topics for 2017

a meditation toolkit for everyday life


We can fix anything if we just have the right tools! Buddha’s meditation methods can help us face life’s challenges and difficulties with a calm and centred mind. We can accumulate an “inner tool kit” that can help us solve any problem.

The emphasis of the programme will be on how to use meditation and Buddha's teachings to make practical changes in our life. Not just a tool kit: but some good advice on how to use the tools.


february - june, 2017

meditation, joy and inner purpose (see below for the specific topics included in this section of the programme)

Meditation itself is probably (not surprisingly) the number one basic tool that we would recommend in getting your toolkit together.

In this first series for the year, we will explore the relationship between meditation, happiness and a deeper sense of purpose in our lives.  Buddhist meditation teaches us how to access and maintain inner joy, even when experiencing difficulties. Connecting to the natural joy within our mind opens us up to recognising the potential for happiness, love and other good qualities that exists in all of us. 

This, can really help us gain a sense of purpose in our life, and we can start to build confidence in our potential to become more peaceful and happy - which is clearly good for ourselves and, just as importantly helps us become more able to be of real benefit to our family, friends and others.

reality check: getting it right

A good reality check helps us clarify the issues that may be causing us problems: those 'sticky' things that mean that life is just not running as smoothly as we would like it to. Having identified the problem spots: we can start to use the appropriate tools and get to work on fixing things.

SO, this series starts with an emphasis on sharpening the tools we need to become more mindful of what exactly is going on both around and within us. It challenges us to ask ourselves 'Why are we here and how can we become truly happier?', and then helps us uncover some 'simple but profound' answers to these questions.




august - december, 2017

freedom from jealousy and resentment

Jealousy and resentment are problems that can sometimes run deep. We have probably all had unpleasant experiences which we struggle to move on from; and difficulties in present relationships may stem from things that happened long ago.

In this series, we draw on some special tools to help us let go of these negative minds and develop practical strategies and habits for keeping our minds in a positive space.

becoming a friend of the world

Six very useful tools. The 'six perfections' are methods for developing a stable, peaceful mind and overcoming negative mental habits. These powerful techniques can be honed in meditation and then integrated and applied in daily life. They are 'perfect' because they really help us towards our goal of being of real benefit to others, which is key to developing a happy and meaningful life.

how to understand the mind

Our final series for the year is based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s book, How to Understand the Mind. What is the mind? How does it work to make sense of the world? Where do negative minds come from? How can we reduce and abandon them? How can we improve our concentration and other peaceful minds? How can we transform our mind and our self? What is an enlightened mind? We will explore these questions, and many more, all while learning to meditate in depth on the beautiful and blissful nature of our pure mind. 

Reality check – getting it right: Specific topics and dates

Class 1: The Buddhist way of life. PN April 26; Whanganui April 27; Levin May 1; Dannevirke March 25

Class 2 : Equalising self with others. PN May 3; Whanganui May 4; Levin May 8; Dannevirke May 6

Class 3 : I’m in your shoes – you’re in mine. PN May 10; Whanganui May 11; Levin May 15; Dannevirke  June 3

Class 4 : Cherishing others. PN May 17; Whanganui May 18; Levin May 22; Dannevirke July 1

Class 5 : Cherishing others is sublime. PN  May 24; Whanganui May 25; Levin May 29 (note: public holiday - so no class in Levin on June 5)

Class 6 : Getting out of our own way: the dangers of self-cherishing. PN May 31 ;Whanganui June 1; Levin June 12

Class 7 : Selflessness. PN June 7;Whanganui June 8; Levin June 19

Class 8 :  Putting others first (exchanging self and others). PN Jun 14;Whanganui June 15; Levin June 26

Class 9:   Wishing love. PN June 21; Whanganui June 22; Levin July 3

Class 10:  The practice of taking and givingPN June 28; Whanganui June 29; Levin July 10