What to expect at our meetings

We meet every fortnight on a Wednesday evening from 7.15 – 9.15pm in Hamilton East.

We also offer a mindfulness day on a Sunday every few months.

If you are joining us for the first time, it is helpful to arrive early and let us know beforehand, so we can arrange a time to introduce you to our practice
and answer your questions.

Meeting Format

7.15 – 7:45pm: Welcome
We all take collective responsibility for mindfully and quietly setting up the meditation space.
Followed by time to enjoy a cup of tea together and connect socially. (to save time on washing dishes, and for covid hygiene, please bring your own mug)
Please arrive by this time, as for security reasons the doors will be locked at 7:45 pm

7.45 – 9.00pm: Practice time
We will enjoy a variety of practices including the following……

  • singing Plum village songs.
  • mindful movement or walking meditation
  • sitting meditation
  • Eating meditation, deep relaxation, four postures, metta meditation, tea meditation.
  • Dharma tutorial: Read an extract from a book. Time for questions, responses, and discussion.

See below for more information on these practices.

9:00 – 9:15pm: Packing up 
We all take collective responsibility for mindfully restoring the room.

“Don’t do any task in order to get it over with.
Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention.
Enjoy and be one with the work.”

Walking Meditation

This helps to quieten our mind and relax our body.
We walk just for walking’s sake, no longer in a hurry.
We coordinate our steps with our breathing.

“The true miracle is not walking on water, but simply walking on this earth.”

Sitting Meditation (semi-guided)

Sitting still, following our breath and calming the body allows our mind’s activities to quieten and settle.
A still mind is a clear mind.
This clarity can bring us peace, understanding and contentment.

Mindfulness of the Body: The Four Postures

An opportunity to practice walking, standing, sitting and lying down with mindfulness.
We choose the same number of breaths to mindfully bring our full awareness to each posture, before moving to the next posture. 

When walking, I know “I am walking”
When standing, I know “I am standing”
When sitting, I know “I am sitting”
When lying down, I know “I am lying down”.”

Metta Meditation
Metta meditation is also known as loving-kindness meditation. It involves reciting positive phrases toward yourself and other beings, in order to cultivate kindness for all beings, including yourself. It’s especially useful for reducing negative emotions toward yourself and other people.

Tea meditation
A tea meditation involves being mindful and present during all aspects of the tea ritual, including making the tea, drinking the tea, and being aware of the effects on your mind and body. It can help decrease stress and anxiety and can increase your calm and focus.

Dharma tutorial
Dharma means teachings. An opportunity to learn more about Buddhist philosophy, and the teaching’s of Thich Nhat Hanh. We will read a short essay and then open it up to discussion and questions. Rather than this being an intellectual exercise, we will explore how this teaching applies to your life or how you could practice with it.

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention, when mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”

What to bring

  • A meditation cushion or stool – we have some for new people to try.
  • Chairs are also available.
  • A donation.
  • Warm socks or slippers in winter.

Mindful Manners

We invite those who practice with us to follow these simple suggestions as a way of nourishing our collective practice of mindfulness and consideration.

  • Please remove your shoes and leave them in the foyer before entering the meditation hall.
  • Please check to make sure your cell phone is turned off.
  • As we often sit on the floor or enjoy some gentle movements, please wear comfortable suitable clothing.
  • Please refrain from wearing strongly scented products that might disturb those with sensitivities.
  • Please arrive before 7:45pm, as for security reasons the doors will be locked once we begin our evening practice.
  • If you need to leave early, please leave in the transition times between activities so as not to disturb others.