Bodhi Seeds 2017 Report

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Bodhi Seeds is a training for young adults to find refuge and a sense of belonging. It is a
growing body of work, a school, a hinting at a true university to empower young adults to
function well in the truth of living in and on a wave of not knowing, this is not an ignorant
not knowing, rather a skillset to include it all and move well.

Our studies and reflections were deep and various. It is blessing to behold bodies
loosening, voices opening, bones softening toward a welcoming of playfulness, kindness,
question and action. More tears, more laughter, deepening appreciations of
interconnectedness, challenges, projections, moving into authenticity with body, speech
and mind, finding joy in our dance together. Tarchin’s visit was a highlight for all, weavings
of a biology of love and the nature of mind. The Bodhi Seeds bought him a tree and it was
planted on the hill outside the main hall, a place of refuge for all. 

The final week was spent at the Treefield in Golden Bay where each man was
offered a rite of passage, a time to gather themselves betwixt and between retreat and the
so called real world. Our time ended with a walk in the Kahuranghi National Park, the full
moon glowing, our hearts fresh with new seeds sowing.

Thank you to everyone who gave to enable this retreat to happen. I have worked
with young people now for nearly twenty years and it is a rare thing to witness such an
offering for $900. Balancing old with new, tradition with innovation, ritual with
neuroscience, music with stillness.

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, its the certainty that something
makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
”— Vaclav Havel

This is the motivation, we certainly do not know what kind of world the far children
will inherit but I do know that this retreat makes sense regardless of how things turn out.
Thank you for helping this to happen again, 


Sarva manglam,
Jaime Howell.

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A Detailed Review of the Programme.

Bodhi Seeds has now completed its second year in a row. Six weeks of affordable,
community based retreat for young adults to find themselves, deepen their practice and
come together as a community to bring forth the best versions of themselves for the world.
What a six weeks it’s been!
This year Bodhi Seeds turned out to be an all male event with 7 young men from around the country coming together to inquire as community. We have had the opportunity to explore a wide range of teachings, while continuously holding the thread of meditation and meditative inquiry.


- We began by taking part in the ‘What Teaches’ Hui and AGM with the wider Wangapeka
community. Here some of the Bodhi Seeds presented a vision of further involvement with
young people at the centre.

- We explored our past. The journey down the river that lead us all to be together at the
Wangapeka and how that journey may have shaped us.

- We dove into refuge, discovering what this means and finding ways to deepen our feeling
of belonging and connection.

- We took part in a weekend course offered by Jonathan Chambers, ‘Unravelling The
Mystery’. This brought yoga into our practice and a contemplation of some of the
foundational philosophies of Buddhist practice.

- Irma Jager and Jana joined us for two days. One day of exploring wholesome eating and
nutriment, and a day exploring Non-Violent Communication. This was a great opportunity
to explore compassion for oneself, and compassion in communication with others.

- Being a community of all males, we took the opportunity to explore some of our
conditioning as people living in privilege in this world. We also used this opportunity to
explore Sex, Sexuality and Intimacy with a deep and powerful ritual and sharing.

- We took part in a weekend course on breathing meditation offered by Jane Hobday, Mark
Schrader and Duncan Mackay all bringing their years of experience and wisdom. This was
a great weaving of meditation instruction, Qi gong, art and sharing.

- Tarchin Hearn then joined us for 6 days of exploring Vajrasattva through the lens of
biology, a profound and powerful journey merging ancient wisdom with contemporary
inquiry.

- Andy McIntosh joined us as we made our way from the Wangapeka over the Takaka hill
to the Tui Tree field where we met with Adge Tucker, Chai and Jim Horton to explore rites
of passage.

- Bringing Bodhi Seeds 2017 to a close and to help our bodies integrate the journey we’d
taken, we took to the hills and tramped into Salisbury hut in the Kahurangi National Park
for a night.

- Running throughout this 6 weeks there was a weekly open floor dance to integrate and
explore movement and body, and to integrate the journey we were taking.
All throughout these rich explorations was a daily meditation practice and exploration.
Many opportunities were created for each of the Bodhi Seeds to find their voice and lead
the group through various activities such as Yoga, music, drama, rap and guided
meditations.

DANA

Once again the Bodhi Seeds were committed to giving back to the centre in a wholesome
relationship of generosity. In our 5 weeks at the Centre we were able to make a huge
impact and complete a wide range of jobs that needed doing.


-The kitchen has had a long overdue paint job. We also cleaned all the shelving, had a
good clean-out of old equipment, and relabelled the spice jars.

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-The tent sites have been under-utilised in the last few years at the Wangapeka. We
scoped out which sites were still functional and cleared and repaired 4 sites.
We have also created a brand new tent site looking out towards the bluff, a perfect location
for the sun.

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The tent sites have been renamed after the 6 perfections, and new signs have been
created.

-Near the swings was an overgrown figure 8 of wooden posts stuck in the ground. We
have removed these posts and created a big outdoor circle for gatherings.

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-Building the bridge on the waterfall track has been an enormous job, and the Bodhi Seeds
were able to help with this by having the two supporting beams treated, and then carrying
them both to the bridge site.

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-A table in the main hall and a
number of benches around units 1-8 have been sanded and oiled.
-One Bodhi Seed was also able to apply his I.T knowledge to work with the land caretaker
on updating some of the admin systems, such as solo retreat booking, scheduling and
calendars.
-Omahu, Skydancer, Pemaling and Triple Gem all received big spring cleans, including
restocking Omahu with new firewood and doing some repairs to the roof on Dumo hut.

-The hall roof was thoroughly scrubbed and washed, and the firewood and recycling shed
roofs were swept clean.
-A new track up to Omahu was scouted, but the conclusion was that due to fallen debris,
this doesn’t seem tangible for a few more years.
Much more Dana took place in various jobs here and there, such as:
- Repairing, widening and cutting tracks around the centre
- Chopping and stacking firewood, and restocking the Whare wood supply.
- Clearing the unending Blackberry, bracken and broom around the centre.

 

Reflections from the BODHI SEEDS

 

Bodhi Seeds has been an absolutely amazing experience and has really helped me to make a conscious change in my life. I have found confidence, friendship, guidance, support and purpose. I have had an incredibly transformative experience and aquired many new skills and teachings to help me be a better person. I am so grateful for all the support that has helped Bodhi Seeds run: the teachers, the Wangapeka, the donors, and the whole community. It is a time that means so much to me and will inform my whole life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLAKE OWERS

Bodhi Seeds has been an absolutely amazing experience and has really helped me to make a conscious change in my life. I have found confidence, friendship, guidance, support and purpose. I have had an incredibly transformative experience and aquired many new
skills and teachings to help me be a better person.
I am so grateful for all the support that has helped Bodhi Seeds run: the teachers, the Wangapeka, the donors, and the whole community. It is a time that means so much to me and will inform my whole life.

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Logan Ford


Bodhi Seeds has been an incredible experience. I have got
immense value out of the opportunity to take a big step back from day to day life and have the space to really build my practice in a meaningful way, and explore deeply issues arising in me with a feeling of being supported by others on the same journey.
The personal insights and sense of community I have gained over the last six weeks will surely carry me well into the cresting wave of now, and inform my choices that will continue my evolution as an aware being.

 

 

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Shea Dawson


Bodhi Seeds has been a highly transformative and deeply
healing experience for me. Jaime's excellent guidance and
facilitation allowed for the creation of a safe and supportive
group space for me to share and work through some of my
biggest personal challenges. Bodhi Seeds has also helped
me to deepen my meditation practice, my understanding of
Dharma, and equipped me with invaluable skills to bring
back into everyday life. I am immensely grateful for
everyone who has contributed to making this retreat
affordable and accessible for young people in New Zealand.

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Andy McIntosh

I have been fortunate to attend the last two weeks of the Bodhi Seeds programme as a voluntary assistant.
I found the equality of teaching and attendees participation during the week at Wangapeka with Tarchin and the week at the tree field to be both passionately engaging and
supportive to all. During this time I saw the seeds of Dharma sprouting and blooming with a lot of change and understanding for the participants. I thoroughly recommend this programme to continue in the future.

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Dan Burgess-Milne

Bodhi Seeds has provided me with a fantastic opportunity
to press pause, step away, go deep into myself and do
some contemplation, and gain more clarity in how I want
to be in this world. I have seen enormous change and
growth in myself and others, and have no doubt in my
mind that Bodhi Seeds is bringing forth something
beautiful for the world.
Enormous gratitude to Jaime, for committing to creating
this experience and giving himself whole-heartedly to hold
space for 7 young men to have a life changing
experience. Thank you to all the people who have
contributed time, resources and finances to allow this to
happen. Opportunities like this feel so vital during this
transformative stage of life, and without support from the
board and funders, none of us would have been able to afford the financial costs of having this experience. I feel the support of a whole web of beings coming together to create the opportunities for the people of tomorrow to develop to their full potential. What a gift to the
world.

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Max Deutschle

For me Bodhi Seeds has been a powerful journey of
deepening my aspirations and has helped to clear a path
into my truth.
I have benefited through developing a meditation practice
that will stay with me. The duration of Bodhi Seeds and
the diversity of retreats, teachers and events has made
for a rich and rewarding experience.
Bodhi Seeds affords a priceless opportunity where young
people can meet themselves and grow.

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Jeremy Burgess-Milne

Starting out with the Young Adults Retreat and now
returning for the second Bodhi Seeds, I have now
spent quite a bit of time walking and working on the
land. I want to express my dedication to supporting the
centre.
However the support I can offer is not financial aside
from a small donation here and there, and the boards
willingness to provide a labour exchange agreement in
order to make retreats more affordable has been a
blessing for me, and others I’m sure.
I don’t know how to describe what I have gained from
the retreat. It is great to have a space of dedicated
practice to deepen and strengthen to re-center and
realign. But I hope that I will see you all again soon and that you can see for yourself the benefits of providing this retreat space to us. Thank you and much love.

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Rowan Brooks

I know I got a lot out of Bodhi Seeds and am sure further
benefits will become clear with time. At its core I benefited from time to be with sangha, in the supportive environment of the Wangapeka. My practice feels stronger and like I can work with greater clarity and intention. I can see how this may help me carry a greater sense of spaciousness, and integration into what could previously feel a busy and fragmented day to day.
The weaving together of retreat work, group process and
dana, as well as community living allowed me to find both
breadth and depth of insight into patterns in my being.
Within the program I could find continual opportunities to
apply practice, and develop skilful means to relate to
others.
The space for emergence that Jaime held within Bodhi Seeds created opportunities for me to facilitate some pieces and hold space, and for a degree of fluidity that kept the program feeling relevant to the edges I want to explore and develop. I am incredibly grateful to all the support that allowed Bodhi Seeds to happen.

 

 

Thank You

Bodhi Seeds would like to thank deeply everybody who contributed to making this vision a
reality. Bodhi Seeds has been a powerful, transformative and life changing event for the
young people involved and this journey of transformation wouldn’t have taken place if it
weren’t for the generous support of a community. We feel the love and the aspirations of
countless beings willing to support growth and unfolding in this world.

A big thank you to the Wangapeka BOT for allowing Bodhi Seeds to utilise the beautiful
Wangapeka at a subsidised rate in exchange for Dana on the land. A great opportunity to
keep the course affordable, and to strengthen a relationship of giving and receiving
Plans are already underway for Bodhi Seeds 2018, and enthusiasm amongst participants
from previous years is bubbling.

Stay tuned for more info.
Sarva Mangalam

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