The Heart of Presence Retreats take you on an inner healing journey in an ancient land where the spiritual mechanism that underpins all of life is still felt to be breathing. India provides the perfect backdrop for transformation of body, mind, and spirit.

How it all began ……..

Mela and Diane, co-facilitators of the Heart of Presence Retreats –

They met sitting on a veranda, fanning themselves in the Southern Indian heat. Both were there for the ultimate ayurvedic cleanse – panchakarma. If you’ve never heard of panchakarma, let’s just say if a regular week long cleanse is like getting an oil change for your car, PK is like steam cleaning the engine.

These two weren’t messing around. They met between oil treatments and consuming herbal infused ghee.

Both were a bit weak from the strict diet, medicines and treatments and yet they recognized something in each other that would lead them to creating a magical retreat called the Heart of Presence in the coming years.

They clicked from the get go. Both jumped right into wanting to know about the other, what she did in “real” life.

“I run a tour company called Touch of Spirit Tours,” Mela said with her Australian accent. “I was so transformed by India years ago that I began bringing people here to share the magic of this place with them. How about you? What do you do at home?”

Diane was immediately curious about Mela’s journey and wanted to know more. “I’m an artist, writer and yoga teacher – I lead retreats and workshops and make a lot of art – in my journal and on canvas.” She leaned over to show Mela her journal, which she traveled everywhere with.

“I’ve always wanted to bring my students to India,” Diane said.

“Really? Well I’m looking to partner with a yoga teacher and with your added skills of writing and art, we could make a comprehensive personal development retreat,” Mela ventured. She was completing her pk and leaving in just a few days, while Diane was staying for a couple more weeks. They exchanged business cards, and the rest is history. It was that easy.

Over the next year they planned and created what is now their signature retreat called The Heart of Presence – a journey to spiritual sites in India, which Mela curates for people to get an authentic experience of India and its spiritual magnitude. She powerfully supports the groups who come together with an exquisitely planned itinerary, making the journey one in which you feel held, supported and safe.

Diane is facilitator of the inner world on the Heart of Presence Retreat, teaching yoga and meditation in the mornings to ground the day before going out into chaotic Mother India. At the end of the day, she leads you in a creative process practice which allows you to metabolize the day’s experiences as you go.

Their dynamic partnership offers retreat participants a way to dive deep into the transformational opportunities that India offers. You are safely cared for both externally and internally with two powerful women leading you towards your inner self.

These two are committed to their own inner freedom, and practice what they preach. They feel grateful, not only to have met each other, but to have been able to create the opportunity to bring other people to a place that has been so powerfully transformative for them in their own lives.

The groups they lead are intimate, capping out at 13 people. They have two wonderful Heart of Presence Retreats scheduled for early 2020; one in South India and one in the North. If you feel called to Mother India and the time is right, don’t hesitate to join one of their retreats. It has been a game changer for those who’ve been on their past retreats.


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