09 January 2017


Meditation for Life 
Seems to sum up so much to do with meditation. Meditation brings us more fully into life. It is a profound healer. It awakens us, heightens our awareness and helps us to appreciate life more fully, to live more fully. Meditation brings us life; directly adding to our longevity. Meditation for life.

So this week, the schedule of retreats Ruth and I will present this year – meditation retreats, our specific cancer residential programs, and of course, the meditation teacher training programs, but first,

        Thought for the Day

Would you like me to give you a formula for...success? 
It's quite simple, really. 
Double your rate of failure... 
You're thinking of failure as the enemy of success. 
But it isn't at all... 
You can be discouraged by failure
-or you can learn from it. 
So go ahead and make mistakes. 
Make all you can. 
Because, remember that's where you'll find success. 
On the far side.

                         Thomas Watson

I love this quote. It speaks for the need to persist, and it speaks to the value of being somewhat adventurous; of having a go, making mistakes, learning from them and accomplishing remarkable things.

Can you remember what it was like when you began meditating? Seems to me there was one “mistake” after another for me. Tried this... not much progress. Tried that… not much progress. Just an inkling that something useful was happening… could happen. Just an inkling that meditation was something well worth persevering with and learning from the experiences along the way.

So the message? Do not be put off. On the contrary, persevere. And seek opportunities to learn and practice more deeply.

Again, speaking personally, amidst the busyness of modern life, amidst all the changes that are hurtling through our modern way of living, amidst all the opportunities we have; it just seems essential to take some time out at least once each year, to give ourselves the time to reflect, to contemplate, to learn some more, to deepen our practice – maybe re-new our practice – and then return to daily life invigorated, with a deeper sense of calm and clarity.

It is for this reason that last year, Ruth and I decided to reduce the number of public workshops and seminars we present and to concentrate more on the retreats.

This gave me more time for preparation for our different retreats and now in retrospect, this was really useful. In my own estimation, the teachings in the retreats went to another level in 2016 and the feedback was excellent.

So we have decided to do the same again for 2017 – focus on presenting retreats. Maybe 2018 will be another year of larger public events, but this year we invite you to join us and deepen your experience on one of our retreats.

Speaking personally, Ruth and I will attend 2 retreats as participants ourselves in 2017; one for 2 weeks starting soon and then a longer one through August. These retreats will further add to what we can provide and are an essential part of what we offer.

So here is the program of meditation and other retreats for 2017             with links to their details
                  Hope you can join us …

March 27 – 31st  Meditation Teacher Training – Module 2 
Ruth and I train people aspiring to be meditation teachers, or who already are and are seeking to extend their skills. This program is allied to Module 1, presented by Paul and Maia Bedson who teach on Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation. We teach Contemplation and Guided Imagery.

April 7 – 13th Meditation in the Forest

This is our annual Pre-Easter 7 day retreat at the Yarra Valley Living Centre. Each year we learn a little more about relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, and we practice together. Then each year there is a specific theme; this year it is contemplation. There is not so much written on contemplation, and very few retreats on this specific topic, yet in my experience it is one of the most useful and profound elements to add to our practice. Ruth and I love presenting this retreat, and we love observing the benefits it brings to those who attend.

April 24 – 28th Cancer and Beyond
For many people these days, living with cancer is an ongoing reality. So how to do that? How to live fully and well in the potential shadow of a major illness? It seems to me to be virtually essential to regularly take time out, to stand back, to re-assess, to keep on track, to get back on track when necessary, to clarify the confusion that is so easy to get into with all that is in the Press and on the net, and to perhaps most importantly, to be re-inspired and re- enthused for the journey ahead.

June 5 – 9th Deepening Your Meditation
Our only 5 day meditation retreat, this program is all about taking time out, entering into a meditative environment and being supported to deepen your experience. Then, with this deeper experience, being able to take it with you so that your ongoing practice is more rewarding, more beneficial, more enjoyable.

July 1 -7th Mindfulness and Meditation in Daily Life
We have had many requests to present a meditation retreat in Queensland, so this is it. We are fortunate to be able to use the facilities of the Chenrezig Centre – a Buddhist Retreat Centre in the hills back of the Sunshine Coast. Our retreat will focus on integrating mindfulness and meditation into daily life. I know when I first started, meditation was something I did for a few minutes (or hours) every day; but at first, I then went back to my day as if nothing much had happened, The real benefit of these things is in how they inform our daily life, so this retreat will be very Practical. We will practice mindfulness and meditation together formally, and then use the rest of our time to bring the qualities of the practice into our daily experience – in a way that we can take them home and maintain them. My sense is that for many this could well be life changing.

October 9 – 13th Meditation Teacher Training – Module 2
This is a repeat of the earlier program. These training have been booking out, and like all our retreats, it is wise to register early.

October 21 – 27th Meditation Under the Long White Cloud
The annual New Zealand retreat at the wonderful Mana Centre on the Coromandel Peninsula (see the view from Mana below), this year the focus is on using Guided Imagery techniques to combine head and heart. We hear so much these days about training the mind. Very useful, but a mind with no heart is cold and empty. Guided Imagery provides the techniques in meditation that bring the mind and heart together – a wonderful new dimension to the practice and to life.

November 2 – 9th Mind-Body Medicine and Cancer
This 8 day comprehensive program in New Zealand for people affected by cancer is the only program still to be confirmed for 2017.

November 20 – 24 Cancer and Beyond
This is a similar program to the one in April. It is part of the ongoing series of programs designed specifically for those affected by cancer. Each program is adapted specifically to the needs of those attending based upon a pre-attendance questionnaire, and the interests and needs that emerge during the program.

So, plenty of choices… Will you join us in 2017?

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