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.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3011573331 Meeting ID: 301 157 3331


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:
https://aim.dharmaseed.org/talks/
Please email aucklandinsight@gmail.com for any questions.


August 26 – September 4: nine-day retreat

Healing the heart, refining the mind, finding freedom

In the Buddha’s teaching, going on retreat can be understood as a powerful form of “taking refuge,” by temporarily retreating from our external responsibilities to take care of our inner life.
The peaceful natural environment of Te Moata supports deep rest and renewal, which in turn, supports the strengthening of our inner resources, our connection with sangha/community and our capacity to live with more ease and freedom in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
Over the course of nine days, we will explore a variety of foundational Buddhist practices, including the Four Establishments of Mindfulness that orient us to deep freedom, the four Brahmavihāra practices of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity that open the heart and mind, and some relational practice meditating together in pairs or small groups, to strengthen our sense of sangha/community.

Location: Te Moata Retreat Centre, Coromandel
Teachers: Jill Shepherd and Di Robertson
To register: here


Two-week retreat for experienced students – expression of interest

Dates: August 19 – September 2, 2023
Location: Te Moata Retreat Centre, Coromandel

Auckland Insight, together with teachers Jill Shepherd, Willa Thaniya Reid and Elizabeth Day, is planning to offer a two-week retreat for experienced meditators at Te Moata Retreat Centre in August 2023. This will be a rare opportunity to do a longer meditation retreat in New Zealand. 

Led by three highly experienced meditation teachers, it will combine approaches from the Thai Forest and Western Insight traditions. Together, these will provide retreatants with an in-depth exploration of a variety of Buddhist teachings and practices, including the Four Establishments of Mindfulness that orient us to deep freedom, and the four Brahmavihāra practices of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity that open the heart and mind. At the beginning and end of the retreat, there may also be some relational practice meditating together in pairs or small groups, to strengthen our sense of sangha/community. The rest of the retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

Teachers: Jill Shepherd, Willa Thaniya Reid and Elizabeth Day (partial)

Willa Thaniya Reid  
spent 18 years in Ajahn Chah monasteries in Thailand and the UK extending her practice of meditation and Buddhist contemplation. As the senior nun of the Chithurst community in England for eight years, she supported both the lay and monastic communities. She has taught retreats in Europe, America, Australia and the UK, and continues to teach in the US and NZ. She has a Masters of Counselling, and clinical pastoral training.

Dr Elizabeth Day has been practising meditation and yoga for over 30 years, including as an ordained monastic within the Ajahn Chah monasteries in the UK. She has held leadership positions in the Health and Higher Education sectors, including as Head of Department of Psychotherapy and Counselling at AUT in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has a Doctorate in intersubjectivity, and is a qualified yoga teacher and Gestalt psychotherapist. She teaches meditation retreats locally and internationally.

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 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.

Experience level: This retreat is best suited to people who have done at least two previous insight meditation retreats of five days or longer.

Retreat fees: approx $1500 + dāna*

Exact amount to be advised, once we have more information about the number of participants and venue costs. We will do our best to keep costs as low as possible.

The retreat fee covers only the cost of food and accommodation. The teaching is freely offered, and there will be an opportunity to give dāna* to the teachers at the end of the retreat.

To ensure we have the numbers to go ahead with this retreat, please register your interest (at no cost) HERE, then we can contact you when we have more information about costs and other practical details. 


*Dāna: In most Buddhist traditions the teachers are not paid to teach. Instead, the teachings are given on a ‘dāna’ 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.