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                                              The Art of Healing Magazine

                                                       Vol 2 Issue 47, June/August 2014 (See below)

My introduction to the Samadhi (meaning infinite inner peace or bliss) Retreat, the Samadhi environment, and the owners Annah and Wayne, was a one-day experience. Annah, Wayne and I had discussed the differences in what they offer in their retreat and had invited me over for lunch to taste their homegrown cuisine* and get a ‘taste' of what they have on offer. REVIEW: Florence Charles


Located ‘just around the corner' from Daylesford in the renowned spa country of Victoria, I arrived on a Winter's day, pulling up to a very ‘zen' environment created with obvious special attention and love. Underfoot they have used small white stones in the driveway, and a very sparse use of strategically placed trees added to an oriental/Japanese feel to the surroundings.

One of the owners, Annah, welcomed me and gave me a quick tour, beginning with the spa area which adjoins the retreat via a small private Oriental courtyard garden named Quan Yin's garden. The design and outlook is really something to experience - again a very Oriental influence emanates from inside and out which at once gives one a sense of calm - and I suspect, reflects the ‘so within, so without' aspect Annah and Wayne are aiming to achieve with their clients - no wonder Annah and Wayne describe their retreat as a 'one of a kind' healing sanctuary.
But I am about to find out more about this. Over some amazing food (which was prepared and presented beautifully by Annah), Owners Wayne & Annah Mirananda proceed to tell me about their individual lives and experiences, and what has bought them to create this retreat, and I have to tell you, I was waaaay impressed. Here is a very brief outline:

Annah

Annah's background began in the areas of entertainment, television, fashion and photography, and in her earlier career she travelled extensively while working in these roles - as well as being a therapist and healer. But she also has experience in the hospitality, beauty and day spa industries, and following study in naturopathy and herbal medicine she developed her own skin care range. She has studied nutrition and diet, recognising the importance of keeping the immune system strong to support the health and healing process. Further study Annah has undertaken includes; alternative and energetic healing, reiki, polarity healing, sound healing and vocal work; Chirophonetics sound therapy (Rudolph Steiner), colour therapy; crystal and polarised light therapy; meditation instruction and she completed a Diploma in Spiritual Healing through the Theosophical School of Healing in 1998.
In 2009, Annah completed a postgraduate certificate in Narrative therapy to compliment her previous counselling background, which included classes in psychodrama, and the exploration of esoteric psychology and esoteric philosophy.


Annah draws from the core idea's of narrative therapy which recognises that the person is never the problem, that problems and difficulties are an experience and do not define who we are. That our sense of Self is boundless, and that there are dimensions to us that span any problem or issue that we may perceive and identify with.

Annah maintains a ‘wholistic' attitude in assisting people to work through their health challenges, engaging in an integrated transformational approach thereby assisting clients with the release of pain and trauma from the body.

Wayne

Wayne is a professional counsellor, meditation instructor, healer and practitioner of therapeutic guided imagery and healing. Wayne has been practising since 1982. He has trained extensively in a wide range of complementary therapeutic interventions working with both Eastern and Western perspectives. He is also a qualified remedial massage therapist, he has a background in nursing, and is a specialist counsellor in loss and bereavement and Narrative Therapy.

 

Wayne believes that it is the journey of life that is of utmost importance. and to support this he advocates an ongoing awareness of one's own being and circumstances, to live as fully as is possible in every moment of each day, to seize every opportunity to reveal your full creative expression; and to navigate life's challenges with self-awareness, personal responsibility and positive action.

 

Wayne has studied, taught and practiced meditation and energy-based healing for nearly three decades which gives him a unique perspective on the inner energetic structures inherent in the health of a person's body, mind and spirit. He has developed a new and extremely effective form of healing/counselling which he calls authentic self-expression and dynamic counselling which incorporates methods that engage people with the many layers and paradigms of their own experience through exploration, curiosity and externalisation.

 

"Looking through the eyes of expression coming through your heart is so different from looking through judgemental thoughts and perceptions. The heart sees that everything is connected in some smaller and greater way, and encourages us to recognise that whatever we do, and however we do it, we will essentially affect others with our intentions and actions."

 

Wayne's further qualifications and experience Wayne has include certificate studies in health management, health facilities management, and psychinergy; six years study in energetic medicines, polarity healing methods and philosophies and additional studies in guided imagery, spiritual healing and symbolism as both healing and contemplative tools.

...phew! See what I mean? I don't think I have ever before come across two people who have come together with such a wealth of experience in the area of natural heath and healing. It is amazingly special. But to continue about the retreat ...

 

The core philosophy behind Samadhi is to have an integrative approach to ‘wellness', and to help people to maintain wellbeing by adopting methods of practice to address the ‘whole person'. The Samadhi experience encompasses the way of nurturing the self and the search for wholeness. Through the cultivation of rest and relaxation, and through the body-mind purification, we may come to experience in a small yet profound way, an unfolding of the self.The unfolding of the self equals the opening of the petals of a person's heart. To open the petals of your heart is to open again to your true self, it is about cultivating a state of being, rather than doing, about feeling more than thinking alone, and essentially about the wisdom of knowing oneself.

However, the Samadhi Retreat is so much more than this. Essentially, from the taste I had, you will certainly have a very unique experience here. Part of the reason for this, is because Annah and Wayne custom-design your experience, after spending considerable time talking with you to find out exactly what you are wanting to achieve from your retreat.

 

But also, they have a team of specialists they work with who they call in according to the needs of their clients. This team includes; nutritionalists, naturopaths, sports physiologists, yoga and qi-gong instructors,  massage and beauty therapists, art and sound therapists, acupuncturists, counsellors and psychologists, healing touch practitioners, and skilful energy and intuitive healers.

 

So I think you have the picture now - a huge wealth of experienced people. But back to my experience ... We did eventually finish our delicious lunch, and then I was lucky enough to spend a small amount of time firstly with Wayne and then with Annah.

 

The work I did with Wayne involved him asking me a few questions about my life, and as I spoke he then asked me further questions, so in essence, we were ‘drilling down' to my issues. We then focussed on one of these issues and he asked me to describe what it looked like, how it presented within me, and what we could do to change the way I perceived it. Essentially what he was demonstrating was an example of one of the processes he uses to take you within. A valuable experience but I have to say, I felt I was wearing my Editor's hat a bit more with this session. With Annah (as we were now running a little out of time), we opted for an oil ‘annointing' which I have to say, was just sublime. This wasn't in any shape or form a massage. It really did feel like an anointing, in that Annah was really spreading the oil upon me, but I think partly because of her vast experience and her innate nature as a true healer, this really did have quite a profound affect me. I was extremely relaxed at the end of this treatment.

So in conclusion, below are the take-home messages I would like to leave with you about this retreat:

• The unison of Annah and Wayne Mirananda brings together different streams of experience which both compliment and challenge current cultural attitudes to wellness

• the Samadhi Retreat embraces a new paradigm in health awareness, creating an integrated and comprehensive method of practice which will allow you to discover the possibilities of living a more healthy and vibrant life

• Samadhi retreat offers you the opportunity to explore your inner self as a means to deeper healing and relaxation, and to find those parts of yourself which may have become lost in the day-to-day patterns of a stressful lifestyle

• Annah and Wayne both have a sincere understanding and heartfelt desire to offer all forms of wellness with sensitivity and integrity

• Nothing is overlooked, from the soothing sounds of softly falling water, to intoxicating aromatherapy. A superbly tranquil ambience is ensured along with attention to detail and gracious service.

" The ‘Specialty' health retreat programs that are available are an enlightening, engaging and enriching transformational experience through complete immersion into healthy living and self-discovery. These retreats have been designed specifically to restore the bond between the physical body, emotions, mind, heart and spirit, to allowing life to become a complete experience, without separation or struggle.
Some of the retreats on offer include:
• Professional Burnout Retreats
• Bounce Back Retreats
• Relationship Renewal Retreats
• Profoundly Me Retreats
• Body Mind and Spirit Retreats
• Detox Retreats
The current menu of wellness services includes; diet and nutrition, reiki, polarity healing, sound healing, colour therapy, crystal and polarised light therapy, meditation, spiritual healing, beauty therapy, massage therapy, narrative therapy, loss and bereavement counselling, health counselling, remedial body therapies, guided imagery, art therapy, dream therapy and guided visualisation, meditation, Qigong, yoga, JPS magnetic field therapy. Samadhi gives clients the opportunity to select and integrate from all of these modalities and services thereby allowing the client to create their own customised retreat.

Annah and Wayne and their team of associates create a nurturing healing ambience within the retreat environment where the essential focus of goodwill and compassion are quite tangibly felt through their structured health retreat programs. It is through adopting this healing approach that integration takes place.
Samadhi's approach to 'wellness' also extends to delicious food, offering the services of an inspired chef who prepares succulent and well-balanced vegetarian dinners. With a wholistic concept and nature integrated into every aspect of the retreat, the organic dinners not only look inspiring but also taste delicious.
"We consider food as nature's natural medicine, and much thought and planning goes into each and every meal"

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Retreat Choices