Mindfulness, meditation and Dharma teacher Tig-Le House
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Ian Hackett’s journey into Dharma teaching began when he discovered meditation practice at the age of 15 joining various meditation groups around Subiaco and Perth city. Combining these in later life with formal instruction in Universalist Buddhist practices and mind training techniques, interwoven with an acute early environmental awareness and 30 plus years as a bushland regenerator, Ian shares the dharma through a social ecological lens.
Ian grew up between life in 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 and feral animals, and stock. He describes the feeling of being embedded in the freedom of a beautiful wildness, amazed at natures capacity to persist, the seasonal cycles of rest followed by active renewal. He was in awe of the 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 and working in the Queensland Daintree and the rainforests around Cairns and Lismore. He studied permaculture and WWOOF’ed at Tyalgum in NSW with Bill Mollison, going on to design and implemented permaculture projects. An environmental activist, Ian joined forest blockades in the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales and Soutwest forests of 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 being asked to teach by his mentor and root teacher. Following teaching at the center, Ian and his family opened 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 meditation, mindfulness, 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, realized in everyday life and living.
Ian acknowledges major influences on his path of development, including: The Late Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche (Irish/Scottish Canadian); Sayadaw U Thila Wonta Mon. Mahathera (Burmese Mon.); H.H. 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje (Tibetan Kham); Lama Karma Chime Shore (Canadian Australian); Lama Choyin Rinpoche (Tibetan); Elders of Miriwoong country (Wyndam, Kununurra, Keep River and Nicholson River areas), Yuat country (Wannamal), Muli Muli community members and Elders of the Bundjalung Nation (Northern Rivers Region, NSW); Goreng and Menang and Wardandi/Wadandi custodians of the Noongar Nation (Albany, Denmark and Margaret River Regions).
Ian’s focus is to continue the work of this cross-cultural 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.
You can find Ian’s teaching calendar here at Mindfulness and meditation calendar (tiglehouse.org) and his latest retreat schedule here Mindfulness and Meditation, Ecodharma and Nature retreats (tiglehouse.org) or go to the Tig-Le House resources and offerings page to download a useable mindfulness or dharma resources here at Mindfulness resources, meditations and offerings (tiglehouse.org).