Four Frontiers for Buddhism


A weekend workshop led by Winton Higgins
Saturday 24 October 2015 • 9:30am–4:30pm
Sunday 25 October 2015 • 9:30am–2pm

Aubert Room, Home of Compassion
2 Rhine Street, Island Bay, Wellington
During this workshop

We will explore how a secular approach to Buddhism tackles the two unavoidable questions at the centre of our lives:

What sort of person do I want to become?
How should I live?

We’ll start by looking at the basic thrust of the Buddha’s own teaching and practice and move on to look into four ‘frontiers’ that secular Buddhists are exploring:

  • our relationship to existing religious cultural practices
  • ‘finitude’ – our mortality and limited capacities
  • how to reframe and investigate the sublime aspects of experience, and
  • the value of living intensely.

Developing deeper awareness of our immediate experience goes to the heart of the practice. We’ll take up this challenge over the weekend in teachings and discussion, and in periods of meditation.

Winton Higgins

Winton Higgins in Wellington in 2013 with friend

Winton Higgins in Wellington with friend in 2013

Winton Higgins began meditating and practising the dharma in 1987. He took up teaching (mainly insight) meditation in 1995, in city classes and in silent residential retreats in rural venues in Australia. Since that time Winton’s meditation teaching has developed towards non-formulaic insight practice based on the Buddha’s original teachings, while he inclines towards a secular approach to Buddhism.

He fosters interest in the original teachings and their affinity with modern streams of thought and progressive social commitments. You can read some of what he has written on Buddhism here.

Simply Meditation
A group of friends who have been coming together on Wednesday evenings since the start of 2012, we aim to create an environment which fosters stillness, silence and attentiveness with brief, very basic guided meditation instructions.

A session includes silent sitting and discussion, and people with all levels of experience are welcome, including beginners. Our practice a simple one: we sit silently, in stillness, on chairs rather than on cushions on the floor, aware of what’s happening at that moment. That’s it. The approach is a secular one, relevant to life in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

We are pleased to be able to offer a weekend in which to practice mindfulness in such a lovely setting and to welcome Sydney secular Buddhist teacher Winton Higgins back to Wellington to run this workshop. We expect it will be a lively forum for teaching, reflection and discussion, as well as the practice of meditation.

Secular Buddhism – what’s that!?
A secular Buddhist tendency has gradually been emerging in the west In recent years. Looking to retrieve the original inspiration of the Buddha, it suggests that we bypass the monastic doctrinal add-ons that have obscured the original teachings since the Buddha’s death and re-root the practice in the context of modern western ways of life and thought.

No set fee to attend
The teacher receives no payment from Simply Meditation and offers his teaching freely. You are warmly invited to make a voluntary contribution at the venue to his livelihood, in line with the 2,400 year practice of the Buddhist tradition. Support for the expenses incurred in Winton’s New Zealand visit can be made at

Also in accordance with this tradition, this event is offered on the basis of generosity with no set fee to attend. All the costs to make this workshop happen have been covered by the generosity of others. You are invited to make a voluntary contribution to the community, and this will go towards future events. We rely on your generosity to cover our expenses, support our teachers and sustain our community, and in this way make the teachings available and easily accessible to people in differing financial situations.

Reserving your place
Please reserve your seat by placing a refundable deposit of $20 into 38 9019 0064662 03 with the reference ‘WHweekend’ and let us know you’ve done this by sending an email to Deposits will be refunded on arrival or if you cancel before October 17. By asking for a refundable deposit, we minimise the number of people who don’t let us know in advance that they won’t be turning up.

Bring food and drink to share for lunch. Morning and afternoon tea will be provided.