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Free monthly online talk and practice

Explore and practice with an Openground teacher.

Free monthly online talk & practice

Explore and practice with an Openground teacher

Each month on Zoom, an Openground teacher will share something of what matters to them in their world and work of mindfulness, as well as leading a practice together. You can be there live online, or watch it later. All of the talks are listed below.

Openground teachers come from diverse backgrounds and share a passion for mindfulness meditation, people and the conundrum of how to live well and reduce suffering for self and others. They are a rich resource in terms of practical skills, knowledge and wisdom.

Learn more about a specific topic and practice at home

Hear more about a specific topic of interest to you and practice from the comfort of your own home on a Sunday night.

Meet the Openground teachers

Get to know the diverse and wonderful group of Openground teachers



Going from Arrgghhh to Ahhhhh - Breathing Practices in Everyday Life.

muppettWhen we get stressed there are often sounds associated with the stress response.  At times of frustration and overwhelm I can sometimes be heard making a noise something like arrrgghhhhh.  My husband (a non- meditator) often points out - 'how about you go from arrggghhhh to ahhhhhhhh.'  Sometimes I try this, and can feel the release of tension and bracing in the body as the arrggghhhh becomes ahhhhhhhhh, and wonder why I don't do this practice more often... 
Tonight we will have a look at some of the physiology of breathing, the wave like nature of the breathing cycle, as it is felt in the body, and have a bit of an explore of sounds of stress and the sounds of ease and release.  Bring a pen and paper - (which we may or maynot use)

With Dr Jennie Broughton

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Facilitator, B Med, Dip. Paediatrics, Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

jenny broughtonJennie is a GP, currently working in hospital settings in Newcastle. She came to mindfulness practice as good medicine for herself and to address the increasing stress, from worry and anxiety, she could see in her patients. Between starting medicine, on finishing school, and restarting again in the 1990’s she trained and worked in improvisational community theatre and education, travelled widely including the privilege of living with the rainforest nomads of Borneo - which continues to inform her life. During her adult life she has studied andpracticed meditation in various forms in India USA and Australia for over 35 years.  Jennie brings this diverse background to her teaching and loves the learning Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) brings to participants and herself. She has run a meditation group for 21 years, maintains an ongoing mindfulness practice,regularly attends retreats and trainings in the western insight tradition. She has recently completed a 2 year mindfulness teacher training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, two of America’s senior mindfulness teachers. Her website is 

Date: Sunday, 25 August 2019
Time: 7:30 - 8:30 pm (AEST)
Link to meeting: 

*Please ensure your mute button is SWITCHED ON when you join the meeting.

 What you'll need

  • Zoom app on phone or computer. Download here
  • A high-speed broadband connection
  • A webcam
  • A microphone and speakers (built-in or separate headset with microphone)
  • If using Windows, a DirectX 9.0c compatible video card

Past Talks and Practices

Presence and subtle aggression in our practice

With Timothea Goddard

Recorded Sunday, 14 July, 2019

It is natural to respond to unpleasant experience with a subtle stress reaction of rejecting and an impulse of pushing away.  In this session we will explore the fine line between acceptance of what is here in the moment and the subtle aggression of wishing things were different.   The practice offered will be lying down, and involve both stillness and movement.

We will also explore this edge with a practice from Tara Brach of literally saying “yes” and “no” to our experience in the moment and seeing the results of fighting our experience or welcoming it.


The Science of Self-Compassion

With Heather Albrecht

Recorded: Sunday, 23 June, 2019

Without the science behind self-compassion I never would have considered it. Self-compassion felt too gooey and indulgent and I didn’t have time for any of that. Yet today self-compassion it is one of my foundational practices. I’m more resilient, more motivated, and definitely kinder ~ and not just to myself. 

There’s an abundance of research about the power of self-compassion to help us cope better with stress, anxiety and pressure, to bounce back from failures and setbacks, to cope better with grief and loss, and to handle any type of emotional or physical pain more effectively. 

I’ll be sharing the most interesting bits from the research yet most importantly come and join me to experience a variety of self-compassion practices. It’s well worth knowing how to develop this superpower in yourself.

A Practice of Openness or Drudgery?

With Mary McIntyre

maryMcIntyre 300
“People are geniuses, if we let them be.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Meditation practice can be instantly effective and a relief for some and fairly hard work for the rest of us. Guided meditations teach us to focus our attention in particular ways keeping us “on track”, but what next?

Open Awareness meditation is a wonderful antidote to wrangling with our attention and boxing ourselves in. And yet, what to do with all this space and choice? Is there a way to practice without tension and constriction? And how can our practice be allowing and nourishing and not-such-a-battlefield? Bring your journal and pen for some (optional) post meditation reflection.

Date: Sunday, 26th May, 2019
Link to zoom recording:

Mary will be holding an 'Open Awareness' meditation retreat with Linda Modaro in Wilton, NSW at 
Brahma Kumaris Retreat Centre from 21 - 24 November 2019.
More info

Mindful Speech

With Mark Baxter

Mark Baxter v2

We sometimes think of mindfulness as a way to understand and harmonise with our own conscious awareness. A practice to help calm automatic reactivity, relax our grip on habitual inner patterns and open up to a broader awareness of experience. The practice seems to be about “looking in” but we all know our lives are defined in relation to other people. The ones we love, the ones we work with, the ones we play with and the ones we struggle with.
Our speech is an important vehicle for developing relationships that promote honesty, concord, trust and authenticity. It’s also a weapon that can incite gossip, conflict and harm. Mindful speech is such an important and challenging part of the practice. This talk will explore intentional, mindful speech as a fruitful and difficult relationship with values in action.

Date: Sunday, 28th April, 2019
Time: 7:30 - 8:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney time
Link to zoom recording:

Feeling Tone

With Astrid de Ruiter

astrid de ruiterLearning to work consciously with feeling tone is a subtle but very important aspect of our mindfulness practice. What is meant by feeling tone? Each experience we have has a particular quality to it: it feels pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. We are deeply conditioned to automatically react to feeling tones, with approach, avoidance or disinterest (in that order). Recognising feeling tones in our practice and in daily life and learning to respond to them more consciously is a powerful way to bring more peace, balance and wellbeing into our life.

In this live session, we will be exploring the concept of feeling tone a bit more, and we will do some practices to recognise and work with them more consciously.

Date: Sunday, 24th March, 2019
Time: 7:30 - 8:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney time
Link to zoom recording:

Keep it Simple

With Pamela Lovell

pamela lovellThe practice reflects on the type of attitude(s) we bring to our practice of meditation. Some of us may feel a sense of drudgery when we come to meditate, others joy. Sometimes we may approach the practice as something to check off our ‘to do’ list. It is useful for us to reflect and even explore the effect of our attitude.

You’ll be invited to practice tonight with an attitude of keeping it simple and easy. We’ll attend to all the ‘usual suspects’ of wandering mind, uncooperative body, intrusive sounds, sensations and feelings. We’ll apply the attitude of ‘simple and easy’ and see what happens. I hope you’ll join me for this exploration of joy and playfulness we can bring to the practice.

Recorded on: Sunday 17th February 2019
Link to Zoom Recording:

All Parts are Welcome - Loosening our identification through meditation

With Timothea Goddard

Recorded: 17 February 2019

Most of us come to mindfulness practice to deal with something we don’t want. It may be anxiety or pain, or lack of direction, or a grief or depression. It may a sense of feeling out of control with our children or being unfulfilled professionally. It may be a dull sense of loneliness or a lack of connection in life.When these pains are present, it can be hard not to identify with them. They can be strong and tend to dominate our experience and relationships.

Mindfulness meditation offers us an evidence-based way to approach these kinds of pains. It offers a practice where “all parts are welcome” and we can learn how to explore and not identify so strongly with these aspects of our experience. If we bring a wise and heartfelt attention to them, we begin to see them not as fixed identities but as simply parts of ourselves which are open to investigation, transformation and healing. 

Link to News article: All parts are welcome

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