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Weekend Retreat: The Awakened Heart

  • Highfield Historic Site Green Hills Road Stanley, TAS, 7331 Australia (map)

The Awakened Heart retreat will take place on March 17th and 18th at Highfield Historic Site, in Stanley, Tasmania.

It is an invitation to pause and go within. To let go of that which has been weighing on your heart in a kind, caring space. To give yourself the time to nourish your body, mind and soul. For self-care, contemplation and deep rest.

This retreat will help you to develop a long-term spiritual practice, or teach you how to deepen your current one. 

It is through practice that we turn to the heart, opening more and more to the space it holds. It’s a natural process, but is hindered by the distractions of daily life.
— Jack Kornfield

Four presenters will combine movement, mindfulness, meditation and more to guide you through that which you are ready to release, and that which you wish to cultivate that's inline with your hearts deepest aspiration.

Embodied movement

The body is a pathway to healing. We will blend the art and science of:

  • yang yoga
  • yin yoga
  • Pilates
  • mindful movement
  • walking meditation
  • restorative practices for deep relaxation
  • connective tissue release work

Mindfulness and Meditation

Ancient practices can be medicine for the heart and the antidote for pain and suffering. You will learn:

  • insight meditation techniques to cultivate self-awareness
  • the practices of self-compassion and self-forgiveness
  • how to be present with limiting beliefs and difficult emotions for healing
  • how to hold your own pain, grief and suffering with a tenderness and care
  • how to let go of self-judgment and blame: true transformation happens when we let go of the inner-critic. 
  • loving-kindness practices for our own heart as well as for others.

Sound Session

Sound will be used throughout to help with quieting the mind, releasing stagnant energy, healing and intention setting. Over the weekend you will enjoy sessions with

  • Himalayan singing bowls
  • French chimes
  • sounds from the bowls used in the Medicine Buddha ceremony


You will learn daily rituals that can help connect you to your own heart and the heart of the world. This retreat will include:

  • intention ceremony to discover what it is that our heart truly longs for
  • an evening ceremony incorporating the elements of fire, water, earth, air and spirit
  • how to develop a spiritual practice at home that keeps you connected to the present moment
  • a new moon ceremony for alchemy of our pain and suffering into re-newed wisdom
  • a medicine Buddha healing ceremony
Weekend Retreat
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Day one begins in the recently renovated threshing barn of Highfield Historic Site. Two seasonal vegan feasts will be prepared for you to enjoy for lunch and dinner, with the day concluding at 8pm.

We welcome in day two with a hike, meditation and outdoor movement session. Breakfast and lunch will again be a seasonal delight of local, nourishing produce.

Delicious, raw snacks will be provided over the weekend alongside our refreshing tea blends. All meals, refreshments and snacks are included.



Equipment will be provided so you don't need to worry about a thing except letting go and enjoying yourself!

Special accommodation packages are available to retreat participants. Click below to find out how you can save up to 25% off accommodation in Stanley:

  Our Guest Speakers


"You are not a drop in the ocean, but an entire ocean in a drop". - Rumi

Melissa is a yoga teacher based in the Macedon Ranges in Victoria. She teaches both yin and yang styles of yoga, facilitates group sound meditations and practices 1:1 sound massage.

Melissa previously worked in marine biology and anthropology and has a keen interest in exploring our inner world and capacity for living more authentic and connected lives.

Melissa will hold a one hour sound session using bowls and chimes. Sound can be used to help quiet the mind, enhance self-awareness, release stagnant energy, and induce deep relaxation. She will also hold a yin yoga class. 


"...the path and the purpose are one." (Excerpt from: A Sparrow Splashing by Ven. Shih Jingang. Published by Ginninderra Press)

Venerable Shih Jingang is a Buddhist Priest of the Nien-Fo Ch’an Order of Monks, and is Resident Teacher of the Buddha-Heart Fellowship of Tasmania.

He was first ordained at 6 years of age as a Rabjung Monk of the Rechung Kagyu lineage, and was trained in the ways of the Mahayana and Vajrayana paths by his Heart Guru Venerable Lama Senge Tashi.

In later years he completed a three year solitary retreat, and then trained under teachers of various traditions until eventually finding a home in the unified Ch’an and Pure Land Buddhist tradition.

With over 45 years of training and practice, “Sifu” draws upon teachings from a range of Mahayana lineages. He is a member of the Australian Sangha Association (ASA), and Buddhist Contemplative Care Tasmania (BCCT); a CPE-trained Chaplain working in hospitals and hospice settings; and is an experienced Volunteer Firefighter. Sifu regularly holds classes, retreats, and is asked to speak at public and private events. He is known for his calmness, gentle compassion and good humoured teaching style.

At the retreat Sifu will present teachings on: “Boundless Compassion,” focusing on Visualization and Recitation as a means of awakening the heart to the way of true understanding and love. The session will conclude with a Medicine Buddha healing ceremony.

Coming Home To Your Body was co-founded by Cassie Thomas and Jessica Maguire in January 2016.

They offer retreats in Tasmania, New South Wales and Bali. 


Since 2006 Cassie Thomas has been dedicated to a daily practice of yoga, thriving on the physicality of Asana, the wonder of Pranayama, the basic goodness of Yamas and Niyamas and growth that can occur through meditation.

It is her belief that yoga has the potential to bring into the lives of those who practice it a greater balance, and awareness to the world at large. Cassie believes that the practice of yoga has the ability to bring greater clarity into daily life resulting in one simply being the best that they can be.

Paraka yoga is based around the teachings of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. The word Paraka is derived from the Tasmania Aboriginal word meaning to Blossom. It has meaning in Sanskrit, inhalation, inspiration. Throughout the retreat weekend Cassie will be using Vinyasa Flow with emphasis on dynamic movement and flow of breath, meditation and practices of eastern philosophy.


“There is a wonderful way to overcome difficulty and discover well-being and freedom. It is mindfulness.” – Buddha

Jessica Maguire is a Mindfulness teacher and Physiotherapist who works at the the Centre For Mind Body Wellness, Byron Bay. 

She teaches the fundamental tools of mindfulness using inquiry, insight meditation, open awareness and heart meditations. These ancient teachings help those who practice to develop a stability of core well-being and a greater sense of present awareness. At the retreat Jessica will teach on self-compassion, self-forgiveness and working with painful emotions. These teachings help us to discover wisdom, peace and to open our heart. She blends these practices with mindful movement and Pilates.

Jessica has been studying under Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach in California. They are two renowned meditation teachers, psychologists and authors, influential in bringing eastern meditation practices to the west. Jessica is passionate about helping people cultivate daily mindfulness and meditation practices to ease their suffering and bring a sense of well-being to their lives. 

Weekend Retreat
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"I have attended two day retreats and two weekend retreats and am looking forward to the next one in March. 

Each time I come away feeling relaxed and armed with more skills to deal with "life".

The gentle exercises and stretches of Pilates and yoga and the mindfulness and meditation sessions combined are great. Add to that some freestyle dance and sound sessions, makes a good all round workout for the body and mind” - Bev Leale

Earlier Event: October 7
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Later Event: May 4
Oceans Mindset Retreat