First Light Meditation is a small, secular dharma practice community in Gisborne, Aotearoa New Zealand

Come along and find out how simple meditation can be

Meditation is not about trying to ‘stop your thoughts’. Instead, it’s a useful skill for living a less reactive and more ethical life. With us you can:
  • Learn to practice mindfulness
  • Refresh and deepen your meditation practice
  • Find a friendly group of people to meditate with, and
  • Discover a creative, secular approach to the dharma
We can be found at the St Andrew’s Centre lounge each Friday evening. Doors open at 7:15pm for a 7:30 start.


You can just turn up

People with all levels of meditation experience are welcome, including absolute beginners. You can turn up to any Friday session – no registration needed. While there’s no fixed fee for our events, your contribution towards future events is gladly accepted. While we’re a secular Buddhist group, you don’t need to ‘be’ a secular Buddhist to come along to one of our sessions.

Our practice is a simple one

We sit in silence and try to be aware of what is happening in that moment. Watching our thoughts and bodily sensations, we may become aware of sounds, thoughts, and feelings. We observe these things and simply allow them to pass.
On Friday evenings, we sit in chairs, but if you’d prefer to sit on a cushion and have one, you’re welcome to bring it.
And at the end of each meditation session, you may like to spend five minutes reflecting on what happened during that session and journalling your reflections. We follow each meditation session with a discussion.

Never meditated before? There are many different ways to meditate. You can download a set of simple instructions here, or listen to the instructions below. We don’t prescribe a particular approach to meditation; experiment with different practices, and you’ll find what works for you.

Our Values

Practising mindfulness for us is the first step in letting go of reactivity and developing a creative, ethical life. Through developing concentration in meditation, we gain insight into the mind’s habits. This allows us to cultivate more compassionate and generous states of mind, which translates into action in the world.
Our practice is based on a secular dharma. We develop our practice around the four tasks that Gotama, the historical Buddha, taught his followers. These are to:
  • Experience life
  • Let go of reactivity
  • See the stopping of that reactivity, and
  • Act – respond, speak, see, and set an ethical direction in our lives through creatively cultivating of a path, ‘the eightfold path’.
When we pause, and let our mind rest, we feel better – there’s no great mystery in this, the only mystery is why we don’t do it more often.
If you want more in-depth information, the article A Secular Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor is a good place to start.