Sunday, April 26, 2009

Victoria Vipassana Community Sit - May 3rd

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Helga Beer Yoga Studio
202 - 1600 Bay Street
(Shakespeare St. entrance)

On May 3rd, join us for a 45 minute sit followed by a taped dharma talk "Intention" by Tara Brach. Isabelle House will facilitate.

For details:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Victoria Vipassana Community Special Non-Residential Weekend for New Meditators

The Victoria Vipassana Community is hosting a special non-residential weekend for new meditators on Sat and Sun, May 30 and 31, 2009 from 9am to 4:30pm each day at Goward House, 2495 Arbutus Rd., Victoria BC.

Heather Martin will lead this non-residential weekend meditation retreat. Using a workshop format, she will provide a basic introduction to Mindfulness Meditation (also known as insight or vipassana meditation). The weekend will include periods of instruction, explanation, and practice, with ample opportunity for questions and clarification. Heather will describe both the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of this profound yet simple practice, which benefits us in many obvious and immediate ways. You will learn how to reduce the stress and anxiety in which we so often find ourselves, while increasing your well-being and inner calm, and ability to respond appropriately and kindly to each other. This retreat is offered particularly for those new to or unfamiliar with meditation who are interested in learning about this brilliantly effective skill, and for those who have some understanding of the practice, but would like a more thorough foundation.


Please complete the registration form below and email it back to the registrar, Rod House at with the word 'register' in the subject line. Once you have registered, he will contact you with more specifics about the retreat (what to bring, etc.). We strongly encourage people to set aside both days for this retreat, although there will be space for people only able to do one day. Preference will be given to new meditators attending both days. If you can only come for one day you would benefit most by attending Saturday instead of Sunday, because Sunday will provide longer periods of practice and build on Saturday’s teachings and discussion.


The Victoria Vipassana Community uses the practice of generosity or dana (dana is the word for generosity from the language in the Buddha's time) to cover the costs of putting on the retreat (costs for rental, teacher's travel etc.) For your information, we suggest a $30 donation for the weekend to cover our costs. Any funds we receive over and above our costs are used for scholarships for those members of our community who wish to attend residential retreats but are unable to afford retreat fees. If $30 is beyond your means, please feel free to come and simply donate whatever is comfortable given your means. There is no need to submit your donation in advance; there will be a basket set out at the retreat for you to do so. The teachings are offered freely by the teacher in the Buddhist tradition of over 2500 years. If you feel the teachings have been of value to you, there will be an opportunity to also practise generosity or dana for the teachings at the end of the retreat; this money will go directly to the teacher. There will be another basket out at the retreat for this, and more information about dana will be provided at the retreat.


Heather Martin lives on Salt Spring Island is the teacher for Salt Spring Island, Bellingham and Victoria Vipassana communities. She began practicing meditation in 1973. She has been practicing vipassana meditation in the Thai Forest and Burmese tradition of Theravadan Buddhism since 1981. Heather has been taught by many of the western teachers from the Insight Meditation Society, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California, and Gaia House in the UK, including: Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and Christina Feldman. Trained by Jack Kornfield, Heather has been teaching meditation since 2001 both in Canada and The United States.


Victoria Vipassana Community

2-day non-residential retreat for new meditators

Date: May 30 & 31, 2009

Teacher: Heather Martin

Place: Goward House

2495 Arbutus Rd., Victoria, BC

Thank you for your interest in our upcoming retreat. Please complete the following form and return it to the registrar, Rod House at as soon as possible. Rod will respond by sending further information about the retreat.

1. Name:

2. Email address (or street address, if no email):

3. Phone number:

4. Will you be attending both Saturday and Sunday? Yes or No

If no, please specify which day you will be attending?

4. Are you able to offer another meditator a ride? Yes or No

If yes, please indicate your neighbourhood or geographical location.

5. Do you need a ride? Yes or No

If yes, please indicate your neighbourhood or geographical location

6. Are you able to billet out of town meditators? Yes or No

If yes, please specify how many.

7. Do you need to be billeted? Yes or No.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pema Chődron “Choosing a Fresh Alternative”

The Victoria Shambhala Centre invites you to join us for
a series of six talks on DVD

Pema Chődron

“Choosing a Fresh Alternative”

Tuesday evenings in May & June 2009

Sitting practice from 7 pm – 8 pm, followed by the talk

May 5 Practice the Three Difficulties. Acknowledging that you're hooked; doing something different; and making this a way of life. Becoming enthusiastic about not sowing the seeds of suffering.

May 12 Shenpa and the Pause. Emphasis on 'acknowledging that you are hooked'. The eight worldly dharmas.

May 19 Karmic Seeds. Sowing seeds in the basic ground of alaya. Burning up the sees of resistance. Connecting with the immediacy of our experience.

May 26 Loving-Kindness to Ourselves. Giving your full, direct attention to anything is the same as expressing loving-kindness. Gentleness. Access to the vast blue sky.

June 2 Bringing Together Practice with the Teachings. The different degrees of shenpa when we're meditating. Working with hope and fear.

June 9 Choosing a Fresh Alternative. "Do something different". Be curious.
A donation of $5.00 for each session
would be appreciated

Pema Chődron is a leading exponent of teachings on meditation and how they apply to everyday life. She is widely known for her charming and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences. Pema is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners.

#1-2033 Belmont Avenue, Victoria BC V8R 3Z7

Friday, April 03, 2009

Introduction to Zen Meditation (4-week) - Victoria Zen Centre

May 9-30, 2009 – Saturdays 9:00-11:30am

July 6-27, 2009 – Mondays 7:00-9:30pm

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, this is the course for you. For people that are seeking to reduce stress, clarify a busy mind, improve focus and awareness, boost immune function, improve sleeping patterns, or gain insight into the mental, physical, and emotional habits that are preventing you from living life fully, this course offers a gradual combination of study and practice, individual and group interaction, and personal guidance that will provide a strong foundation to experience the profound change that Zen meditation practice offers. The fee for this four-week course is $295 and includes:

  • Four weekly Sessions for a total of ten hours of class time.
  • Small class size (max.8).
  • A meditation cushion for each participant to keep.
  • Course manual and supplementary materials.
  • Teachings and group discussions on eight core aspects of Zen Practice.
  • Peer Support
  • 2 chanting practice CDs
  • The opportunity to become a member of the Victoria Zen Centre.

For program information: