Derek's Dharma Blog

A blog about meditation, Dharma and activism

Amitabha, Community and Ecology: A Retreat with Tarchin Hearn in Morin Heights, Quebec (June 21-26, 2014)

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Tarchin Hearn, a great Buddhist writer and teacher from New Zealand will be teaching across Canada this summer, and he is kicking off his tour with a one-week retreat in Morin Heights.  Tarchin’s approach to dharma is non-sectarian and universal in nature, linking personal healing with a deep ecological perspective in ways that have inspired a wide range of people from a variety of diverse backgrounds and traditions. He has taught in many countries and has helped establish a number of centres for retreat and healing since 1997. For more than 40 years he has studied and practiced in both Theravadin and Mahayana schools of Buddhism with 12 of those years as an ordained monk (he was originally ordained by the Ven. Kalu Rinpoché, and received the full Gelong/Bhikkhu ordination from H.H. the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and trained extensively with the Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche and the Ven. Sayadaw U Thila Wanta of Burma). Tarchin is a wonderful and compassionate teacher who rarely teaches in Canada so this is a great opportunity.  There is more about Tarchin here

All are welcome to attend this retreat; there are BnB’s and camping possibilities in Morin Heights. The teaching is always offered for free; there will be a dana bowl for the teacher.  Please contact Jane Marenghi for details at

More detailed info from Tarchin’s website Green Dharma Treasury, is posted below. Sarva Mangalam.

June 21 – 26, 2014, Morin Heights, Quebec
The Meditation of Amitabha:
A Practice of Deep Ecology, Community, Boundless Wonderment and Love
– heart teachings of a modern buddhadharma –

Tarchin writes: “We are living in a time of great fragmentation where the seamless mystery of life has largely slipped from public view, replaced by a chaos of separated parts that often appear in conflict or competition with each other. Yet, from a biological perspective, and from a Buddhist perspective, every multi-celled creature is a symbiosis of myriad living beings. Inwardly, my body is composed, not only of human cells, but collaborating communities of micro beings that live in my gut, in my tissues and on my skin. Even a single cell is collaboration of myriad molecular communities! I am a ‘we’ and we together, make an ‘I’. Outwardly, I mesh, breath by breath, with the photosynthesizing world, breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. Uncountable societies, realms of responsive knowing – chemical, physical, emotional, conceptual and perceptual – are continuously dancing me into being and this is so for everyone. We live in and through each other with no absolute beginning or end.

Buddha Amitabha represents the wisdom of of simultaneously understanding the infinite diversity and profound unity of all that is. During this week we will use the Meditation of Amitabha to explore in a contemplative way, a path of deep ecology, community, boundless wonderment and love. This is a way of living that is totally inclusive yet radically ordinary; embracing birth and death, self and other, inner and outer, mundane and spiritual. These are heart teachings of a modern buddhadharma.”
For more information contact Jane at

OTHER RETREATS AND TEACHINGS WITH TARCHIN THIS SUMMER:

June 29 – July 6, 2014, Teaching in Ottawa, Ontario
Living Dharma, Reverence for Life
&
The Path of Natural Awakening
a week of contemplative exploration

In Buddhism, wisdom is not a knowledge of ultimate facts or truth but an ever deepening process of understanding, life enhancing connectivity, and communion.

We radically intermingle; cells and organs, minds and bodies, creatures and communities, beings and environments, the so called animate and the so called inanimate. This is a broad and all-encompassing view.

Learning the art of compassionately embracing this multi-leveled dynamic of interpenetrating realms and times, is to master the craft of meditation.

Maturing this craft, until the hint of wholeness permeates all our actions, and we discover a sense of utter at-homeness in the mist of everything we do, is the fruition of this work.

In the temple of this living world, we are deeply intermeshed with the lives of our families, friends, neighbours, strangers and adversaries, and the myriad other species and beings that we travel with from birth to death. Our bodies and minds are rivers of evolving life – landscapes of unfolding communities. What could it mean to be fully human?

During this week, Tarchin will outline a flow of caring enquiry that opens our bodies and minds into a place of understanding and experience that is immensely inclusive and rich with reverence and awe for this world in all its abundance.
for further information contact Samaya: bgordon [at] magma [dot] ca

July 11 – 27, 2014, Dharma Centre of Canada, Kinmount Ontario
Mahamudra, Deep Ecology and Natural Awakening
a residential retreat

Mahamudra is a name given to the Buddhist path of natural awakening. Although commonly associated with Tibetan teachings, its ancestry goes back to traditions of contemplative science and yoga found in ancient India, which themselves drew inspiration from a diversity of religious sources. Spacious and open, profoundly inclusive, and luminous with the recognition of the interdependence of all manifestation, mahamudra path and practice integrates myriad aspects of dharma exploration including investigations into mind, consciousness and perception while at the same time developing skilful and compassionate ways, of participating in the unfolding community of all life. This is deep ecology, in action. It is what I am. It is what you are. It is a path and practice of natural awakening in action.

During this mostly silent meditation retreat we will cultivate the ancient arts of loving-kindness and clear-seeing presence and enquiry. We will explore how bodies and minds of myriad species weave together a mystery suffused with nowful intelligence. We will draw on the mindfulness teachings of Buddhism and the wisdom teachings of radical wholeness found in the Avatamsaka Sutra, and mesh them with science, personal healing and social responsibility to find a way of living, that in this age of economic/ecological anxiety and uncertainty, is wondrously inclusive, joyously life affirming and profoundly freeing.

The retreat will involve much sitting and walking practice, group exploration, and body awareness work, punctuated with experimental exercises to cultivate inner and outer clarity, presence and compassion in action.

Tarchin has asked that participants come prepared to practice outdoors. It would be good to bring a magnifying glass and a notebook for jotting down observations.

for more information contact http://www.dharmacentre.org
or e-mail

Tarchin will also be teaching in Edmonton and Winnipeg this summer, check Green Dharma Treasury for details.

June 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Year’s Retreat on The Four Immeasurable Loves (Brahmaviharas)

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The Buddha’s favourite word for meditation was ‘cultivation’ (bhavana, in Pali); wouldn’t it be great to start the New Year cultivating sympathetic joy, and the other boundless types of love? Please consider joining us in Morin Heights for a four day retreat on what in Buddhism are called the Four Immeasurables: friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity (aka. the Brahmaviharas). The Teaching will be free.

RETREAT AT THE MORIN HEIGHTS DHARMA HOUSE January 2-5, 2014.

Retreat starts Thursday Jan. 2nd 10am till lunch Sunday, Jan. 5th, 2014.
All are welcome.
There is limited accommodation at the Dharma House (for a nominal fee $20/pers/night), and other accomodation like B+Bs close nearby. There are also two nice sauna/spas down the street. The retreat is open to newcomers and experienced meditators; it will be offered in ‘social silence’ (that is: silent without being oppressively so); meals and non-class time will be in silence.
Food should either be brought or prepared on site with the possibility of shared pot-luck style meals. Marche Vaillencourt, a lovely grocery store is a 1/2 block walk down the street.

Please contact Jane if you are planning to attend  or if you have any questions:

Jane Marenghi (450) 226-6453
janemarenghi[at]hotmail.com

If you want to join us, it would be ideal if you can come at the beginning rather than part way through so as to get the benefit of easing into the experience with the group. However, if that is not possible, do not hesitate to come at the time that works in your schedule but be aware that social silence might then be well in progress and will need to be respected.

Classes in the Theravada (Burmese) and Tibetan Buddhist tradition will be offered by Derek.  The Teaching is free.

Donations (dana) will be accepted according to tradition.

November 18, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment