Living with Integrity - a 10 session course on strengthening the integrity of mind and heart
The Noble Qualities - The Parami
"At different times in our lives and meditation practice,
we may get glimpses of something beyond our ordinary,
conventional reality, touching a space that transforms our vision of who we are and what the world is.
These intimations give passionate meaning to questions of ultimate truth,
because although we may not always be living in that space,
we understand it to be the source of everything we value."
Joseph Goldstein, One Dharma
Dates for 2021
Every second Tuesday, 7pm-9pm from 27th July - 30th November 2021
What's included in the Course?
10 live sessions every second Tuesday, 7pm-9pm
A login for the course website
All sessions will be recorded and available on the website within 24 hours.
Weekly practices to update your skills
Practice letters for each theme.
All materials will be available for you to access until the end of December 2020.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page or click here to book your place. We offer a sliding scale to accommodate people with different financial situations.
"Hi Anton; I just wanted to belatedly write and thank you for offering the "Courage to be yourself" course. Unfortunately, my internet was shaky and I lost connection in the last session and couldn't thank you personally then. I have been meditating for a long time, but with a stern determination and without a clear intention. I've only been dabbling in the Buddhist teachings for about a year now and I found that your delivery made the teachings really accessible and easeful. I enjoyed working through practical exercises with the other participants and I never felt any pressure to over-achieve as I normally do as a self-confessed long-term recovering perfectionist. The course has really increased my interest in the teachings and my own self-awareness.
Thanks again and I look forward to attending many more of your courses and retreats in the future, Annabel "
What do these qualities mean for our life?
Simply, we do it because these qualities of life enrich us and bring joy. Strengthening them invites an integrity into our being that holds us steady in the storms and flows of life. When we are clear on who we are and what we stand for, we're not so easily knocked off centre and we can rest in the bliss of blamelessness. The blamelessness of knowing we have no intention to harm anyone.
The other benefit of enriching these qualities is that we move out of feelings of helplessness or hopelessness and towards a clear sense of what's important in life. Each parami supports, clarifies and enriches the others in a positive feedback loop. This supports our confidence in creating new things in life. Confidence in life is supported by a competence in these life affirming habits. Confidence is not always competence and shouldn't be confused as the same thing.
"Some will tell you, that what you really want isn't on the menu. Whatever you do, don't believe them. Cook it up yourself and then prepare to serve them. That's how they will learn. Don't stand in the kitchen and bitch that no-one is making what you want. Make it and then show them how wonderful it is.... I taught myself how to play music when I was three... and it was play and to this day it still is play. You learn creativity because it's fun. You keep your nose on the joy trail and you reach the world in a different kind of way."
The emphasis will be on play.... Give it a try and see. To support this and to help us all be on the same page, there will be guidelines on how to do that so that we are respectful to each other and support our learning space.
What are the parami?
A parami (this word comes from Pali, the language used at the time of the Buddha) is a quality of mind & being we develop and refine into its fullness to strengthen and support our relations and day to day life.
"No-one wants unhappiness and suffering but everyone creates the conditions for suffering. Everyone wants happiness but no-one wants to create the conditions for happiness". Ajahn Chah
Different schools of Buddhists selected different qualities to be pāramī, but in the Theraveda school which is practised in countries such as Thailand, Burma, Laos, Sri Lanka, Cambodia there are 10. This is not to say that these are the only qualities to cultivate, but more that these one's have been proven to make a difference over the thousands of years of this tradition. You might even say that these qualities of character are central to the core of what the tradition stands for on the relational, person to person level.
The Dalai Lama states: “Whether the system includes fifty-one mental factors or more or less, none of those sets is meant to be all-inclusive, as though nothing is left out. They are only suggestive, indicative of some things that are important".
Theravada uses the Pāli language, referring to them as pāramī, whereas other schools use ‘pāramita’ which comes from the classical Sanskrit language. The ten pāramī are:
Generosity — Sharing with the world from a sense of abundance
Morality/Virtue — The ways we prioritise and support the preciousness of life.
Renunciation — Letting go of harmful habits of thoughts, actions, speech and thoughts.
Discernment or Wisdom — Seeing and understanding clearly for ourselves through our own experience.
Energy — The courage to be present, facing what seems dangerous or painful and doing what we think seems right
Patience — The ability to wait without complaint as well as steadfastness and perseverance
Truthfulness — Acting, speaking and acting from honesty. It's an antidote to self-delusion.
Resolve — Determination in persevering with our aspirations.
Loving Kindness — Showing care, kindness, concern and love for others
Equanimity — the ability to stay calm, clear & impartial
These pāramī form a set of themes that are practised in the Insight Meditation tradition to this day.
They provide a template for the mind’s energies and activities that isn’t an extra to all the other things we might have to do, but encompasses
our talking and working,
relational joy and interactions with others,
ways to support and encourage each other
our times of private introspection
our decision-making and
the forming of our life directions
Why practice the parami?
We know that the mind is shaped by habits of thought, feelings, intention and actions etc… so why not habituate it to create the conditions for happiness? First step is to see I have a choice. I can continue with the negativity, blaming, complaining and undermining (etc) or I can start to look for the good qualities in people and myself and support them.
One of the first things we can do is say, “Well, I’ve got a choice. I can develop the positive conditioning or the negative conditioning.
I can look at a person and see their good qualities or I can look into them and see their bad qualities. Both are there."
“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ― Dalai Lama
When we start to look for the good intentions in people and ourselves, we can start to be curious about what we/they are trying to achieve, even if we/they are critical and judgemental. Being curious is the first step towards de-conditioning, towards the unconditioned. Someone else’s action does not need to determine our response.
We can practise relational awareness, patience and all or any of the parami while we are engaged at work, or minding the children, or stuck in a traffic jam. When it comes down to it, why not do it? When you’re in a jam, you can either get irritable, worry — or you can practise patience. We can ask ourselves, what choice is going to take me out of stress right now?
In the course, as we look into each character quality, we'll discuss and learn practices to help build new habits and open everyday pathways for allowing integrity and joy to flourish in our life.
*We don't want anyone to miss out on this opportunity and we know things can be financially tough for some at the moment, so if this is the case for you email usand we will be happy to work something out
These are the simple cancellation guidelines we follow.
1. Every booking has a non-refundable deposit of $50 to cover admin.
2. Refunds (minus non-refundable deposit) will only be paid if requested on or before 22nd July 2021. There will be no refunds paid after this date.
3. We will give full refunds for events that are cancelled.
4. If you can't make it, you are welcome to offer your paid place to a friend. Just let us know.
5. Registrations/bookings are not transferable to a future event.
6. All refunds are processed via the card that you paid with.
In the event of us being unable to run the course, all booking fees will be refunded.
Q:How long are the meditation sessions?
A: They go for 5-10 minutes
Q: I'm new to meditation. Will this be suitable for me?
A: Totally. This course is a great way to be introduced to relational, mindfulness practices
Q: Do I have to be a Buddhist to take part in this course?
A: This course is open to anyone regardless of faith. It's about developing qualities of life, rather than following a god or deity. These practices are "Directly accessible; not bound up with special events and times; encouraging interest and open- mindedness [rather than belief]; furthering and deepening; to be realised directly in one’s experience through wisdom, rather than induced by someone else". The invitation is to try it and see how they work in your life.
Curious to know more?
Do you have other questions? Call Anton (no texting please) anytime for a chat about the course. Ph 0412 018962 or send us an email
If you would like to be notified about updates for this course, or about other events like this then click here tojoin the email list
"The pāramī are inclinations and potentials within us that we develop into clear intentional action. Their development comes in three stages — the initiating, the gathering, and the completion. Initially, one brings the topic to mind. Even this much is useful; it means that pāramī get built-in as a frame of reference, when other values such as fun, convenience, style, worldly performance and success can be taking over the mind. The ‘gathering’ stage is when you apply the perfection in the face of opposition. Something in you doesn’t want to bother, other people don’t see the point, it’s not convenient, etc., etc. The third stage, of completion, is when you know your fullness in that perfection will take you through any obstacle — you can give up your life for it. You realize: ‘Why not? Life is going to end anyway — why not establish the mind in a position of strength while there is time?’" Ajahn Succito (Thai Forest Tradition)