The Story Of Te Whenua Retreat
Like so many people, despite my 'success' in a corporate career in London, I felt dissatisfied and empty. Wanting to do something more meaningful, I studied for a BSc Degree in Nutritional Medicine and went on to be a private consultant. It gave me a lot of satisfaction, yet after some years I was acutely aware that although nutrition was a very powerful healer it could only take us so far. Without a doubt, it was depleted emotional & spiritual wellbeing that was the hand-brake on many people's healing & happiness, including my own.
This realisation sent me on a new search. I spent time in some of the Buddhist monasteries in Nepal, India and Burma, and found the combination of meditation, philosophy and ethical conduct, which forms the Buddha's teachings, to be incredibly comprehensive and helpful. I became very committed and sat many retreats, at one point undertaking a silent 90-day vipassana retreat.
In 2010 I began working as a chef in a Buddhist centre in London, as a way to have daily access to the dharma (Buddhist teachings). Over the next decade, I worked my way to Aotearoa, cooking almost exclusively in retreat centres, soaking up spiritual and wellness practises and improving my cooking skills with every new season. Most recently I was the Head Chef At Aro-Ha Wellness Retreat (2017-2020).
In 2020, in the immediate aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic, I bought the property that is now Te Whenua Retreat with my friend and business partner. I am certain that more than ever people need a place to retreat, to rest and replenish, to refocus, and to learn some of the time-honoured spiritual and wellness practises that bring health & happiness.
What started as a personal journey has now finally put down roots, in a country that has so much wisdom and beauty to offer. The journey in some ways is very much ongoing!
We look forward to meeting you!
Jenny (& Pema, the Te Whenua dog)