by Ramsey Margolis
On the third Wednesday of each month, we invite someone special, generally from outside the community and more often than from from overseas, to speak to the One Mindful Breath meeting. This is what our programme for 2018 looks like.
◼ January 17th
Bernat Font from Barcelona spoke on social media in a wonderful talk titled ‘The FaceBook Sutta (SN57.1)’. You can find a video recording of what he said and the conversation that followed here.
◼ February 21st
Anna Markey in Adelaide spoke on ‘The middle way and dead ends’ – there’s more on this here.
◼ March 21st
Bernd Kaponig from Vienna spoke on ‘selfing’, or anatta, and moha or confusion, concepts that seem to be central to the Buddha’s teaching. You watch a video recording of his talk here.
◼ April 18th
Stephen Batchelor from southwest France spoke on ‘Can Buddhism be an obstacle to practicing the dharma?’ He explored the difference between Buddhism and the dharma in the light of a secular approach to understanding and putting into practice what Gotama taught. You can watch a recording of his talk and our discussion here.
◼ May 16th
Our very own Jan Rivers spoke live on meditation from non-eastern traditions – no Zoom this month, and no recording.
◼ June 20th
Noah Rasheta from Kamas, Utah spoke on holding views lightly, and his journey out of Mormonism. You can watch a recording of his talk and the discussion that followed here.
◼ July 18th
Jonathan Wood in Brisbane offered a personal case study, speaking on desire, craving and the four tasks. You can watch a recording of his talk and our discussion here.
◼ August 15th
Jim Champion Zoomed in from Southampton and spoke on the middle way, going beyond allegory. You watch a recording of his talk here.
◼ September 19th
From Invercargill in the deep south, Leon Frampton spoke to us on the gains and losses we can expect from meditation practice. Asked, ‘What have you gained from meditation?’ the Buddha reportedly responded, ‘Nothing! However let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity and fear of old age and death.’ Examining and gently discarding the once useful but maladaptive behaviours with the help of an open practice like this, Leon believes, allows different people to speak to us in the various stages of our lives. You can watch a recording of his talk here.
◼ October 17th
Martine Batchelor spoke to us from her home in southwest France and offered some thoughts on creative awareness in meditation, and the importance of having a regular practice. You can watch a recording of her talk here.
◼ November 21st
What are you wanting to escape from? Anxiety? A busy mind? Painful memories? Life, the universe and everything? Tonight, novelist, academic and secular Buddhist teacher Winton Higgins Zoomed in from Sydney and spoke to us about mindfulness, and whether we can use it as a quick fix for what bothers us. You can watch a recording of his talk here.
◼ December 20th
Juhana Kokkonen spoke to us from from the North Pole on meditation, fiction and Santa Claus. Well, actually he’s in Helsinki – is that close enough? His talk and the conversation that followed can be watched here.
We’ll continue to have interesting speakers from outside Wellington on the third Wednesday of each month during 2019. If you’d like to listen in to these sessions live using Zoom click this link at 8pm New Zealand time on the third Wednesday of the month.