Laingholm Eleven is a home studio – the classes and events are held in a large living room of a residential home located in a tranquil forest setting of the Waitakere Ranges, overlooking the Manukau harbour.
The classes and events are offered by the resident facilitator on a non-commercial basis with two main intentions: for the enjoyment of sharing the practice with like-minded people and as a contribution to the local community.
This home studio set-up is quite different from the typical commercial classes held in public halls and the purpose of this page is to explain the differences and to let visitors know what to expect and what is expected of them.
When coming to Laingholm Eleven you are a welcome guest in the teacher’s home. In contrast to a public hall, this is a very informal, comfortable, warm and homely atmosphere that is conducive to meditation practice. The house is very quiet, the floor is carpeted, there is a warm fireplace and we sit on comfortable bean bags for meditation.
Instead of charging commercial fees we use the Maori custom of koha whereby visitors to a gathering make a voluntary and unconditional gift that is appropriate for their level of means. The intention is to make sure that no one is excluded for financial reasons while having a way for the natural balance of give and take to be established.
Koha is not a fee – it cannot be required and the suggested amounts listed on event pages are generally lower than the market fees of similar events. Koha should be placed into the wooden box by the entrance downstairs. We encourage visitors to put aside the familiar mentality of making a purchase and instead consciously enjoy the experiences of freely receiving and freely giving.
Our events have a purposeful but casual atmosphere. There is no uniform to wear and no imposed hierarchy between the teacher and the students. There is no religion, no beliefs to adopt and no commercial schemes to buy into. We come together with mutual respect to share learning and good company as people on our own distinct personal paths.
Our custom is to open the doors 20 minutes before the start of an event and to close the doors at starting time. For example: if the event starts at 7pm you can arrive between 6:40 and 7:00pm. Once the doors are closed we do not let anyone in. If you are late please do not bang on the doors and try to arrive early next time. The reason for this is that we begin with meditation and it is too disruptive to have rushed people walking in. It is suggested that you aim to arrive 15 minutes early, this way you will have some time to calmly walk in, sit down and relax and be in a perfect state for meditating.
The classes and events at Laingholm Eleven are focused on cultivating a state of presence. It is therefore a requirement to not bring any cellphones, smartwatches or wireless electronic devices into the house, whether they are on or off. Leave these at home or in your car. This allows for a very different experience, especially for people who are addicted to electronic communication, and allows us to be both more relaxed and more engaged with our practice and with each other.
Tai Chi and Meditation require clean air and so does a home. The home studio set-up is unfortunately unsuitable for visitors who are pungent with perfume, smoke, deodorant or laundry detergent. It is simply too unpleasant to teach in the presence of a strong smell and to have to air the house out afterwards. Based on a few years of experience we have the following requirements:
- Smokers: no smoking on the same day, fresh clothing not infused with smoke.
- Perfume/Fragrance Users: no perfume use on the same day, fresh clothing not infused with fragrance, hair washed the previous night.
- Everyone: please do not use any scented personal care products for 3 hours before coming (deodorant, aftershave, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc) and wear fresh and well-rinsed clothing (no dryer sheets if using a dryer).
- Health – do not come when you are sick to avoid passing it on.
- Vegan House – do not bring any food or drink containing animal products.
- Punctuality – arrive 5-15 min before the event starts.
- Presence – your cellphones, smartwatches and electronics must be left in the car.
- Clean Carpets – socks must be worn indoors.
- Clean Air – see paragraph above.
Having this structure in this unique environment allows for a positive experience for everyone involved, but we understand that these requirements may not be suitable for some people. Please follow your feeling as to whether you feel drawn to or closed off to what you have read on this page and let this inform your decision on whether being a guest at Laingholm Eleven is right for you at this time.
The address of Laingholm Eleven is incidentally 11 Laingholm Drive, Laingholm, Waitakere / West Auckland. Being a residential home, visitation is only during classes and events or by prior arrangement.
GPS has been known to misdirect some visitors, so it is recommended that you keep an eye on street numbers once on Laingholm Drive or note these directions:
Directions from Titirangi (about 5 km):
- From Titirangi roundabout with sculptures turn to Huia Road.
- Once you get to the bottom of the hill, turn left and up into Laingholm Drive.
- Stay on Laingholm Drive for 3km and look out for number 11 sign on the right.
- Go up the shared driveway and follow the signage. Park in front of the house.
If you are a local you are very welcome to cycle or walk – remember to bring a torchlight and allow a few minutes for the upward driveway.