Free monthly online talk and practice

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

Mary McIntyre - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher

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:

Past talks and practices


Topic: Mindful Speech

Recorded on: Sunday 28th April 2019
Link to Zoom Recording:

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

Mark Baxter - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher - Wollongong


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:

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

Astrid de Ruiter - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher - Brisbane

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:

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

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

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.




What People Are Saying

I have learnt a lot about myself through the MBSR course. Coming from a place of feeling very disconnected to myself, I now feel I am engaged and listening to what I need, which then has allowed me to handle what life has to offer in a positive way.

Anonymous, 2018

Since doing your course (Living with Wisdom and Compassion) my major transformation has been in my daily work as a family doctor. Instead of being the best doctor I can so that patients will admire me and appreciate me I am aware that I am regularly “putting myself in my patients shoes.” I want their lives to be better and their suffering to diminish. Whether that is through my doctoring or something not related to me is not relevant.



Ingrid (GP), 2018

Understanding mindfulness has changed my life.



Lee-Anne , 2018

It was great to be able to explore the strength of compassion, both internally and externally, through Living with Wisdom and Compassion. This course builds on what MBSR began. While it had its challenging moments, I came away from it feeling stress-relief thanks to my heart softening yet strengthening. And from the ability to see that even though we are all unique individuals, and we may express ourselves in wildly different ways, we all have the same needs. The better I can get at understanding those needs the more effective I can be in helping myself and others. I highly recommend this course to everyone.

Lisa, 2018

Bravo Ingrid Jolley and Openground! Thank you for your soothing and strengthening MBSR course. I’m feeling grounded, curious and hopeful about the future. I have the tools I need to lead an authentic, fulfilling life. 


Roz , 2018