This retreat will be based on Theravada Buddhist meditation practices. It will focus on training in the cultivation of stillness/serenity and insight meditation. Instruction in the four heart qualities (loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity) will also be provided. There will be evening talks and workshop style morning instruction with Mal as well as morning yoga sessions with Lisa. Short individual interviews with Mal will be possible after Monday 18th.
Mal Huxter (MAPS, AABCAP) is a clinical psychologist in private practice. He is the author of “Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness.” Routledge 2016. http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Heart-Mind-Mindfulness-Ancient/dp/1138851353 A practicing psychologist for 27 years, he has been teaching mindfulness and the four heart qualities to the general public, a range of cultures, clinical populations, therapists and other professionals since 1991. He began training in Buddhist meditation practices in 1975, living in Thailand as a Buddhist monk for two years in the late 1970’s. As well as Theravada he has trained in other Buddhist and spiritual traditions. Website: www.malhuxter.com
Lisa Brown is a Psychologist, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) facilitator, Yoga teacher and mother to four children, two dogs, two horses and a goat. She currently works in private practice in Bellingen and Coffs Harbour, and facilitates Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction groups and Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes.
Meditation involves the cultivation of mindfulness and focused attention. Insight and serenity are the two aspects of Buddhist meditation. The four heart qualities (benevolent or loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity) can be cultivated as meditation practices and ways of relating to oneself and others.
Mindfulness is considered as a meditation practice, a way of being, a cognitive style, a mental skill, a core therapeutic process and a coping skill. Mindfulness has become a powerful psychological strategy for an array of mental health presentations as well as a practices to increase psychological wellbeing and enhance effectiveness in areas that include parenting, education, relationships, the workplace and more. Some of the core contemporary third wave approaches that use mindfulness include: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Developing focused attention or concentration is a key component of most meditation practices as well as many psychotherapeutic interventions. When cultivated systematically it can result in relaxation, a calm mind, a peaceful heart and profound transformations in consciousness.
The health and relationship benefits of compassion and loving kindness are becoming evident with current scientific research. The development of therapeutic and educational approaches such as Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT), Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB), Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) and Rick Hanson’s Positive Neuroplasticity Training (PNT) are gaining popularity with therapists and educators because they work to reduce mental and emotional suffering, harmonise interpersonal relationships, increase wellbeing, peace, joy and generally enhance functional agility in our complex modern world.
Two and a half millennia ago the Buddha taught the meditative development of mindfulness . (satipatthana-Pali) and concentration (Samadhi) as well as the four heart qualities as part of the eight fold path to awakening.
According to Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, a one-line description of mindfulness is: “to remember to pay attention to what is occurring in one’s immediate experience with care and discernment”. The Buddha named the four divine abodes in Pali (the language closest to what he spoke): metta (warm friendliness or loving kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (appreciative or empathetic joy) and upekkhā (deep peacefulness or equanimity).
In the time of the Buddha mindfulness and samadhi supported by and including the four heart qualities were taught in order to gain psychological freedom. The heart qualities in particular were taught in ways that would provide antidotes for unhealthy, divisive and destructive relationships towards self and others. Like medicine for an illness, the different qualities and different ways to cultivate them were prescribed dependent on the nature of the afflictive relationship.
The fees for this retreat (outlined below) will cover food /accommodation and contribute towards the teachers’ accommodation and transport. The fees include an option for dana.
In accordance with Buddhist traditions, the fee for this retreat is dana based. Dana refers to the economy of generosity where the teachings are given freely and those who receive the teaching have the opportunity to reciprocate with a financial gift that they feel is suitable, after the retreat has finished.
General aims of the retreat:
- To provide the opportunity to experience first hand the cultivation of insight, stillness, serenity and the heart qualities (loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity).
- To free oneself and others from psychological suffering and cultivate wellbeing and genuine happiness.
- To enhance the skills and understanding of anyone wishing to develop these qualities as well as provide new ideas for therapists, programme leaders and other professionals who already use mindfulness, compassion, loving kindness and related skills as part of their therapeutic and coaching repertoire.
Yarrawarra Aboriginal Culturaly Centre, 69 Red Rock Road, Corindi. Yarrawarra, meaning “happy meeting place”, is an Aboriginal cultural, conference and
accommodation centre and is proudly owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis by Aboriginal people, predominantly from the Gumbaynggirr language group.
Registration Options available:
Prices include food, accommodation and administration costs, the teachings by Mal and Lisa are provided on a Dana basis
Single Rooms – there are a limited number of single rooms available for this retreat. Single rooms will have access to shared bathroom facilities
Camping – please bring your own camping equipment, you will have access to bathroom facilities and meals will be provided. There are large park like grounds at the venue.
Shared Rooms – all shared rooms have 4 beds in them some are bunk beds.
3 day tickets will be from Friday 15th November to Lunch time Monday 18th November.
Day Only Tickets/ Non Residential Tickets – include all meals, please book these tickets for consecutive days only.