Retreats & Events

Mindfulness and Meditation Retreats

The Gawler’s mindfulness retreats and meditation retreats are all designed to be restful and regenerative, but are intense enough to be meaningful and effective for those seeking deeper experiences of meditation, good health and wellbeing.

Each mindfulness retreat and meditation retreat presented by Ruth and Ian Gawler focuses upon a particular theme relevant to the ongoing development of meditation.

Australian Retreats


Mind and Heart - reconnect with the essence. 7 days of Mindfulness and Meditation

Yarra Valley Living Centre (Yarra Junction) ___ Victoria

Meditation in the Forest will be led by Drs Ian and Ruth Gawler. Based upon Meditation - an In-Depth Guide, it will be of medium intensity. There will be daily instruction from Ian, along with relaxation, mindfulness, meditation and contemplation practices guided by Ian and Ruth, mostly in 40 minute sessions. These will be interspersed with walking meditations, optional yoga and Feldenkrais, time for personal reflection and rest, along with great meals - high quality, organic vegetarian food will be served; much of the food coming from the Centre’s gardens.

For more information view ... a PDF here


New Zealand Retreats

New Zealand

Meditation Under the Long White Cloud

Mana Retreat Centre (Coromandel Peninsula) ___ New Zealand

Bringing mind and heart together Meditation and Guided Imagery to open your heart and balance your mind

For more information view ... a PDF here


Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher Training Programs

Teaching meditation is one of the greatest gifts you can offer others

Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler regularly present specific and thorough mindfulness and meditation teacher training programs in collaboration with the Gawler Foundation.

There are 2 five day residential Modules of Meditation Teacher Training presented at The Yarra Valley Living Centre and completing both satisfies the training criteria for Provisional Membership of the Meditation Association of Australia. Maia and Paul Bedson present the first module while Ruth and Ian Gawler present the second.

However, each mindfulness retreat and meditation retreat mentioned above under the ‘Meditation Retreats’ heading and led personally by Ian and Ruth Gawler, will also have immediate personal relevance for all health professionals and teachers as a basis for a mindfulness and meditation teacher training program. They provide a good starting point for using mindfulness and meditation based techniques in teaching and clinical settings and may well satisfy requirements for meditation teacher certification as well as on-going professional education credits.


Teacher Training


Meditation Teacher Training Module 2

The Yarra Valley Living Centre (Yarra Junction) ___ Victoria

Your pathway to a new vocation. Be taught by 2 highly experienced teachers to present 2 programs - one on Guided Imagery; the other, Contemplation. This program is presented twice yearly.

For more information view ... a webpage here ... a PDF here


Specific Cancer Healing Programs

The cancer healing retreats that Ruth and Ian Gawler present provide a gentle blend of evidence-based theory and experience.

Attending a residential cancer healing program with Drs Ruth and Ian Gawler gives you access to their over 50 years of combined experience leading cancer healing programs.

While the medical profession and allied practitioners can be really useful, by attending a cancer healing program and learning to maximise your own inner resources, learning to use the therapeutic potential of your lifestyle – such as the way you eat and the way you use your mind and its potential through techniques like therapeutic meditation and guided imagery; all of that can make a crucial difference.

These cancer healing programs are residential so that you can experience the food, the meditation and so on, and be in a highly supportive, very positive learning atmosphere.

The pace of these cancer recovery programs has been designed to be restful and regenerative. Regular relaxation, mindfulness, meditation and guided imagery practice sessions are a feature. There will be good time for questions and discussion and you will be assisted to decide what is best for your particular situation.

Many people, including carers report that attending one of the Gawler’s cancer recovery programs was profoundly transformative in their own personal development, as well as being a real turning point for those on the healing path.

Healing Programs


Cancer and Beyond

Yarra Valley Living Centre (Yarra Junction) ___ Victoria

Highly regenerative – relaxation and meditation, instructional sessions, juices, therapeutic nutrition and great conversations. Reunite with like-minded people, consolidate what you know, learn more, reaffirm your good intentions, return home refreshed and revitalised.

For more information view ... a webpage here ... a PDF here


I thought meditation… and all that stuff… was something I just didn’t do… but now I find it has been such a help to me, in my mind and in my body.

Jeff Davis

View the video of Jeff's story

I just love life so much much more now. It’s such a shame that it takes this kind of thing to make you realise. I’ve always wanted to be healthy, I’ve always wanted to meditate every day and to be a better person and now I’m doing that. I’m really grateful for it.

Mardi Fletcher

View the video of Mardi's strory

The power of meditation, the power of the mind and the ability to heal yourself, is probably the one thing that I would take from here that I deem to be the most valuable.

Dale Fletcher

View the video of Dale's story

Guest Speaking & Seminars




Request Ian to speak at your conference, workshop, seminar or event

Ian and Ruth Gawler have played a major part in popularising meditation, Mind-Body Medicine and other self-help techniques in the Western World. Ian does most of the public speaking, while Ian and Ruth combine to present their retreats and trainings. A compelling and meaningful speaker, Ian Gawler has presented at many major conferences around the world.

If you are interested to have Dr. Ian Gawler present at an event, or if you are interested in supporting or volunteering help with organising a mindfulness retreat, a meditation retreat, or a public event in your area, please contact us by email or call +61 (0)417 869 938 (9-5pm AEST Mon-Friday)

The Gawler Cancer Foundation

The Yarra Valley Living Centre

Home of the Gawler Cancer Foundation 

Ian and Ruth Gawler present mindfulness retreats, meditation retreats, mindfulness and meditation teacher training programs and specific residential cancer healing programs at The Gawler Cancer Foundation’s, Yarra Valley Living Centre.

The Gawler Cancer Foundation and Yarra Valley Living Centre is a not for profit, non-denominational organisation, that promotes a whole-person (holistic) and integrative approach to health, healing and wellbeing.

The Foundation’s  mission is to improve the recovery outcomes and quality of life for people affected by cancer or multiple sclerosis and to educate people in the prevention of illness.  For over 30 years the Foundation have been achieving this through the delivery of educational retreat programs, at the Yarra Valley Living Centre.


Email us here
0417 869 938
(9-5pm AEST Mon-Friday)
 Insight Health Services