In 2016, Alan Wallace visited Melbourne to make accessible a range of profound contemplative practices that lead to extraordinary levels of balanced mental calm and abiding attentional focus (mindfulness). In early 2017 The Contemplary offered another opportunity to learn these key foundational practices. Those who attended the Alan Wallace retreat had the opportunity to add momentum to the progress of their practice and to deepen their experience in the concentrated environment of a residential retreat set in the beautiful and quiet hills surrounding nearby Healesville.
While these practices are clearly preserved and therefore easily accessibly within the Buddhist contemplative tradition, they can be found in most traditions and are taught in a way that makes them readily integrated into diverse secular and religious contexts. At the same time it was intended that the teaching sessions not only focused on meditative techniques but were enriched by reference to the ethical, philosophical and psychological perspectives of the Buddhist tradition. The retreat involved a combination of teaching and practice, although the emphasis fell on the latter in order to take full advantage of the residential setting. Noble silence was incorporated into this retreat.
We invited an experienced international Buddhist teacher to re-visit and build on the experience of the 2016 retreat. Originally from Australia, Glen Svensson has been a student and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism since 1995 and graduated from the seven-year Masters Program in Advanced Buddhist Studies of Sutra and Tantra at the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute (Pomaia, Italy) in 2004. Since 2005 he has taught and led meditation retreats in India, Europe, North America and Australia with a teaching style emphasizing clarity. Glen has learned from many distinguished teachers and is also a senior student of Alan Wallace, with whom he recently worked to provide individual support to participants in Alan’s annual 8 week retreat.