Practising in Unsettling Times Mindfulness Retreat Thursday 19 September – Sunday 22 September 2019 The Burn, Edzell, Angus

The Touching the Earth Sangha in Banchory are delighted to invite you to our special retreat at the Burn, near Edzell, during the 3rd weekend of September 2019. 

Led by Teri West, an experienced mindfulness practitioner and lay teacher in the tradition of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. (You can find Teri’s Facebook page at ). We will be offered a range of opportunities to discover life in the present moment. For beginners as well as for those with experience, this is a rare chance to enjoy learning about mindfulness through practice in a most beautiful environment.

The retreat will run from 18.00 on Thursday 19 September (arrival from 16.00) until 15.00 on Sunday 22 September 2019.  Although, our facilitator is a lay teacher of the Zen Community of Interbeing, the weekend will be run in a largely secular manner. Everyone is welcome including those from all religious traditions as well as agnostics and atheists.

We are anticipating a high demand for this retreat so we recommend early booking using the form below.

Teri has pursued various occupations since leaving home as a teenager. By her mid 40s she began working as a professional storyteller, singer, part-time poet and as a member of an improvising clown group in the Nose to Nose school of clowning. She currently takes to the stage at every opportunity, using song to take a dharma message into the unlikely environment of the world of cabaret and has co-led the weekend course, ‘Clown and the Art of Mindfulness’, on three occasions at the European Institute for Applied Buddhism in Germany. Further such courses are scheduled for June and September this year.

Teri was fortunate to be invited to Plum Village in 1988 as a guest with friends of Thay who had worked with him in the ‘70s on founding a charity for Vietnamese refugees. This was a powerful experience. Teri bought ‘Breathe, you are alive!’ which, together with ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’, brought Buddhism into a grounded, practical form that Teri could relate to, having previously read somewhat intellectual, complicated theories.

She’s been a student of Thay’s since that time, working on various retreats, particularly those that welcome families and founding the Westcountry Sangha (which brings together practitioners from the South-west and provides a base where members of all the local sanghas in the region can come together to share practice). She’s a member of the North Devon Sangha.

Teri was ordained into the Order of Interbeing in 2000, receiving the dharma name ‘True Door of Virtue’ (chan duc mon) and the Lamp Transmission as a dharma teacher in 2016.

Listen to Teri explain why she writes Haiku poetry.

Watering Seeds of Creativity & Joy: 5th October 2019

Our friends in the Poppy Seed Sangha are hosting a Mindfulness Day with Susanne Olbrich on Saturday on 5th October 2019 from 10am to 4pm at Westbank Natural Health Centre in Strathmiglo, Cupar.

A group of us Wild Geese are planning to fly North and help make this a joining of the Sanghas. Near the time we will try and synchronise travel arrangements. If you are going please drop Orla an email as numbers are limited. If you could offer a lift, or need one, please speak out at one of our regular meetings or use the contact form.

We all have the seeds of creativity and joy in us and this day will be an opportunity to water them. Let’s come together for mindful breathing, sitting, walking and eating to slow down and reconnect with the source of peace and joy inside. By coming home to ourselves, relaxing body and mind, and allowing the senses to open up, we will embark on a journey of discovery with sound, music, words, colour and nature materials. Through simple creative activities, weather permitting outdoors, we will nurture awareness, openness, playfulness, curiosity, kindness and a spirit of adventure in ourselves and each other. You are invited to explore and experiment, to be receptive, to be. Everyone welcome!

Susanne Olbrich, True Ever-present Stability, is a musician, music educator and mindfulness teacher based at Findhorn, where she co-founded the Northern Lights Sangha. In 2016 she received the Lamp Transmission as a dharma teacher in Plum Village. She loves offering retreats and days combining mindfulness and creative expression.

If you use Facebook you could register your interest on the Facebook event.

Please bring:-

  • A musical instrument if you have one (whether you can play it or not), crayons or pastels.
  • Food for the day. We will provide teas/ coffees.
  • A meditation cushion/ stool if you have one, don’t worry if not, we have a few spare and some chairs (these are quite hard so a small cushion can be beneficial).
  • A favourite blanket or shawl for warmth. Slippers or warm socks can also be nice.
  • Outdoor shoes and coat.

There is no fee for the day but the opportunity will be there to offer dana (a voluntary contribution) to our visiting teacher.

Summer Break for Thursday Evenings

It is summertime and the livin’ is easy. It is also the time of the Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals. During August St Marks is used as a festival venue in the evenings and so we will not meeting on Thursday evenings in August.

The good news is that all our other meetings continue as usual, including Mindfulness@Lunchtime at St Marks on a Tuesday. If you haven’t done so already why not check out our Monday nights at Santosa.

Enjoying the buzz of the city in the summer from the peaceful island in myself.

Being Mindful: Awareness of the Breath is the starting point for Ethical Action – a Morning of Mindfulness Saturday 6th July 2019

A morning of mindfulness drawing on Thich Nhat Hanh’s inclusive vision of a shared global ethic, beginning with a turning towards our own present moment experience. Facilitated by Gill and Gustaf.

The morning will involve ‘here and now’ practice of mindfulness, including sitting and walking meditations informed by readings from Thay’s writings on engaged citizenship.

When: Saturday 6th July 2019 – 9:30am to 1:00pm (Please try to arrive a little earlier so that we can start at 09:30)
Where: St. Marks Unitarian Church, Castle Terrace
Booking: Just turn up.
Bring: Small amount of vegetarian food to share if that is easy.
Cost: By donation – to cover the cost of hiring the venue etc. Suggested: £10 (£5).

Mindful Peace Walk, Lauriston Castle, Sunday 16th June 2019

Come join us for a Mindful Peace Walk at Lauriston Castle on Sunday 16th June 2019. This silent walking meditation is an open event. Come and walk in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Before the walk begins there will be a brief introduction to mindful walking as a meditation practice.

By practicing walking together in peace at an event like this we can learn to bring that way of walking into all aspects of our lives, changing the world and ourselves one step at a time.


This is not a protest or a campaigning event, so please do not use any banners. Children are welcome when accompanied by adults.

When: Sunday 16th June 2019 ~ 12 noon
Where: Lauriston Castle, 2 Cramond Road South, Edinburgh. EH4 6AD. Gather in front of Lauriston Castle for 12 noon. See map below.
Booking: Just turn up.
Cost: Free.
Appropriate clothing – sun cream or umbrella as required.
See Also: EICSP page for this event.
Questions: Please contact us through the form.

Three New Order Members for Edinburgh

Early on the morning of Monday 27th May 2019 three of our Wild Geese took the 14 Mindfulness Trainings and were ordained as Lay Members of the Order of Interbeing – they became Brown Jackets. Congratulations to Andrew (True Steadfast Transformation), Gill (True Steadfast Inclusivity) and Sally (True Steadfast continuation/connection)! The names are appropriate. Sally’s can be translated from the Vietnamese two ways. Continuation and connection overlap in meaning.

Gill, Sally & Andrew (in the middle at the front)
Roger, Sally, Gill, Andrew & Paul (a Wild Goose who flew the nest)
Gill with Br Phap Lai (a.k.a. Br Ben) and her certificate

We now have five ordained members of the order in the Edinburgh Sangha: Andrew, Bill, Gill, Roger & Sally. This is probably one of the highest in Sanghas in the UK.