drop-in meditation classes

palmerston north, levin and whanganui

Note: Classes in Feilding will start up again in 2021.

We are continuing to make classes available using zoom for those of you who prefer this option. For information and booking for these classes please go to:  meditateinpalmerstonnorth.live

weekly drop-in classes (the general programme)

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). 

class times:

feilding/levin: mondays 7.00 - 8.30;

palmerston north: wednesdays 7.00- 8.30;

whanganui: thursdays 6.00 - 7.30.

Note: specific dates and topics for each centre are shown below (and on the regional class pages)

introductory talk: choose happiness

(note: there is no charge for this talk: just a chance for you to come along and find out a little more about our classes and Buddha's teachings)

Have you ever wondered what happiness is, and where it comes from? There's no doubt that we all want to be happy - but so often it feels incomplete and hard to hold on to. Just when we think we've got things right, something happens, and the happiness just melts away.

Buddha says that our minds are the source of both happiness and suffering and, that while we can't always control our circumstances, we can learn to control our mind. Buddha also taught that if our mind is peaceful, a deep sense of happiness and contentment arise naturally from within.

So - how can find and nurture this peaceful mind that will keep us happy no matter what's happening?

Meditation provides a way of going deep and connecting with our inner peace. It also helps us learn how to control our mind - so that we can maintain this inner peace and keep our mind in positive mode, rather than diving into anxiety, anger and negativity.

Through training our mind, we develop the inner space to respond to daily challenges in more constructive ways, improve our relationships with others and make our life truly meaningful. When we meditate, we benefit not only ourselves but those around us.

If we train our mind to become peaceful we will be happy all the time, even in the most difficult conditions. But if our mind is not peaceful, even if we have the best external conditions we will not be happy. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

In this introductory talk Birgit will introduce meditation as a way to find true happiness, and guide a meditation to help us relax and get in touch with the natural stillness of our mind. Everyone is welcome!

series one: a meditation toolkit for everyday life

We can fix anything if we just have the right tools.

Meditation is a really effective tool for calming the mind and developing a positive approach to life. And it is not mysterious or difficult! With practice and guidance we can all learn. Buddha’s meditation methods can help us face life’s challenges and difficulties with a calm and centred mind:  an “inner tool kit” that can help us solve any problem.

The emphasis of the programme will be on setting up our own daily meditation practice to and how to use meditation and Buddha's teachings to make practical changes in our life. So these classes provide not just a tool kit: but some good advice on how to use the tools.

If you are a beginner this is a great place to start; and if you have already been practising meditation for some time, the course will provide tips and advice to help you take your practice to the next step.

There are four sessions in this series:

  1. Getting started: the basics and breathing
    Discover the benefits of meditation & how to begin an effective meditation practice.
  2. Two types of meditation
    Learn the two types of meditation that help us to get in touch with the real nature of our mind and getting some control over what we’re thinking and experiencing.
  3. Training in Mindfulness
    Learn how to train in mindfulness according to authentic Buddhist sources and use this part of the mind to its greatest effect.
  4. Solving our problems:
    Learn how we can use what we are meditating on to help us deal with stress by applying the instructions practically
    in our daily life.

Usually we find it difficult to control our mind. It seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind – blown here and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to maintain a control our mind . Gradually we develop a balanced mind that is happy and calm regardless of the external circumstances. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.

palmerston north

wednesdays 7.00-8.30pm


introductory talk:

february: 10

a meditation toolkit for everyday life

february: 17 : 24

march: 3 : 10

with birgit saunders



mondays 7.00-8.30pm

Feilding Community House, 131 Manchester Street




introductory talk:

february: 15

a meditation toolkit for everyday life

february: 22

march: 1 : 8 : 15



Whanganui: Thurs: Feb 11 – 18 – 25, March 4 – 11


with tracy mclaughlin


thursdays 7.00-8.30pm



introductory talk:

february: 11

a meditation toolkit for everyday life

february: 18 : 25

march: 4 : 11


with birgit saunders


mondays 7.00-8.30pm


introductory talk:

february: 15

a meditation toolkit for everyday life

february: 22

march: 1 : 8 : 15


with jan mcpherson