One Mindful Breath is a secular dharma practice community in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

If you’re wanting a practice of meditation that is secular and framed by Buddhist ethical and philosophical values, welcome to One Mindful Breath.

Find out how simple meditation can be

Meditation is not about trying to ‘stop your thoughts’. It is, though, a useful skill for living a calmer and less reactive life. Whether you want to:

  • learn to practice mindfulness

  • deepen or refresh your meditation practice

  • find a friendly group of people to meditate with, or

  • dip a sceptical toe into the stream of secular Buddhism

come to the Friends’ Centre in Moncrieff St, Mt Victoria on a Wednesday evening. If you’ve never meditated before you might like to come on the first Wednesday of the month which is our beginners’ session. Doors open at 7:15pm.

As well as our Wednesday evening meetings, we run daylong workshops, organise study grups and more – take a look at our Events and follow us on Facebook.

you can Just turn up

People with all levels of meditation experience are welcome to all our sessions, including total, complete and absolute beginners, and there’s no such thing as a silly question.

While there’s no charge to attend any of our events, a contribution towards future events is gladly accepted.

“When we find it hard to follow meditation instructions we think that the problem is ours, and has nothing to do with the instructions. Perhaps these aren’t the right instructions for us, we may think. In reality, meditation is about discovering what works for us and what doesn’t, and this we have to see for ourselves. No-one can tell us the right way to meditate, so we can’t do it wrong.

— Ramsey Margolis

Our practice is a simple one

We sit silently, in stillness, on chairs rather than on cushions on the floor, aware of whatever is happening for us at that moment. If you’d prefer to sit on the floor on a cushion or a stool and you have what you need, you’re welcome to bring it along.

Watching the breath as it enters and leaves the body, we may become aware of sounds, or sensations in the body, or take note of our thoughts and feelings. Walking meditation is another practice we do from time to time, and instructions are offered before we start.

And at the end of some of our meditation sessions, we may spend four or five minutes reflecting on what happened during our meditation session, journalling what we can recall, following this with a discussion.

You can download really simple meditation instructions to use at home here, or if you prefer just listen to the instructions below.

our Values

Valuing community, care, creativity and compassion, we think of ourselves as a community of practitioners who are dedicated to developing a relationship between a secular approach to Buddhism and an ethical, compassionate engagement with all beings on this planet. In practice, we do this with:

  • Concentration

  • Generosity

  • Gaining insight through focused self-observation, and

  • The cultivation of states of compassion and unconditional friendliness, or love, based on that insight. This compassion translates into action in the world.

With an understanding that a secular Buddhist approach is more than simply seated meditation, we develop our practice around the four tasks the Buddha taught his followers. These are to:

  1. Experience life

  2. Let go of instinctive reactivity

  3. See the stopping of that reactivity, and

  4. Act: respond, say, see, set a direction in our lives, cultivate a path – ‘the eightfold path’ – in which we work on eight aspects of our lives.

It’s essentially a positive feedback loop, rather than a climb to ever greater heights (or depths) of ... whatever. When we pause, and let our mind rest, we feel better – there’s no great mystery in this, the only mystery is why we don’t do it more often.