let’s not go back to normal: july 12, 10am – 1pm, palmerston north

The global crisis has made us hyper-aware of the brokenness of various systems, the inequities in our society, and the immensity of suffering that exists. There are some who suggest that this crisis is just what we need to stimulate a rethinking of the way we live in this world, and how we care (or fail to care) for each other, and our environment.

In Aotearoa, lockdown meant that many of us stepped back from our ‘normal’ lives, and maybe thought about change for ourselves and our society. However, as we emerge from the restrictions, it seems that there may not be much ‘new’ about the ‘new normal’. Sometimes our good intentions to make positive change seem to slide into the background without us even noticing.

Two and a half thousand years ago, the Buddha taught that our ‘worldly concerns’ (our quest for possessions, sensual pleasure, and status, along with all those insidious little worries about what others think about us) had a really strong hold on us: We feel great when we get what we want and miserable when we don’t. These preoccupations play with our mind like a yoyo, and limit our potential to develop our inner strength so that we CAN change and become more balanced and peaceful.

In this half-day workshop, we will spend some time looking at how these worldly concerns play out in our own lives. By becoming more aware of how our mind is working, we are much more able to make choices about how we respond to things, gradually growing our ability to become caring, kind and compassionate - changing our minds AND changing our world. (Note: the teacher for this course will be Jan McPherson)