Sitting With Friends


Sitting With Friends

This group is dedicated to the practice of silent meditation. We seek to establish a loose network of people who may have taken up silent meditation through different approaches such as Theravada, Zen or Dzogchen. While we honor these and other traditions, our aims are decidedly more modest as we simply seek to support each other as friends without hierarchy, in fellowship as we try to observe the dharma. 

Members: 10
Latest Activity: Jun 30, 2016

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Comment by Gina Howard on May 1, 2013 at 20:40

Sitting with sadness and sorrow. I am visited with these arisings during some (many) mediations and just do as I have been taught and sit with them, not pushing away and not feeding them with thoughts, and I accept them as they arise, but do try to understand the purpose of these arisings as they regularly appear. There is energy behind these feelings and I am not sure it is a grasping or holding on, but maybe an impetus to action or if not action then an ability to hold the suffering of others and myself in kindness. Or maybe it is a process of healing or having courage to face these emotions? Like many of these things when the time is right, the purpose, or intention or insight will be revealed, but wondered if anyone else has had this experience.

Comment by Bob on May 1, 2013 at 21:55

I have never had quite that experience, Gina, but I don't think it is at all unusual. It's mind-stuff, which may be personally significant to you, but it won't last. If you find it really distracting or perhaps even disturbing you might want to talk to someone who is knowledgable and wise in the ways of meditation about it. Ultimately, though, you can just let it go.

Take Care,


Comment by ian finlay on May 1, 2013 at 23:00

I would have thought that these feelings of sadness and sorrow were fairly common, certainly I have felt them. Many people think that enlightenment is all about freedom and joy, but as D.T. Suzuki said, 'there are far more tears in enlightenment than people realise, because as you go into it you have to become one with the whole bombstruck mass of humanity'. Feelings of sadness show you are a real person, whether it is for the 'bombstruck mass of humanity' or more personal, and god knows I have felt a great sadness for myself and my behaviour sometimes. This is natural. Whether you should consciously delve into these feelings I dont know, just by experiencing them I tend to feel reasons will come up. But stay with them, I think its all a part of hopefully making us better and fuller human beings!  Hope this is helpful, Ian

Comment by Gina Howard on May 2, 2013 at 0:08

Hello Bob and Ian, thanks for your replies. There is something in both of your replies that resonate. Firstly the letting go you talk about Bob, and I think it probable that there is something I am holding on to that has yet to be revealed. And secondly what Ian says about more tears than we realise in this process of enlightenment, which I call waking up to a clearer reality, and how the reality of suffering sits on my heart; not causing me grief as such, but is a presence that makes itself known in meditation and when I see suffering around me. And it is a very physical thing. It starts in the deepest part of my belly and rises up like a flood, with my whole body being enveloped, but not taken over by this sorrow. I am aware of it but not swallowed by it and I can see its detail as it grips my heart and throat, and causes the tears to flow and the heat rise. This is very much a physical knowing of suffering. I do not consciously delve into this stuff but just wanted some assurance that this is OK, which I think Ian has done. Thank you. I will sit. Not expecting anything and if it arises, it arises, if not, then not. 

Comment by Bob on May 2, 2013 at 20:11

"Do no try to experience satori. Do not try to drive away illusion. Do not hate the thoughts that arise and do not love them, either; above all do not entertain them. Just practise the great sitting, here and now. If you do not continue a thought, it will not come back of its own accord. If you let yourself go in for breathing-out, if you let your breathing-in fill you in a harmonious coming and going, all that remains is a zafu under an empty sky, the weight of a flame." Ejo, August 28, 1278

Comment by Gina Howard on May 2, 2013 at 20:58

Thank you Bob for this. The most comprehensive instruction in beautiful words.

Comment by ian finlay on May 2, 2013 at 22:09

yes, very zen, my teacher Hogen said similar things, and absolutely lived it. But he would also be at one with us in our problems, and as the opening of John Crooks retreats which I use say, 'we bow in the knowledge that the way to peace may lead through hell...  Many things come up, zen is therapy, sometimes its personal, sometimes as we become more open we identify with the universe and all its problems, nothing which comes up should be denied, but nor should it be hung on to... I remember you being very tearful at the last ten day block Gina so theres probably a bit of stuff there... Anyway I am off to do half an hours sit but I will probably just worry about the ecotherapy taking place tomorrow, and maybe think of a few things I've forgotten...

Comment by Gina Howard on May 3, 2013 at 16:38

There is something around opening up to our humanity in all this, and I resonate with opening to the the problems of the world. I hope you have a good ecotherapy experience and that the weather remains kind to all.

Comment by Bob on August 12, 2013 at 14:36

Hi Friends,

Please note the next silent retreat at the Buddhist House will be with Manu Bazzano on the first weekend of October. We had a lovely retreat with Ian and I have high expectations that Manu will be able to draw from the positive energy we all shared. So I hope you all will be able to make it.


Comment by Bob on September 7, 2013 at 19:29

Hi Diane,

Great to have you as a member. Come to TBH for a retreat--we have got one in October!

Take Care,


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Besides offering training and retreats, Tariki Trust is involved in chaplaincy, environmental action and community support. No one in Tariki is salaried and all work including teaching is voluntary or offered at rates which are well below the professional norms.


Friends, family and loved ones: greetings, and thank you for joining us for this celebration of the life of Perry Isadore Igoe.

Though we gather here today, bound by sorrow and loss, we share a precious gift. We were all privileged to live a life that has been touched by Perry. He possessed a number of extraordinary gifts, which he shared with us freely. None of these gifts, however, are more remarkable than his capacity for love in its purest, most sincere, and honest form. Love for his adored wife, his beloved daughters, his precious friends, and for nature that surrounds us all, especially the life breathed into us by the trees.

Perry was born August 1st 1963 and was very premature so spent the first six weeks of his life in an incubator where he captured the hearts of the nurses and midwives with his cuteness. The trademark infectious Perry smile is well known by all his friends and family so without a doubt, even as a baby he could melt hearts.

Growing up, he went to school in Braintree in Essex, where he lived with his mum Carol, his younger sister Tracey, and older brother Wayne.

Perry was severely dyslexic, so, as a young man, in a very lean job market, he looked for a practical career. He joined the RAF at 16 and served with them for 17 years in Biggin Hill, Brize Norton, Germany, and the Falkland islands. Perry was a peace loving soul and had no desire to ever take up arms, harm, or kill anyone. Since however there had been no wars for a long time, it felt like a fairly safe career for a fit young man. It suited Perry who loved to be part of a team.

When he was 23, Perry managed to search for and finally find his father, Isadore Griffin, who was Black American, which led to several visits to his father in the USA.  Sadly his father also died at an early age a few years later. But Perry has continued to keep regularly in touch with the American side of his family – he was always telling Liz that one day soon they would go to visit, what he jokingly called, - ‘the dark side’!

Perry then worked in logistics and stores for the RAF and was promoted to corporal but, as the Cold War ended, promotions in the RAF were increasingly hard to come by. So after 17 years Perry took voluntary redundancy, left the RAF and went to work for Motorola in Swindon. He bought a house with his then wife, Carrie, and lived in it with his two daughters Sian & Kylie and rather a lot of strange pets. 

Perry was a great believer in investing in property and at one point when he found his work hours cut down, he took on two other jobs and bought a house in Avebury, which he rented out for a while. He later moved to Avebury with his wife Antoinette and ran a B&B there. 

Avebury was a spiritual home for Perry – he loved the standing stones and he enjoyed the succession of eccentric, visiting tourists interested in the stone circles as well as the many crop circles that pop up in Wiltshire fields in the spring and summer months. Whilst Perry was there he was a member of a Wiccan coven and later a shamanistic group.

In 2007 Perry decided to train as a counsellor with the Buddhist Organisation, the Amida Trust – now re-named - the Tariki Trust. This was where he met Liz and they became good friends.  In 2009 they both qualified as counsellors. In his usual ‘speedy’ fashion Perry had completed the course in record time – under 2 years. He went on to work for an organisation which helped educate young people with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. Perry worked as a counsellor for several years before he finally fulfilled a life-long dream of buying a property ‘somewhere warm’.

In 2013 Perry moved again, lock stock and barrel, to the Serra De Estrella Mountains in Portugal where he quickly made a lot of friends among the ex-pats from the UK and Europe, all busy restoring old buildings and farming the land.

Perry and Liz met again accidentally in 2014 at the Buddhist House. They fell in love during a marathon 17.5 hour dinner and talked through the night and most of the following day. Since then Perry and Liz have been busy restoring their house in Portugal, affectionately named ‘The Ranch’ and have gone from having baths by candlelight in the goat shed, to a beautiful home with 3 bathrooms. Perry was never happier than when he was walking around the land working out watering systems and making sure the 150 trees he’d planted were growing well. Indicative of his altruistic personality and philosophy of sustainability, all the trees he planted at ‘The Ranch’ have been selected to provide for the next generations. A fan of tree nursing myself, I would often ask him about his trees and we would share videos and ideas for them. On a specific topic of his latest project, the Pecan trees, he mentioned how the earliest the small, 1-inch saplings would grow to bear fruit in 10 years, and it might be a good 20 before they reach maturity. “Perry,” I said, “that's ...a really long time.” To which he replied: “They aren't for me.”

And this is the type of person Perry was - always thinking of others first. Planning for the long term, working for a sustainable world, a world that works with nature, not against it. To paraphrase an ancient Greek proverb, “a wise man plants trees in whose shade he knows he will never sit.”

Perry had a great love of nature and the natural world, which he attributed to his Native American ancestors. His great love was trees, which he believed really spoke to him. So Perry returned to the Buddhist house to train in eco-therapy and shortly thereafter Perry and Liz started running eco-therapy and tree planting holidays in Portugal. Alongside his projects in Portugal, Perry joined several local eco-projects in Bristol.

On the 10th of July 2016, Perry and Liz married at Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire in a beautiful hand-fasting ceremony with over a 100 family and friends. Neither of them stopped smiling and laughing all day long, and Perry tore up the dance floor in what seemed like a union of John Travolta and Patrick Swayze. Since then they have spent six months of every year at the Ranch in Portugal and have welcomed many family and friends as visitors there.

Perry loved life – he just loved being here on this earth. Many people on this Earth believe in a higher power or greater purpose. Perry was content being himself, in this world, right now, enjoying the greatest and the smallest life has to offer. A true “Zen master”, as I like to describe him to my friends.

Perry was the most gentle and kindest of men – a true gentleman. Perry never had a bad word to say about anyone – not a criticism or judgement ever passed his lips. He didn’t swear, he didn’t argue, and he also didn’t drink alcohol, smoke, or even take tea or coffee. That is one reason why his death has been such a shock for all of us. Perry’s life was about love, acceptance, and working with others as part of a team, and he lived that out with every breath he took.

We have been lucky to know Perry in this life, we regret his passing on so soon, and so young, but his spirit and his legacy will remain among us – youthful, lively, fun, and full of love, and that oh-so-special smile.  We honour him.   

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