Retreats, workshops, conferences, courses, gatherings, talks


Here are some dates for your diary – visit this page another time, subscribe to the RSS feed to find out more, or get on the In This Moment mailing list for regular updates. Secular buddhist events are few and far between, particularly in this part of the world, which is why you will find information on events happening elsewhere also.

New Zealand

• WELLINGTON Wednesday 26 April 2017 • 12–12:45pm
Rule of Law – Winton Higgins in conversation

Unity Books, Brandl & Schlesinger and One Mindful Breath warmly invite you to a lunchtime author event with Winton Higgins, author of Rule of Law.

Winton will be in conversation about his new novel, Rule of Law, with Sir Anand Satyanand, a former lawyer, judge and ombudsman who was the 19th Governor-General of New Zealand and the current Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation.

At Unity Books, 57 Willis St, Wellington Central

Winton Higgins – Rule of LawIn the midst of World War II, the Allies promised to punish prominent German perpetrators of atrocities at war’s end. When the war was at last ending, the Allies had to agree on how to honour this promise. Summary executions by firing squad beckoned as the expedient way to do this. But the US war secretary, Henry Stimson, dissented: he agitated for a public trial before an international tribunal, one following due process and conducted in four languages. He wanted this trial to found an international rule of law that would represent a giant leap forward by outlawing aggressive war and crimes against humanity.

Stimson prevailed. His victory unleashed an unprecedented human drama in the bomb-ravaged city of Nuremberg – a drama played out in the glare of international publicity, one involving thousands of participants, many of whom were as war-damaged as the city in which they had to play their parts. The novel follows four of these participants as they face the challenges of the pioneering trial, the daily struggles of life in a shattered city haunted by its immediate Nazi past, and the urgent demands of their private lives.

Organised by Wellington’s secular dharma practice community One Mindful Breath

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• WELLINGTON Wednesday 26 April 2017 • 7:15–9:15pm
Certitudes, and how to move beyond them

A talk by Winton Higgins to One Mindful Breath
at the Friends Centre, 7 Moncrieff St, Mt Victoria, Wellington Central

Responding skilfully to the context in which we all live, a certitude is the absolute certainty or conviction that something is the case. Visiting Wellington from Sydney for the week, secular Buddhist teacher Winton Higgins will encourage attendees to meditate with an open awareness, and speak about how responding skilfully to the context in which we all live is key to human flourishing.

Winton has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1987, and a teacher of insight meditation since 1995. He has contributed to the development of a secular Buddhism internationally, and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators and Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand. He also teaches an annual course at the Aquinas Academy in Sydney on various ethical, social and political topics.

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• WELLINGTON Thursday 27 April 2017 • 12:30–2pm
The Politics of Decency

A talk by Winton Higgins
At St Andrew’s on The Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Wellington Central

The tide of xenophobia, misogyny, prejudice and callousness towards ‘the Other’ is rising. This is the politics of indecency, so how do we create a sea wall that will turn it back? How do we respond forcefully with a politics of decency? What sort of communities and civil society do we want to build? How can we flourish as humans, living in harmony with each other and with nature?

– this meeting has been organised jointly by Wellington’s secular dharma practice community, One Mindful Breath, and St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society

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• WELLINGTON Saturday 29 April 2017 • 9am–5pm
Meditation, & being a global citizen – dharma practice and solidarity in a troubling time
A secular Buddhist workshop led by Winton Higgins
Organised by One Mindful Breath
The Lyon Room, Home of Compassion, 2 Rhine St, Island Bay

Simpler forms of Buddhist meditation practice started to gain favour in the west four decades ago. Here was a discipline we could supposedly practice while playing down the ethics that had been part of the practice, and which allowed us to step back from our worldly existence and social responsibilities.

In the original vision, though, the aim of dharma practice was self-transformation into an integrated ‘true’ person who is a fully flourishing human being and, like everyone else, embedded in a social world.

In this workshop, we will explore what we need to do to retrieve a wider, ethical vision of dharma practice in the face of today’s social, political and environmental challenges.

There is no fixed fee to take part and all expenses have been paid for. Bring a plate for the shared lunch please; morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Contributions to show your thanks for the teachings are most welcome, and your contributions for the community will enable future events to be run without a fee.

For more info and to book a place on this workshop

Please phone or text Alex on 022 921 821 or send an email. Reserving a place through the Meetup group Simply Meditation Secular Mindfulness Saturday meetup group – is really easy.

About Winton Higgins

Winton has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1987, and a teacher of insight meditation since 1995. He has contributed to the development of a secular Buddhism internationally, and is a senior teacher for Sydney Insight Meditators and Secular Buddhism in Aotearoa New Zealand. He also teaches an annual course at the Aquinas Academy in Sydney on ethical, social and political topics.

Born in 1941, Winton grew up on a sheep and cattle station in outback NSW and then in Tennant Creek in central Australia. He was an academic at Macquarie University, Sydney, and the University of Technology Sydney. Cultivating a wide range of intellectual interests, three came to dominate: social-democratic theory and practice, especially the Swedish experience 1928–76; genocide studies, with special reference to the Holocaust; and standardisation.

His most recent book is the novel, Rule of Law. Much of his dharma writing can be found at and his personal website is at


• SYDNEY 12–13 November 2017
Workshop • Awakening Community
Elaine Kelly & Winton Higgins
Well-Aware-Ness Centre, 14 Ridge St, North Sydney

Community, or sangha, is the oft-neglected third refuge of the dharma. ‘Awakening community’ has a double meaning – breathing life into the communal dimension of our practice, and the communal engagement that contributes to our personal awakening. Both refer to the dharma as an ethical path, one rooted in care and compassion.

We will start by teasing out aspects of the ancient city in the Buddha’s parable about it, and then draw on elements of modern western thought and practice that help us to crystallise what this ancient model might mean in our own time. Particular attention will be given to the issue of asylum seekers and refugees.

We will also discuss the relationship between our personal dharma practice as a refuge and the need to extend compassion to those seeking another kind of refuge; how can our personal practice cultivate an ethos of compassion and hospitality toward those in greatest need?

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Events for those in Australia with an interest in a secular approach to Buddhism may be found on:


• SCHEIBBS 17–21 May, 2017
Secular Buddhist Retreat
Martine & Stephen Batchelor • • Tel +43 7482 424 12 • Mobil +43 699 8150 9810


• Bodhi College • Secular dharma course
Stephen Batchelor, Martine Batchelor, Jenny Wilks & Letizia Baglioni

As part of Bodhi College’s programme, Stephen and Martine Batchelor together with Letizia Baglioni and Jenny Wilks will teach a two-year course on secular dharma, which will include two four-day residential study modules plus one week-long residential meditation retreat per year.

The course is intended for students with a basic knowledge of Buddhism and a commitment to meditation who are seeking a secular form, language and community for their practice of the dharma.

In addition to the study modules and retreats, students will be assigned a mentor whom they will meet monthly for guidance in their own further reading, study and practice. 25 places will be available. Applications for the course are open now.

Each of the four study modules will focus on one of the four tasks that the Buddha presented as the core of his awakening:

  • Comprehending suffering – 17–21 February, 2016
  • Letting go of reactivity – 2–6 November, 2016
  • Beholding the ceasing of reactivity – Spring 2017
  • Cultivating the path – Autumn 2017

The first year’s meditation retreat (16–23 July 2016) will focus on the practice of stillness and insight through the cultivation of mindful awareness. The Spring 2017 retreat will be in the practice of questioning as found in the Korean Sŏn tradition.
The study modules will be held at St. Cuthman’s Retreat near Horsham, West Sussex, and the retreats at Gaia House, Devon.

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• NEWTON ABBOT, Devon 22–29 April, 2017
Sŏn (Zen) Retreat
Stephen & Martine Batchelor
Gaia House • • +44 1626 333613

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• CAMBRIDGE 17 June 2017
Daylong retreat
Martine Batchelor
Effortless Effort
At the Friends Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, Martine will be exploring creative, wise effort in our practice.

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• LONDON 18 June 2017
Daylong retreat
Martine Batchelor • +44 7954 472 771 Louise Kennedy

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• CAMBRIDGE 8 July 2017 • 9:30am–5pm
The Art of Solitude – a daylong retreat
Stephen Batchelor
Friends Meeting House, 12 Jesus Lane, Cambridge

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• LONDON 9 July 2017
Daylong retreat
Stephen Batchelor • +44 7954 472 771 Louise Kennedy

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• NEWTON ABBOT, Devon 22–29 July, 2017
Secular Buddhist Retreat
Martine & Stephen Batchelor
Gaia House • • +44 1626 333613

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• LONDON 28–29 September 2017
Philosophy as a Way of Life: Early Buddhism, Scepticism, Epicureanism and Stocism
Stephen Batchelor & John Peacock
A Bodhi College event at Goodenough College •


• COPENHAGEN 10–11 June, 2017
Meditation Retreat
Martine Batchelor • +45 3296 9591


• PARIS 6–7 May, 2017
Weekend Retreat (en Français/in French)
Stephen Batchelor

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• EPERNON 29 November–3 December, 2017
Retreat (en Français/in French)
Martine & Stephen Batchelor


• BERLIN 26–28 May, 2017
Public Lecture 26 May
Workshop and Seminar 27–28 May
Stephen Batchelor
Details to be confirmed

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• FREIBURG 11–12 October, 2017
Daylong Retreat 26 May
Martine Batchelor • Telefon +49 761 5572 9336 • Mobile +49 177 347 8787


• BARCELONA 1 June, 2017 • 7:30pm
Mindfulness in early Buddhism and contemporary practice
John Peacock – in English with simultaneous translation in Catalan
In this talk, John Peacock, one of the few experts in both contemporary mindfulness and early Buddhism, will show that many of the current assumptions and definitions of mindfulness are too narrow from the standpoint of early Buddhism. What we find in these texts is a richer mindfulness with many more nuances than what is presented in contemporary practice.
– This will be followed by a weekend workshop titled ‘The best way to live in this world, examining the four brahma viharas’ •  send an email


• BEATENBERG 17–24 September, 2017
Secular Buddhist retreat
Martine & Stephen Batchelor
Meditation Center Beatenberg, CH – 3803 Beatenberg •
phone +41 33 841 21 31


BARRE, MA 9–14 June, 2017
Practicing Art, Practicing Dharma
Stephen Batchelor & Julie Püttgen
Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies
This course is intended for those with a dharma and artistic practice • +1 (978) 355-2347 ext.10

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CAMBRIDGE, MA 17 June, 2017
Daylong Workshop
Stephen Batchelor
Cambridge Insight Meditation Center • +1 (617) 441-9038

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SANTA FE, NM 21–25 June, 2017
Retreat: An Ethics of Care
Stephen Batchelor
Upaya Zen Center • • +1 (505) 986-8518


Secular Buddhism Association (USA) Practice Circle

Wherever you are in the world, you are invited to join US Secular Buddhist Association folk on the second and fourth Sundays of the month at 8pm Central time for an online practice circle. They aim to be a community that comes together by video conference to support each other’s dharma practice.

To find out more about the practice circle take a look at this web page

Secular Buddhism – an online study course

Using talks by Roshi Joan Halifax and Stephen Batchelor with study guides by Christine Johnson

Find out about the course here.

Being Completely Human: secular Buddhism and beyond – a study course

Using talks by Roshi Joan Halifax and Stephen Batchelor with study guides by Christine Johnson

Find out about this course here.

The four noble truths – an online study course

In this six-week online programme from 4 Sept to 15 Oct 2017, participants will explore in depth this foundational framework of the Buddha’s teaching from the perspective of early Buddhism. Drawing on the discourses of the Pali canon rather than later commentarial texts, emphasis will be given to the application of these teachings in today’s world. Equal attention will be given to the contemplative and ethical practice of these four truths.

A collaboration between Bodhi College and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, this course will be led by Akincano Weber, Christina Feldman, John Peacock and Stephen Batchelor.

Find out about this course here.