Phuntsok Choeling Calm Abiding Meditation Training & Practices

Meditation has a proven record in its ability to improve health, awaken happiness and give a clear perspective of life. It enables you to identify the real causes of unhappiness and recover from stress, anxiety and tension.

Calm Abiding meditation, also known as Shamatha, is not a specifically Buddhist technique of meditation but is common to other spiritual traditions as well. Single-pointed concentrating on the breath or other suitable object of meditation is a natural process that helps you to focus better on ordinary tasks and make you become more relaxed and peaceful.

This Buddhist technique of mindfulness has attracted much interest from modern scientific fields such as pychotherapy and cognitive behaviour as well as sport training.

To learn to meditate you need an experienced teacher and a well defined path. You can choose from the following:

8 Week Courses

8-WEEK COURSES   involve a sequential set of teaching sessions that go for 1- 2 hours a week that provide a complete introduction to help you establish a daily meditation practice. If you are already an experienced meditator you will come away with a good understanding of the principle characteristics and the finer points of the Buddhist approach to single-pointed concentration.


RETREATS are an opportunity to step back from the things that we ordinarily experience as obstacles to our calmness. In a very conducive environment well supported with teachings and fellow meditators, we can apply our minds to the practice of meditation in order to really taste the fruits and benefits. These retreats range from a Queens Birthday weekend in NZ to 10 days or longer at sister centres in Australia. They are designed for people at all levels of experience.

Weekly Meditation Sits

WEEKLY MEDITATION SITS occur regularly at Phuntsok Choeling Centre and provide an opportunity to meditate with others. All are welcome to attend regardless of experience or background. Contact your nearest CENTRE to find out what is available.

8 Week Course – by Lama Choedak Rinpoche

The 8-week course has been developed by Lama Choedak Rinpoche who has also trained all the instructors. The course outline includes:

WEEK 1: Introduction to Calm Abiding meditation Mindfulness of Body and the importance of posture Establishing a regular routine Dealing with pain

WEEK 2: Mindfulness of Feeling Qualified Rounds of Breathing Calmness and distraction

WEEK 3: Mindfulness of Feeling Befriending the breath Practical benefits of meditation – not just relaxation Mindfulness of Speech and the speech blessing Mantra of Manjushri

WEEK 4: Super-Qualified Round of Breathing Increasing the affinity with the breath/feelings Meditation, awareness and the path of purification

WEEK 5: Counting the breath Engaging life with mindfulness Letting go Mindfulness of Thought

WEEK 6: Five Obstacles to Calm Abiding meditation and their Eight Antidotes The moderate approach

WEEK 7: Nine stages of Taming the Elephant Mind

WEEK 8: Summary Mindfulness of Body and the importance of posture “Where to from here?”

ANNUAL CALM ABIDING MEDITATION RETREAT Retreat with LAMA CHOEDAK RINPOCHE held annually over each Queens Birthday Weekend

SPIRITUAL LEADER AND TEACHER: Lama Choedak Rinpoche is one of the few Tibetan meditation masters living in Australasia. He underwent a 3 ½ year solitary meditation retreat under the guidance of His Eminence Chogye Tichen Rinpoche and was sanctioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche has been teaching in the west for in excess of 17 years and has a special interest and skills in making traditional Buddhist teachings more accessible to Westerners. Rinpoche is based in Canberra Australia and is the founder of the Rongton Buddhist Training College and is Spiritual Director of many Buddhist Centres around Australia and Phuntsok Choeling HB Buddhist Centre in New Zealand.

Lama Choedak Rinpoche continues to carry and tirelessly pass on the complete and authentic teachings of the Sakya lineage of Tibetan Buddhism – a timeless treasure preserved unbroken and unadulterated until the present day.

Whether a retreat is residential or non-residential, it is an opportunity to withdraw from the matters of ordinary life and deepen your meditation practice with strong guidance and support. You may ask those questions that have arisen through your own daily practice as Rinpoche is available for one-on-one interviews at the end of each afternoon session.

In the hussle and bussle of modern life a little peace and less stress is something everyone would like to have but seldom manages to achieve. Learning to meditate can help to bring a sense of inner peace and happiness even admidst the stresses of modern life. This retreat will give you the tools to create these qualities as the weekend will provide teachings and practice sessions in a relaxed conducive environment and is suitable for beginners and advanced practitioners. Lake Choedak Rinpoche gives detailed, practical advice for those who would like to learn to meditate and guidance for those already on the path. The teachings are suitable for anyone who wants to taste the benefits of learning greater peace of mind using meditation.

benefits of learning greater peace of mind using meditation. Teachings Hours: Saturday and Sunday 8:30am – 5:30pm. Monday 8.30am finishing around 2pm.

In addition, devotional practices are held each morning before breakfast and later after evening meals. Nobel Silence is held each morning until lunchtime and is an inspired way of deepening the retreat experience.

Retreat Venue and Timings: Although this retreat is non-residential, participants may wish to book their accommodation at the neighbouring site of Archie’s Bunker Backpackers.

Please note: you can attend any duration of the retreat that suits you although consider the sequence of teachings. Contact for a flyer or Registration form, or pick one up from the centre (see practices for centre open hours). Ring 08 329 4108 / 06-834 0050 for further information or to register your place

Each Retreat commences on the Friday evening with a Public Talk. Lama Choedak, author, public speaker, teacher, whose popular intensely knowledgeable talks are delivered with humor and reality, include topics relevant to everyday human experiences. A rare opportunity to experience and gain insight into Buddhist teachings that guide us how to eliminate or minimise suffering in our everyday life. Time for audience questions is allowed at the end of Rinpoche’s talk. Time/ Venue/ Topic are announced around April / May each year.


Held at various times throughout the year.

This course is suitable for anyone wanting to develop greater peace of mind.

Calm Abiding Meditation allows you to release stress, anxiety and tension, and increase happiness and well-being. Based on traditional Buddhist teachings this course was designed by Lama Choedak Rinpoche – a Tibetan meditation master who has been teaching for many years in the West.

The course teaches awareness of posture, breathing and feelings and also a speech blessing practice to encourage mindfulness in our communication.

Everyone is welcome and no commitment to Buddhism is necessary.

This course will be taught by Clare Woodham , a practising meditator and student of Lama Choedak Rinpoche.

Venues: Hastings / Napier / Havelock North

Cost: $80 or donation

Please note that it is important to attend all eight sessions and bookings are essential. Phone Clare on 8340050 for more information or to book your place or ask for further information.

Further courses will posted on this site or you can email Clare with your enquiry at