01 March 2022

Mind in Comfort and Ease - Ian Gawler Easter Meditation Retreat

Join groups in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle; Online option as well

Easter is approaching - a natural time for introspection. This year for the first time, I will present a meditation retreat open to the public based upon the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teachings I have been studying and practicing for decades. 

With so much turmoil around us at present, there may never be a better time to step back a little, relax, allow the mind to settle, and to reconnect with our own inner peace. So this week, details on the style of meditation and the retreat, but first

   Thought for the day

      Even if you have a lot of money and power and fame, 

       You can still suffer very deeply. 

        If you do not have enough peace and compassion within you, 

         There is no way you can be happy.

                    Thich Nhat Hahn

So much turmoil on the outside… The pandemic continues to affect the way we live, there is the constant threat of environmental devastation highlighted most recently by the tragic floods in NSW and Queensland, there is the horror of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and then our own issues – family, communities, finances. So much change and uncertainty. So many people suffering deeply.

It is so easy to become swept up in our own thoughts and emotions as one challenge is heaped upon another. It is as if our mind can become lost in all that is going on “out there”, and we lose any sense of peace and clarity.

This is where meditation has so much to offer. When we start to meditate, we learn to turn our mind inwardly, and there we can make a great discovery. Just as a great hurricane has at its centre a space of calm stillness, so too do we have in our core this place of peace and tranquillity. 

And the good news is we do not need to manufacture this inner peace or create it through some fancy technique. Real meditation is more like an unfolding. It is like bringing our mind home; bringing it back from its engagement with the chaos, to experience its own natural peace and clarity that always was, always will be there.

And if you doubt this to be so, if you are yet to experience this “inner sanctuary”, meditation provides the means whereby you can explore, experiment and find the truth for yourself. 

This Easter retreat will be based on the shamatha teachings. 

In the Tibetan tradition of Dzogchen there are 4 levels of meditation practice and we begin with shamatha. 

Shamatha translates as “calm abiding” or resting calmly. 

The practice involves following clear and simple instructions that reliably help us to let go of worry, stress and anxiety while enabling us to find this inner peace. And in doing so, we become familiar with this inner truth, the truth of our own peace and clarity. 

Then, from this base, we can extend our peace and clarity into how we live our daily lives. This can be truly transforming, and having witnessed so many people turn their lives around for the better using these techniques explains why I am so passionate about teaching them.

The retreat itself will be presented by Rigpa, the Tibetan Buddhist organisation I have been involved with for over 35 years. You will be able to join myself and Ruth in Rigpa’s Brunswick Centre (Melbourne), join other like-minded people in Rigpa’s Sydney (Newtown) and Newcastle Centres, or gather live online.

For much of the retreat we will practice together with some guidance from myself.

There will also be

. Teachings on how to practice and what to expect

. Many practice tips – the subtle points that can make a big difference

. Guidance on how to settle a restless or painful body

. How to settle a restless or agitated mind; and how to manage strong emotions from a meditator’s perspective

. Problem solving for new people and those who have been meditating a good while – good opportunities for question and answers.

Please do invite your family, friends and colleagues.

This retreat is suitable for anyone who would like to practice in the supportive company of a community of meditators; and will particularly benefit :

Anyone who wants to develop and deepen their meditation practice - whether you are experienced or not; a Rigpa student or not.

People who have been enjoying Rigpa’s 20 Minutes a Day Meditation program

Those who attend Inspiring a Revolution in Your Heart and Mind - A transformative course currently in progress at Rigpa presenting the ancient wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism that can be joined at regular intervals

Rigpa All Encompassing Path students

The event will be available online for those who are unable to get to a centre. 

DATES and SCHEDULE   -   Easter 2022

9.15am Friday 15th April to 4pm Monday 18th April 

Saturday and Sunday 9.15am to 6.00pm with good breaks throughout the days



If you are able to join at a centre in your city we look forward to greeting you in person at these locations:

Melbourne: 803 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
Sydney: 158 Australia Street, Newtown

Newcastle: Unit 18/26 Oakdale Rd, Gateshead

Ian will be present in the Melbourne Centre; streamed live to Sydney and Newcastle, along with those attending online


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