Teaching – New Zealand

Ongoing: Monday Morning Online Sitting

Start your week well by joining Auckland Insight for a regular Monday morning Zoom sitting hosted by our Guiding Teacher, Jill Shepherd
Mondays 7:30- 8:15 am NZT. Everyone is welcome.
Please email aucklandinsight@gmail.com for any questions, and to be notified of the Zoom link.

Ongoing: Thursday Evening Sitting and Talk

Feel free to join Auckland Insight for a regular Thursday evening sitting and talks by our Guiding Teacher, Jill Shepherd or regular facilitators from the group.
Time and date: Thursdays 7:00- 8:45 pm NZT. Everyone is welcome.
Location: 175 Garnet Road, Westmere 1022 Auckland (entry off Faulder Ave)
You can find previous talks in this series given by Jill to Auckland Insight here:
Please email aucklandinsight@gmail.com for any questions.

January 23-30: Seven-day retreat, Canterbury

FULL – please apply to be on the waiting list

Finding the Heart of Wisdom

Teacher:  Jill Shepherd

This seven-day retreat will weave together a range of different insight meditation techniques to both strengthen the heart, and open the mind.
Building on a foundation of mindfulness and insight practice, we will cultivate the heart qualities of kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, so that we can respond more wisely and compassionately to whatever life brings us.
Each day, there will be sessions of guided and silent sitting meditation, walking meditation, optional relational practice, individual meetings with the teacher and a period of optional, gentle mindful movement.

Experience level: This retreatis open to beginners as well as to those with more experience.

Time and dates. Saturday 23 January (5pm) – Saturday 30 January 2021 (2 pm)
Location: Staveley Camp, Canterbury
Cost: $295 ($150) + dana*
Retreats and courses are set to be as affordable as possible to cover the cost of the retreat itself. Teachers receive dana.
*A sliding scale or subsidised rates for those on a limited income is available.   Please enquire by email or phone as above.
To register:  Click here (registrations close 9 January 2021)
Inquiries by e-mail to Southern.insight.meditation@gmail.com  or
Phone  Sarah 027 -6693-824 or Chrys 027-286 -8653

February 2-7: five-day study and practice retreat, Auckland

almost full

with Willa Thaniya Reid, Elizabeth Day and Jill Shepherd

This five-day dharma study and practice retreat offers a rare opportunity to explore the Ānapānasāti Sutta, the Buddha’s teaching on mindfulness of breathing. This sutta brings together the path and fruit of dāna (generosity), sīla (ethical practice), samādhi (meditation) and pañña (wisdom). 
The sutta is an exploration of the process of experiencing tranquillity through the body and collecting the mind (samādhi) through strengthening mindfulness. It also outlines how, by cultivating skilful factors, we can use our capacity for inquiry to release the mind from all stress. These two factors of calming and inquiry are mutually supporting. Experiential teaching will be supplemented by sutta study to show the direct way to the heart’s liberation.
The retreat will be grounded in noble silence, to support your deepening understanding and integration. The schedule includes: shared enquiry into core texts and teachings; guided and silent sitting and walking meditation; relational practice, using the guidelines of Insight Dialogue*; optional individual meetings with the teachers; and a period of optional, gentle mindful movement.

This retreat is best suited to people with an established insight meditation or mindfulness practice. 

*For more information about the practice of Insight Dialogue, please see https://insightdialogue.org/relational-practices/insight-dialogue/


Willa Thaniya Reid trained in the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah, which harmonises with her affinity for the natural world and for reflective practice grounded in the Buddha’s suttas. She was a monastic for 18 years, eight years as senior nun of Cittaviveka. She teaches internationally and is based in New Zealand, where she co-founded with Elizabeth a center for Dhamma enquiry in Kihikihi. She has a Masters of Counselling, and clinical pastoral training. 

Dr Elizabeth Day trained as a buddhist monastic within the lineage of the Thai Forest Sangha.  She is committed to presenting the clarity of the core Buddhist teachings, and bringing these alive for minds shaped by contemporary democratic paradigms. Elizabeth co-founded a centre for Dhamma practice in Kihikihi, New Zealand with Willa, and teaches retreats in NZ and the USA. She has a PhD in phenomenology and inter-subjectivity; practices relational Gestalt psychotherapy; and is a senior academic in universities in New Zealand and Australia.

Jill Shepherd began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centres and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of the IMS / Spirit Rock teacher training program in the US, under the guidance of Joseph Goldstein and Gil Fronsdal.

Time and dates: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday 2 February to 1:00 pm Sunday 7 February 2021
Location: St Francis Retreat Centre, 50 Hillsborough Rd, Hillsborough, Auckland 1042
Cost: sliding scale $850-$650 + dana*
To register: via Humanitix here

March 5-14: nine-day insight meditation retreat, Coromandel

Very close to full

This nine-day retreat provides an opportunity to explore the Four Noble Truths that form the heart of the Buddha’s teaching. These teachings invite us to examine our relationship to dukkha: stress, distress, unsatisfactoriness, suffering, on deeper and deeper levels. Most of us though, have an instinctive resistance to suffering, so we need to practice working skilfully with the different obstacles that often show up along the path to freedom. As we learn how to release these obstacles, we’re able to live with greater ease, happiness, and peace, and to connect with the wisdom and compassion that are our true nature.
Each day, there will be sessions of guided and silent sitting meditation, walking meditation, group discussion, individual meetings with the teachers and a period of optional, gentle mindful movement.

Experience level: This retreat is best suited to people who have done at least two previous insight meditation weekend retreats.
Accommodation: Rooms are mainly curtained cubicles with shared bathrooms. Men and women are housed separately. A limited number of single rooms/cabins/cottages are available at a $10 a day surcharge#.
Food: The centre will provide simple vegetarian meals for the retreat. Please indicate on the registration form if you have any food allergies or special dietary needs.
Special diets: The centre requests a $10 per day surcharge to cater for special diets.  This additional fee of $90 is payable directly to Te Moata so please bring cash for this.
Work meditation: To help integrate mindfulness into daily life activities, there will be a period of work meditation each day of approximately 45 minutes.

Retreat fees: sliding scale $850-$650 + dana*

  • Supporter rate $850 – Slightly more than actual-cost ticket: covers cost of food and accommodation, a contribution to the teacher’s travel costs, and a contribution to scholarships for low-income attendees
  • Actual cost $750 – Actual-cost ticket covers cost of food and accommodation, and a small contribution to the teacher’s travel costs
  • Early-bird/Scholarship rate $650 – Below cost ticket: covers a contribution towards cost of food and accommodation only

The retreat fee covers only the cost of food and accommodation, plus a small contribution to the teachers’ travel costs. The teaching is freely offered, and there will be an opportunity to give dana* to the teachers at the end of the retreat.
To reserve a place on the retreat, you will need to pay a deposit of $100 through Humanitix. The balance of the retreat payment is due one week after registering with Humanitix. Account details for balance payments will be included on your Humanitix confirmation email.

Cancellation policy: The payment is refundable up to thirty days before the retreat begins.  If you cancel after this time, the retreat cost will be forfeited and used to help provide scholarship places.
If we have to cancel the retreat due to Covid-19, you will receive a full refund.

#Please note: Single Accommodation, Bedding, and Special Diet Surcharges are payable directly to Te Moata so please bring cash for this and pay on arrival.

Time and dates: 4:30 p.m. Friday 5 March– 1:00 p.m. Sunday 14 March 2021
Location: Te Moata Retreat Centre, 180 Paul Rd, Tairua 3591
To register: https://events.humanitix.com/insight-meditation-nine-day-retreat-march-2021-coromandel

*Dana: In most Buddhist traditions the teachers are not paid to teach. Instead, the teachings are given on a ‘dana’ basis – dana being the Pali word for generosity or giving freely – so there will be an opportunity to offer a donation for the teaching at the end of the event.