A Tantric Journey

Bliss and blisters on the path

Expanding our minds is an integral part of the yogis journey, which ultimately means overcoming limitations within our own minds and meeting change and challenges in all spheres - physical, intellectual and spiritual. This can be painful as we shatter our illusions. Tantra emphasises the development of human vigour, both through meditation and through confrontation of difficult external situations, to overcome all fears and weaknesses.

Pilgrimages are a time-honoured way of taking time out from everyday life to go on both a physical and spiritual journey inwards. In the company of like-minded people, we are offering the opportunity to undertake such a journey in one of the most pristine landscapes of our natural world. Golden Bay and the Abel Tasman National Park is an area renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and world-renowned coastal track. Bliss and blisters are a natural outcome of this process!

The retreat will take part in two parts - you are welcome to undertake either or both.

Part 1 - Located at Shambhala Retreat Centre

Enjoy meditation 3x daily accompanied by chanting. Simple meals included. Workshops will be offered by different retreat participants (it is a collaborative affair):

  • the stages of meditation & biopsychology (Monk - Dada Shuddhatmananda & Madhumita from Nelson)
  • Advanced asanas, mudras and bandhas (Dada S & Jiivan from Dunedin)
  • Mandala stones workshop (Kiran from Motueka) - paint your own souvenir
  • Workshop on the similarities and differences between different practices: AM, New Age, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Sufism, Kabbala (facilitated by Kiran, all expected to participate!)
  • Bush walking with identification of native medicinal plants at Totaranui (Madhumita)

A Bliss Bus will leave Nelson at 9.30 am on the 19th, if there is sufficient interest, and take retreat participants to Shambhala via several stop-off spots (see transport section). For those who miss the Bliss Bus, check other transport options too.

Those with their own transport may go in convoy.

Section 1

Friday 19th April - Monday 22nd: Shambhala Retreat Center, Onekaka, Golden Bay.

Cost - After 31 March:

$250 / adult,

$100 / child under 10

$140 children 10-16.

Shambhala Retreat Centre

Shambhala is located on rolling dune hills beside the sea with wonderful sea views. It is an off-grid location with solar lighting, gas cooking, roof water, and composting toilets. There is a wood burner in the meditation hall, which also warms an adjacent bunkroom. There is access to a flush toilet in the main house, but the toilets nearest the meditation hall/workshop space are composting toilets. The retreat accommodation will involve a combination of cabins, bunkrooms, and a house.

We will clean out the retreat centre by Mon 11am and then travel to Totaranui for the last class / picnic and for those catching the water taxi to Kaiteriteri to leave from there.

Section 2 - Abel Tasman Track - 3 days

Monday 22nd - Wednesday 24th: Abel Tasman National Park - in tents (book here - have to pay $15pp per night). Add $50 food total & we will shop for trampers as a group, so you can collect your hiking pack at the end of Section 1 of the retreat (Shambhala)

Please note: Public Holidays in NZ: Easter Friday to Easter Monday (19th-22nd). Anzac Day: Thursday 25th.

Part 2 -

Trampers will need to bring suitable hiking equipment and thier own tents (we'll prepare a list later and post up here). Walking will include maonobrata (observance of silence), mindfulness, some group activities at camp site and hopefully sharing around the campfire (if we are allowed to have one in the National Park!)

Budget on about $100pp if you want your bags/tents carried and to help in the support crew, which involves boat trips instead of walking to each site. These are ideal for those with kids, or those uncertain about fitness level. A medium level of fitness is needed to do the walk.

Support crew can setup in next campsite for trampers, prepare evening meal and then do short exploratory trips from the drop-off point. There are 2 water taxi companies that service trampers in the Park - Abel Tasman Shuttles & Wilsons. (We will try to negotiate a special deal with them closer to the date once people have thought about how they would like to participate in Section 2).

Abel Tasman National Park is an area renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and world-renowned coastal track.

Tentative programme for this section (Map here with walking times):-

Monday 22nd - leave Shambhala by 11am, bring picnic lunch with us and drive to Totaranui.

Totaranui : 2pm trampers start. Walk 2.5 hours to Awaroa (must cross Awaroa between 4-5.30 pm, wait for low tide)

2.30 pm water taxi departs - Abel Tasman Shuttles

Support crew take boat to Awaroa ($35) and prepare site for trampers. Trampers pay $15 extra to get tents and extra bags delivered to campsite, so can travel light. Bring shoes suitable for walking in estuary mud.

Those who wish to travel back to Nelson and not do the tramp, take the boat to Kaiteriteri ($48). Transport from Kaiteriteri to Motueka might be available with those retreat participants who are returning directly.

Day 2: Tuesday 23rd - Awaroa to Anchorage : 8 hours walk.

Day 3: Wednesday 24th - Anchorage to Marahau: 4 hours walk - support crew/ drivers take a water taxi back to Totaranui to collect cars and drive to Marahau to collect trampers.

Trampers will then be collected by drivers and transported back to Motueka or Nelson.