Author Archives: brucemacrae

Touching the Earth sitting group

“We are a group of Buddhists and other spiritually oriented folks who meet to discuss and engage with our Buddhist practice in relation to environmental issues, especially the issue of climate change. We have done some coordinated action but primarily we offer mutual support, encouragement and information to enable each of us to pursue various ways of confronting these difficult issues in our daily lives. We meet once a month, usually the final Tuesday of the month.

If you would like more information please email Lawrie Thicke at

2018/02/25 Margo McLoughlin Retreat day two

The following files were recorded at Goward House in Victoria on the 25th of Feb 2018. Margo McLoughlin presented a retreat and the recordings from day two follow.


2018/02/24 Margo McLoughlin retreat day one

The following files were recorded at Goward House in Victoria on the 24th of Feb 2018. Margo McLoughlin presented a retreat and the recordings from day one follow.


2018/01/20 Heather Martin Retreat Audio

The following files were recorded at Goward House in Victoria during a retreat presented by Heather Martin on January 20/21 2018.


2018/02/18 Core Buddhist Teachings with Brock Brown

Core Teachings at Sunday Sit

Beginning on Sunday, February 18th, Brock Brown will offer a series of monthly talks for VIMS on the core teachings of the Buddha: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold path. This is the path which leads us to the end of suffering.
The following is a schedule of the talks:
Feb 18  The First Noble Truth and Right View
Mar 18  The Second Noble Truth- Tanha or Craving
April 15 Right Intention
May 13 Sala – Ethical Conduct
June 17 Right Effort
July 22  Right Mindfulness
Sept 23 Right Concentration
Oct 21  The Third Noble Truth – Letting Go

2018/01/14 The Divine Abidings

Divine Abidings

Beginning on Sunday, January 14th, Margo will offer a series of monthly talks for the Victoria Insight Meditation Society on the four Divine Abidings, four qualities of mind and heart that we can cultivate as the natural expression of our being. While presenting each of these, she will draw on the stories of some remarkable figures in the history of Buddhism, individuals whose lives were and are an embodiment of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
Sunday, January 14th – “Ananda, Guardian of the Dhamma” – Loving-Kindness as an act of imagination.
Sunday, February 11th – “The Legend of King Ashoka” – Compassion as a vehicle of transformation.
Sunday, March 25th – “The Lay Disciple, Visakha” – Joy and the Path of Service.
Sunday, April 22nd – “Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama” – Equanimity as a gift we bestow and a practice we embody.

Here is a link to a page on my site:

2017/12/27 Radical Dharma Report

RADICAL DHARMA workshop in Seattle:  On race, love and liberation

Written by Farheen HaQ with Gagan Leekha and Khalilah Alwani

L-R : Khalilah Alwani, Rev.angel Kyodo williams, Gagan Leekha and Farheen HaQ at the Radical Dharma training in Seattle, Dec, 2017.

Four sangha members (Tahia Ahmed, Khalilah Alwani, Farheen HaQ and Gagan Leekha) from Victoria recently travelled to Seattle to spend a weekend listening to dharma teacher Reverent angel Kyodo’s williams’ teachings centred around racial justice and community liberation.  It was inspiring and powerful to be amongst a large sangha of people of colour (POC) and white allies ready to sit with the discomfort and pain of the racism that affects us all.

Rev. angel is a powerful, loving and wise dharma teacher.  She reminded us that our dharma work is to notice the many locations we rest in and that racialization is always having an effect on us – for folks white and coloured.   The weekend included a POC caucus followed by two days of mixed group discussion.  During the POC caucus, many sangha members shared experiences of having to leave parts of themselves behind to fit into white spaces and/or doing “double duty” to make spaces more accessible for themselves and others.  Rev. angel noted that playing this dual role can hinder our liberation and its everyone’s role to do the deep work of recognizing racial injustice present in our communities.

When one sangha member described the feeling of being a part of the POC caucus where experiences were shared, witnessed and validated, they spoke of not realizing how parched they were and felt nourished and hydrated by the shared experience.

There was deep conversation about structural and systemic racism in the context of U.S. history.  To make it personal, we (especially white folks) were asked to consider “How do I carry myself so there is room at this watering hole for everyone?”

Finally Rev.angel Kyodo Williams reminded us of the truth that liberation practices are about community, that we cannot be liberated unto ourselves.  We do not practice the dharma to feel better or solely for ourselves, we do it for all beings everywhere.

It is time to look at the dharma structures we practice within as they operate within white dominant culture  — how do we free our dharma from systemic racism or the culture of white supremacy?  Why are our sanghas mostly white? Who is not present and what voices are not being heard in our sanghas?  In Canada, given that we are in a period of reconciliation with our indigenous communities, Rev. angels’ words offer much needed inspiration and her translation of the dharma gives us the tools to sit with the not-knowing and discomfort of the truth of our current context.  It is time for this work and this work is generational.  What can we be doing now to create more welcoming and inclusive sanghas for future generations?

To read more about Rev.angel Kyodo williams’ work, visit:

 For more information or dates for our Indigenous, Black & People of Colour Sitting Group please email:

 This group is open to IBPOC people from across lineages, practices and faiths.  We hope to sit once a month here in Victoria.

2017/11/11 Brock Brown retreat audio

The following audio files were recorded at Goward House on the 11th of Nov, 2017 during a one day retreat presented by Brock Brown.