drop-in meditation classes

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 times

  • finding our own clarity and stillness

finding our own inner clarity and stillness

without inner peace, outer peace is impossible

geshe kelsang gyatso

 

 

As the end of the year approaches, many of us feel like we want to wind down, take some time out and chill in the warm sun. However, the end of the year, often comes with the rush to get things finished at work, sometimes competing expectations from children, family and friends about what should be happening with Christmas, New Year and holiday festivities, and a whole set of new 'to do' lists.

So what is the best thing that we can bring to the party? For both ourselves and others - the kindest and most beautiful gift we can bring is a peaceful and loving mind.

'It is said that there is a magic crystal that has the power to purify any liquid in which it is placed. Those who cherish (love) all living beings are like this crystal. By their very presence, they remove negativity from the world and give back love and kindness.' (Geshe Kelsang Gyatso).

This short series is about getting in touch with our own inner peace and clarity - so that we can become, as much as possible, 'the magic crystal' for our friends and family. Now wouldn't that be an amazing way to say goodbye to 2019 and start 2020!

 

 

 

levin: mondays 7.00 - 8.30, with jan mcpherson (december 2 and 9)

palmerston north: wednesdays 7.00- 8.30, with gen kelsang demo (november 27, december 4 and 11)

feilding: wednesdays 7.00 - 8.30, with birgit saunders (december 4 and 11)

whanganui: thursdays 6.00 - 7.30, with gen kelsang demo (november 28, december 5 and 12)

class 1: What is the mind?
class 2: Clarity of the mind
class 3: The root mind

 

 

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

 

 

making sense of life in difficult times

a focus for this series is how we can engage successfully in daily meditation, and apply Buddha's teachings in our life so that we can solve our daily problems and maintain a peaceful mind even when times seem stressful, chaotic and difficult

 

 

 

Classes will be based on Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's most recent book The Mirror of Dharma - With Additions: How to find the real meaning of human life, in which he gives us heartfelt and inspiring advice on how to we can use meditation to deepen our understanding of positive and peaceful states of mind, so that we are able to solve problems caused by habits of mind that take us in negative and painful directions that make things worse - rather than better. If our minds are peaceful, we are in a much better space to deal with the ups and downs, challenges and difficulties that life throws at us. Ultimately, we are able to be peaceful and happy all the time, regardless of whether our external conditions are good or bad.

This book offers advice which is practical and relevant, and in this series we have a chance to explore these ideas and how we can apply them to our own lives, as well as engage in meditations which help us shift our mind into a positive, peaceful and happy mode!

Note: ‘Dharma’ literally means ‘protection’ and is used to refer to the teachings of enlightened beings. By practising Buddha’s teachings, we are able to protect ourself from suffering and problems and find real meaning to our life.

 

 

 

 

levin: mondays 7.00 - 8.30, with jan mcpherson (october 14, 21; november 4, 11, 18, 25)

palmerston north: wednesdays 7.00- 8.30, with gen kelsang demo (october 9, 16, 23, 30; november 6, 13, 20)

feilding: wednesdays 7.00 - 8.30, with birgit saunders (october 23, 30; november 6, 13, 20, 27)

whanganui: thursdays 6.00 - 7.30, with gen kelsang demo (october 10, 17, 24, 31; november 7, 14, 21)