Insight Meditation Retreats in 2013 - Auckland

1. Metta / loving-kindness meditation weekend for people with some previous meditation experience

Time and dates: 5:00 p.m. Friday 14 June - 3:00 p.m. Sunday 16 June 2013

Bella Rakha Retreat Centre, 581 West Coast Rd, Oratia, Waitakere 0604

Cost: $TBA + dana*

Suitable for people with some previous insight meditation experience - e.g. have attended at least one day-long insight meditation course before

Contact: Sue Dykes, suzed42 @

2. Freeing the Heart-Mind: exploring Buddhist meditation practices for developing wisdom and compassion

Non-residential weekend retreat, 3 and 4 August 2013, Auckland

During this non-residential weekend retreat we will explore two main forms of Buddhist meditation, insight (vipassana) and loving-kindness (metta). Together, these two practices help us to cultivate more awareness of ourselves and others, so that we can live our lives with greater ease and understanding. Most of each day will be spent practising silent sitting and walking meditation, with some guided meditation instructions and opportunities for individual and group meetings with the teacher.

Time and dates:

Saturday 3 August 9:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Insight Meditation (vipassana)

Suitable for beginners as well as those with some previous insight meditation experience

Sunday 4 August 9:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Loving-kindness Meditation (metta)

Suitable for people who have already attended a day-long insight meditation retreat

Location: SOUL centre of the body and mind 18 Huia Road Titirangi Cost: $80 + dana*

(A small number of places will be available for people to attend only one of the two days for $50 + dana)

Food: Please bring your own lunch. Tea and herbal teas will be supplied.

Equipment: Some cushions and chairs will be available, but please bring your own meditation cushion or bench if you have one, and a shawl or blanket.

Contact: Jill Shepherd, jill0shepherd @

3. Wise Attention and the Heart of Loving-kindness

One-week retreat led by Greg Scharf, assisted by Jill Shepherd, 30 September - 6 October 2013, Coromandel

Insight, or Vipassana meditation is the simple direct practice of moment-to-moment observation of the mind/body process with relaxed, open and careful awareness. By learning to observe our experience from a place of spacious stillness and balance, we begin to access a natural clarity of mind and openness of heart. As our practice unfolds, we respond to the inevitable joys and sorrows of life with increasing sensitivity, stability and love. Loving-kindness or Metta meditation develops the heart’s capacity for patience, acceptance, and forgiveness as we connect with and care for ourselves and others.

This Vipassana and Metta retreat will emphasize how the unfolding of wisdom through present moment awareness opens the heart to the beautiful qualities of love and compassion The retreat will take place in Noble Silence, and the format will include instruction in both Insight and Loving-kindness meditation. It is suitable for both beginning and experienced students of meditation.

Greg Scharf is a visiting teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in the US. He has been meditating since 1992 and teaching since 2007. He has studied with Asian and Western teachers and trained as a monk in Burma. His teaching emphasizes the confluence of love and wisdom on the path to liberation. See for more information about Greg.

Time and dates: 10 a.m. Monday 30 September – 2:00 p.m. Sunday 6 October 2013

Location: Te Moata, 180 Paul Road, Tairua 3544, New Zealand

Cost: $450 (includes airfare supplement) + dana for the teachers* This retreat is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced meditators.

Contact: Jill Shepherd, jill0shepherd @


In most Buddhist traditions the teachers are not paid to teach. Instead, the teachings are given on a 'dana' basis – dana being the Pali word for generosity or giving freely. At the end of the course, participants are invited to reciprocate this generosity by offering dana to support the teacher, but there is no obligation to do so.

Teacher: Jill Shepherd

Jill began practicing insight meditation in Thailand in 1999, and since that time has lived and worked at several meditation centres and monasteries in the US, Australia, England, and Thailand. She recently spent seven years on staff at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. While there, she participated in several long retreats and Buddhist study programmes, and also offered weekly meditation classes at a nearby prison. She has been invited into the current teacher training program jointly offered by Spirit Rock and IMS in the US, and is currently teaching insight meditation in the Blue Mountains, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand.


There are a number of communities and individuals who practise insight meditation, as well as people who teach it, in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This website lets you know who they are and where they can be found, as well as where you can find sitting groups, learn to meditate, and sign up for retreats.

Contact the community or person nearest to you to find out more.

A Thought for Today

Hatred never ceases through hatred.
Through love alone does hatred cease.

— The Buddha