Compassionate Support in Three Areas

Spiritual Direction/Mentoring Support for the Heart-opening Journey of Transformation and Liberation.


  • Spiritual Direction/Mentoring  support is an ongoing relationship and dialogue about the unfolding of your spiritual journey.
  • You will be supported to fine-tune and deepen your meditation practice while using mindfulness as a powerful tool for exploring and transforming habitual patterns that create suffering and stress.
  • Guided meditations and other modalities may be offered for deepening understanding and compassion, while empowering and supporting you to take your practice “off the cushion” and into the unfolding of your days.
  • You will be encouraged to engage and thrive within the challenges of life.
  • Mentoring is a context in which there is ongoing pointing towards your True Nature with support and encouragement to abide and live from the pre-existing ground of Boundless Freedom, Presence and infinite Love  that is the Truth of your Being.


” I have been a practitioner of Mindfulness-Insight Meditation for 35 years and have been offering mindfulness retreats, meditation groups and workshops worldwide since 1991. I have provided mentoring services for over 20 years, supporting long-term and beginning meditators, teacher trainees, new dharma teachers and community dharma leaders. Over the years I’ve had much experience dealing with the awakening of powerful and sometimes challenging energies within the body. My books In the Lap of the Buddha  and Petals and Blood chronicle my journey with mindfulness, HIV, the reverberations of childhood sexual abuse and violence and growing up gay in South Africa.”

Health-related Mentoring and Support


  • MentoringGH-184 (1) helps foster a relationship of acceptance, equanimity and balance by bringing mindfulness-based exercises and meditation practices to every facet of an acute or chronic health condition, whether life-changing or life-threatening.
  • Mentoring will support you to engage all facets of your situation, including challenging emotions, insomnia, physical pain and feeling overwhelmed.
  • You will become an informed and empowered partner in your healthcare as you mindfully and compassionately explore personal options for bringing healthy, stress reducing and empowering healing modalities into your life in a way that address your unique circumstances and needs.
  • I have found that in the days and weeks following a diagnosis, Mentoring can profoundly affect the trajectory of a health situation.


“I have lived with HIV/AIDS for 34 years. Committed to bringing awareness to every facet of my life, I endeavor to integrate mindfulness and compassion into a complicated health condition, managing my health care within both mainstream and complementary medical paradigms. I bring decades of experience to individuals dealing with challenging health circumstances.”

Trauma-related Mentoring and Support


  • Mentoring brings mindfulness-based skills and meditations to the legacy of trauma and violence, recent or long-standing,
  • It is not unusual for there to be strong feelings like terror, helplessness, rage and overwhelm, where we turn to distracting behaviors and strategies of denial to avoid pain and suffering.
  • GH-79 (1)With mindfulness-based interventions and meditations we deepen our connection with the body, explore the possibility of befriending emotions and understand that to move beyond pain and difficulty we must enter into relationship with our circumstances and lovingly approach rather than avoid the places that scare us.
  •  Mentoring is a journey of empowerment that can significantly serve and support the process of psychotherapy.
  • By helping to establish a ground of mindfulness, Trauma Mentoring and support helps open up choices and options in life that contradict deep-seated patterns of feeling victimized and helpless.


“The suffering associated with incest and childhood sexual abuse and violence brought me to meditation practice in 1980. Transforming the legacy of that trauma has been at the core of my spiritual journey over the years. In the Lap of the Buddha documents my endeavor to bring the reverberations of childhood violence and trauma into the heart of meditation practice. Chapters in the book include: Transforming the Legacy of Sexual Abuse, Self-Hatred and Self-Love, Forgiveness, Beyond the Grip of Fear and Working with Anger.”



GH-13 (2)Gavin has been a spiritual mentor for me for several years, and I can truly say that I am different because of the work we have done together.  His way of listening and being present has created a safe space, and he has been a faithful and compassionate companion on the journey.  Our conversations have broadened and deepened my view, my practice, and integration of the spiritual in my ordinary life.  Frequently, he has intuited my experience at a deeper level than I have yet seen, and has responded to the deeper level, facilitating a fuller and more profound opening of the experience.  He has also been a steady support through some major life challenges that have come my way.  I am enormously grateful for the ways Gavin has both companioned me, and given me myself.”  C……..Massachusetts.


 “Gavin is wonderful / Excellent sessions led by an incredible resource / Dynamic, gifted guest speaker / Gavin was very good, amazed how quickly the day passed / lots of time for meditation and time to Meditation Retreat (1)discuss and share / I liked Gavin’s direct way of expressing Truth and his focus on a single presenter and the depth of enquiry/ deep meditation and Gavin’s clear and concise Q&A and candid, open discussion and interactive dialogue at the end / meditation retreat day was outstanding / Gavin’s an inspiration, reminding me of Essential Truth.”   World Peace Day Retreat  sponsored by the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple……..Hawaii.


“Although I have been meditating for almost 30 years, it was not until I met Gavin four years ago that I felt I could speak with a teacher on a monthly basis about my meditation practice. We have been connecting for four years now, mostly on the phone and also in person when I visit the Big Island. Our sessions are rich, inspiring and nourishing. Gavin listens deeply and offers his perspective and encouragement with humility and insight. During these years I have had a number of physical challengers and surgeries, and Gavin’s encouragement to honor my GH-448body and enter into the landscape of pain and fear with awareness and love has been absolutely invaluable. I am in a Buddhist Studies Program and he has been my teacher and mentor through this process. Gavin is well versed in the Dharma and with the vast space of his open heart he has taught me so much. He is a teacher and role model in the very best sense, transparently sharing of himself and offering direction with a gentle touch.”  N……..Montana.


“Gavin is a key faculty member in the course “Integrative Healing in Hawaii,” offered annually through the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. This course brings six fourth-year medical students to the Big Island of Hawaii for three weeks to learn the theory and practice of integrative healing. Gavin teaches mindfulness-based care in patient interactions. He has been the top-rated teacher (of 20 faculty members) every one of the five years of his participation.”  Dr Ken Riff MD.……..Hawaii.


“I have been working with Gavin in a mentoring relationship for several years and the effects have been profound. With a busy life raising two kids and working, I am able to meet with Gavin only now and then. However the quality of his incredible support and guidance seems to make the frequency irrelevant. Gavin has lovingly, patiently and wisely supported me on my spiritual path – through intensely challenging times of personal change and growth. What I appreciate most about Gavin is that he is completely present and consistent every step of the way, without his own spiritual agenda or ego coming into play. He encourages and challenges me to find my own way and to do the work. When I stop to think how my life has so positively changed since beginning mentoring with Gavin, I am filled with awe and gratitude.” K……..Hawaii.

mentoring-how it works

GH-13Mentoring takes place in person, by phone or Skype from anywhere in the world. Because there is no distance in the heart, the work can be intimate and deep, no matter how many miles separate us physically.

When you sign up for mentoring, I suggest committing to connect for three months. This will give us a chance to establish a language for working together, and a meditation practice strategy. It can be useful to keep a meditation journal during this time, so that when questions arise during practice, you’ll have a system of keeping track of them.

Regular sessions last 60 minutes and are offered on a sliding scale basis of $140 to $200 an hour. Please call  808-884-5288 by 2:00 p.m. on the day prior to your scheduled appointment for any changes or cancellations.  If prior notification is not given,  you will be expected to pay for the missed appointment.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your situation.

Donations are gratefully accepted to help me continue offering pro bono support to nonprofit organizations and to people who cannot afford the full fee. Over the years these organizations have included AIDS support foundations, hospice, hospitals and gatherings focused on trauma, health issues and mindfulness.Tax-deductible donations of over $500 are possible through The North Kohala Community Resource Center, and donors will receive a written thank you with a letter stating the amount of your donation as a tax receipt. Please designate your donation to: Gavin Harrison Teachings and Poetry— Mentoring.

After you have typed in some text, hit ENTER to start searching...