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Unlearning Our Fear of Death

  • Northland Tushita Ashram Hermitage Peria Valley (map)

About the Workshop

On this workshop and retreat we will immerse ourselves in the transformative energy of the group as we open to the reality of our own death.  As a powerful catalyst for awakening, this inquiry is designed to motivate us to act from our deepest intuitions and enhance our passion for living fully. We are offering a guided and supportive process which aims to foster an embodied understanding that is prior to our social conditioning.

What You Will Learn on This Workshop

  • Identify and change your socially acquired limiting beliefs and attitudes around life and death
  • Access the benefits of mindfulness for reducing fear and anxiety
  • Establish trust in the inherent life wisdom that sits in your body
  • Be stimulated in your capacity to feel wonder and gratitude
  • Become a source of stability for others

Benefits of the Workshop

  • Daily guided meditations and visualisations in a beautiful rural sanctuary
  • Take a break from your daily life to involve and immerse yourself in a transformative group process
  • Develop and embody increased attentiveness, presence and responsiveness to life as it is
  • Revitalise yourself by sensing your wild possibilities

“Stephen and Hilary’s workshop on living and dying was a transformational experience for me. I had attended with the aim of learning how to support clients who may be coming to terms with their impending death, but left with a renewed realisation that my time here is finite, and I need to make the most of each and every moment. I have since moved forward on my major life goals, and am putting into practice the dreams I have held for many years.”  – Kristal, Hamilton


The venue for the retreat is the beautiful Tushita Ashram Hermitage in Peria Valley, Northland. Set amongst the sub-tropical Northland vegetation, the Tushita Ashram provides a safe sanctuary with plenty of space, shared communal areas and also places where you can spend time alone, should you wish.

Accomodation and Meals

On-site accommodation and vegetarian meals are provided for you.  Accommodation is in shared rooms.  Some single rooms are available on application, for an extra $15/night. There are modern and clean showers and toilets.

Who is it Suitable For?

  • Anyone interested in exploring their relationship to life and death
  • People who work in end of life and/or hospice environments
  • Anyone wanting to revitalise and replenish their wellbeing


This retreat is $255 plus dana/koha for the facilitators – Hilary and Stephen. The $255 covers all your meals and accommodation.  The facilitators’ fee is not set and consists entirely of your Dana offering. Dana (meaning generosity) invites each person to offer according to their means and what the retreat has been worth to them. Dana payment is given at the end of the retreat. This can be in cash, cheque or by internet banking – an account number will be provided. (Please note: there is no Eftpos at Tushita Ashram)

Payment required: Non-refundable deposit($50) at time of booking via internet banking or cheque. Full payment must be made 3 weeks prior to the workshop to ensure your booking is confirmed.

Refunds: 100% Refunds(minus deposit) available up to 2 weeks prior to workshop commencing. 50% refunds available from then.

Accomodation and Meals: All included. 

How to Book: Complete the Booking Form here.

Getting There and Transport

The Tushita Ashram is located at Oruru Road, Peria Valley in Northland

By Car

You can reach the Tushita Ashram by car.  Off street car-parking is provided

By Plane

The nearest airport to Tushita Ashram is Kerikeri. Air New Zealand provides regular flights to and from Kerikeri via Auckland.  Pick up and drop off can be arranged from Kerikeri airport to Tushita Ashram for $25 per person each way.
If people are arriving on flights within approximately two hours of each other, we will co-ordinate one pickup.
Alternatively – if you arrive at Kerikeri airport in the morning – another option is to take the shuttle into Kerkeri($12), and then take the 12.35pm Intercity bus from there to Taipa.

By Bus

Intercity provides transport from most NZ centres to Taipa.  Taipa is about 20 minutes drive from Tushita Ashram.  Free pick up and drop off can be arranged from Taipa to Tushita Ashram.

Retreat Facilitator – Hilary Lovelace

Hilary Lovelace is an educator and facilitator in End of Life Issues. She has worked with the dying throughout her 30 year nursing career, both in New Zealand and the UK – in district nursing, hospice nursing and research into ‘End of Life Experiences’ with Dr. Peter Fenwick. She offers workshops, retreats and one to one supervision to people before they get to the business of dying, so that they are better informed and can explore feelings, attitudes and practicalities around this most certain of life experiences. She also teaches how to be with and serve the dying.

Hilary recognises the benefits of investigating our relationship with our own death and thus with Life. She is passionate about people being self-aware and empowered to access their own inherent life-wisdom to break through the myths and virtual reality of today’s death-denying Westernised society. Hilary brings sensitivity and enthusiasm to her work and has a wealth of experience which informs and supports her role in this field.

Retreat Facilitator – Stephen (Nyanaviro) Archer

Stephen (Nyanaviro) Archer has a degree in Eastern Religions and practiced mindfulness of death meditations during the 13 years he spent as an ordained Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest Tradition. He works as a mindfulness educator and trainer and facilitates mindful leadership and workplace programmes, 1:1 supervision, residential retreats and public courses.

Stephen is passionate about creating contexts where people can explore mindfulness and discover how it can assist them to access sustainable wellbeing and generate new and transformative perspectives.. He is Director of Mindfulness Training

Earlier Event: July 31
The Way of Mindfulness
Later Event: January 4
Mindfulness, Wisdom and Compassion