About the Trainer


Rita Riccola

“Rita is a fabulous facilitator – she made us feel extremely comfortable, was open minded and encouraged us all to share from our diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. I came away with many very practical, easy to use exercises that I have since been using with with my classes of various ages. Thank you Rita for gifting me such a wonderful and enjoyable afternoon of learning”.
-Louise Dore, Auckland

Rita Riccola

Rita Riccola Has been a Vipassana and yoga practitioner for 25 years after discovering there was a way to ‘tame my mind’.
“I have attended many silent retreats over the years. I always believed that life is the teacher and was sceptical of dogmatic, religious practices so for me Mindfulness was perfect. From 2000-2002 I went to a number Barry Long’s seminars (Aust.) on a Course in Being (Barry Long was a teacher of Eckhart Toll).

I have been trying to find a way to pass on all I have learned about the mind and emotions and finally Mindfulness has reached the mainstream and has allowed that to happen.In 2012 I set up Mindful NZ Schools in an effort to bring Mindfulness practices and the proven benefits to all schoolchildren in New Zealand.

I have completed courses with Mindful Schools USA in preparation to offer schools in New Zealand Mindfulness classes (Mindful NZ Schools) which I have been doing since 2012: More recently I have been training teachers at Diocesan and Dilworth Junior College in Mindfulness in an effort take the practices to their students. I have been running an after-school programme for children and parents for the past 2 years at Grey Lynn Community Center. I get regular requests to run public Mindfulness classes which I am now offering”.

“Practicing Mindfulness has been shown to alter the structure and function of the brain, which is what allows us to learn, acquire new abilities, and improve memory.” DR. ROMIE MUSHTAQ

Mindfulness trains the mind to be observant and responsive to the many challenges we face every day.

Harvard, Oxford and Stanford Universities offer Mindfulness courses. Mindfulness is not just a trend but a proven method for success.

“Rita is a fabulous facilitator – she made us feel extremely comfortable, was open minded
and encouraged us all to share from our diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. I came
away with many very practical, easy to use exercises that I have since been using with with my
classes of various ages.
Thank you Rita for gifting me such a wonderful and enjoyable afternoon of learning”.

Louise Dore

“When I am trying to get to sleep I use the body scan. It really works!”


‘The body scan felt relaxing and calm which took all the anger away”.

Year 5 student

Why Mindfulness?

Evidence based results from around the world continue to show that the regular practise of Mindfulness has ongoing benefits for physical and mental health. Research over the past few decades has found that Mindfulness training helps to;


Relieve Anxiety & Stress

In our fast paced lives, where we rush from one demand to another, there is very little time or space to stop and pause. Mindfulness offer the tools needed to connect with our inner intelligence, where we can access natural calmness beneath the busy minds.


Let go of Anger & Frustration

Coming in contact with your direct experience in the mindful state allows us to become familiar with the patterns that direct our lives; our thoughts, emotions and reactions.



Pain is an inevitable part of being human but suffering is optional. In Mindfulness we learn how to manage our thoughts and emotions instead of letting emotions and thoughts manage us.



Aimless thinking and inner chatter is draining our energy and clouding over the present moment. One of the most common benefits from regular Mindfulness training is greater mental clarity and a new sense of inner peace.


Have Better Sleep

To be able stop incessant thinking and worrying is one of the great benefits of Mindfulness and it makes it easier to sleep in and have unbroken sleep throughout the night.



Mindfulness practices increasingly bring you more into the present with the growing awareness that going over the past keeps you stuck in the past.

Related Courses

Start Practising Mindfulness
Self-Paced Online Course
Learn the effective mindfulness techniques that are helping individuals from all walks of life to have more balance and focus in their lives.



Bring Mindfulness to the Classroom
For teachers and consultants who want to introduce mindfulness to their students, children and staff.



Frequently Asked Questions

Mindfulness means “paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn. (Founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)

Mindfulness is a way of noticing where your attention is in the present moment without judging it good or bad. It’s about not wandering off into an imagined future or going over the past but fully engaging right here right now.

The ability to focus on one thing at a time is a skill and requires practice. Just as athletes train on a daily basis to maintain fitness and stamina, Mindfulness, which is a mental training, requires regular daily practice to experience the many well documented benefits especially of de-stressing, relaxing the body and generally self-managing in a new and empowering way.

Through guided, simple easy-to-do practisies you are training the mind to be more present in the moment. resulting in it to be less anxious, more alert and alive.

Everyone really and especially anyone

  • Who over-thinks
  • Thinks anxiously as a regular behavior.
  • Stressed people
  • People who engage in constant negative self-talk
  • People who can’t sleep because of incessant inner chatter
  • People who operate on ‘auto-pilot’ and are always ‘on’..
It depends on your experience at the time. Mindfulness isn’t one particular state or experience, but rather a deepening in to the feeling of the experience you are having right at this moment – which could be pleasant or unpleasant. Mindfulness is not designed to change our experiences as much as change our relationship to our experience so it is not so stressful and problematical. One thing is for sure though, you can only experience what mindfulness is like by actually doing it.
Meditation and Mindfulness are very similar the only difference being that Meditation takes many more forms;chanting, mantras as well as breathing and visualisations however Mindfulness meditation is a specific set of exercises that focus exclusively on the five senses.
Many places that run Mindfulness courses do so on a donation basis and are connected to spiritual centers. Mindfulness in New Zealand is an independent group and the trainers pay to live just like everyone else. Everybody needs to be paid for their effort as well as the cost of hiring venues and paying advertising to let people know the courses exist.


There is no religion, dogma or beliefs attached to Mindfulness. Mindfulness has it’s roots in many contemplative practices but doesn’t require or impose on anyones belief systems. It’s a mental activity that has proven to be of great benefit for maintaining physical, mental and emotional balance.

Evidence Based

The many benefits of Mindfulness have been well documented especially in the past 30 years since Jon Kabat-Zinn established the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction programme that has led to the wide-spread, evidence based research and the acceptance of these non-religious, practical exercises anyone can do.


Mindfulness practice doesn’t require any preparation or beforehand knowledge about meditation. Anyone can experience the effect from these simple exercises.