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Krista's Travels

WWOOF Host #6, Sort Of, Wangapeka Retreat Centre

USA | Saturday, 14 March 2009 | Views [936] | Comments [1]

Me being silly

Me being silly

Wangapeka Study & Retreat Center is not an official WWOOF host, but for the sake of convincing those at home that I am back as a productive member of society earning my keep, I'll just stick with the title. I stayed at Wangapeka for about 6 days recently and will be returning there for at least another week, in the near future. Wangapeka is a Buddhist-oriented retreat center that tries to be non-denomenational and inclusive. Here's a snippet from their website:

"Wangapeka Study & Retreat Centre...owned and operated by the Wangapeka Educational Trust. We are located in the foothills of the Southern Alps overlooking the Wangapeka River, about an hour and a half drive SW of Nelson, New Zealand. Wangapeka is a place to study and deepen the process of Buddhadharma, the teaching of Compassion and Awareness. Our Centre is available for individual healing and meditation retreats. Group activities cover topics such as Meditation, Healing, Therapy, Art and Craft work and various types of Body work. Courses range from weekends to courses five months in length. Many visitors comment on the peaceful and healing atmosphere at the Centre. This is undoubtedly due to the natural beauty of the place and the great amount of meditation that has been done over the years. Possibly even more important than this though, is the fact that so many people have given freely from the heart to build a place that would be of benefit to all beings."

It's truly a beautiful place and there are so many projects that have been completed though loving volunteer labor that make the place special: the solitary retreat cabins, stupa, labyrinth, meditation hall, and many walking paths on the property. I joined in on a 2 day writing retreat which was really nice, and got me reinspired to write more again in my journal, poetry, and writing down my dreams". The other days I did work trade, primarily prep and clean up for the retreat, cooking, cleaning and a bit of wood-stacking and gardening. There was plenty of solitary time to practice my yoga and meditation (and loving buddha statues and tibetan bells to help me be inspired). The library and book exchange are crammed full of interesting books (which I can't wait to dive into upon my return), and the kitchen is well-stocked with healthy food.

It was a welcome respite from the backpacker busses and hostel life that had been mine for the last 5 weeks or so. To finally have my own little room is like a gift from the angels of mercy!! I really am most at home when I have both a garden and a peaceful space for spiritual contemplation in my day to day life. When I am lacking either, or both, for more than a short length of time, it feels like I disintegrate bit by bit, on a little downward spiral towards stress and intolerance that creates bad habits in me that I don't like very much. I get annoyed with others and myself more easily, and I think a bit depressed also.

The weather has been a bit like home. Gray, cold, and wet. It appears to be improving a bit, however, and I am looking forward in spending April in the north portion of the north island, hoping for a more tropical feel, although I've heard it's quite "changeable" up there also.

I'm currently "WWOOFing" informally in Karamea, on the northwest coast of the south island, for some long-time friends of Lynne (my friend and housemate back home). I'll be here about a week before returning to Wangapeka on March 18.



I'm hoping envy is a path to enlightenment:)

  Chris Apr 16, 2009 3:07 AM

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