Author Archives: brucemacrae

2021/10/16 Margo McLoughlin Retreat Audio Files

The following audio files were recorded in Victoria during a one-day online retreat presented by Margo McLoughlin on the 16th of October, 2021.

2021/09/18 Brock Brown Audio Files

The following audio files were recorded in Victoria during a one-day hybrid retreat presented by Brock Brown on the 18th of September, 2021.

2021/10/23 Margo Mcloughlin Online Retreat

Faith, Wisdom, and the Poetry of Resilience
An online retreat with Margo McLoughlin
October 16, 2021
Registration open.        REGISTER

In this one-day on-line retreat we will look at two of the five spiritual faculties and reflect on their role in building resilience in challenging times. Faith gently reminds us to value and honour our practice of mindfulness in all circumstances. Faith also encourages us to deepen our resolve to understand the nature of suffering. Wisdom is the gift of clear-seeing that comes as we re-align our priorities, commit to non-harming and celebrate moments of presence and freedom. The poetry of resilience is the growing capacity to nourish and prepare the heart for whatever life brings.

A storyteller, writer and teacher, Margo McLoughlin completed her training as a Community Dharma Leader at Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center in 2012. Margo leads retreats and offers classes on Vancouver Island and in neighbouring communities. Over the past year she has offered several classes online, including “Tending the Spark: Mindfulness and the Creative Life.” Margo translates, adapts, and performs stories from the Buddhist tradition, historical tales from the BC Coast, as well as world tales of giving and receiving. During the school year, 2019 – 2020, she led a mindfulness program for children at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. For more about Margo, please visit

2021/05/16 Tempel Smith Retreat Audio files

The following audio files were recorded during an online retreat presented by Tempel Smith from his home in Victoria on the 16th of May 2021.


2021/04/17 Tuere Sala retreat audio files

The following audio files were recorded in Victoria during an online retreat presented on the 17th of April 2021 by Tuere Sala from her home in Seattle.


2021/03/13 Adrianne Ross audio files

The following audio files were recorded during an online retreat presented by Adrianne Ross on the 13th of March 2021 from her home in Vancouver.


2021/02/20 Margo McLoughlin audio files

The following audio files were recorded during an online retreat presented by Margo McLoughlin on the 20th of February 2021 from her home in Victoria.


2021/01/23 Heather Martin audio files

The following files were recorded during an online retreat presented by Heather Martin on the 23rd of January 2021 from her home on Salt Spring Island.


2020/10/22 VIMS Council Meeting

Victoria Insight Meditation Society Council Meeting
Oct 22 2020
Present: Brock Brown (Chair), Bruce MacRae, Rhonda Duncan, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima (Secretary for meeting).

  1. Approve Agenda. Brock moved. Carried
  2. Approve Minutes of Oct 1 2020. 

Rhonda moved. Carried.

  1. Update on Christina’s retreat
    Very positive feedback from participants.
    VIMS suggested dana amount is very reasonable – makes it possible for people to participate. Not everyone donates suggesting that the retreats are accessible.
    Most frequent question is how else to send dana to the teacher other than through PayPal.
  2. Recent security problems for Carol Wilson’s retreat registration.
    The link to Constant Contact from the VIMS website was removed.
    There were no further registrations from suspicious emails.
    We will put Carol’s link in the newsletter and monitor if suspicious emails come in.
    The Registrar will be asked to monitor the suspicious names/
  3. Use (or not) of an avatar on zoom at future retreats

Brock moved that avatars will be allowed. Backgrounds will not be allowed.

  1. What to do about retreatants who are named ipad or iphone

June moved that we encourage people to name themselves.

We will ask Suzan to offer a training session at the first break of Carol’s retreat in addition to the 8:30 – 8;45 am orientation.

  1. Registrar- Carol’s retreat

The work load of the Registrar is much higher for the online retreats vs the in-person retreats. Current Registrar for Carol’s retreat was given the option of being involved with the Zoom related tasks on the days of the retreat and has opted to not be involved. 

Kiko will let people in.
Brock will ask Metta about admitting people.
Bruce will monitor the vims1retreat email.

Future retreats: We will seek a Registrar for the 4-weeks before the retreat and seek a different volunteer for the day of the retreat.

  1. Qi Kung at Carol’s Retreat.
    Council agreed that Brock contact Carol to offer movement session at Carol’s retreat.
    Suzan suggested this as a possibility given the success of the sessions at Christina’s retreat.
  2. Special Year-End Online Gatherings
    Brock is considering offering an online  2-hour pre- Christmas and after Christmas evening on Zoom in keeping with what he has offered in past years.
    Council agreed to the idea.
  3. Next Council Meeting: ??


Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes Draft
Thursday, Jan 28th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Online
(Facilitated by Brock Brown)

June Fukushima, Brock Brown (Chair), Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae, Kevin Keliher (Secretary), Rhonda Duncan

Absent with Regrets:

Agenda Items:
VIMS Council welcomes Kevin Keliher

  1. Review and Approve Agenda

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (Nov 19th, 2020)

Motion from Brock to approve the agenda. Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • Sunday Night Zoom Sits – Dec 20th Zoom session – “Buddhamas” Brock led a guided meditation with some reflections, Margo told a Jataka Tale, followed by shared singing of Christmas Carols with Buddhist lyrics (lyrics by Ajahn Sona)
  • Dec 27 Zoom session – Brock led a guided meditation and then introduced Tempel Smith to the community. Tempel then gave a dharma talk followed by Q&A
  • Thanks to June Fukushima – Tech host, Kiko Brown – Registrar, Suzan Denis – volunteer back-up Tech host.
  • Jan 23 Heather Martin one-day Zoom Retreat – Volunteers:
  • Registrar – David Axon
  • Manager – Kevin Keliher
  • Support team – Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae
  • Tech host – Suzan Denis
  • Co-ordinator – Bruce MacRae
  • Number of Participants: 87 (112 Total signed up, Zoom report – 96 participants)
  1. Finances: 
  • Accounts Reporting Period Nov 1 2020 – Nov 30 2020

Chequing: $ 7,051.88
Savings:    $ 7,780.21
TOTAL:     $14,832.09

  • Accounts Reporting Period Dec 1 2020 – Dec 31 2020

Chequing: $ 5,494.60
Savings:    $ 7,780.87
TOTAL:     $13,275.47

Charitable donations from VIMS made to Birken Monastery ($250), Wat Metta ($200 US), and Dharmaseed ($200 US)

Payment of $275. Made to Suzan Denis for Zoom hosting of Christina Feldman retreat

Payment of $600. Made to Suzan Denis for Zoom hosting of Carol Wilson retreat

  • Review and Acceptance of the Jan – Dec 2020 VIMS Financial Report. Circulated by email. Motion from June to accept the budget for 2020. Carried.
  • Review and Acceptance of the 2021 Budget. Circulated by email. Motion from June to accept the budget for first ½ of 2021. Carried.
  1. Sunday Night Community Sit – Still on hold
  2. Communications – newsletter, website, Constant Contact
  • There is now a captcha on the Constant Contact registration form. We haven’t had any more problems with bots registering for retreats.
  • Heather Martin has requested the contact information of those who attended her January 23rd zoom one-day retreat. Bruce is to inform Heather that 1) due to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation we cannot share this information and 2) we will send an email to all the participants informing them to contact Heather about her future zoom retreats.
  • June will confirm that Suzan Denis is aware of the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.
  1. Retreats
  • 2021 Retreat Programs

Jan 23 Heather Martin – Zoom one-day – Completed. Thank you to volunteers (Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae, David Axon, Kevin Keliher) and Suzan Denis.

  • Upcoming Zoom Retreats

Feb 20 Margo McLoughlin – Zoom one-day, Registrar Joanna Stonechapel, Manager – Joe Barrett
March 13 Adrianne Ross- Zoom one-day, Registrar Sheila Whincup, Manager – Louise Takeda
April 17 Tuere Sala – Zoom one-day, Registrar Kiko Brown, Manager Carol Mousseau
May 16 Tempel Smith – Zoom one-day, Registrar Josephine Tobin, Manager Metta VanderVliet

Brock asked for feedback on the workability of continuing to run one day retreats. Council felt it was the best approach at this time.

  • The following 2021 retreats were determined when we were planning for in-person retreats, mainly at Goward House (before COVID-19 and our Zoom method of offering retreats). This schedule will likely change.
  • Discussion of VIMS Summer/Fall offerings given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation

August 14/15 Ajaan Geoff (Sidney Shoal Center)
Sept 18 Brock Brown
Oct 16/17 Howie Cohn
Nov 13/14 Ajahn Candasiri

  • Goward House rental rates will increase from $750 per weekend to $900 per weekend after the 2021 contracts we have in place (still a preferred rate). Motion from Brock that if we are renting Goward House in the fall 2021 we volunteer to start paying the new rate to help them out:
  • If August Retreat is a zoom retreat the Aranya Refuge would prefer to take on hosting it themselves. VIMS’s job would be to mention it in the VIMS Newsletter.
  • Motion from June to remove Ajaan Geoff’s in person August retreat due to COVID-19: Carried. Brock will contact Shoal Centre and cancel this retreat and ask for refund.
  • Brock indicated he would agree to lead a one-day zoom retreat in September.
  • June made a motion that Brock would follow up with the teachers for the other fall retreats to inquire about their availability and consider the options considering the uncertainty with regard to COVID. Carried.
  • Reminder to prepare 2020 year-end Reports for the AGM (maybe AGM in June, 2021?)
  • Brock will do a president report, June to do a financial report, Bruce will do a communications report, Brian will do a Constant Contact report, Rhonda will do a retreat statistics report.

Next Council Meeting every other month. Next meeting will be on Thursday, March 25th, 2021.