Willa Thaniya Reid (formerly Ajahn Thaniya, top photos), has been practising formal Buddhist meditation since the 80s. Her primary training has been through the Thai Forest Tradition of Luang Por Chah. The Forest Tradition is in harmony with her affinity for the natural world and for reflective teachings. For 18 years she was part of the monastic community of this tradition based in England. As the senior nun of Cittaviveka for eight years, she offered support to the lay and monastic community; teaching retreats in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. She brings to her teaching a love for the original suttas of the Buddha. For the previous six years she served the community in Melbourne, offering spiritual support to the dying and their families. She has a Masters degree in relationship counselling, and clinical pastoral training. In 2015 she returned to New Zealand to develop a meditation community with her partner.
We practice coming into full presence with the unshakable qualities of heart the Buddha pointed to. Noticing what is here, our relationship with it and the different inflections of the heart. If there’s hostility or unkindness, these are not true, they are defilements that obscure the truth. They need meeting and understanding, but not believing in. What is needed now is the quality of mettā, that deep well-wishing with the absence of any kind of hostility.
Establishing uprightness of mind, heart and body - ground and feel ourselves here. With friendliness and non-contention, opening and attuning to what’s here, establishing presence with the way things are.
As we establish this time of practice, we approach it with faith in the possibility of awakening. Upright in the energetic sense of heart and body, open to what is here. Let the beautiful energy of breathing stroke through the whole of experience of body. Soothing, calming, bringing well-being.
How to deal with bodily pain; what to do when mind is obsessively thinking; mind goes dull and I keep falling asleep; what to do with weird energies that can happen; I can’t seem to do breath meditation.