Give Yourself a Break to Relax & Rejuvenate


Deepen the contact within together with like-minded people in a beautiful setting


13-15 March 2020

Join us for a weekend of rest and relaxation, delicious vegetarian food, gentle movement practices and meditation in Lower Plenty, VIC.
The retreat provides you with a chance to get away for a weekend and to relax, recharge and meditate.

If you’ve never been on a meditation retreat before, this is a perfect place to start. There will be meditation instruction for both beginners and advanced practitioners, plenty of free time and opportunities to walk through the surrounding forest and to appreciate the beautiful scenery.

Guided group and individual Meditation

A weekend semi-silent* mindfulness retreat to relax, rejuvenate and have the opportunity to deepen your mindfulness practice together with like-minded people in a beautiful setting.

At Amberley you will be amongst the most beautiful surroundings in Victoria. An integral part of the Amberley Centre is the many areas one can explore in search of peace and tranquillity. This magnificent retreat is situated on 20 acres of natural bush taking in some of the most beautiful ambience mother nature has to offer. Stroll amongst the magnificent gardens or enjoy a bush walk along the river taking in the sounds and colours of all that surrounds you.


Enjoy delicious food; breakfast lunch and dinner with options for vegan and any special diary requirements (gluten-free etc.)
The catering team freshly prepares all meals on-site and offer a wonderful variety of food from breakfast right through to dessert. Special dietary requirements can be met with prior notice.

• Guided group and individual meditation
• Yoga classes
• Bush & River Walks
• Swimming Pool
• Comfortable accommodation
• Vegetarian food
• BBQ facilities
• Racquetball court

The Edmond Rice Centre, Amberley is situated on a bend of Melbourne’s Yarra River in Lower Plenty overlooking Westerfolds Park to the Dandenong Ranges. Originally built in the late 1920’s as a private residence it is nestled on 20 acres of native bushland.

Amberley has become a place of reflection and spirituality for all who enter its doors. Guests to Amberley comment on the calm and serene atmosphere of this place so close to the bustle of Melbourne.

Amberley is approximately 20 kilometres from the heart of Melbourne and 40 minutes from Melbourne’s International Airport and has easy access to both the Western Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway.

Amberley Centre, 7 Amberley Way, Lower Plenty VIC 3093 Australia

Free parking

* This is a semi-silent retreat which means at certain hours of the day we will keep talking to a minimum.
The benefit of having silent periods are many. It gives the brain a break from unnecessary distractions and time to deepen the contact within. It gives a chance to be fully present and just calmly observe whatever goes on, both on the outside and inside.


The Natural State Of Being Human

Mindfulness is not new, it is thousands of years old and has been practiced in many eastern cultures as a way of maintaining mental balance against the inevitable distortions the mind generates. Mindfulness has made it to the west for a number of reasons; technology has developed and allowed researchers to study and understand the function of the brain more fully so that we now have an enormous amount of evidence-based research confirming the benefits of regular practice.

The increasing demands of living places enormous stress on all people, children, teenagers and adults, the purposeful, daily cultivation of minimising stress, self-regulation, connection to self, others and the world around us has been proven to assist mental, emotional and physical balance.

In our fast paced and increasingly distracted and fragmented world mindfulness and meditation is proven to re-empower people with their own natural ability to restore the fragmented mind to a state of wholeness and presence.

Understanding how the brain works goes a long way to empowering people to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness ‘teaches’ us how thoughts and feelings affect our state of being and how we are able to train ourselves, intentionally, to observe the activity of the mind without becoming entrapped and start believing every thought the mind produces or be swept away by every emotion felt.

Mindfulness trains us to recognise we have a choice of where to put our attention and to recognise when we are becoming trapped in unhelpful thinking.

At this retreat you will have opportunity to deepen your own Mindfulness practice and be empowered by the discovery that you can self-manage your thoughts and emotions.

It doesn’t matter if you never meditated or done one mindfulness exercise in your life, this retreat is for anyone who are moved to establish or deepen their own Mindfulness practice and to improve focus, mental resilience and find more emotional and mental balance in their life.

Benefits such as:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Better sleep
  • Better self-management
  • Less reactivity
  • Improved mental resilience
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Better memory
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Better conflict resolution skills

are common and expectable result from regular Mindfulness practice.



Situated on a bend of Melbourne’s Yarra River in Lower Plenty

Only 20 kilometers from Melbourne CBD

Freshly prepared meals served in the art deco styled dining room or the balcony overlooking the Yarra River.

A calm space for mindful meditation

Comfortable accommodation

Online Course – Try it for Free

Learn Mindfulness From Home

This self-paced online course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms that underpin mindfulness widespread success and application as well as all the exercises and additional resources that will help you establish your own mindfulness practice.



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“With Mindfulness training you are not adding to your knowledge in the
traditional sense – you are in fact removing some of the mental clutter
that is holding you back from being naturally mindful and in a state of
equilibrium”.Rita Riccola

Who is the retreat for?

  • Teachers
  • Yoga Trainers
  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Consultants
  • Psychologists
  • Team Leaders
  • Personal Assistants
  • Life Coaches
  • Physiotherapists
  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Parents
  • Pastors
  • & anyone who want to add Mindfulness Facilitation to their skill set

About the Trainer


Rita Riccola

Rita Riccola

Rita Riccola is one of New Zealand’s leading mindfulness trainers She is a former teacher and a trained mindfulness teacher with 28 yrs experience who has completed courses with Mindful Schools USA and attended many Mindfulness retreats. These courses are designed to meet the growing need for educators and human resource workers to offer Mindfulness training to all.


“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 …Thank you Rita for gifting me such a wonderful and enjoyable afternoon of learning”.Louise Dore, Auckland

“I found Rita’s expert and gentle facilitating a wonderful way to explore mindfulness personally, whilst also guiding me to share mindfulness with others”.Suzanne Henwood, Auckland

“ Thank you for offering this course, it has been a blessing in my life.”
Nicky M, Gold Coast
“ I’ve learnt that you can choose to change. The interaction between participants was especially valuable”
Jen, Sydney

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Weekend Retreat in Melbourne 13-15 March 2020

Friday: Start 5.00pm
Sunday: End 4.00pm

Cost: $495
including all meals, accommodation, access to all facilities and participating in all activities (yoga classes, guided and individual meditation).

Limited to 12 people
10 seats left

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.