Between November 2010 and February 2011, New Zealand, a country of 4 million people, suffered two of the biggest disasters in its history.
The Chilean mining disaster had many of us riveted to our TV screens as miner after miner was brought to safety, having been trapped underground for 69 days. This was not to be the case in New Zealand. After an explosion at the Pike River Mine in New Zealand’s South Island, anxious families, buoyed by the Chilean experience, waited for long days and nights for a breakthrough that might bring their men home. None of the 29 miners and contractors survived.
Only three months later, Christchurch, New Zealand’s third largest city, was … Read more »
Matt Bowen: Silence dominates here.
It’s noon in room two at St Paul’s Catholic School and noise is everywhere else – the four walls are ablaze with colour, art and slogans; outside, the Ngaruawahia sun is laced with the din of schoolyard kids in play.
Inside though, not a sound – the children are meditating.
The class of 14 six-year-olds is sitting in a close circle on the carpet with teacher Judy Craven the centrepiece on a chair.
Her eyes are closed, too.
The kids sit cross-legged – hands rest either on knees with thumb and forefinger touching or in laps with fingers interlocked …
Gill South tries a meditation retreat but finds it hard to keep to the code of silence.
It’s probably not the best idea to arrive at a peaceful, “silent” leadership retreat, red-faced and sweating. The walk to its location at Eden Garden on the side of Mt Eden took longer than I’d thought.
My meditation retreat today is being run by clinical psychologists Lisa Markwick and Marijka Batenburg – the workshop is based on Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “mindfulness” methods. Lisa is an experienced leadership facilitator and coach with her company Mindful Adventures and has been recommended to me by Barry Coates, the executive director of Oxfam New Zealand, an excellent big thinker and an advocate … Read more »