We are a Western Australia grown initiative with experience working in the health sector, government, education, Not-For-Profit and corporate sector. Our education, training and consulting experience is both home grown and enhanced with significant international experience.
Founder: Kathryn Choules (PhD)
Kathryn’s love of mindfulness, meditation and compassion comes from experiencing the benefits first-hand. She uses mindfulness and compassion training to work with people as they respond to the inevitable stresses of the modern world and live more satisfying and fulfilling lives. Kathryn is a certified instructor of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction through the University of Massachusetts and recognised as a Senior Teacher by the Meditation Association of Australia. Kathryn is the only Perth-based mindfulness teacher offering courses to the public with these qualifications.
As a researcher she is up-to-date with the growing scientific evidence base supporting Mindfulness, meditation and compassion in health, education and work contexts.
Her ongoing volunteer work as a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter provides regular opportunity to apply mindfulness and compassion for the benefit of the community. She is an accredited Mental Health First Aider.
Kathryn teaches mindfulness as a secular practice at universities, schools, businesses, hospitals, health care settings, community organisations and through public courses. Kathryn started meditating over 30 years ago at the Armadale Community Health Centre with the monks from the Boddhinyana monastery. She teaches from a place of practice – having a daily meditation practice and regular yoga practice. Her exploration of meditation has taken her through a wide variety of Buddhist as well as secular forms of meditation. She sits silent retreats every year from 7 days upwards.
Starting life as a lawyer means Kathryn is no stranger to the stresses of performing in high pressure environments. She has also worked in a variety of cross-cultural contexts both as a consultant and as a volunteer with Australian Volunteers International. With work in Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia, Fiji and Guatemala, Kathryn has worked for more than 5 years abroad. Completing a PhD in transformative education in 2005 led to a number of years working in academia at Deakin University, Curtin University and Murdoch University in areas of education, human rights, social justice and international development.
Kathryn has undertaken courses in the USA and Europe for teachers of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachussetts (CFM). The training included a 7-day professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine under the direction of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr Saki Santorelli. CFM pioneered the adaptation of Buddhist meditation to Western health care, law and education.
Contact Kathryn now to find out how you can experience the benefits of mindfulness.
Kathryn’s teachers and teachings attended
Nothing comes from nothing. I am greatly indebted to the many teachers who have shared their wisdom and experience. The tradition on which Mindfulness rests is deep and well developed. The teachings I have attended and describe here range from teachings with thousands of people to small groups. None of the teachers here is a personal/individual teacher.
Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli In February/March 2013 I participated in the 7-day professional training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Mind-Body Medicine under the direction of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and Dr Saki Santorelli. The Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society – a pioneer in the adaptation of the Buddhist wisdom tradition to the health care setting – was started by Jon Kabat-Zinn (PhD). Saki Santorelli (EdD) is now the Executive Director.
Lynn Koerbel and Bob Stahl ran the Practicum in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) held in Norwood, Massachusetts, USA that I attended in January/February 2013. A terrific course that provided opportunity for those training to be MBSR instructors to experience the process from the inside. Lynn also was my MBSR supervisor – to meet the certification requirements.
Florence Meleo-Meyer, and Camilla Sköld facilitated the Teachers Development Intensive at Götzis, Austria, August 2013 as part of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, University of Massachusetts instructor training program. They are both great examples of how to embody the principles of Mindfulness in their teaching – patient, warm and compassionate – yet clear and strong when needed. A spacious approach to facilitation.
Ariya Baumann is a highly skilled international meditation teacher with decades of intensive practice. Based in Switzerland she travels the world including regular visits to Australia. 2018 saw her teaching a 9-day retreat in Serpentine (WA) and a one-month retreat in the Blue Mountains. She is a wonderful teacher and I am glad that my decision to undertake longer retreats in 2018 coincided with her visit. Online 9-day retreats during COVID years were a welcome addition to previous in-person retreats.
Steve Armstrong has been a regular meditation teacher coming to Perth from Hawaii and being an early initiator of the Perth Insight Meditation Group. His exquisitely precise 9-day retreat in December 2016 had as its focus developing awareness of awareness itself as the meditation object. A carefully held retreat with clear meditation instruction and evening dharma talks was a great end to the year. His meditation instructions are still a useful reminder on working skilfully with this human mind.
Gregory Kramer is the founder of Metta Programs and developed the practice of Insight Dialogue. Mary Burns is a senior teacher of Insight Dialogue. Together they ran a wonderful 9-day retreat in the Blue Mountains that I attended in February 2015. Perhaps the most profound experience of mindfulness meditation – and in an interpersonal context. Experimenting with these approaches is bringing a new depth to my teaching. Ongoing engagement with Insight Dialogue Asia Pacific in 2021, 2022 and 2023 continues the exploration of mediation in relationship.
In April 2012 and again March 2014 I attended wonderful 7-day silent retreats in NSW at Cine Sera led by the Batchelors. Martine Batchelor brings a beautiful compassionate presence together with the wisdom from her years of meditation experience. Stephen Batchelor is the epitome of the scholar coupled with years of meditation experience. Talks available.
Patrick Kearney is a lay teacher with extensive training in insight meditation and Zen Buddhism. He is a regular teacher in Western Australia for the Perth Insight Meditation Group and I had the pleasure of joining for a weekend retreat in July 2016 and 2017 before sitting his 9-day retreat in 2022. He has a welcome clarity and warmth in his approach to teaching.
Kamala Masters is a lay teacher in the Theravadan tradition who fortunately travels to teach and comes to Perth regularly. I participated in her 9-day silent retreat in December 2017 (organised by the Perth Insight Meditation Group) and a weekend retreat in December 2015. A history of intense practice together with understanding of the challenges of modern living make Kamala’s teaching very applied. She teaches with rigour and compassion.
Shaila Catherine is a well-respected teacher who visited Australia for the first time in 2023 at the invitation of Perth Insight Meditation Group Inc. Her 9-day retreat focused on the approach she explores in her book Beyond Distraction. It was a very valuable retreat with great application to daily life as well as to mediation practice.
Ajahn Brahm My first meditation teacher over 25 years ago when I started as an occasional visitor to the Armadale meditation group. Ajahn Brahm is one of Australia’s best known Buddhist monks leading retreats all over the world. I attended his 9-day silent retreat in 2012 and 2019. He has a wicked sense of humour and a commitment to making the teachings applicable to daily life in a western democracy. Congratulations to Ajahn Brahm for his warm welcome to all people, whatever sexual orientation, religion etc and to his ordination of women as Bikkhunis (fully ordained nuns).
Ouyporn Khuankaew – an amazing facilitator, meditation teacher and human being.
In 2005 I attended my first retreat at IWP in Thailand. The principal teacher was Ouyporn Khuankaew – a Buddhist feminist activist who has been a workshop facilitator in Asia since 1995. She facilitates workshops on feminist counseling, sexuality and anti-oppression, peacebuilding, and nonviolent direct action with Thai NGO and government workers, and regional and international participants. She also guides meditation retreats for activists. Prior to IWP, she ran the gender program of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists
Joan Jiko Halifax (Zen Roshi). In 2011 I was lucky to attend a workshop for health workers at IWP in Thailand on Being with Dying and Compassionate Care led by Joan Roshi. Caring well for people in the last stages of life is something I feel a strong connection with, having helped care for my sister as she responded to the challenges of breast cancer.
Bhikkhu Analayo (also a Professor) brought his teachings to Australia for the first time in July 2018. His precision and sharp intelligence combine with a depth of meditation practice that creates a wonderful retreat. Exploring the Four Foundations of Mindfulness through this study retreat was an enriching experience. Bhikkhu Analayo was ably supported by Bhikkuni Dhammadinna whose depth of heart, wisdom and intellect touched us all. Since sitting these retreats, Bhikkhu Analayo’s Satipatthana Meditation program and Mindfulness of Breathing program have provided connection with his practice-based approach.
Thirty days (November 2010) learning the Lam Rim teachings in Kopan Monastery, Nepal was possible under the gentle instruction Venerable Steve. A handful of us chose to do the month in silence (the exception was that I did speak on the 15th day – just to say check-in with my dorm mates – and also during the group session held most afternoons). Studying and practising in a working monastery with the young monks doing their classes around us was a unique experience.
The Dalai Lama says: “My religion is simple… my religion is kindness.” No more needs to be said. In 2008 I attended his 5-day teaching in Sydney on the Stages of Meditation. In 2011 I attended his 3-day teaching in Melbourne on A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life.
Quite a unique experience to be sitting with a few thousand people in an auditorium meditating as we waited for the Dalai Lama to arrive. You could have heard a pin drop.
Ajahn Khemavaro is a Vietnamese born, US educated, Thai trained monk who was a stockbroker before becoming a monk. His teaching is infused with humour and a strong understanding of the challenges of modern living. He led a 9-day silent retreat in November 2015 at Jhana Grove which I attended. During that retreat I worked with “mindful waiting” as a practice – sitting with the discomfort of not knowing what comes next and moving from agitation to acceptance.
Ajahn Vayama Probably the clearest teacher I have ever encountered. Ajahn Vayama was the founding Abbot of Dhammasara Monastery in Gidgegannup. Warmth, clarity and peace pervade her being. She has since retired due to ill health. My first encounter with her was at a silent weekend retreat she led many years ago at a Catholic convent in Safety Bay.
Venerable Amaranatho – playful monk.
He might not look much like the Playful Monk in this photo, but Ven Amaranatho does spend a lot of time laughing. I have attended various teachings and retreats with Ven. Amaranatho in 2012 and 2013. In 2013 I assisted in the facilitation of his From Stress to Freedom courses in Perth. (Note: Amaranatho has subsequently disrobed although he continues to teach.)
Ven Thubten Dondrub was the resident teacher at the Perth based FPMT Tibetan Hayagriva Buddhist Centre. When I returned from living in Victoria I participated in the Wheel of Life training at Hayagriva – on death and dying. I attended Ven Dondub’s 7-day silent Lam Rim retreat in 2009. Great teachings.
Ven Antonio Satta is an interesting teacher. Born in Italy, ordained by the Dalai Lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition he nonetheless teaches westerners the Vipassana practice from the Theravadan system. Two non-residential silent weekend retreats taught by Ven Antonio in 2013 gave me new angles on Shamatha and Vipassana meditation.
Ven Robina Courtin challenges all who come to her teachings to really engage with Buddhist psychology at a personal level. Great to have been able to attend the 2013 and 2014 teachings of such an experienced teacher born in Australia. It is not to hard to see the political activist and radical feminist that she was before her ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She travels the world teaching Buddhist psychology and philosophy and helping those in need with amazing energy and fierce compassion.
Shi Faxun and Shi Fa Shu While living in East Victoria Park in the early 2000s, Shi Faxun was the local meditation teacher at Sagaramudra Buddhist Centre (since closed). She and Shi Fa Shu were great teachers – helping me appreciate the benefits of meditation to deal with emotional highs and lows.