including retreats at Mana Retreat Centre, New Zealand, since 2000. She has led a large interfaith congregation in Sydney since 2006. Writing has been her major occupation since the 1980s. Stephanie is the author of genuinely life-changing books that offer readers a rare level of depth, insight and accessibility. Five of her books have been #1 bestsellers. Stephanie has also been a social justice activist throughout her adult life and was founder and first Managing Director of the groundbreaking publishing house, The Women’s Press, London. She has also worked as a spiritual director and psychotherapist, and, as a social commentator, she has contributed to all major Australian media. An ordained interfaith minister, Stephanie Dowrick graduated with a PhD from Writing & Society Research Group, Western Sydney University, writing her research thesis on the power of poetry and spirituality. (This was later published in a popular form as, “In the Company of Rilke”.) Stephanie was born in New Zealand, now lives in Sydney, and is a mother and grandmother.

Hilary Star

Hilary became an ordained interfaith minister in 2008 and has since collaboratively led the Auckland Spiritual Community which grew out of the Mana Retreats led by Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick. She has worked alongside Stephanie Dowrick at Mana Retreat Centre for many years, in addition to her own extensive teaching and supervision experiences in New Zealand and across the Pacific. Her work has included being part of the Unitec Graduate Diploma in Not for Profit Management and Leadership programme, providing individual coaching and mentoring to community leaders, and facilitating workshops for groups and organisations with regards to their staff and their commitment to Te Tiriti O Waitangi. Hilary encourages and inspires others to recognise their own skills and wisdom, to explore and experience their spiritual selves and how this informs and supports their lives and relationships.

Get Started

Stephanie’s retreats are renown for selling out, we suggest reserving your place today to avoid disappointment. Once you register you will receive a welcome message and introduction to the course. From the 1-4th October 2020, you will have access to the daily LIVE sessions with Stephanie and Hilary on Zoom. During the retreat you will be a part of the community Q&A, have access to break-out discussion rooms and have guided technical support from our team here at Mana. Your one-off payment of $197 is all-inclusive and reserves your seat on for this very special event.


Coming Soon!

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