August 2016 full moon – Seven Factors of Awakening and Equanimity (again)

Seven Factors of Awakening I've recently enjoyed leading a couple of longer residential retreats in New Zealand and Australia, exploring the teachings from the Satipatthana Sutta on the Seven Factors of Awakening: mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy or rapture, tranquillity, concentration or stability of mind, and equanimity. When cultivated together and brought into balance with each …

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February 2016 new moon – sea anemone heart

Sea anemone by Virginia Draper http://www.virginiadraper.com/p822038089 Opening, closing, opening, closing ... Everything has its natural rhythm, including the human heart.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to understand this, but a childhood memory - of exploring rock-pools with my father while on holiday in Scotland - helped.  On family visits to chilly …

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December 2014 full moon – wisdom and compassion

This December full moon I happen to be assisting James Baraz with a seven-day retreat in the Yarra Valley, outside of Melbourne, Australia.  Those of you who are familiar with James' teaching know that he infuses the traditional mindfulness practices that lead to insight, with the "heart practices" known as the four brahma vihara: kindness/metta, …

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September 2014 full moon – equanimity part 2

Equanimity: Evenness of mind Last month I wrote a bit about equanimity, and how the possibility of not holding on to changing experiences can offer a sense of ease, even in the middle of difficult circumstances.  So this quality of equanimity can be a kind of refuge, but - at least in my own experience …

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Danish retreat with Joseph Goldstein and Uffe Damborg, June 2014

A view of Kerteminde harbour Just wanted to share a few photo souvenirs from this retreat, which took place last week on the outskirts of Kerteminde, an old fishing village a couple of hours from Copenhagen.  The retreat was led by Joseph Goldstein and Uffe Damborg, who have known each other for over forty years, …

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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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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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