Come to the magical Daintree Rainforest and enrich your life with a Meditation with Deep Relaxation Retreat.

This retreat is designed for people who wish to explore and pursue meditation in a way that is sensitively integrated with your body. You can sit intensely if you wish, or combine your sitting with gentle body techniques. Issani provides a beautiful, quiet and supported environment if you are an experienced meditator, and if you have no or various levels of prior experience. 

The retreat venue is Issani’s Daintree Meditation Centre, a secluded Ayurvedic healing sanctuary near a beautiful waterway in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest. The bird song and the ongoing flow of the creek create a sublime ambience.

Issani’s Meditation with Deep Relaxation Retreats are a gentle exploration of our innate peace and happiness. In stillness, this freedom become tangibly felt…moment to moment …

The retreats are very definitely and delicately structured, allowing for personal adaptation, and integration into your life once you leave.

The program involves simple techniques that have been carefully considered to softly and gently allow tensions to release from our bodies and minds. Most practices take place whilst lying down comfortably on a soft cushioned mat. 

The guided Sitting in Stillness meditation practice is simple and the seating is very comfortable.

Delicious Ayurvedic meals are included…

Because of my understanding of the myofacial connective web, I realised, during my years of intensive meditation with my teacher Linda Claire, that our myo-fascia holds not only physical tensions. It is also holds the mental and emotional residues of the past. I practice and share gentle myo-fascial Connective Web Release to soften, and loosen the whole body-mind. This also  greatly eases and enhances  meditation as it is a gentle way to feel “in our body” and be present and grounded enough to benefit from Sitting Still in more formal meditation practices.Issani

Issani’s Deep Relaxation Retreats are a gentle exploration into the reality of our innate peace and happiness. In stillness, this freedom become tangible…moment to moment …

The retreat is to create a safe space for you to let go, reflect and explore your physical, mental and emotional reality.

Accommodation is not included, but there are many lovely Daintree Airbnb’s.

Issani can email a comprehensive list of accommodation options for differing needs and budgets.

Be sure to book your accommodation early as possible to avoid the rush during the tourist season.

Daintree Retreat Venue

28 Fig Tree Rd, Cow Bay

Off street parking

Only 8 places are available per Daintree retreat


2 DAY Retreat Schedule 

August 17 & 18

October 5 & 6

Easy, fluid movements to create suppleness and warmth in the body. We develop subtle awareness of how we are holding ourselves in space. This awareness helps improve posture without effort.  Suitable for any ability.

A gentle practice that allows the release of deeply held tensions whilst you are fully supported, lying on an extremely comfortable mat. Whilst in a state of relaxation, physical, emotional and mental tensions held deep in the connective tissues are effortlessly released. By gently unblocking tensions, we allow energy and the fluids of the body to flow, hydrating and softening previously dry and tight fascia and connective tissues.

Excellent for gently realigning the body and posture.

Simple positions are held for a minute or two,  allowing the body to release into gravity with no pushing, no pressure … no effort no trying.

Apart from the benefits of increased flexibility, suppleness and postural alignment this practice develops the ability to allow and let go that will flow into your daily life, especially if you practice regularly.

It also creates a safe, grounded foundation for Sitting in Stillness Meditation. 

You will be guided through this deeply restful practice as you lie comfortably on your cushioned mat… a journey throughout your whole body-mind takes you deep into a restorative space where tensions automatically release. 

Light, soft Awareness of sounds, feelings, and thoughts as they arise brings us more intimately into the present, to realise we are the Awareness or Presence that sensations arise within.

A gentle gong will mark time passing at 10 minute intervals and you can choose to stay Sitting in Stillness or transition to lying down on your cushioned mat and relaxing in Shavasana or unwinding on your mat go for a quiet , walk or have a herbal tea…whatever you like at your own pace. More advanced meditators can choose to stay in meditation for as long as they like during sessions. We close the session with some gentle awakening activity …

We will have regular group discussions and opportunities to share our experience and ask questions.



All elements are optional.

You may come and go as you please as long as you arrive and settle in to each time slot at least 5 minutes prior to the start -time, and leave quietly when you wish.

The Relaxation Centre at Issani Day Spa is available from just before dawn to just after dusk if you wish to do your own practice outside the formal program hours. Feel free to move your mats on to the grass under the sky and watch the clouds go by …


Morning walk in silence at nearby Jindalba Boardwalk, a stunning inland rainforest area and waterway.

8 – 10AM

Guided gentle Movement, Connective Web Release (mat), Sitting in Meditation


Morning Tea/Breakfast – coconut rice porridge with flaked roasted almonds breakfast offered


Sitting in Meditation – Connective Web Release (mat)


Ayurvedic lunch


Group Discussion


Gentle Movement, Connective Web Release (mat), Guided Relaxation, Sitting in Meditation


Afternoon Tea, Discussion.


Sunset beach walk, weather permitting


5PM – Dusk

Stay at the Relaxation Centre and do your own practice as the sun goes down.

Please wear comfortable clothes and bring your water bottle. Filtered creek water and herbal teas are also available at the Day Spa. The weather is generally mild and sunny, around low to mid 20’s during the day and a little cooler morning and evening.  There are very few mosquitos during the tourist season when these retreats are scheduled. Carefully positioned fans keep any insects at bay with insecticide sprays on hand, essential oil based and otherwise. Comfortable mats and cushions are provided. If you have a  favourite meditation cushion or stool, please feel free to bring it with you. Zafu cushions and and comfortable chairs are provided. The mats also make a great floor cushion for meditation cushions and stools.

During the Connective web Release & Sitting in Stillness meditation, you can change techniques as whenever feel to. In the early stages of the retreat we will practice these together. Once you are familiar with the practices, you can mix it up as you feel to and either stay sitting in meditation or change to any mat practice, or simply take a break, relax by the creek and enjoy a herbal tea.

The Gentle Movement, Discussion & the guided Deep Relaxation are done together as a group.

No. The retreat structure allows for individual pacing and choice. However, all participants are expected to be quiet and respectful of  other’s practice. This also means arriving before and remaining throughout each session. 

Lunches are prepared according to Ayurvedic principles and may contain organic dairy as ghee and soft cheeses like ricotta or haloumi. Unfortunately it is too difficult to cater to two different food styles, although some dishes won’t contain animal products. 

Coffee and coffee substitutes are available along with common tea. Coffee is not advised as its stimulant qualities can unsettle the mind. Try to wean off or reduce consumption before you arrive, but if you need a hit, it’s there for you. Preferable to coffee withdrawals! All kinds of herbal teas are available.

 Myo-fascial Release | Restorative Yoga |  Continuum Movement 

Advaita or Non-dual philosophy | Francis Lucille | Rupert Shira | Unmani | Anasuya Devi | Nissargadatta Maharaj | Ramana Maharshi | Japanese Zazen meditation | Vipassana Meditation | Life |  Linda Claire & her teachers. Linda was my meditation teacher for ten years and gave me permission to teach.

The Relaxation mats are 10 cms deep and extremely comfortable, with good spongy resistance and support. They are covered with two layers of thick, soft mink blankets.

There are also yoga mats, flat supportive cushions for head support, and extra cushions for arm support whilst lying down and for hand rests during meditation.

Large meditation cushions are available, filled with buckwheat hulls. They are positioned on the spongy mats, so the base of the body and the knees are supported and you can transition easily to a lying down position for Connective web Release or Deep Relaxation.

Zafu meditation cushions are also available to purchase.

You can choose to kneel or sit cross-legged on your meditation cushion, or sit in one of the comfortable chairs provided.

We meet at Issani Day Spa: 28 Fig Tree Rd, Cow Bay

Issani Day Spa Daintree

Revealing your Essential Nature 

Whether consciously or not, we are all driven by desire, but what is the fundamental desire underlying all our separate desires? If you look closely, you will find the primary desire is for continuous peace and happiness, independent of transient conditions….for no “apparent reason.”

When engaging in an activity that absorbs us, we sometimes feel we have been transported “somewhere” or have been in “the zone”. Actually, we have been nowhere. Circumstances have temporarily connected us to the truth of our being and awakened us. 

Peace, Happiness and Awareness is our primal being, so close and intimate, we tend to overlook it, like the sugar on the table, a sweet no-thing, the timeless, transparent presence in which everything is arising moment by moment.

As babies, the conditioned body-mind was not present, so we know that Awareness precedes the formation of the conditioned self. Through conditioning, the body-mind arises by modifying some of the  original unified Awareness, becoming the deeply rooted “me as body-mind” idea.  Babies are so attractive and delightful precisely because they precede this contraction and exude Awareness.

We have spent a lifetime unconsciously holding onto our conditioning. The identification, maintenance and attachment to the separate self requires a lot of energy and effort. 

In Pure Awareness, we gently reverse this process, letting go into each moment of presence. We discover we are more than a dry set of memories and mind-stuff. We are life, pristine and eternally new.

We do not need to destroy or dismantle the conditioned self. We simply question the identification and shift that emphasis from the limited self to the actual pure freedom at our core. Awareness precedes both the body and the mind. Both arise within Awareness. 

Through this process, the body-mind can assume it’s real purpose, as a unique conduit to Pure Awareness.

The body-mind is not “purpose built” for ultimate happiness. When identified with the illusion of separateness, we all experience relative moments of happiness during favourable circumstances, yet deep down we know everything will change at some stage, including our body-mind. What we really crave is un-changing peace and happiness. Only this will authentically satisfy us at the deepest level as only this is what we essentially are.

As separate body-minds, we create individual virtual realities. If you hunger for the ultimate truth of your actual reality, a virtual reality will not completely satisfy.

When we live under the illusory notion that we are a separate body-mind we live with a sense of lack. We try to fill this empty feeling, seeking happiness in external objects and pleasant sensations. As all objects, including our body-mind eventually pass away, we find no Ultimate Happiness in them and often feel fearful, saddened, frustrated and confused. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This friction and annoyance can encourage us to enquire more deeply into the Truth of Reality, the Truth that we are. Suffering is always trying to tell us something!

We crave freedom because it is our essential Nature. This craving is not the problem, only the mis-placement of it. The Awakened state is not one in which there is no fun, pleasure or enjoyment.  Everything experienced now becomes satisfactory as it is arising freely and spontaneously in and as Awareness.

A Deep Relaxation Retreat can support you in revealing your essential Awareness via self-enquiry and as gentle, felt experience.

How to “do” this?

We discuss these themes to give the mind opportunities to ponder them. It is important that the mind has a grasp of the process we are undertaking in the retreat, so it does not feel coerced in any way. We are, after all, pursuing freedom!

Spontaneity and enjoyment are the essence of this process. We start and continue where we want to end up…in the present. There is no pushing or trying to attain anything. The only effort is to practice an effortlessness…without effort!

We are not looking to find some cosmic enlightenment experience in the future and working hard to get there. We are simply re-acquainting with our primary awareness, which, while not lost, is mainly occluded by a misplaced attention.

The “practices” bring you gradually from gentle  movement to stillness, from easy upright movement techniques , to lying down comfortably practicing effortless Connective Web Release, then to the most concentrated practice, Sitting in Stillness. You have plenty of opportunity to self-pace and integrate, safely and gently. We can always choose to “step back” from the intensity of Sitting in Stillness, to lying on our mat or taking a break. You can create your own structure to suit how you feel.

There is no discipline to perfect or mind to oppress. The practices simply serve to gently soften and unravel the habitual attachment to the reductive idea of the self as   a body-mind, enabling the body-mind to gently transform and release it’s onerous responsibilty to provide our identity. It will let go and relax in the truth of awareness. We “enlighten” our being, via gently orienting our body-minds to the present moment, to the real. As past and presence are incompatible, a natural process of “de-fragging” our body-minds and releasing residues from the past evolves as we steadily become lighter and more aware. 

When mental and physical tensions and feelings arise, they do not need to be re-lived, analysed or modified in any way.  They arise as sensations and are simply given space to release in their own time and fashion. There is no active interference to “remove” them. Patience and a kind of loving indifference are the essence of the practices.

This approach can be confounding at first as we are programmed and conditioned to set goals, and control outcomes by our effort. We want to find out how to master things by pro-active “doing”, but in this process, we are invited into a kind of effortless, directionless “being”, with no right or wrong way involved. Within a flexible structure, whatever arises is right, simply because it is authentic to the moment you are experiencing. The techniques are more about the Open Way you experience them than “doing them perfectly”. 

Issani Deep Relaxation Retreats are very definitely and delicately structured, allowing for personal adaptation, and integration into your life after the retreat.

This is helpful in developing the autonomy and self-reliance needed for the return journey to the Self. 

My role in the retreat is to provide a safe, natural and supported space for pondering and exploring these themes. I am also available to share my experience, guidance and techniques. Ongoing mentoring is always available to you.

Becoming established in Pure Awareness is a delight that defies description….and an incredible relief.  

The conditioned self draws it’s energy from Pure Awareness which is it’s source.

Having concluded this, we can orient the separate self to merge back into Pure Awareness.

Awareness is re-cognised as it is – innocent, loving, elegant, naked, timeless, universally present, effulgent,  uncontained, beyond time, space, matter and energy, unborn, eternal and pristine

Living freely as awareness, every “thing” refers back to it’s source as living awareness. Even the mind finds rest and “gives up”, like someone who enjoys the punch line of a joke after trying so hard to “get it”. 

We wonder “Who am I?” if I am not my mind?

It’s an excellent question to ponder!

I am is the reality.

I am X Y & Z is the illusion, created by memories generated by the mind.

This is not to say there is anything wrong with XY or Z…simply that they are lacking in presence as they are made of the past, and will always feel lacking when mis-taken as our primary identity. As long as we view our life through the lens of the past, we cannot be truly present. We do not need to give up our conditioned identity and become zombies to be free. We simply need to recognise that we are Limitless Awareness appearing as a limited form and and story.

When the mind realises it’s own limitations, the journey has really begun. This is humility.  The enquiring mind may bring us to the doorway of truth, but it cannot go through.

The body and mind arise within Awareness, which has no form, no substance is never  born and cannot die.

The body-mind is limited and changeable and can only infer reality. 

Awareness is free, unchanging, limitless and knows directly.

Awareness is prior and transcendental to the body-mind. 

 We say “My body, my mind.” To whom are we referring? 

Although we make this journey alone, most people who have awakened to Awareness have had guidance from others who have already realised this truth and are able to provide advice and support. 

This opportunity offers such ongoing support. If you are interested or have any queries at all please don’t hesitate to get in touch…


Issani Day Spa Daintree