22 December 2015

Christmas ups and downs

Christmas should be a happy time. Tricky word that… “should”. Lots of judgement and expectation. Quite a distance from mindfulness.

In my experience, the truth is that for quite a few, Christmas actually is delightful. However, for many others it can be a difficult time. So this week, how to get the best from the ups and downs of Christmas. Then news of sogyal Rinpoche speaking in Melbourne, Adelaide and Myall Lakes, along with a great New Year's Eve treat for people in Melbourne. but first

Thought for the day

For all its dangers, today’s world is also a very exciting one. 

The modern mind is slowly opening to different visions of reality. 

Great teachers like the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa can be seen on television; 
Many masters from the East now visit and teach in the West and books from all the mystical traditions 
Are winning an increasingly large audience. 

The desperate situation of the planet is slowly waking people up to the necessity for transformation on a global scale.

                    Sogyal Rinpoche
                                Public Talks   :    Melbourne January 5th,     Adelaide January 6th 


Christmas… Religious festival? Welcome holiday at the end of the year? Over-eating? Social get togethers? Family gathering? Presents to enjoy? Excesses? Loneliness? Overwhelmed? Inner peace?

Lots of possibilities….

The real celebration of Christmas is based on the birth of Christ who represents pure love, divine love. There is the real possibility to dwell on, to contemplate, love in our own lives. What we have known of love. What love we have received. What love we have given.

Of course, therein lies the difficulty for some. Christmas can be a time that rekindles thoughts and memories of loves lost; of love’s disappointments.

So there comes the opportunity to consider the cyclical nature of love. It is a force that flows through us. If we want to receive more love, to feel more love, then one sure way to do so, is to be more loving. To consider how we can give more love – without depleting our self.


Simplest way to do this may well be to develop more gratitude. So many people I know have benefited from this.

Really focussing on the practice of gratitude. Starting with developing and feeling gratitude for the simple things, like those things that make your day easier. The saucepans, the chair you sit in, the public transport or the car. Simple things we so often take for granted and only complain about when they do not work or are not there.

Like some of the people in our lives. People who we may well take for granted and only complain about when they do not “work” or are not there.

By contrast, be grateful and energy shifts and flows. There is a natural warmth and openness that flows with gratitude. It is easy for this energy to move into becoming more loving. Worth a Christmas experiment, Give it a go…

And a suggestion for the festive season. Moderation in all things!!!!!!

Don’t you just love clich├ęs? Pardon me, could not resist this one.!!!!!!

Happy Christmas and may 2016 be a fulfilling year of peace and happiness and contentment

With love from Ruth and myself, along with gratitude for all those who helped us in our work during 2015.

SPECIAL NOTE
Keeping to moderation in all things over the festive season, this blog will appear fortnightly for the next little while

SOGYAL RINPOCHE IN AUSTRALIA 2016

It is said, "The greatest gift you can give yourself or another is the gift of meditation"

Experiential Wisdom.

In  January, one of the world’s greatest meditation teachers is coming to Melbourne.

Sogyal Rinpoche, who has been teaching for over 40 years, will be sharing the most profound spiritual wisdom which has helped and continues to help so many. A rare gift for oneself and another.

MELBOURNE PUBLIC TALK
Date         Tuesday 5th January at 7.00pm (arrive 6.30)

Venue      Collingwood Town Hall,   140 Hoddle St, Abbotsford

Tickets     From $39 (full), $28 (concession)

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

Event Enquiries     Email: Melbourne@rigpa.org.au          Phone: 0402 586 360

ADELAIDE PUBLIC TALK
Date         Wednesday 6th January at 7.00pm (arrive 6.30)

Venue       PAC, 23 Dequetteville Tce, Kent Town, SA 5065

Tickets      $35 (full), $25 (concession)

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

Event Enquiries     Email: Melbourne@rigpa.org.au  Phone: 0402 586 360

MYALL LAKES RETREAT
Dates         14th January to 24th January

Venue        Tiona Park, Myall Lakes

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

The Rigpa Melbourne Centre is located in Brunswick at 7/200 Sydney Rd. 
The centre is part of a world wide network of over 140 centres and groups founded by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. 
Rigpa Melbourne conducts courses, meditation sessions and other events which connect people with authentic Tibetan Buddhist teachings and meditation practices.  

New Year's Eve Chanting and Meditation

Jarek Czechowicz presents a new year celebration of transformation, inner peace and spiritual awakening. Enjoy universal chant, uplifting and healing music, and a midnight meditation of flowing om chants. Each universal chant is followed by a short but deep period of silence. 

You can sit on chairs, relax on floor cushions, or move to the music. 

This event regularly attracts a full house so it might be a good idea to book early. 

7:30 PM, Thursday 31 Dec 2015. Augustine Centre, Uniting Church, 2 Minona St. Hawthorn



14 December 2015

Commentary on a controversy

It is rare that I feel the need to write in a way that could be viewed as being critical of another person or group. Those who know me will know that I have a very inclusive approach. For example, for over 3 decades I have been consistent in advocating an inclusive or integrated approach to health matters generally and cancer management specifically, and I have spoken at many Interfaith gatherings.

However, having been asked regularly to explain why people gather to demonstrate against the Dalai Lama, and why there is another Buddhist public talk scheduled on the same night Sogyal Rinpoche is to speak in Melbourne on January 5th, there may be benefit in me speaking personally, not on behalf of anyone else, and explaining my understanding of the context. To do so, I have quoted heavily from Wikipedia, but first




                Thought for the day

      Do not be idolatrous about or bound to 
     Any doctrine, theory, or ideology, 
     Even Buddhist ones. 
     All systems of thought are guiding means; 
     They are not absolute truth.

                          Thich Nhat Hanh








The Dalai Lama is well known for his inclusive approach. 
He has made major contributions to the Inter-Faith movement, speaking at many major gatherings around the world that promote better understanding and better relationships between people of different faiths.

In Tibetan Buddhism, there are four major groups, a bit like the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Church groups in the Christian tradition. The Dalai Lama comes from the Gelugpa group, which in recent times many would regard as the largest and most influential of the four, but again, he has been very inclusive and supportive of the other three. But not so everyone.

The practice of Shugden and where it originated
Back in the 1930s, a very influential teacher, Pabongkha, noting the flourishing “Rime” or ecumenical movement amongst the Tibetan Buddhists of that time, regarded the practice of non-Gelugpa teachings by Gelugpa monks as a threat to the Gelugpa-tradition, and opposed the influence of the other schools, especially the Nyingma – which is Sogyal Rinpoche’s lineage.

Pabongka used a specific spiritual practice, Dorje Shugden, as a central plank in his strong opposition. Pabongka fashioned Shugden as a violent protector of the Gelug school against other traditions, and one who harms any Gelugpa practitioner who blends his practice with non-Gelugpa practices.

The Dalai Lama of those days was opposed to all of this and placed restrictions on the practice of Shugden. Pabongka apologized and promised not to practice Shugden any more.

The practice of Shugden and why the Dalai Lama opposes it
The conflict next reappeared with the publication of the Yellow Book in 1976. The text asserts the pre-eminence of the Gelug school which is symbolised and safeguarded by Dorje Shugden, and presents a stern warning to those within the Gelug whose eclectic tendencies would compromise its purity.

The current Dalai Lama publicly rejected The Yellow Book, stating that it could only damage the common cause of the Tibetan people because of its sectarian divisiveness. Also, after studying the scriptures in-depth, the Dalai Lama concluded that the practice of Shugden did not belong in Tibetan monasteries. He advised everyone against the practice and requested that people who did practice Shugden not come to his talks. Not everyone was happy.

The rise of the New Kadampa Tradition
Next step in all this is the rise to prominence of Kelsang Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, monk and scholar from the Gelug Tradition who promoted the practice of Shugden.

Kelsang Gyatso was a contemporary of Lama Yeshe, the founder of the FPMT (Tara House), a Tibetan Gelugpa group that is closely aligned with the Dalai Lama, has centres worldwide and is involved in activities like organizing the very successful Mind and its Potential conferences.

In the late 1970s, Kelsang Gyatso was working closely with Lama Yeshe, but then without consulting Lama Yeshe, he opened up a Buddhist Centre in York under his own spiritual direction. Commentators see this as the beginning of a conflict between Lama Yeshe and Kelsang Gyatso, that led to quite a schism.

In 1991, Kelsang Gyatso founded The New Kadampa Tradition – International Kadampa Buddhist Union (NKT—IKBU). This is now a global Buddhist organization registered in England as a charitable, or non-profit, company. It currently lists more than 200 centres and around 900 branch classes/study groups in forty countries.

Followers of the NKT—IKBU refer to themselves as Kadampa Buddhists. The temples of the New Kadampa Tradition are referred to as Kadampa Buddhist Temples, and more recently, NKT—IKBU teachers are named Kadampa teachers.

Whereas the NKT-IKBU celebrate Kelsang Gyatso as the one who "is primarily responsible for the worldwide revival of Kadampa Buddhism in our time”, critics have described The New Kadampa Tradition as a breakaway sect or cult and argue it is not part of the ancient Kadampa Tradition but a split from the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.

Why the protests?
The problem would seem to be that Shugden practitioners are angry that their practice is no longer part of the mainstream of Tibetan Buddhism. They blame the Dalai Lama for this. They want to discredit him and try to force him to reverse his decision through harassment.

Robert Thurman, a leading Tibetan scholar (and yes, father of Uma Thurman), states that the International Shugden Community, which is the main organizer for the demonstrations, is a front group of the New Kadampa Tradition.

Chinese involvement
To complicate matters further, according to Thurman, Shugden activities are financed by the United Front Work Department of the government of China as part of its strategy against the Dalai Lama. Raimondo Bultrini documents the Chinese coordination of Shugden activity in the book The Dalai Lama and the King Demon.

Writing in 2010, Warren Smith claims that within Chinese controlled territory, the Chinese government demands monks to worship Shugden, in conjunction with forcing them to denounce the Dalai Lama and fly the Chinese national flag.

According to the Tibetologist Thierry Dodin, "China had encouraged division among the Tibetans by promoting followers of the Dorje Shugden sect to key positions of authority.

What is happening in Melbourne? 
The New Kadampa Tradition has its Australian headquarters in Monbulk and it has what is called the Kadampa Meditation Centre at 140 Queen St. Meditation groups and other activities are presented at various other locations around the city.

It may well be pure coincidence that a free Kadampa meditation event has been scheduled and highly publicized in Melbourne at the very time Sogyal Rinpoche (a close friend and prominent supporter of the Dalai Lama and another who actively advocates Inter-Faith and inclusive approaches) will be speaking at the Collingwood Town Hall.

Now while it needs to be clear that I am writing personally on my blog and do not do so as a representative of Rigpa or Sogyal Rinpoche, I do know for a fact that it can be categorically stated that the Rigpa organisers of this event had no prior knowledge of the Kadampa plans and again, it is probably just coincidence.

However, for anyone wondering about the context, hopefully you are better informed and can make up your own mind!

RELATED BLOG
Sliding doors

RESOURCES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/exposingthenkt


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Kadampa_Tradition


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorje_Shugden_controversy


07 December 2015

Sliding doors - moments when life changes

A young woman caught my eye last weekend. Sitting outside the Melbourne Arts Centre, quietly minding my own business as I waited for my wife to join me for The Messiah, this woman was walking by when she turned, noticed me, paused, reflected, and then came over and said “can I sit and talk with you for a while?”

“Sure” says I. She is quite emotional and takes a moment to gather herself. “You came into my life at an important time…. It was one of those sliding door moments”.

Sliding Doors. Remember that great film staring Gwyneth Paltrow. Moments when life could have gone one way or another. Moments of transition. Moments when life changed.

The conversation with the young lady brought me to quite a realization… , but first





           Thought for the day

   No man ever crosses the same river twice, 
   For it is not the same river 
   And he is not the same man.

                                Heraclitus 






So to be frank, and certainly not to be disrespectful, I know of no-one who has been to The Messiah and changed their life. Personally, I go to The Messiah just about every year. Have done so for decades.



I love the music. The majesty of the music, the inspiration that flows from it, the sense of occasion, the atmosphere, the wonderful reminder of my Christian roots, the celebration of the end of the year and of Christmas.

I love this annual ritual. And while I know many people who also love attending, no-one has ever told me they went to The Messiah and their life changed.





By contrast, I know many thousands of people who have been to a public lecture of some sort and changed their life. It has happened for me on numerous occasions throughout my own life. Sliding door moments. Occasions when one could have gone to some entertainment, however inspiring,  but instead went to listen to a speaker, and life changed.

What have those moments been for you? As another year approaches it finale, good time to pause and reflect. Sliding door moments. Who were the catalysts? And maybe a simple sense of gratitude.


Then with a New Year about to start, I am helping to organise the renowned Tibetan teacher Sogyal Rinpoche to present a public talk early in January.


This is a rare opportunity to hear the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism presented by the author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. 

Sogyal Rinpoche has a unique ability to attune these teachings to modern life, drawing out their universal message while losing none of their authenticity, purity and power.


I can tell you, I know literally thousands of people whose lives have changed courtesy of attending one of Rinpoche’s talks. Great way to start the New Year – a chance to be inspired, be informed, to reflect, set the tone for 2016. See you there?

And the young lady? Turns out she was in the midst of a difficult cancer situation 5 years ago. A friend heard I was to speak at the Relaxation Centre in Brisbane, so she came along. We talked a little during the event, and as she says, her life changed. A sliding door moment.

And the young lady herself? Looked vibrantly alive. In great health. And she was the second person like that to come up to me that day to share a long-term cancer survival story. Very heart walming….

SOGYAL RINPOCHE IN AUSTRALIA 2016
As well as Melbourne, Sogyal Rinpoche will also be speaking in Adelaide and leading a retreat at Myall Lakes later in January.

MELBOURNE PUBLIC TALK
Date         Tuesday 5th January at 7.00pm (arrive 6.30)

Venue      Collingwood Town Hall,   140 Hoddle St, Abbotsford

Tickets     From $39 (full), $28 (concession)

On line bookings   CLICK HERE
 
Event Enquiries     Email: Melbourne@rigpa.org.au          Phone: 0402 586 360

ADELAIDE PUBLIC TALK
Date         Wednesday 6th January at 7.00pm (arrive 6.30)

Venue       PAC, 23 Dequetteville Tce, Kent Town, SA 5065

Tickets      $35 (full), $25 (concession)

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

Event Enquiries     Email: Melbourne@rigpa.org.au  Phone: 0402 586 360

MYALL LAKES RETREAT
Dates         14th January to 24th January

Venue        Tiona Park, Myall Lakes

On line bookings   CLICK HERE

The Rigpa Melbourne Centre is located in Brunswick at 7/200 Sydney Rd. 
The centre is part of a world wide network of over 140 centres and groups founded by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. 
Rigpa Melbourne conducts courses, meditation sessions and other events which connect people with authentic Tibetan Buddhist teachings and meditation practices.  
                                                                         




30 November 2015

Free drugs - available now

Cannabis, cocaine, LSD, amphetamines… Maybe you do not want them, but you could have them all for free.

Really?

What about free antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants? Yep, them too! Anticancer drugs? Immuno-stimulants? Anti-cholesterol drugs? Antipsychotics? No problem. All free.

Really! Where from?

This week we find out, and it may come as a surprise. And then access to a great conference made possible with a good discount, but first





               Thought for the day

       I know what the great cure is.

       It is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender,
       So that our little hearts may beat in unison
       With the great heart of the world. 


                                   Henry Miller





Well here it is. Drugs HQ

Commonly known as your own brain – the central pharmacy that controls the production and administration of more useful chemicals than any individual pharmaceutical company.

We manufacture multitudes of medications: antibiotics, antimitotics, painkillers, antipyretics, anxiolytics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, immunostimulants, anticholesterols, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, cancer drugs, and more.


We can also activate other parallel circuits involving natural counterparts to more culturally and medically scandalous substances: anandamide (cannabis), alcohol, amphetamines, nicotine, cocaine, LSD, endorphins, and more.


The initiator of this whole pantheon of drugs is you. Me. Every one of us. It starts within our brains and finds fruition in our many organs, glands, even individual cells.

Some drugs are produced on demand. Cut a finger for example and antihistamines, anticoagulants, immunostimulants, natural antibiotics, pain killers – and plenty more – all go into production spontaneously. No conscious effort required. Body knows what to do. Amazing.

Some drugs we access “incidentally”. Have a good laugh and a cascade of endorphins is transported around the body. Immerse yourself in gratitude and dopamine flows out. Be inspired and feel the serotonin surging. A very natural high.


Then some drugs can be induced by what we do deliberately. Meditate and a long list of beneficial drugs is created. Consider just a couple - the master hormone melatonin, regulator of sleep, major controller of immune function and many other hormones are produced en masse when we meditate.

Interferon is known to be produced in significant amounts when meditating and has a powerful affect on immune function – and being naturally produced it comes free of the unwantedside-effects so often associated with taking the isolated drug interferon as a medication.

So the point is – get excited!

Be respectful. Your body is amazing. Truly amazing. Resist the temptation to think that all health issues need some external, high-tech solution. There is nothing as high-tech as your own body. Give your body the right conditions, learn how it works and how you can best support it to function at its amazing best, and enjoy this precious life. Along with its free drugs…..

Meditate, not medicate.

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Hear how cutting-edge technology can help us take control of our health with former executive editor of Wired Magazine Thomas Goetz (USA). Rethink the heart of health with pioneering paediatrician Dr Alan Greene (USA). Ditch the guilt and learn to eat joyfully with leading nutritionist Joanna McMillan.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR EMOTIONS
Become aware of your emotional triggers with emotions researcher Eve Ekman (USA). Use laughter as an antidote to stress with coach and comedian Anthony Ackroyd. Explore the power of identity and connection with acclaimed Indigenous author Anita Heiss.

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23 November 2015

Integrating work, family and life, plus a Christmas sale

Here we are approaching the end of 2015 and another opportunity to reflect, be grateful, and to celebrate. With Christmas not so far away, we are offering 30% off all our resources (until 30th November) to say thank you to all those whom we have been involved with during this past year and to encourage meaningful giving.

Then some reflection on integrating work, family and life, but first



                  Thought for the day

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. 

Nature’s peace will flow into you 
As sunshine flows into trees. 

The winds will blow their freshness into you, 
And storms their energy, 
While cares will drop away like autumn leaves.

                                        John Muir



Ruth and I are very grateful to all of who support our work; those who came to the workshops, seminars and retreats we presented in 2015, and especially to thank you personally those of you who remain on our database and keep in touch via the blog, Facebook and other communications.

Ruth and I are truly blessed in that our work consistently reminds us of what it is to live well - in body, emotions, mind and spirit. For us, our work really is our life.

Yet so many we speak to struggle with integrating work, family and life. For some it even seems as if the type of work they are engaged in almost demands a compromise. As if they need to leave some of their values, some of their ideals, at the door as they enter to start the working day, and to pick up what ever remains on the way out.

For some too, there is the sense that amidst the busyness, the demands, the very real struggles of daily life, even the family can have a sense of being a burden.

So here is the challenge. How do we hold true to that which we value in life, how ideally we would like to live our life, and integrate that with our work and our family?

My sense is that this has so much to do with the clarity of our intention and our habitual ways of thinking. Check out how you speak to yourself about work, about relationships. Notice what this reveals. When you find yourself saying “ that always happens here” or “that is just what I expected”; then those words reveal habitual ways of thinking. How do these habits work for you?

Be reminded that if you choose to, these habits can be changed with strong intention, backed by imagery and affirmations. They can be transformed by the natural kindness and optimism that slowly and steadily emerges out of the regular practice of meditation. Consciously developing an attitude of gratitude can produce amazing benefits.


In an ideal world
everything we do
will somehow enhance our lives.


This is not to say
everything we do will be easy;
on the contrary,
often it is the difficult things in life
that teach us so much
and bring the greatest rewards.

But here is the problem.

In our modern busy world,
there are so many forces working against a happy, healthy life.

Sad but true.


So much busyness, so many commercial forces, so many expectations, so much to do. And internally our own habits and beliefs to contend with, along with that subtle and innate laziness that is a feature of all our lives. I cannot be the only one with these issues!!

So that is why Ruth and I make time to attend at least 2 retreats as participants each year. Sure, we are fortunate in that we get to lead retreats; but we too feel the need to take time out, to stand back more fully and to reflect, re-evaluate, re-think, re-set priorities and refresh.

For me it is really clear. Amidst the pressures of daily life, and with the intention of being kind to ourselves and functioning well with work, families and friends, attending at least one retreat per year is almost mandatory. Almost in my view like meeting a basic need of survival. Certainly a major step towards continuing a productive, happy and healthy life.

If you would like to join us in 2016, our retreat and program schedule is on our website.

But for now, in gratitude we are offering a Pre-Christmas webstore sale with 30% of all our resources - until 30th November – books, CDs DVD, bundles and the Pearls (really beautiful and meaningful presents).       LINK HERE

RESOURCES 

Meditation Retreats and specific cancer residential programs with Ian and Ruth Gawler CLICK HERE 


16 November 2015

Responding to terror - a meditator's view

Paris attacks: The headlines trumpeted “France vows 'merciless' response to unprecedented atrocity”. The French president, looking somewhat dazed, reflected what many felt: "France will stand firm. We are going to fight and our fight will be merciless."

Merciless. What then constitutes a measured response? What can we do with our emotions and our actions? How would a compassionate meditator respond to terrorism?

US President Barack Obama led a chorus of world leaders condemning the attacks. “France is an extraordinary terrorism partner and an attack on the French people is an attack on all humanity. We will do whatever it takes to bring these terrorists to justice".

Is justice compassion? Challenging questions this week, but first






                          Thought for the day

                                  Where vision vanishes 
                                   The people perish

                                      The Book of Proverbs








Seems people respond to terrorism in quite a few different ways.

Base instinct
Lashing out. “Let’s nuke the buggers!” Some sort of retribution. Revenge. The notion that reciprocal violence is more than justified. More than warranted. Heavy-duty retribution.

Maybe if we kill enough of them, it will stop. If not, at least we will feel avenged.

Really? Yes really. Throughout history this has been the common approach. The base instinct unleashed.

Problem is that centuries of history would indicate this approach has limited long-term benefits. You could make the case for the odd war halting mass aggression, but the general trend? Violence begets more violence. Pity really when violence seems to appeal to so many.

Fear
Terrorists thrive on fear. It is the stated purpose. Disrupt with fear. Use fear as a weapon.

Successful? Often. One can easily imagine life will change rapidly in France. And many other places as well, as the fear of terrorist acts is fuelled by terrorist acts. Some become paralysed, some despair. Some drift into apathy while others descend into depression.

Others use fear to drive the aggression. The base instincts thrive on fear. A culture changes. Terrorists have their day.

Intellectual override
“It is genuinely sad so many were killed in Paris. But think about it. Each week in Australia, around 1,000 people die of cancer. In the last month across Australia, around 100 people died in car accidents. In Africa, cannot even begin to think how many people are dying right now of starvation or violence.

“Chance of being caught up in a terrorist attack? Very slim. Relative risk? Very small. No need to worry. Put it out of mind”.

Could be true.

Could work.

Satisfying???

Transform our way of thinking
Let us hope. It is highly probable that our own chance of becoming caught up in a terrorist attack is very small. So what to do? What happens in our own mind and how can we transform those common and fairly natural base instincts and destructive emotions into something more constructive.

Start with understanding
All human beings are basically the same.

Most human beings are concerned for their survival, the survival of their family and friends; and they all want happiness, whatever that means for each one of us. This we all share in common.

With terrorists, it is easy to think of them as something very different. Something very different from us. So it can be a real challenge to make the effort to recognise that they too are human beings. Just like us.

It can be a start.

Put yourself in the others shoes (or shoe as the case may be)
How does a fellow human being come to the conclusion that the best thing they can do with their precious human life is to strap explosives to their precious human body, walk into a crowd of fellow precious human beings and blow self and other into pieces?

Crazy?

Maybe. Could well be. But people seem to do it regularly. In a calm, premeditated way. How so?

If we make the effort to put ourselves in the others shoes, to contemplate the sort of life, the sort of life experiences that leads to the conclusion that becoming a human bomb or that shooting others at random makes sense; if we take time to really contemplate how that happens, maybe we move closer towards some deeper understanding…. Then we may have the beginnings of a real solution.

Practise compassion 
“Passive” compassion
We can pray. Many do. Many feel its benefits.

Many make the effort to resist the base instinct responses of fear and aggression. They think of peace. Talk of peace. Dream of peace. Maybe pray. Maybe just hope.

Calling all this “passive” compassion is not to denigrate these aspirations, just to speak of these being personal internal responses. Maybe a little passive. But maybe quite potent as well.

“Active” compassion
Become involved in efforts to build understanding, community, peace.

What does this mean in your own community. What about in your own family? What about in our own hearts?


 We can never impose peace on the world. A peaceful world will only ever exist when each individual human being has found peace in their own heart. When we have a world full of peaceful people, we will have a peaceful world.

So world peace starts within the hearts of each and every one of us. We can all make a difference.


So what can we do to become more peaceful within ourselves?

Contemplate the violence in our own lives and do what we can to be free of it. Is there any way we can live our own life more peacefully? Something we can do that is a concerted, peaceful act?

Not speaking hatefully would be helpful. Not breeding more fear. Do what we can to be understanding. Be vigilant not to generalise or stereotype particular sectors of our community. Really feel compassion for the bulk of Muslims who are just like us, very decent human beings, and go out of our way to help them deal with the implications and ramifications of terrorist issues and what must be an extremely difficult situation for them, just as it is for many human beings at present. Smile at others. Smile at others.

Consider what community activities we can become involved in that foster peace and build good relationships locally.

Consider supporting groups that make a business of peace. Donate. Give time. Offer support.

Speak with politicians. If ever there was a time for a measured response to an issue that affects most of us, this is now. Please, lets move past attempting to solve violence with more violence. This is a time for peace.

What then of justice?
Is compassion and an aspiration for peace incompatible with justice. Not at all. But true justice does not carry hate or revenge or retribution. Justice is warranted and needed as part of what deals with terrorism; but measured justice, not fury disguised as something else.

Finally, in response to terrorism, maybe we can acknowledge how fortunate most of us reading this really are. We live in free countries. We have personal freedoms. We have a choice of responses. Makes how we respond even more important. And significant.


09 November 2015

Crisis management and retreats in general

“Can I just take an imprint of your credit card please sir; to cover any room charges”.

“Certainly” says I with the usual casual assuredness. Fumble around…. No cards! I am checking in for a stopover in Hong Kong, travelling on my own to a 3 month retreat in France via Helsinki and Paris.

More fumbling. Slightly more intense searching. Still no cards.

Some say going on a meditation retreat is good for your state of mind. No cards provide a good test of where the mind is at well before arrival. So this week, how to manage in a foreign country with no credit card or cash card - ie no money – and what happened on the retreat itself, but first




           Thought for the day

               Do not do to others that which is hateful to you.

               All the rest is commentary. 
               Now go study.

                   Hillel the sage
                          who was asked to relate the whole of the Torah
                          while standing on one foot





So no credit cards, no cash card, a few Australian dollars. Hong Kong, Helsinki, Paris then train to the south of France to join the retreat. Hmmmm….

First thing in any crisis is to remain calm. Things are bad enough without freaking out! Mind works better when calm.

So Hong Kong easy… Overnight only, dinner is chocolate and cashews courtesy of the beloved’s travelling pack. Breakfast the same, followed up by the plane food. Not bad at all.

Helsinki… Change Aussie cash into enough Euros to get to the hotel. Polite talk with the manager, give him the credit card numbers, request some cash be added to the restaurant bill and away we go.

In Paris, meet up with an old friend who advances some more cash and arrive safely at the retreat. Happily, every other aspect of the journey went smoothly.

Being on retreat provides the opportunity to withdraw from daily life, to turn our attention inwards and explore the workings of our own minds.

When I was a keen athlete and went to University, I sought out the best coach around, had to work quite hard to persuade him to take me on, then committed to doing what he told me. My performances improved rapidly.

At University, I studied Veterinary Science. Dean of the faculty was a world leader in his field. I had needed to work quite hard at high school to get into the course. Then I committed to doing what the Dean decided was best for us students to study and learn to become good veterinarians. I graduated 5 years later.

In both cases, with my coach and my Dean I knew they were reliable. The real deal. Authentic. There was no faith needed to commit (or dare I say it, to submit) to their direction. It is like when you are thirsty, you do not need faith, it is not a moral choice to drink water. We all know water quenches thirst. It just works.

So in the West, my commitment was called just that, commitment. In the East, it would be called devotion. Same principle, different word. And in the West, devotion is often misunderstood.

Anyway, in seeking to come to know my own mind, having the audacity to be interested in the actual possibility of enlightenment, and having a genuine need to know more about the science of the mind to help those I work with, going to learn from those who know so much about it seems logical.

So a Tibetan retreat centre in the South of France headed by Sogyal Rinpoche.
Traditionally trained, authentic, great communicator, great presence, great teacher. Reliable. The real deal. Authentic.

On the retreat we had many teachings on understanding and transforming the mind. All of us are seeking happiness, and the genuine happiness of inner peace and contentment comes through working with and transforming our minds; through meditation, prayer, compassion and most profoundly through experiencing the true nature of our own mind.

There was a strong emphasis on reflection; not just receiving teachings as information, but as guidelines for investigating and coming to understand our own experience...so in every moment to keep bringing our attention back to our minds, our perception and our experience, not just an intellectual or dogmatic understanding.

All of these themes seemed to fit together quite coherently and to give the retreatants something very practical that they could apply. There was a solid meditation program and long periods in silence which I really enjoyed. Meditation being a process of coming to know ones mind, a practice of being present and learning to be less distracted; all that is enhanced by being in outer silence.

Perhaps the take home message of these mind teachings is that it is up to us. We can be empowered to take responsibility for our own perception and experience. For example, there is more to the mind than our ordinary thoughts and emotions. There is a part of us that is to do with our awareness that is bigger than our ordinary thoughts and emotions and so we can let go of them. Bugger the credit cards!

Real changes come from being able to actually apply our practice at all times.

Be calm, be clear, be kind.

Getting a little closer to that is worth a few days out of our lives. Worth a few days in retreat.

Just a few practical details for the curious. 
Travelling on my own overseas was fine, but definitely easier (but maybe not so funny) with the cards. The food on retreat was pretty good, but I did lose quite a bit of weight that is just about all back. Physically I became fitter as the retreat centre, Lerab Ling, is quite steep.

The bonus and biggest surprise was how good the retreat turned out to be for Ruth and myself. What occurs to say is that when you live and work together really well like Ruth and I do, you share heaps, but maybe do not have the space or prompts to discuss deeper things. Not sure if this is always true, but the fact is that while apart, we communicated by email and the occasional call, and fell into discussing deeper aspects of our relationship which were extraordinarily beneficial. Big bonus.

So will I do it again?
Will certainly keep going to the couple of shorter personal retreats Ruth and I go on each year. Amidst the busyness of daily life in the times we find ourselves in, this seems mandatory for some semblance of balance. Plus I am always keen to learn more.

Another 3 month retreat? Maybe. But not tomorrow….


RELATED BLOGS – The meditation retreat series
1. Why Tibetan Buddhism?

2. The View and why it matters

3. Why follow a spiritual teacher?

4. Three month meditation retreat

RESOURCES 
BOOKS
The Dragon’s Blessing – Guy Allenby. If you are interested in more, the biography goes into it in some detail.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche. The spiritual classic that has sold around 3.5 million copies, inspired and supported many people along their path.

Meditation Retreats and specific cancer residential programs with Ian and Ruth Gawler 
CLICK HERE 

INTERESTED TO MEET SOGYAL RINPOCHE?
He is coming to Australia again in 2016 and will give Public Talks in Melbourne – Tuesday January 5th and Adelaide January 6th, along with the annual retreat at Myall Lakes.
DETAILS : CLICK HERE


02 November 2015

Three month meditation retreat

Imagine wandering out of kindergarten into an advanced mathematics class. As a metaphor, this is a fair comparison for many who were with me when we first experienced the teachings of the Tibetan Sogyal Rinpoche in 1985. A good deal went over our heads…

So now, 30 years later, it was an amazing experience to join a retreat where along with a thousand people who have been doing a good deal of study and practice since that time, it was possible to hear the best of Rinpoche’s teachings, only this time having come somewhat better prepared.

So this week, something of that experience and the teachings, but first

              Thought for the day

Know all things to be like this:

A mirage, a cloud castle,

A dream, an apparition,

Without essence, but with qualities that can be seen.

Know all things to be like this:

As the moon in a bright sky

In some clear lake reflected,

Though to that lake the moon has never moved.

Know all things to be like this:

As an echo that derives

From music, sounds, and weeping,

Yet in that echo is no melody.

Know all things to be like this:

As a magician makes illusions

Of horses, oxen, carts and other things,

Nothing is as it appears.


                                   Buddha


Back in 1985, Sogyal Rinpoche was effectively a Tibetan refugee. Rinpoche (translates roughly as “precious one” – an honourific title a bit like cardinal) had been traditionally trained in Tibet, went to Catholic school in India after fleeing the Chinese invasion, studied at Cambridge, then began to teach in the Western World.

These days, Sogyal Rinpoche is one of the better known Tibetan teachers in the Western World.

His book, the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying was first published in 1993, and having now sold around 3.5 million copies in many languages is a true modern day spiritual classic.

So I was fortunate to stumble into his first ever talk in Australia in 1985. And yes, there was a sense I was only capable of grasping a small portion of what was on offer, and yes, there are many paths to the truth, but there was also a clear sense that this man knew so much of what I was seeking on my own spiritual quest. Rinpoche gave the experiential sense that he really did know the truth of what it was to be a human being, and was capable not only of articulating what that meant, but how to realize it.

So move ahead 30 years. Rinpoche is now a world figure with a major retreat centre in the south of France. The European summer is retreat time, and the time when his older students gather.

This year, it felt like the right time for me to go for 3 months. As it turned out, my timing was excellent. Rinpoche has been taking years to teach and prepare his students to receive the best of his teachings. This is a bit like working through any study program. There is a time where you get to where it all leads.

So the retreat had several aspects. July was mostly a time of practice. Meditation, mantras, chanting and other specific practices, followed by what is called a drubchen. This was an 8 day intense group practice based on mantra recitation, chanting and imagery that I found very profound.

Then time for personal practice before in August, the older students gathered for the main teaching session that extended throughout the month.




One thousand people in an authentic, traditionally designed Tibetan temple in the south of France.

All in strict silence. Quite an atmosphere. Quite a precedent – nothing like it ever before I suspect.

Then finally, two weeks in September of intense study.



So here is what Rinpoche has had to say on the possibilities, the obstacles we face, and the need our world finds itself in:

If we were to put our minds to one powerful wisdom method and work with it directly, there is a real possibility we would become enlightened.

Our minds, however, are riddled with confusion and doubt. 

I sometimes think that doubt is an even greater block to human evolution than is desire or attachment. Our society promotes cleverness instead of wisdom, and celebrates the most superficial, harsh, and least useful aspects of our intelligence. 

We have become so falsely “sophisticated” and neurotic that we take doubt itself for truth, and the doubt that is nothing more than ego’s desperate attempt to defend itself from wisdom is deified as the goal and fruit of true knowledge.

This form of mean-spirited doubt is the shabby emperor of samsara (the Buddhist term for what in their understanding is the cycle of conditioned existence, birth and death, which is characterized by suffering and in which one is continually reborn until attaining nirvana, or enlightenment), served by a flock of “experts” who teach us not the open-souled and generous, doubt that Buddha assured us was necessary for testing and proving the worth of the teachings, but a destructive form of doubt that leaves us nothing to believe in, nothing to hope for, and nothing to live by.

So next week, something of my own experiences during this extra – ordinary retreat…

RELATED BLOGS – The meditation retreat series
1. Why Tibetan Buddhism?

2. The View and why it matters

3. Why follow a spiritual teacher?

RESOURCES 
BOOKS
The Dragon’s Blessing – Guy Allenby. If you are interested in more, the biography goes into it in some detail.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche. The spiritual classic that has sold around 3.5 million copies, inspired and supported many people along their path.

Meditation Retreats and specific cancer residential programs with Ian and Ruth Gawler -
CLICK HERE 

INTERESTED TO MEET SOGYAL RINPOCHE?
He is coming to Australia again in 2016 and will give Public Talks in Melbourne – Tuesday January 5th and Adelaide January 6th, along with the annual retreat at Myall Lakes.
DETAILS : CLICK HERE


19 October 2015

Why follow a spiritual teacher?

Been thinking about having brain surgery but it is a bit expensive. So thought about looking for someone a bit cheaper. Maybe someone who just picked it up from a book, maybe a weekend course or two. Ruth reckons its not a great plan; maybe better to pay a bit more and get someone qualified.

Then I thought maybe all I really need is someone to help me with my mind. Doubt the brain surgeon will improve things much anyway. So maybe I could do it all myself? Or maybe just learn from someone who read a book about mind power or went to a weekend course or two?

Ruth reckons its not a great plan; maybe better to seek out someone authentic, someone thoroughly trained in how the mind works and what the truth really is. Someone well qualified. But who? Who could I trust? How would I know they were the real deal?

So this week, why even bother with a spiritual teacher, and how to find one if you are interested.

Also, just to say we had a fabulous cancer residential retreat in the Yarra Valley last week. Great group of people, felt like one of the best programs yet. But now, only a few days until the last meditation retreat for 2015, and then a couple of weeks until the more specific cancer program - both in New Zealand; details below, but first



                      Thought for the day

                              When the student is ready 
                              The teacher will appear

                      Variously ascribed to the Buddha or Lao Tzu 
                                   - to whom the provocative rejoinder
                                   at the end of this post is attributed


The spiritual path is all about finding the truth.
Finding out the truth about what it is to be a human being, what is the purpose of this life, what meaning it has. And then aiming to live as much as possible in sync with that truth.

So why not go it alone? Why not learn directly from our own practice entirely, maybe with a few books and the odd weekend workshop thrown in? And there is plenty of stuff on the net…

Why are there sayings as in the Bible that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” And why do knowledgeable people like the Dalai Lama say it is virtually impossible to realize the truth without an authentic teacher?

The clue to the answer is to understand something of the nature of the truth of which we are speaking. This truth is that reality which is not distorted by our own projections, fixations, habits, culture and so on.

The realization of this truth dwells in an experience that is beyond the domain of our own ego. It is even beyond words; it is the experience of how things are before our conceptual, active, unconscious and thinking minds attempt to put words to it.

A rich man tends to be caught up in matters of the world (and yes there may well be exceptions….). But without a genuine teacher, who will rein in our ego? How can we advance beyond an intellectual understanding of truth to a direct experience?


So then if we do decide we want a teacher, where do we go? 

The classified pages in our local newspaper?

Google?


The traditional saying has some real merit…

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Sometimes in unexpected ways…



Having said that, there is a process worth knowing about. Traditionally, a student would visit prospective teachers and take time to check them out. At the same time, the teacher would check out the student to see if they were a fit.

This evaluation is important and worth taking good time over. However, once one commits to a teacher, there is great sense in persevering. Any genuine teacher will challenge your ego and in doing so will have you going through times where your ego kicks back hard. In doing so, the teacher themself is highly likely to come under fire.

Ego is very crafty. Very keen to stay in control. Very good at finding someone to blame or get angry with rather than be supplanted by a higher wisdom. So a good teacher will bring this out. A good teacher will reveal our hidden faults and challenge them; but then provide support and show the way to move forward.




Seriously, would we want a neurosurgeon fiddling around in our head who was self taught or not fully qualified?

I do not think so.

So when it comes to learning more about our mind and attempting to tame it, surely we need a well qualified, authentic teacher.




So then, in my own main teacher’s words

The most important thing is not to get trapped in what I see everywhere in the West, a “shopping mentality”: shopping around from master to master, teaching to teaching, without any continuity or real, sustained dedication to any one discipline. 

Nearly all the great spiritual masters of all traditions agree that the essential thing is to master one way, one path to the truth, by following one tradition with all your heart and mind to the end of the spiritual journey, while of course remaining open and respectful toward the insights of all others. 

In Tibet we used to say: “knowing one, you accomplish all.” 

The modern faddish idea that we can always keep all our options open and so never need commit ourselves to anything is one of the greatest and most dangerous delusions of our culture, and one of ego’s most effective ways of sabotaging our spiritual search.

Sogyal Rinpoche

Speaking personally, I did spend many early years “going it alone”. Reading books, meditating, reflecting, going to weekend courses. All very useful, but then one day I realized I needed more direct, more competent support and direction.

For me, when I first met Sogyal Rinpoche in 1985 there was an immediate sense that he knew far, far more than I did and that I could learn what I needed from him. Great blessing really to have that knowing. Yet even so, it took many years of being around him before I felt able to commit in the true sense of being a spiritual student. Maybe the ego has to get worn down a fair way to even get that far?

Anyway, it is clear different teachers appeal to different people. For me, the 30 year, on-going connection I have had with my main teacher (yes of course there have been others too) has been incredibly beneficial both personally and professionally, and next week some detail from the 3 month retreat I have just completed.



        Finally, more provocative thought for the day

               When the student is ready the teacher will appear. 

               When the student is truly ready... 

               The teacher will disappear.

                               Attributed to Lao Tzu


RELATED BLOGS
Why Tibetan Buddhism?

The View and why it matters

RESOURCES
Interested to meet Sogyal Rinpoche?
He is coming to Australia again in 2016 and will give Public Talks in Melbourne – Tuesday January 5th and Adelaide January 6th, along with the annual retreat at Myall Lakes.
DETAILS are still being finalised for some events, but LINK HERE

BOOKS
Autobiography of a Yogi - Yogananda. A spiritual classic that amongst other things documents Yoganada's quest as a young man in traditional, spiritual India to find his own teacher. This book has inspired millions on the spiritual path, self included :)

The Dragon's Blessing - Guy Allenby. If you are interested to know more about my own journey, this is Guy's biography that features much of my own spiritual quest.

NOTICEBOARD

The last meditation retreat and more specific cancer residential program Ruth and I will present in 2015 are both rapidly approaching. Both are in fabulous New Zealand :) 

Details of all coming programs  are on our website: www.iangawler.com/events, and here are these next two:

NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT - Coming very soon
Meditation Under the Long White Cloud   24 - 30 October 2015

7 day retreat at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand


                 Take time out from the busyness of everyday life; spend time with your self
           Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, vitality, balance and clarity
      Deepen your understanding and experience of mindfulness, contemplation and meditation

Full details, CLICK HERE


SPECIFIC CANCER RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM 
- coming soon

MIND-BODY MEDICINE and CANCER    November  2015    Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th


Five day Residential program in the beautiful surrounds of Wanaka, New Zealand
- an easy drive from Queenstown airport and very accessible for Australians

This program is open to anyone affected by cancer. Health professionals interested to learn more of this work are also welcome to attend.

While the focus of this program is on therapeutic meditation and nutrition, the power of the mind and emotional health, ample time will be given to answering any questions you may have relating to the Gawler program - exercise, positive thinking, healing, balancing medical options, successful ways of dealing with setbacks, sustaining your good intentions and the relevance of finding meaning in life to healing and recovery.

FULL DETAILS Click here

12 October 2015

How cancer forms and 7 things your own body can do about it

It comes as no surprise to know many people are deeply scared by cancer. For many, just about everything about it is one big scary mystery.

Yet science can tell us a good deal about why and how cancer develops, and better still, tell us about the multiple defenses our own bodies have against it. Great information on which to base a personal prevention or treatment program.

So this week, how we can work with the body to prevent or recover from cancer. Great information – please share and in doing so, reduce the fears and help raise confidence in our own bodies, our own capacities to prevent and recover from cancer.

This blog comes amidst the series of posts related to my personal retreat these past 3 months; next week, the next exciting episode! But first

            Thought for the day

Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game 
filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions. 
But that spontaneity is possible 
only when everyone first engages in hours 
of highly repetitive and structured practice
- perfecting their shooting, dribbling, 
and passing and running plays 
over and over again
- and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court.

            Spontaneity is not random. 

                                  Malcolm Gladwell


Cancer genesis
Cancer cells form in the body after normal cells undergo damage to specific genes called oncogenes. When a cell in the body reproduces itself, it is the oncogenes that determine whether the new cell will become a healthy one or a cancer cell.

All cell lines – such as skin cells, breast cells, prostate cells and so on, have their own specific oncogenes. There are usually 2 to 4 of them and it takes a series of damages to convert a healthy oncogene into one that will cause cancer.

The causes of cancer
Research tells us that most of what causes this genetic damage is related to our lifestyle – what we eat, whether we smoke or not and so on. More details are in You Can Conquer Cancer. Obviously, avoiding the causes is the key to cancer prevention.

Our body’s defenses
However, even when oncogenes are damaged and activated, clinical cancer is not always the result. Many scientists are of the view that this genetic damage is occurring on a daily basis in everyone's body and the most conservative view is that potential cancer cells form at least 40 times during our lifetime.

Clearly, not everyone develops cancer and this is because the body has its own series of defenses that are designed to recognize potential cancer cells and destroy them before they become a problem.

Genes that repair genes
One of the first ways the body does this is that it has genes that actually have the job of repairing damaged genes.

Front line defense
Next, the immune system is the body’s front line defense system. It has many responsibilities including recognizing unhealthy tissue within the body, destroying or removing unhealthy tissue and restoring health.

Camouflage
With cancer, this is much easier when potential cancer masses are quite small, as one thing cancer does as it grows is to coat itself with what is effectively a camouflage layer that makes it difficult or impossible for the immune system to recognize it as a problem. Anything that disrupts this “camouflage”, opens the cancer to direct attack from the immune system.

Angiogenesis
Another critical issue for cancer to grow and become larger is that it needs to develop its own blood supply. This process is called angiogenesis and anything that disrupts it weakens the cancer. If angiogenesis is halted, the cancer is starved of nutrients and dies.

Metabolic disruption
Once cancer has developed into a significant mass, it has its own metabolic needs. Anything that disrupts this metabolism can weaken the cancer and if the disruption is severe enough, it will kill it.

A useful metaphor here comes from the garden where plants have their own preferences. For example, camellias thrive in acid soil and are severely weakened or die when planted in alkaline soils.

In much the same way, changing the milieu in the body, manipulating the metabolic environment in the body through things like therapeutic nutrition can have a direct influence on cancer cells.

Many of the ways in which therapeutic lifestyle approaches influence cancer can be explained by how they influence the above factors.

New biologically elegant treatments target the above factors, for example:

1. A great deal of research is going into how to reverse oncogene damage and switch the oncogenes back to normal.

2. Treatments aimed at enhancing immune function have been around for many years and continue to be actively researched.

3. Promising research has found a major protein that builds the cancer’s camouflage and targeted immunology offers the possibility of removing it, laying the cancer open to be recognized and attacked by our immune system.

4. Anti-angiogenesis agents are called angiostatins and some of these are already being used clinically while further research continues.

5. Many new targeted therapies aim to disrupt cancer’s metabolism.

Application through 
guided imagery

An understanding of how cancer develops is also very helpful for people aiming to use guided imagery and this is a large and exciting topic in its own right.

But as just one example, we know that in hypnotherapy the mind can be trained to stop bleeding.

If that same principle were to be used to stop blood flow to a tumour (ie to have an angiostatic effect and reverse what is shown in the above diagram), that tumour would be destroyed very quickly.

Exciting possibilities…. That are at the heart of what we call "Accelerated Healing" - see the related blogs below.

RESOURCES
BOOKS
You Can Conquer Cancer , Ian Gawler - chapters on causes of cancer, therapeutic nutrition and lifestyle, and guided imagery.

The Mind that Changes Everything , Ian Gawler – details on guided imagery

CD or Download
The Gawler Cancer Program – has all the above information plus more that you can share or listen to over and over to help with understanding and confidence.

RELATED BLOGS
Accelerated Healing 101 - Part 1

Accelerated Healing 101 - Part 2

NOTICEBOARD

The last meditation retreat and more specific cancer residential program Ruth and I will present in 2015 are both rapidly approaching. Both are in fabulous New Zealand :) 

Details of all coming programs  are on our website: www.iangawler.com/events, and here are these next two:

NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT
Meditation Under the Long White Cloud   24 - 30 October 2015

7 day retreat at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand


                 Take time out from the busyness of everyday life; spend time with your self
           Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, vitality, balance and clarity
      Deepen your understanding and experience of mindfulness, contemplation and meditation

Full details, CLICK HERE


SPECIFIC CANCER RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM

MIND-BODY MEDICINE and CANCER    November  2015    Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th


Five day Residential program in the beautiful surrounds of Wanaka, New Zealand
- an easy drive from Queenstown airport and very accessible for Australians

This program is open to anyone affected by cancer. Health professionals interested to learn more of this work are also welcome to attend.

While the focus of this program is on therapeutic meditation and nutrition, the power of the mind and emotional health, ample time will be given to answering any questions you may have relating to the Gawler program - exercise, positive thinking, healing, balancing medical options, successful ways of dealing with setbacks, sustaining your good intentions and the relevance of finding meaning in life to healing and recovery.

FULL DETAILS Click here