Together - monthly free online talk and meditation practice
About 12 years ago, the Openground teachers from all over Australia met for one of our wonderful weekends of learning together, and we posed
a question: What is important to you in your own practice and in the unfolding of the MSBR course? What matters most to you, now
We spent a rich day, with each teacher taking time to share what has touched them most in the mindfulness work and what felt most salient or
useful: equanimity, embodiment, savouring the present condition, emotional regulation, respect for all, undermining reactivity, and compassion
were high on the list. What matters most is - of course - always changing as the practice and life unfolds in unexpected and exciting ways.
This year 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.
Topic: A Practice of Openness or Drudgery?
“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.
With: Mary McIntyre, Counsellor and Psychotherapist
B.A .(Bus), Dip. Couns, Cert Sandplay Therapy & Symbol Work, Cert IV Architecture, MACA II,
Mary has practiced mindfulness meditation since 1988, primarily in the Insight tradition and later in other lineages. She extended a one year sabbatical to seven years in Sri Lanka. Ten years ago she came to appreciate the clinical application of mindfulness meditation for anxiety, pain and stress and is a certified teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute.- Australia New Zealand . Mary is passionate about how more engagement, gentleness ,embodiment and self-acceptance grows in our human lives. She is Brisbane-based, teaches MBSR and co-leads meditation retreats around Australia for MTI and Openground.
Sunday, 26th May 2019
7:30 - 8:30 PM (AEST)
Link to the meeting:
*please ensure your mute button is SWITCHED ON when you have joined 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
Topic: Mindful Speech
Recorded on: Sunday 28th April 2019
Link to Zoom Recording: https://bit.ly/2LeVqPu
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.
With: Mark Baxter
B.Science (Psych), Grad Dip (Psych), Registered Psychologist
Mark Baxter is the Practice Leader atThe Psychology Spot, a group private practice in Wollongong NSW. He has been teaching the MBSR course since 2013 and incorporates mindfulness-based approaches into his therapy work with adults. Mark is focused on making mindfulness easy to understand, accessible and directly relevant to everyday experience. As a group facilitator, his encouraging and compassionate nature help to connect people to their own natural wisdom. Mark has been practising as a psychologist for 15 years and still finds it completely rewarding and inspiring.
Topic: Feeling Tone
Recorded on: Sunday 24th March 2019
Link to Zoom Recording: https://bit.ly/2X6gecW
Learning 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 recognize and work with them more consciously.
With: Astrid de Ruiter
MSc (Physics), Grad Dip Counseling, Dip Holistic Counseling
Astrid is a certified MBSR teacher, with the Centre of Mindfulness, UMass having trained extensively with them and Openground. She is a counsellor/ psychotherapist and has a background in science (physics). She has been teaching mindfulness to groups and individuals since 2006, to both clinical and non-clinical populations. Astrid's personal practice of mindfulness spans a period of over 15 years within various Insight meditation traditions. Astrid teaches MBSR courses in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast. She brings a gentle yet lively and engaging presence to her teaching of mindfulness. She is strongly committed to helping participants develop their own relationship to mindfulness and mindfulness practice, so that it is personally and professionally relevant. She is gifted in her capacity to balance theory and practice, and to make the learning journey an inspiring and productive one.
Topic: Keep it simple
Recorded on: Sunday 17th February 2019
Link to Zoom recording: https://bit.ly/2UwOHjN
The 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.
With: Pamela Lovell
BSc, MSc, MA Counselling
Pamela trained with the Center for Mindfulness and Openground and is a certified MBSR teacher with the Centre of Mindfulness, UMass. She is an Organisational Development Consultant with 20 years of experience working with leaders, managers and staff to effectively handle change and improve communication and behaviours for a better workplace. Pamela’s interest in teaching MBSR came through her work with organisations where work/life balance seemed elusive and many people were finding the stress of everyday life overwhelming. Since 2007 Pamela has taught MBSR privately and in organisation settings. Pamela has 13 years of experience with mindfulness and has studied this work for 20 years.
Topic: All Parts Welcome ~ Loosening our identification through meditation
Recorded on: Sunday 13th January 2019
Link to accompanying Blog post: Click here
With: Timothea Goddard
Timothea Goddard is recognised as a pioneer in bringing MBSR to Australia over the past 14 years being the first in Australia to complete the training and be accredited as an MBSR teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical Center, USA; she maintains strong professional links there. Timothea has worked in private practice for 30 years as a psychotherapist, educator and workplace trainer, having trained in humanistic, psychodynamic and body-based psychotherapy as well as comprehensive training in MiCBT, and basic training in ACT, Breathworks, .B, and Mindful Schools. Since 2007, she has been offering MBSR training and supervision for health professionals and others.
She is a long time student of yoga, Aikido and meditation and practices in the Insight tradition. She is the Director of Openground – an Australia-wide network of clinicians and teachers offering MBSR and related programs. She is a founding director of MTI and is currently the Director of Training. She is very interested in the interface of biology and psychology and how mindfulness practice can facilitate the integration between what we experience as "body" and "mind".
She swims in the ocean every morning, practices yoga like a dervish, and loves cooking, people and straight-talking.