MEDITATION & deep relaxation mini-retreats


Immerse yourself in Deep Relaxation with no “practices” to perfect, only simple ways of letting go of our busy mode of being to quietly investigate our simple awareness, our human “being” rather than doing.

Issani’s Meditation with 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 …

These retreats are very definitely and delicately structured, allowing for personal adaptation, and integration into your life after the retreat.

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.

A delicious Ayurvedic lunch is offered. 


Woorabinda Lake Reserve

Room 3

Woorabinda Drive, Stirling South Australia 5152



Sunday November 2024

Date TBC

12 -5pm

ARRIVAL 12 – 12:30 or 1:45 without lunch


COST – $70 | $44 – Low Income, self-determined


November 2024 TBC

Herbal teas, ordinary tea, coffee & biscuits and a vegetarian lunch are provided …  

This session is preceded by …

Ayurveda Awareness Session donation only

Scroll down for more info …

Info about longer Daintree Deep Relaxation Retreats here

Easy, fluid movements to create suppleness and warmth in the body. We develop subtle awareness of how we are holding ourselves in space and  techniques to improve 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. 

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.

Deep Relaxation is a guided journey, taken as you rest comfortably lying on your mat… a journey throughout your whole body-mind that takes you deep into a restorative space where tensions automatically release. 


Simple Awareness of sounds, feelings, and thoughts as they arise brings us more intimately into the present and to the realisation that we are the unlimited Awareness or Presence that sensations arise in.

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. We close the session with some gentle awakening activity …

Please bring the following:

  1. A generous sized quilt to soften the mats. Mats are a bit larger and much thicker than a yoga mat.
  2. A bed cover to tuck in over the quilt and secure it nicely.
  3. A comfortable head cushion.
  4. A light blanket. A thin bed spread or empty quilt cover works nicely.
  5. A favourite meditation cushion if you prefer that to the large zafu meditation cushions provided. sitting in a chair. The mats make a great floor cushion for meditation stools or cushions. Otherwise, there are very comfortable chairs for meditation.

During the Passive Stretching & Sitting in Stillness mediation, 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. Please arrive before the beginning of each session to settle into the practices together.

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.

All kinds of herbal teas are available along with the usual tea.

As a stimulant, coffee activates the mind unsettle the mind and is not ideal for meditation, but if you need a hit, it’s there for you. Preferable to coffee withdrawals! 

 Myo-fascial Release | Restorative Yoga |  Continuum Movement 

Connective Web Release grew out of my desire for a gentle self-healing process that wouldn’t force my body. I began applying my  knowledge of  gentle, yet powerful myofascial release to my own body problems that stem from rotated hips and a lot of fascial constriction,  that didn’t respond well to harsh stretching  and body work. I formulated Connective Web Release and it gentle re-aligning my posture, creating more suppleness and bouyancy in my fascia and well-being.

Whilst studying the myofascial system at the same time as spending many years going deeply into meditation with my teacher Linda Claire, I realised 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.

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 Myofascial Relaxation or Yoga Nidra practice.

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.


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 to the depth of our presence. 

Our primal being is peace, happiness and unsullied awareness. It is 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. The conditioned body-mind arises by modifying some of the  original Pure 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. 

We can 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.

This does not require a dismantling of the conditioned self or becoming an optionless, opinionless robot. If we look closely, we can see we are actually more robotic when driven by unconscious patterns. We simply question the identification and shift that emphasis from the limited, conditioned self to the actual pure freedom at our core. The tail becomes less and less likely to wag the dog, but we still keep our tails! 

Awareness precedes both the body and the mind. Both arise within Awareness. 

With gentle practices, the human body-mind can assume it’s most important purpose, becoming a  unique conduit to absolute Awareness.

The transient body-mind is not “purpose built” for ultimate happiness. 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. Our body-mind can, however, become a vehicle through which we can realise and live as limitless awareness.

Thinking we are just separate body-minds, we create individual virtual realities, which can be sometimes entertaining, sometimes painful, but cannot completely satisfy.

Because we are infinite, living this way confers 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. We do not transform into an enlightened being. We reveal the pre-existing truth of our being.

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.  Most  experiences become satisfactory as they arise 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.


By discussing these themes we 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 the “practices”. 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 often occluded our deep identification with our “separateness” from life.

The retreats 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 the onerous responsibilty to constantly create and provide our identity. This may feel scary, but there is nothing to fear but  relaxing into reality. We “enlighten” our being, via gently orientation 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.

The energy of  pure awareness takes time to integrate. It vibrates at a much, much higher frequency that the mind, so the practices focus on gentle, steady transformation and integration.

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 physical and mental 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, non-rushed structure, whatever arises is right, simply because it is authentic to the moment you are experiencing. The techniques are more about the 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  autonomy and self-reliance. 

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 the reality of your primal Awareness  creeps up slowly for some and for others comes in bursts of awakening.  I found the latter happening in the earlier stages of my “journey”, eventually realising there was no contrast or “bursts”  anymore. Whilst the sudden shifts are exhilarating, motivating and incredible, there is also necessary to stabilise, integrate and normalise any transformation, and these practices are designed to make that process as seamless and natural as possible. 

The relative self does not suddenly become “perfected” although this is often the ego drive that brings us to “the search”. But you are already what you seek, so the only  “search” is the giving up of the struggle to be a new improved relative being! Life is beautiful and you are alive. That’s it.

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”. 

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

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…we need a worldly identity, even if it is a “convenient fiction”! We do not need to give up our conditioned identity and become zombies to be free. But we are real, not simply a collection of memories. We  can retain these whilst deepening the simple Awareness that sustains everything. We simply need to recognise that we are Limitless Awareness appearing as a limited form and and story, and realising is not conceptual, it is lived.

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 …