Weekly Healing Meditation Group
A support group for people with illnesses and their carers or friends
Wednesdays ~ 12:30pm to 3:00pm ~
If you are interested in attending, please email the TI Office
Fee: $20 per session ($15 concession)
Although the basis of the meditations and discussions is Tibetan Buddhism, and the place where the classes are held is a Tibetan Buddhist Centre, we believe that our presentations are accessible to all, whether one has a spiritual tradition or not.
Our purpose is to encourage the further development of peace and harmony in one's life which can lead to the healing of body and mind.
The focus of the classes is to support people with serious illnesses and to develop meditational skills that will support them in their goal of healing. By "healing" we mean the essential healing of the mind. When the mind experiences wholeness, there is peace and acceptance of the whole of ourselves.
This group is a development of the
Healing Meditation Program which has
been running at Tara Institute since 1991
The program runs over a 12-week period. Each week there is an opportunity to develop more skill and confidence in meditation. There is also a discussion topic based on introducing participants to basic Buddhist concepts which are relevant to health and healing.
It is anticipated that the topics will give participants the chance to understand these fundamental ideas in a gentle and conducive environment.
"As long as we ignore its inner cause, we have no real cure for disease"
~ Lama Zopa RInpoche ~
In August 1991 Lama Zopa Rinpoche held the first Healing Meditation Course at Tara Institute. This was a new initiative of Rinpoche’s and he limited attendance to people with a serious life-threatening illness. That first course ran for five days, there were eight participants plus a few of Rinpoche’s older students from Tara Institute. Rinpoche’s teachings over those five days formed the core of his book, “Ultimate Healing.” The course was life changing for every one who attended and at its conclusion Rinpoche asked me to keep the initiative alive at Tara Institute and keep a regular healing meditation programme going.
In August this year Tara Institute celebrated 26 years of continuous service to the community through the Healing Meditation Programme. Now we are in our 26th year it is a good time to rejoice in the longevity of the programme and all the people who have kept it going since its inception:
Venerable Pende Hawter, Venerable Kaye Miner, Venerable Chonyi, Venerable Carolyn Lawler, Venerable Rigsal Venerable Lhamo and Sandra Kinread.
Allys Andrews brings her long Dharma experience and practice in co-facilitating the group with Bob each Wednesday afternoon.
A great debt is owed to the people who do the hard nuts and bolts work supporting the facilitators and who have really kept the group functioning so well over the years.
For me it has been a pleasure and a joy to work so closely with so many wonderful people over the years.
The focus of the group has enlarged a little since Rinpoche’s first course to include anyone who has a significant and concerning health issue and their partners. Each week between 25 and 35 people attend and while the majority are cancer patients there is a wide range of other illnesses including MS, CFS, Parkinson’s disease, auto-immune conditions, chronic and acute pain, depression and anxiety, and acute and prolonged grief.
Each week this programme draws to Tara Institute a range of people who would not normally be interested in attending a Buddhist centre. It offers them a reliable place to learn and practise the inner art of meditation, and to build a meaningful life for themselves.
If you have a friend, neighbour or family member struggling with a major health concern then it is possible the programme may be of help to them.
For more info about the Healing Meditation Programme see the article which appeared online in a 2008 issue of Mandala Magazine.
Bob Sharples is a psychologist who worked closely with Ian Gawler at his Yarra Junction centre for 11 years until November 2001. Bob has been a member of Tara Institute for over 27 years. He has had many years of clinical experience bringing together his Buddhist training and his professional work as a psychologist. He brings a wealth of experience and a great enthusiasm to the group.
Bob Sharple's book: "Meditation: Calming the Mind" explains the fundamental techniques of meditation, including what meditation is, why it is helpful and how to get started. You will learn about relaxation, why 'mindfulness' is important in developing a meditation practice and how it can improve the quality of your life. The techniques used are simple and easy to understand; techniques developed over centuries by great meditation masters. Included are special meditations for:
developing loving kindness and compassion
dealing with difficult times
This book, as well as Bob's meditation CDs are available in the Tara Institute Bookshop.