Mindfulness and Dharma teacher Tig-Le House
Ian Hackett’s journey to become a Dharma teacher began when he discovered meditation practice at the age of 15, combined with an acute early environmental awareness. Ian was born in Perth Western Australia, growing up between the city and the family farm north of Perth. As a young boy, from around 7 years of age, Ian learned a deep love and care for nature from being allowed to roam freely on the farm, spending much of his time in the uncleared bushland, creeks and gullies on the property. He remembers being engrossed in the changes of the seasons, the interrelationships between the land and water, the plants, insects, native animals, and stock. He describes the feeling of being embedded in the freedom of a beautiful wildness. He remembers being amazed at natures capacity to persist, to adapt and change, a continuous cycle of rest followed by active renewal. He was in awe of the vast diversity, the array of nature’s expressions. Ian also talks of the memories of harm inflicted on the landscape by the activities of land clearing for the unsustainable farming practices that had become the basis of modern industrial agriculture. Most of the property was slowly cleared, many more paddocks were created, creeks and gullies were heavily degraded by overgrazing and a cascade of ecological disasters unfolded, including the inner human ecology of a young emergent man.
Later, from the late 1980s to the end of the 1990s, Ian worked across the Western Australian wheat belt. He then began travelling and working around Australia, seeking out extended periods of exploration and isolation into the difficult and stunningly disciplined wilderness of various Australian landscape. This exploration led to working on environmental weed management programs in the vast WA Kimberley river systems; wandering in the Queensland Daintree and the rainforests around Cairns and Lismore. He studied permaculture at Tyalgum in NSW with Bill Mollison, going on to design and implemented permaculture projects. He participated in environmental activism and forest blockades in the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales and in Western Australia. Throughout this journey Ian continued the meditative practices he had learned, as well as receiving further instruction from different sources and cultural perspectives and participating in small community meditation groups and personal practice.
In the early 2000s Ian studied landcare and bushland regeneration in the sub-tropics and worked with environmental training and employment projects before moving back to his home state of Western Australia, where he finished his formal bushland regeneration and land management studies and began working in the landscapes of the southwest. With his partner Wendy and their three children he continued working as a community environmental activist and established a commercial organic nursery and working permaculture farm.
During this time, the accumulation of Ian’s life experiences lead him to search for new meditative practices that could support a calmer, more stable purposeful healthy engagement with daily life rather than seeking meditative experiences. His search led him to mindfulness and contemplative meditation in the Secular Universalist Buddhist Dharma tradition and he began training under the guidance of mentor Karma Chime Shore of the Origins Centre, Balingup Western Australia in the lineage network of the Late Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche. While this is an ancient secular, non-religious tradition, the practices are carried within the framework of a lineage of Burmese and Tibetan Buddhist teachers stretching back over many hundreds of years.
This training led to Ian becoming a traditional Dharma and mindfulness teacher, opening Tig-Le House at his family residence in Margaret River in 2012. With over 30 years’ experience in meditative practices and environmental activities, Ian weaves together mindfulness and contemplative meditation with socio-ecological health and biocentric perspectives. He shares regular community-based mindfulness sessions as well as Ecodharma and Nature retreats and contributes to teaching of local permaculture design courses. These retreats, courses and group work contribute to participants’ experiences by building foundations that encourage the possibilities for increased emergence of a healthy humanity working for the health and peace of the world, realised in everyday life and living.
Ian’s focus is to continue the work of his teaching tradition and to develop culturally appropriate forms of mindfulness and meditation training in an ecological context to meet the vast and varied challenges of the unfolding global crisis whilst remaining true to ancient secular and sacred Buddhist wisdoms.