February 2016 full moon – Motivation, Respect, Resolve

The rewards and challenges of technology Earlier this evening, I gave my first dharma talk via video-link, from the YHA in Sydney to Auckland Insight in New Zealand.  Nothing too remarkable about that these days; but still, it was a delight to be able to connect with the group in this way, and I felt …

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September 2015 full moon – Maintaining Motivation (or finding antidotes to “sloth and torpor”)

The five hindrances I've been back in New Zealand for the month of September, and with the Auckland Insight group, we've been exploring the Five Hindrances, five particularly unhelpful states of mind that get in the way of clear seeing, of insight.  They appear in the Satipatthana Sutta under the Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, as …

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April 2015 full moon – “awakening community” *

Last weekend I ran a one-day workshop in Auckland, New Zealand, on the theme of "spiritual friendship," and just a few days ago I facilitated a small group discussion in Australia at the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre, on the theme of "awakening community." These two topics feel very alive for me at the moment, …

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August 2014 full moon – Equanimity

Gain/loss, status/disgrace, censure/praise, pleasure/pain: these conditions among human beings are inconstant, impermanent, subject to change. Knowing this, the wise person, mindful, ponders these changing conditions. Desirable things don't charm the mind, undesirable ones bring no resistance. His [or her] welcoming and rebelling are scattered, gone to their end, do not exist. Knowing the dustless, sorrowless …

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Reflections on the Brahma Vihara practices

This article (with minor amendments) was first published in the March 2014 BMIMC newsletter. Since returning to Australia and New Zealand from the United States eighteen months ago, I've been teaching several weekend retreats, day-long workshops and evening classes in New South Wales and Auckland.  Alongside the insight meditation practice, I've usually included some focus …

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Insight Meditation weekend – Auckland, New Zealand

This weekend's insight meditation retreat at St Francis Retreat Centre in Auckland was blessed by good weather, good food, good friends - and good singing and chanting, courtesy of a Pasifika dance group on Saturday and a Hindu meditation group on Sunday!  Much gratitude to everyone who contributed to providing such powerful conditions for the …

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Non-residential weekend retreat, Auckland, New Zealand

Update 24 July - ONLY 2 PLACES LEFT Freeing the Heart-Mind A non-residential weekend retreat exploring Buddhist meditation practices for developing wisdom and compassion During this non-residential weekend retreat we will explore two main forms of Buddhist meditation, insight (vipassana) and loving-kindness (metta). Together, these two practices help us to cultivate more awareness of ourselves …

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Doing and being

Mangawhai Beach One of the delights of teaching insight meditation retreats is experiencing first-hand how even though the form and content of each retreat is similar, the mix of people attending each event is unique, and out of this uniqueness, different practice themes naturally emerge. Recently I taught a couple of day-long silent retreats in …

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