palmerston north, feilding, levin, and whanganui
The general programme covers weekly classes, suitable for everyone, that are an ideal opportunity to take some time out, relax, refresh and improve our sense of inner peace and well-being. The programme is aimed at helping us experience the benefits of meditation, and learn practical ways of maintaining a peaceful and positive mind in the midst of the challenges and busy-ness of everyday life. The talks are drawn from Buddhist teachings but are relevant to all of us (Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike).
Classes start with a brief introduction, and a guided breathing meditation to help us relax and clear our minds. This is followed by a talk and time for questions. Then we do a second guided meditation, which is related to the teaching, and helps us the take what we have learnt into our daily life. There is usually some time for discussion during the evening and light refreshments are available after class.
This programme is divided into two main semesters (February - June, and August - September). We will also be running a 'winter series' in June and July. In each semester we cover two to three main topics. Although the topics are linked and run in a sequence you can step into a course at any time. Each class effectively works as a 'stand-alone', though if you are able to come to a whole series you are likely to enjoy the connections and the ways in which the different topics build on each other. There is no need to book, and beginners are welcome.
There is a suggested donation of $12, or affordable contribution.
Note: You don't need to bring anything; you don't need to wear special clothes ; and, you don't have to sit cross-legged on the floor! (most people choose to sit on a chair).
august – december
topics for this semester:
keeping a clear focus in and out of meditation
making sense of life in difficult
finding our own clarity and stillness
mindfulness: fundamentals of buddhist meditation
In this series, we will discover how meditation can enable us to transform and heal all our relationships, including the one we have with ourself! As we’ll see, our wounds can serve as a springboard for becoming the powerful, joyful and beneficial person we wish to be.
keeping a clear focus in and out of meditation
Things move fast in today’s world. Life often seems noisy and busy: we are surrounded by images, sounds and experiences competing for our attention; we are hooked into a digital world, lured by endless posts on social media and besieged by advertising; and, we find ourselves metaphorically and literally flicking between too many open tabs in our browser – constantly battered by information and demands.
Even when we switch all the equipment off, it can still feel as if our monkey mind is darting from one thing to another: imagining what will happen and making lists for what we need to do tomorrow; or going over the events of yesterday, re-living our successes and failures; and creating the stories that we use to make sense of our lives.
It can be exhausting and stressful, and can sometimes all feel a bit overwhelming.
This series is all about learning how to focus our minds, so that rather than being buffeted by the waves, or caught up in the froth on the surface, we can go deeper to discover the vast ocean of peace and stillness that we have within us.
When we learn how to let distractions go, we are able to direct our minds toward more positive, compassionate, resilient, happier, and contented ways of being.
Fortunately, meditation is the perfect training ground for learning how to control our mind. It gives us a time tested method for practising how to re-focus and calm our mind, so that our meditations become increasingly more peaceful and we are more and more able to maintain this inner peace no matter how much 'noise' we are having to deal with in our too busy lives.
The book that we'll be using as a basis for this series is Modern Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. (If you want to prep for the series, you could read the preface to the book and have a think about the points that are raised).
You can buy a hard copy from the centre. Alternatively, you are able to download the book for free by following this link.
levin: mondays 7.00 - 8.30, with jan mcpherson (august 26; september 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; october 7)
palmerston north: wednesdays 7.00- 8.30, with gen kelsang demo (august 21, 28; september 4, 11, 18, 25, october 2)
feilding: wednesdays 7.00 - 8.30, with birgit saunders (september 18, 25; october 2, 9, 16)
whanganui: thursdays 6.00 - 7.30, with gen kelsang demo (august 22, 29; september 5, 12, 19, 26; october 3)
class 1: our precious human life
class 2: why practise mindfulness?
class 3: overcoming disturbing thoughts
class 4; staying focussed on what is important
class 5: experiencing a peaceful life
class 6: heal mental and physical pain
class 7: change your mind and change your world