Open Awareness Meditation Retreat


“Sati, the Pali word for Mindfulness, includes open awareness and reflection -
the same way a ‘good enough’ parent embraces a child. Let gentle and kind attention, not perfection, lead our practice.”

With Linda Modaro and Mary McIntyre
Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 4.30pm – Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at 2 pm
Wilton, New South Wales (1.5 hours south of Sydney) – Brahma Kumaris Retreat Centre

During this residential retreat, we will explore an open awareness meditation practice that is followed by reflection. The roots of this practice are to be found in the Buddha’s early teachings and are based on learning to trust the ways of knowing that develop in meditation. This enables you to be more trusting, responsive, and present in your life.



We welcome long-term meditators, as well as newer meditators, and recent MBSR graduates who are new to our orientation towards meditation practice and retreats. Meditation teachers are also welcome.



We believe that you can learn beneficial ways of meditating by seeing how your mind operates within meditation. This kind of “seeing” can be naturally developed through recollection and reflection, whether done in a journal or expressed verbally to an experienced teacher or peers.

Most likely you will have a goal in mind when you come to meditation practice. What is in your mind and heart matters deeply and does not need to be separated out from your meditation practice. Much of the learning comes from your own recognition and insight, rather than from an authority, a tradition, or any dogmatic and rigid way of thinking about meditation. 

More on this is here:

Feel free to reach out and contact us to better acquaint yourself with our philosophy:

Linda Modaro:

Mary McIntyre:


We offer a daily schedule that includes several meditation sittings per day, optional group movement/stretching sessions, dharma talks, small group reflection, individual sessions if desired, and free time for exercise and your normal routine.

The retreats are held in silence apart from Q& A, feedback and small groups. You may bring materials for reading, journaling.

Three vegetarian meals per day with a lighter meal at dinner. The retreat center can prepare food around food allergies, and handle some food preferences requests. We will send a diet preference questionnaire closer to the date.



All rooms are spacious twin shares with a private bathroom. 

There are three variable levels of retreat cost, we ask that you choose the one that fits your capacity:

$ 780

This is the usual rate for this type of event and the rate we ask you to select this if you are able. This covers accommodation, meals, teacher travel expenses and honorarium for the teachers.

$ 860

This rate is a bit higher and will cover the same as the Standard rate plus contribute to the retreat attendance of those at the Supported rate.

$ 695

This is a self-selected funded rate whereby your place will be supported by other full paying participants. This rate covers venue costs and a minimal fee for teacher’s expenses. Please select this rate if you are in receipt of benefits or would find it otherwise inaccessible to attend. We will not ask for evidence at this stage but may ask for evidence in the future to support your claim.


There are three single rooms available. More may open up closer to the retreat date.

Retreat Facilitators

Mary McIntyre

Mary McIntyre

Mary McIntyre B.A .(Bus), Dip. Couns, Cert Sandplay Therapy & Symbol Work, Cert IV Architecture, MACA II, Associate of Openground

My encounter with regular meditation practice began in earnest in 1989 after reading books and pursuing the esoteric and mystical as a young adult. I attended several retreats in Plum Village in France in the Vietnamese Mahayana tradition (Thich Nhat Hanh) and found a home in the simplicity. I soon left Europe for Sri Lanka and stayed for there seven years where I explored Theravadan and Western Insight traditions before emigrating to Australia in 2003 . I am interested in many aspects of meditation and have delved into different styles with a preference for the pragmatic, natural and unforced attitudes inherent in trauma-sensitive mindfulness. Brisbane is my home now working as trauma psychotherapist/counsellor/ teaching supervisor. I offer MBSR courses and co-lead silent retreats around the country.


Linda Modaro

Lina Modaro

I started "seeking" in my early twenties. Unsure what I was looking for, I experimented with many eastern practices and landed in traditional Chinese medicine studying and teaching Qi Gong, Tai Ji and Acupuncture for over fifteen years. Taoist philosophy led to Buddhist philosophy and psychology after a near death experience in 1998, and changed the course of my spiritual practice, teaching, and work with others. I trained and worked closely with the teachers in the Skillful Meditation Project and Recollective Awareness Meditation, put together by Jason Siff. Eventually, I had to leave the SMP home, and founded Sati Sangha so that I could continue teaching Buddhadharma and Reflective Meditation. Thirty years of listening, observing, teaching and being taught by patients and students; traveling to China, Nepal, Iran, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada integrating aspects of their cultures. I try to hold this all lightly, yet I cannot deny the sense of having ‘a calling’ rather than a job.







What People Are Saying

I have learnt a lot about myself through the MBSR course. Coming from a place of feeling very disconnected to myself, I now feel I am engaged and listening to what I need, which then has allowed me to handle what life has to offer in a positive way.

Anonymous, 2018

Since doing your course (Living with Wisdom and Compassion) my major transformation has been in my daily work as a family doctor. Instead of being the best doctor I can so that patients will admire me and appreciate me I am aware that I am regularly “putting myself in my patients shoes.” I want their lives to be better and their suffering to diminish. Whether that is through my doctoring or something not related to me is not relevant.



Ingrid (GP), 2018

Understanding mindfulness has changed my life.



Lee-Anne , 2018

It was great to be able to explore the strength of compassion, both internally and externally, through Living with Wisdom and Compassion. This course builds on what MBSR began. While it had its challenging moments, I came away from it feeling stress-relief thanks to my heart softening yet strengthening. And from the ability to see that even though we are all unique individuals, and we may express ourselves in wildly different ways, we all have the same needs. The better I can get at understanding those needs the more effective I can be in helping myself and others. I highly recommend this course to everyone.

Lisa, 2018

Bravo Ingrid Jolley and Openground! Thank you for your soothing and strengthening MBSR course. I’m feeling grounded, curious and hopeful about the future. I have the tools I need to lead an authentic, fulfilling life. 


Roz , 2018