Nelson Buddhist Centre

20/20 A Year of Clear Vision

The 20/20 project is a year-long exploration focused on what “clear vision” implies for dharma practitioners and others, as well as centres like the Nelson Buddhist Centre, in this rapidly changing world. The disruption and uneasiness of changing climate, social instability, fundamentalism and political/economic reactivity affect all living beings

Developing clear vision implies willingness, on both a personal and collective level, to look deeply into what is, taking responsibility for our own responses. Sharing deeply with others creates a synergy from which aspiration, support, compassion, creativity, bravery and practical action flows.



At the Nelson Buddhist Centre, Keith Rowan hopes to catalyze committed local groups in Nelson along side other groups in New Zealand and internationally to engage in monthly Circle process based on resource material supplied by the 20/20 team. Guidelines in how to use sharing circles skillfully (as meditations on generous listening and speaking spontaneously, with authenticity and respect) will be provided. Group feedback, insights and struggles will be encouraged, and posted via a 2020 website and other media. We’ll mentor these groups responsibly, based on 25 years experience of evolving this form. Much of the resource material we have gathered is very challenging to be with. There’s quite a bit known about the mental health challenges that arise when people are faced with a deluge of bad news, particularly when there appears to be nothing an individual can do to make an impact. In today’s world there are so many issues — climate change, violent sectarian conflict, political upheaval and economic uncertainty — where the “powers that be” offer conflicting opinions and seem to demonstrate the same range of fight, freeze or flee responses as the rest of us!

On our team we’ve experienced the full range of reactivity. Rob McGowan, an esteemed Maori healer, spoke recently about a climate change conference he attended where everyone present had intelligent, helpful things to say, but the group as a whole was unable to listen respectfully to one another.

The wonderful work of Joanna Macey has, since the early ’80’s, been a source of inspiration for the importance of feeling deeply into and voicing our inner experiences and emotions in the face of unsolvable problems — such as the storage of nuclear waste, and now our rapidly changing environment. Since 2000, our communities in Canada and New Zealand have learned a lot from THE WAY OF COUNCIL by Jack Zimmerman and Virginia Coyle.

Freeing volatile or frozen emotion and energy allows us to maintain wholesome states of mind. Listening with the whole body to the experience of others, as a meditation on listening, expands our range of understanding, and sparks deep compassion. From the synergy of collective wisdom and compassion, surprising insights and creativity arise — far beyond what we as individuals might be capable of. Freeing ourselves of addiction to outcomes paradoxically allows for amazement.

Our Promise

Don’t be afraid!  None of us knew how this works when we first started, and we’ll be there to help you learn by doing.  Making mistakes is a big part of any new adventure, and we promise that we have learned from a lot of them.  We are passionate about this way of sharing deeply with one another, and our Dharma communities are stronger, more flexible and creative as a result.   If you would like to take part contact Keith: [email protected]

For the full article with more information on the motivation and scope of the 20/20 Project, Read here: