about the retreat

our meeting room

our meeting room

Please scroll further down for fees.

Mindfulness, the art of bring present to the ever-changing ‘now’, is a wonderful way of calming your body, replenishing your energy, and cultivating joy and well being. This 5-day retreat, much of which will be in silence for participants, will take place in an exotic and beautiful setting in Southern Bali. It will offer you a rare opportunity to come home to the OK-ness of yourself, just as you are, to relax into your original nature, and to enjoy the delights of Balinese food, warmth, hospitality and unspoilt beauty.

Qi gong is an ancient Taoist system designed to improve the flow of energy in the body, create vitality and concentrate the mind. The qi gong practices we will learn include qi gong warm ups, qi gong self-massage, the six Taoist healing sounds, a compassion practice called the Inner Smile, and a moving form. These will be practices you can take away and use at home as tools to relax and revitalise your body and mind.

You are welcome to join as much or as little of the scheduled programme of mindfulness meditation and qi gong practices as you wish: this is a retreat in which none of the usual social expectations are placed on you.

This retreat is suitable for:

  • Absolute beginners with no mindfulness or qi gong experience
  • Experienced mindfulness and/or qi gong practitioners and meditators

the setting

Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness is set in a lush river valley of terraced-rice fields, beside tree-clad hills. It is overlooked by the imposing presence of Gunung Agung, a mountain to the east of Bali. The atmosphere and the views are breathtaking. The nearest village is called Tabola, and lies between Nirarta and Sidemen, a short walk from Nirarta. Sidemen is a medium-sized market village, with a few shops, including a telecommunications centre. Both Tabola and Sidemen are primarily weaving and farming villages, relatively untouched by tourism. The climate is always pleasantly warm, but rather cooler than the coastal plain. A refreshing breeze up the river valley keeps the temperature pleasant, as is true for the Nirarta site as whole, where air conditioning is unnecessary, because it is provided by nature! The centre is half an hour from both magnificent mountains and seashores.

terraced rice fields surrounding Nirtarta

terraced rice fields surrounding Nirtarta

our venue and accommodation

Our sessions take place in a large, light, eight-sided wooden-floored meeting room, with lovely views over the rice-fields and river to the south.

There are 14 bedrooms at Nirarta. Most rooms accommodate two people, but there are some options to have a room on your own, for an extra fee.

The retreat fee includes 3 meals, morning teas and coffee, a supply of mineral water, service tax of 15% and full tuition/programme from an experienced faciltator.

Please note that international airfares, travel and cancellation insurance and airport transfers are not included in the fee.

what you will learn

  • The art of being present, in stillness and movement
  • Qi gong warm ups and stretches
  • Sitting and walking meditation
  • The six Taoist “healing sounds” for greater well being
  • Self-compassion meditation (“the inner smile”)
  • Qi gong practices that you can take home and use as practical tools for wellbeing and stress reduction.
MEALS are served in the airy open thatched 'bale' with stunning views of the river, gardens, and rice fields

MEALS are served in the airy open thatched 'bale' with stunning views of the river, gardens, and rice fields


  • More vital energy (qi) in your body
  • Greater awareness of the ways you block your inherent happiness
  • Opportunity to let go, relax and unwind
  • Better sleep and improved well being
  • A more focused mind.
the outside of our meeting room

the outside of our meeting room

path at Nirarta: Moving into Natural Ease, a retreat with Rachel Tobin

places for rest and relaxation

Besides the veranda to your room and the couches in the dining area, there are various places where you can relax, reflect, read and enjoy the river, gardens, and rice fields. These include:

  • the traditional antique carved ‘bale sakenem’ (pavilion with six pillars) in the shady peaceful centre of the upper garden, between Saraswati and the main house
  • the ‘bale sakepat’ (pavilion with four pillars) down by the river, in front of Uma Bungalow
  • the veranda of Gangga Bungalow, near the river.

Around the grounds are many other special places in nature for meditation and reflection. All the buildings are connected by paths running through the lush flower-filled gardens. Nirarta’s gardens border the river for more than 150 metres. To the north, two forks of the river merge and swimming is possible.


$1150 Early Bird
Full price: $1400

(please see below for what this includes)

There are limited options for a room to yourself for an extra $175 and you will need to book early for these.

You may secure a place on the retreat with a $400 (non-refundable) bank transfer - please e-mail me to arrange this (rachel@theartofmindfulness.co.nz). The balance needs to be paid by 1 May, 2018.  To avail of the early bird fare, the full fee needs to be paid.

Included in your fee:

  • 3 fabulous meals per day (please contact Dayu at dayu1@awareness-bali.com if you are gluten-free or have other dietary restrictions)
  • morning teas and coffee
  • a supply of mineral water
  • full tuition, guidance and input from an experienced faciltator
  • individual an check-in session, during the retreat, with Rachel
  • service tax of 15%

Not included in your fee:

  • the cost of international airfares to and from Bali
  • travel and cancellation insurance
  • airport transfers or transport to or from Nirarta Centre ($35-$40 NZ dollars 1-way for the car)
  • massage and healing sessions
  • fee for guided walk (optional) (about $10 NZ dollars)
  • single room surcharge (please e-mail me to request a single room; the extra $175 fee is payable by bank transfer)

transport and extra services

From the dining bale, steps lead down to a secluded and quiet massage cabin, and then on to the river itself, with its refreshing natural bubbling Jacuzzi.

From the dining bale, steps lead down to a secluded and quiet massage cabin, and then on to the river itself, with its refreshing natural bubbling Jacuzzi.

Nirarta Centre for Living Awareness is about 1 hour 15 minute from the airport and about 1 hour from Ubud, more at peak traffic times.

The centre can easily arrange transport/transfer from/to airport or other places; please contact Dayu, at Nirarta, directly regarding fees. Dayu's contact e-mail is dayu1@awareness-bali.com

There are three masseurs available on site and there will be time during the retreat to avail of their services:
Healing massage: 300,000/hour (about $30 NZ dollars)
Chakra massage: 300,000/hour
Relaxing massage: 150,000/hour (local currency - baht) (about $15 NZ dollars)

your faciliatator

Rachel Tobin

Rachel Tobin

Rachel Tobin has been practising meditation for over 25 years and is a qualified teacher in a variety of fields including the moving mindfulness practices of qi gong and feldenkrais. She is the director of the art of mindfulnessworks individually with adults and children, teaches mindfulness in organisations and to the general public, and regularly facilitates one-day and residential mindfulness retreats. She is also a facilitator for the NZ Mental Health Foundation’s 8-week mindfulness programme in schools, Pause, Breathe, Smile. Rachel lives in Paekakariki, New Zealand on the lovely Kapiti Coast.

For the last nine years, Rachel has been a student of Aotearoa-born Spiritual Master Sri Yanchiji, with whom she is whole-hearedly engaged in the study of Life. The spiritual journey, of re-discovering the natural and inherent joy that comes from simply Being (and finding out, with good humour, everything that eclipses that innate happiness) is increasingly informing her work with others.

what people say

"Do this retreat! It was amazing. I feel so at ease and clear, almost like my mind and body have been stripped bare and replaced with love and ease.... Rachel is a great facilitator with a wonderful sense of humour and mindfulness"
- 2017 Bali participant, NZ

"I enjoyed the location, the food, my room, the time to rest in the lush valley of these amazing hills. The programme i found very helpful for my health, physical and mental. The exercises in the morning were so body uplifting and mind clearing. All the practices of mindfulness were so good for clearing out debris. I feel much different from five days ago."
- A Lawrence, Australia.


"Nirarta Living Awareness Centre has been an incredible and a very different experience. I felt so calm, still and relaxed at the end of the program. It helped me to rediscover my 'inner me' and reconnect with who I am, my body, soul and mind. Lots of wisdom in the room and an amazingly personable teacher with warmth and care, mixed with a nice sense of humour."
- D. Dordevich, Auckland

"I am like driftwood, sharpened by the river of my tangled thoughts. Each river stone i bumprf into is my struggle, but somehow i overcome it with the power of awareness ... The feeling i am taking with my self back to NZ is peace, satisfaction in knowing i am enough..."
- N Dordevich, Auckland

cancellation policy

  • Up to 2 weeks before the retreat starts, your fee, minus a $400 deposit, is refundable
  • A 50% refund of the total fee paid is provided if you cancel within 2 weeks (but more than 48 hours) of the retreat starting
  • Your fee is not refundable if you cancel within 48 hours of the retreat starting, or if you don't attend the retreat.