On the third Wednesday of each month we invite a secular dharma practitioner from outside Wellington to speak to One Mindful Breath on a topic that interests them, and which will engage us. This is what our programme for 2019 looks like – so far. You might like to bookmark this page and come back to it as it will be updated from time to time.
Jan 16th • Lorna Edwards (Cardiff, Wales) invited us to share our experiences of being secular dharma students/practitioners in Wellington, Cardiff and beyond. You can watch the conversation we had with Lorna on YouTube.
Feb 13th • Winton Higgins (Sydney, Australia – in person) spoke on secular Buddhism and the western search for meaning. Tracking the ‘know thyself’ aphorism from the ancient Egyptians, through the ancient Greeks (oracle at Delphi) and early Christianity, he showed how these lead to modern iterations, including secular philosophy and psychoanalysis – and the supreme importance of the inner life, the reflective life. His notes can be found here.
Mar 20th • Bernat Font (Barcelona, Spain) spoke on self-respect. He asked us: ‘Why do we sit? What motivation is there to be ethical? How do we prevent self-compassion from turning into self-pity?’ For Bernat, a response to all these questions is self-respect. The early texts call this ‘to love the self’. But, wait a minute … didn’t Buddhism say there is no self‽’ You can find Bernat’s talk on Youtube.
Apr 17th • Martine Batchelor (Aquitaine, France) spoke to us on topics raised in her most recent book, What is this? Ancient questions for modern minds, which was due to be published just days after this talk. Watch Martine’s talk on YouTube.
May 15th • Anna Markey (Goolwa, South Australia) spoke to us on the topic, ‘Dharma practice. What am I doing this for, again?’. All of us share the same dilemma: we are born, we live, we die. So what do we do with the bit in the middle … the only part in which we have choices? What Anna had to say about this dilemma seemed to raise more questions than answer. Unfortunately, we were unable to record this wonderful conversation.
Jun 19th • Bill Gayner (Toronto, Canada) spoke on emotion-focused mindfulness therapy (EFMT). He has developed this approach, in which mindful experiencing integrates with experiential and emotional processes. The approach enhances how we make sense of our feelings, resolve inner conflicts and unfinished business, navigate our lives, as well as enabling us to cultivate growth and fulfilment. Watch Bill’s talk and our conversation on YouTube.
Bill works in the Sinai Health System in Toronto where he provides individual psychotherapy for people living with HIV and mindfulness group training for HIV+ gay men, psychiatric outpatients, and hospital employees. He has trained mental health professionals in mindfulness for more than a decade and is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. You can read more about EFMT on mindfulfeeling.ca and download a copy of his recent paper on EFMT here.
Aug 21st • Lenorë Lambert (Sydney, Australia) will be speaking to us on undermining reactivity. The energy behind secularbuddhism.org.au, she is an entrepreneur, elite Masters athlete, and dharma teacher. She has served as the President of Sydney Insight Meditators, and for over a decade has run a secular Buddhist sangha on the northern beaches of Sydney. Her focus is dharma practice in the cut and thrust of daily life, whether that’s the corporate world, the athletics track, or the modern ‘every day’. Despite running 400m in under a minute, she is also the President of PAR – People Against Rushing – an imaginary organisation that exists to help us slow down and live more mindfully. There’s more on this here.
Sept 18th • Stephen Batchelor (Aquitaine, France) on a topic to be confirmed.
Oct 9th • Dave Smith (Paonia, Colorado) of Secular Dharma Foundation on a topic to be confirmed.
Nov 20th • Bernd Kaponig (Vienna, Austria) will speak on emotions.
Dec 18th • Gay Watson (Devon, England) will speak on emptiness.