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st francis retreat centre

Alive. Awake. Present.

A six day retreat exploring the four foundations of mindfulness

7 days

24 - 29 July 2022 | Hillsborough, Auckland
With Dianne May and Nadav Avny

This 6 day silent retreat is suitable for anyone wishing to deepen their practice and cultivate further understanding of the wisdom teachings underpinning mindfulness practices. The practices and teachings will provide an opportunity to become familiar and explore the four foundations of mindfulness.

This retreat will offer periods of exploring your embodied experience of the four foundations of mindfulness through alternating sitting and walking meditation as well as mindful movement practices. Whilst this retreat is a silent retreat, there will also be opportunities for group and individual discussions with the teachers in order to explore the personal experience of the practice and cultivate mindful communication.

The emphasis will be on creating together a safe, supportive and connected space for you to cultivate heart qualities such as compassion to self and others, courage, patience, authenticity and trust.

The retreat will take place at St Francis Retreat Centre, Hillsboroughl, which is immersed in glorious nature and offers the opportunity to practice within the surrounding environment, explore bush walks and look after the body with nutritious and delicious vegetarian food. 

Who is it for?

This retreat welcomes also people who are new to the practice. However as this is a silent meditation retreat with an intensive schedule of practice, it will be particularly beneficial for people who have some experience of mindfulness meditation (e.g. having completed the 8 week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction or Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy course). Do be in touch if need be to check your suitability before enrolling.


Register Here



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Standard Rate  
Price - AU$1380 (inc GST)
This is the usual rate for this type of event and the rate we ask you to select if you are able.
Supporting Rate
Price - AU$1495 (inc GST)
This rate is slightly higher than the usual rate for this type of event. Selecting this option is a way of supporting others to attend mindfulness events that they otherwise might not be able to attend. If you are able to select this option the MTIA guarantees that the additional funds will be directly channelled into supporting others to access mindfulness teaching who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
Subsidised Rate 
Price - AU$1245  (inc GST)
This is a self-select funded rate whereby your place will be supported by other full paying participants. Please select this rate if you are in receipt of benefits or would find it otherwise inaccessible to attend due to the fee. We will not ask for evidence at this stage but may ask for evidence to support your claim in the future.

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Date and Times

24 - 29 July 2022
Arrive from 4:00pm Sunday for the 6pm start and concludes 1pm Friday


Venue and Catering

All rooms are single room, shared bathroom and catering is home cooked vegetarian. People with special diets now need to cater for themselves. Please contact  administrator to discuss.

Directions to H.P.
How to get there
How to get there

St Francis Retreat Centre
50 Hillsborough Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand

How to get there:


If you depart the Maitripa Centre at 2pm on 26th January you will arrive at the airport at 3.30pm, so book return domestic flights from 4.30pm (5.30pm for International flights).

On the 11 April 2022 allow 1.30 hours travel time in from the Maitripa Centre to the Airport.

**Please allow a little more travel time from Melbourne if you are travelling in peak times**







Dianne May

Member NZAC

Dianne BioDianne is recognized as a Senior Mindfulness Based Teacher in New Zealand, being one of the first teachers to offer the 8 week MBSR programme in Auckland, and has been offering Mindfulness Based programmes for the past 16 years. She is the NZ Co-director of Mindfulness Training Institute (MTI) - Australia &New Zealand, and is a recognized Supervisor for MTI supervising Mindfulness teachers on the pathway.

Over the past 17 years Dianne has undertaken a number of intensive MBSR trainings with Jim Carmody, and in 2009 attended the Sydney health professionals training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli.

Nadav Avny

New Zealand Psychologists Board #90-04410
UK Council for Psychotherapy Registered Psychotherapist (UKCP reg.) #07159199 

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Nadav is a certified teacher and approved supervisor of MBSR and MBCT. He is Co-Director of the Mindfulness Training Institute: Australia & New Zealand.

Nadav’s clinical psychology training was psychodynamic. He later completed training in Integrative Psychotherapy (focusing on Gestalt and Existential Psychotherapy), and he has been a UK Council for Psychotherapy Registered Psychotherapist (UKCP reg.) since 2007. Over the years, Nadav developed knowledge also in other therapeutic modalities, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Family Therapy.

 In Nadav’s most recent role of nine years in the public health system, as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Adult Acute Mental Health Inpatient Unit, Auckland City Hospital, he founded and led a mindfulness project that involves a sustainable implementation of Mindfulness at the Mental Health Services, including MBSR. 

What is a secular retreat?

Secular means "of our age". 

We offer retreats that are open to people of any and no faith. Our retreats are informed by both ancient knowledge and contemporary understandings about human flourishing, including scientific findings about health and well-being. 

While mindfulness is a natural human capacity, we draw explicitly on the very practical teachings of the Buddha, which describe experiences that are shared by all humans. We bring understandings from Buddhist psychology to inquire into the nature of suffering and how to incline the mind towards  freedom. We bring an interest in the the fields of neuroscience and psychology which continue to expand our understandings of how to live a fulfilling life with less struggle, and to make links to practical teachings that have existed for thousands of years.

Our retreats makes the practical learning from Buddhism, as well as modern science, available in an ordinary, secular and accessible way that is applicable in your everyday life.