A Glimpse Into The Absolute – 18th & 19th February 2017


During these two days, we will look at mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati) presented by the Buddha and its role in relieving stress, understanding our emotions, perceptions, ideas and concepts about ourselves and the world. We will also journey together and explore mindfulness, concentration and insight as an integral path of reconciliation, healing and transformation.

This retreat will be led by Dat Phan, co-founder of ‘Les Cedres Bleus’ (The Blue Cedars) in Haute Loire, France, a non-profit mindfulness retreat center. He received transmission from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 2000 and is a senior member of the Order of Interbeing. He has created mindfulness programs for international companies (for directors, managers and employees), hospitals for cancer patients and schools for students and teachers. But at the end of the day, he is just a human being who yearns to love and be loved; to forgive and be forgiven. He enjoys being a father and husband, nature, writing, music and poetry.

The cost of this non-residential retreat will be £90 (£75 for students/part-time/unemployed) for two days. Lunch is bring and share. 

Please contact wakeupedinburghretreats@gmail.com for more information and booking. For the facebook event follow this link.

Christmas & New Year Meetings


Soon it will be Christmas and then 2016 will continue as 2017. To mark this many people will be taking time off from their regular routine and that includes us. Our regular meetings will pause as follows.

Mondays @ Santosa

Not meeting 26th December or 2nd January. Back to normal on 9th January

Tuesdays Mindfulness@Lunchtime at St Marks

Not meeting 27th December or 3rd January. Back to normal on 10th January

Thursdays @ St Marks

Not meeting on 29th December. Back to normal on 5th January

Fridays @ Albany Street

Not meeting 16th, 23rd or 30th December. Back to normal on 6th January.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to robins and all other sentient beings throughout time and space!

Morning of Mindfulness, Saturday 3rd December 2016 @ Botanic Cottage


Our last mindfulness morning of the year is an opportunity to share our practice of mindfully sitting, walking, eating and talking together in the beautiful location of the Botanic Cottage, part of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

All are welcome so please come along – but read the instructions below.

The Botanic Cottage originally stood at the entrance to a long lost incarnation of the botanic gardens on Leith Walk – not far from Santosa where we sit on a Monday night. It was built in 1764-5, and designed by the renowned architects John Adam and James Craig. When it was threatened with demolition in the early 2000s it was decided to move it to a new location. The beautifully reconstructed building was opened this year for use by community groups like us. It has a wonderful atmosphere for meditation.

When: Saturday 3rd December 2016 – 9:30am to 1:30pm
Where: Botanic Cottage, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – see access instructions below.
Booking: Just turn up. (Register on Facebook if you do Facebook)
Cost: The event is free but donations in the spirit of Dana will pay our running costs.
Bring: Small amount of vegetarian food to share at lunch. Some cushions, mats and chairs are supplied but please bring your favourite meditation cushion or stool and blanket if it would make you comfortable.

For more information please use the contact form.

Important: How to get in!!

Although this event takes place in the botanic gardens it starts before they open. To get access to the Botanic Cottage you therefore have to come to the entrance on Inverleith Place opposite number 40. This is so new there isn’t a proper gate yet – but there will be someone there to let you in. See the map and picture below. If you go to one of the other entrances to the garden they will not let you in! When we finish at 1:30 you will be able to exit through the gardens and enjoy the wonderful plants.

This is a very easy spot to access by buses on Inverleith Row (8,23,27) or via Inverleith Park. There is also ample parking along the street on a Saturday.


Understanding our Mind -9th to 12th February 2017 – Newbold House, Forres, Moray

Our friends in the Northern Scotland Sanghas very warmly (literally!) invite you to their next winter retreat in 2017

Understanding our Mind: a three-day retreat on the nature of our mind, based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh taking place at Newbold House, Forres, Moray from 9th to 12th February 2017

goldern_eggThis year the retreat will be guided by Order of Interbeing member Michael Schwammberger, formerly Brother Phap Son from Plum Village. Susanne Olbrich, recently ordained as Dharma teacher, will assist him.

Looking into the nature of our mind can help us better understand ourselves and work more skilfully with the transformation of our suffering. These teachings on the mind are perhaps some of the deepest wisdom available, as they help us connect with the ultimate nature of our mind and bring about a deep healing in the way we relate to our selves and the world around us. This retreat will also offer us the opportunity to deepen our mindfulness practice, in sitting, walking, sharing and silence, in the supportive community of our Sanghas.

Click here to download the flier and booking form

Mindfulness Day on 17th December 2016 at Wiston Lodge

DSCF4148.jpgOur friends in the Border Collie Sangha are having a Mindfulness Day on 17th December at Wiston Lodge, near Biggar in the Scottish Borders.

It will be a mixture of our Mindfulness Practice together with Jerry’s ideas about Wildseed Zen which he will explain in more detail during the day.

We will meet in the Lodge, in Room 9, and practice Mindful walking outside in the woods, so important to bring warm clothes, boots and waterproofs……

Lunch will be the usual daily lunch of soup, bread and a flapjack or some such, and perhaps a bit of salad from the Wiston Lodge garden.  The cost for each person will be round £10.

Draft Programme:

Arrive from 10.00 am for greetings and refreshments.
10.30   Introduction to the day
10.45   Guided Meditation
11.05   Introduction to Wildseed Zen by Jerry Simcock
11.45   Walking meditation round the gardens and the woods collecting any seeds we may find
12.45   return for lunch at 1.00pm starting with the Five Contemplations and silent for the first 20 minutes
2.00  Introduction from Jerry following the walk and talking of what we have found followed by Dharma Sharing groups
3.15  Deep Relaxation
4.00 silent meditation

Please pass this on to others you know who may be interested.

Contact Meg for more information.


Notes from Saturdays Mindfulness Morning

Here is Thay talking about Gladdening the mind and cultivating wholesome mental formations:

Here is the song ‘Alone Again’ – which sets to music Thay’s poem ‘Recommendation’:

And here is ‘Winter Song’ by Joseph Emet – which I suggested conveys a sense of ease and contentment:

I suggested we could identify positive mental formations by reflecting on:

  • Those of our parents, grandparents and ancestors;
  • The qualities that make our friends fun to be with, and on
  • The qualities that have helped us through challenging times.