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Conscious Love: A Day-Long Workshop

Join special guest teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for Conscious Love: Tools for Growth-Filled Relationships. Doug and Catherine are the root teachers of the Awaken in Toronto community and founders of Planet Dharma as well as Clear Sky Retreat Centre. Experience the wisdom, insight and humour of this dynamic co-teaching duo.

Conscious Love: Tools for Growth Filled Relationships

Relationships are essential to living a meaningful and rewarding life, and yet also the source of some of our greatest difficulties. Why is it that we are often most emotionally triggered by those we are closest to?  What can we do to increase growth and connection in our relationships?

Join us for a weekend of teachings with Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat as we explore conscious love. Whether interacting with your partner, friends or family, you will learn tools for loving fully, fearlessly and with compassion in your heart.

Course Outcomes

  • Discover how to practice mindfulness and compassion in the midst of interpersonal conflict and emotional challenges
  • Learn how to deepen awareness of yourself and your tendencies through the relationships in your life
  • Gain tools for more honest and constructive communication
  • Learn how to leverage the relationships in your life for the greatest growth of all involved

Schedule

Saturday August 18th: 10am – 3pm (with 1 hour break for lunch)

Fees: Dāna + Admin Fee

These teachings are offered by Doug & Catherine Sensei as a form of dāna (the practice of generosity). In return, attendees are asked to reciprocate generously with their own offering to the teachers. There will be a dāna bowl available at the event to give your offering. For more information on dāna see: Dāna Guidelines and Practice.

We suggest a minimum of $30 as Dana for the teachers.

There is also an Administration Fee* to help cover expenses for the event: $30/session early bird (one month early). $40/session regular price

(Please note that this fee does not go to the teachers but goes towards covering transportation and facility rental costs.)

* We aim not to exclude anyone from access to the Dharma because of financial issues. If the admin fee is out of your reach but you are determined to join, please contact us to discuss alternative forms of exchange.

 

Location

This workshop will be held at the Institute of Traditional Medicine, 553 Queen Street West.

Teachers

Doug Duncan has been teaching the Buddhist path to awakening for over three decades. Known for his direct and compassionate engagement with students, Doug embraces the full spectrum of the various traditions he employs in order to mentor beings to a more awakened state. His great sense of humour, caring attitude and sometimes very direct involvement makes him an effective catalyst for opening the shadow, for very practical application of the teachings, for humorous and gentle relief when tensions mount and through a diverse range of explorations expands the teachings to include all aspects of life.

 

Catherine Pawasarat began her spiritual practices in earnest in her early 20s, when she struggled to make sense of personal suffering and international environmental and social justice challenges. She has trained daily with Doug Duncan since 1998 in an intensive spiritual apprenticeship that is rare in the modern West. Since the early 2000s Catherine has provided dharma training and taught the path of awakening to hundreds of students, together with Doug and on her own. In addition to Buddhist philosophy and its applications to daily life, Catherine also draws on generative living (a.k.a. sustainability) and the arts. With Doug she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies and Planet Dharma, and a lineage holder for these teachings.

Registration

Register for meditation retreat

 

Working with Golden and Dark Shadows

Shadow Retreat at Dharma Centre of Canada, Ontario

September 3 – September 9

Dharma Centre of Canada, 1886 Galway Road
Kinmount , ON K0M 2A0 Canada 
+ Google Map

 

Integrating our shadow may be the fastest way to unfold spiritually, and reduce our suffering. By its very nature, shadow work is not fun or pretty. It takes courage and fortitude. Once we decide to change, the shadow’s darkness moves towards greater and greater light in a process that is both beautiful and exciting.  Join Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat at the Dharma Centre of Canada in Ontario for this powerful five day shadow retreat.

Integrating Our Challenging Shadow Aspects

Toronto meditation retreatMost people are drawn to meditation and mindfulness for the bliss experiences. These bliss experiences spur on beginning meditators to stay with the practice. But as the practice of meditation deepens, darker arisings can start to manifest. Rather than being discouraged by these experiences, it is helpful to see this as an opportunity to integrate these dark shadows into conscious awareness so that we may be free of their control.

If you’ve had these challenging arisings during your practice, you may have been tempted to quit meditating, or try a different method or a different teacher. This is understandable, as facing these dark shadows can be scary and unpleasant. However, if you can lean into these dark manifestations and hold the space openly around them, there can be great release and transformation.

Recognizing the contribution of the golden shadow – our ‘better angels’ – also helps ensure the practice stays joyful and doesn’t descend into nihilism.

The Teachers

Doug Duncan studied with the Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche from 1974 until the latter’s passing in 2003, received lay ordination from Namgyal Rinpoche in 1978 and is a lineage holder in that teaching. He also received teachings from the 16th Karmapa and other Tibetan Rinpoches, as well as from the Ven. Sayadaw U Thila Wunta.
  
Doug has been leading retreats, teaching and training in universal practices of spiritual unfoldment since 1985, helping thousands of students in numerous countries liberate themselves from suffering. His teaching also draws on contemporary psychology and science.

Catherine Pawasarat became a student of metaphysics, Western spiritual traditions, and the ayahuasca sacraments in the 1990s, and has trained daily with Acariya Doug Duncan since 1998 in an intensive spiritual apprenticeship that is rare in the modern West. She is a lineage holder of these teachings. She supports the spiritual underpinnings of social entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurship for spiritual practitioners with AkasaVision Consulting. With Doug she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies and runs their PlanetDharma website.

Shadow Work with Experienced Guides

Leaning into shadow work requires an experienced guide, someone who has navigated the path themselves and who can inspire confidence and offer support. Dharma teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat have been offering this guidance to students for more than half a century between them. Integrating the shadow is one of the 4 pillars of their approach to spiritual awakening that informs their organization, Planet Dharma.

This retreat will utilize various shadow work techniques such as dream recall (including lessons in lucid dreaming) and working with masks to explore the topic and connect with transformative experience.

Vajrayana Empowerment Wongkur: Yamantaka

A Yamantaka Yab-Yum Wongur initiation ceremony will take place on Tuesday morning. The ceremony is only open to persons attending the retreat. (For more information about what a Wongkur is, click here.)

Yamantaka is considered to be the “tool man” of Vajrayana archetypes, because of his many hands and implements. Another name for Yamantaka is the “slayer of death”, as his yab-yum form is a wrathful and extremely energetic form that works well with the forces of both the Dark and Golden Shadows. Yamantaka is the energetic manifestation of Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom. Working with Yamataka helps to transform and is powerful enough to overcome and subdue even the most powerful negative emotions.

Register for meditation retreat

 

 Course Outcomes:

  • Learn about the unconscious aspects of consciousness and how they influence our behaviours, habits and life choices
  • Better understand how these aspects show up as both positive potential (golden shadows) and challenging forces (dark shadow)
  • Learn practices for integrating you golden and dark shadow aspects
  • Gain confidence in addressing challenging aspects of your life
  • Generate more calm, concentration and joyful energy

Important Details

Please arrive on Monday, September 3 between 2-5pm. There will be an orientation at 5:30pm, and the first class at 7:30pm that evening. (We recommend arriving as early as you can to give yourself to fully land in the space.) The last class will be held on Sunday morning, September 9. The retreat officially ends around 2pm after lunch and a brief wrap-up.

Outline of a typical day at the retreat:

6:45-7:45am Group Sit
8:00-8:30am Breakfast
10:00-11:00am Group Class
12:30-1:00pm Lunch
3:30-4:30pm Group Sit
6:00-6:30pm Dinner
7:30-8:30pm Group Class

This not a silent retreat. There may be portions of the time in silence, but in general there will be mindful speaking and interacting with the teachers and other retreatants.

Rates

Super Early Bird Rate: until June 2 – $770
Early Bird Rate: June 3-August 2 – $820
Regular Rate: after August 3 – $900

 

Register for meditation retreat

DREAM YOGA – 5 classes in studying dreams and improving dream recall


The first and last Thursday of each month. April. May. June.

July 5 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Place: Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto M6R 1M3

Room: 2nd Floor

Dream Yoga begins with the realization that the illusions we face in our dreams are often the same ones we face in our waking life. Studying the symbols and themes that appear in our dreams can help unlock some of our shadows and help connect us to our unconscious. Instead of being disconnected from ourselves, in Dream Yoga we turn our mind into a laboratory. We learn to separate from phenomena in dream life so we can also separate from phenomena in waking life. Together we will share suggestions for improving dream recall and aim for greater transformation through our dream life.

These classes include basic mindfulness techniques, including noticing thoughts, feelings, and perception, but are “beyond mindfulness” in that they include challenges to some of the limiting observations. They are great for people who have tried a bit of mindfulness meditation but now would like a bit deeper dive. Each class includes a 30-minute silent meditation practice time. These meditations will support the exploration of one of the precepts and will include a variety of meditation techniques.
April 19
May 3
May 17
June 7
June 21

July 5.  Extra class.

Cost: Dana – Practice generosity by paying what you value

BYOC: Bring Your Own Cushion (anything to sit on the floor with) or sit on one of our chairs

Teacher: Linda Hochstetler has been studying and practicing a variety of meditation practices (mindfulness, Zen, and Vajrayana Buddhism) for more than 30 years. She is a meditation teacher in the lineage of Namgyal Rinpoche (one of the first North American lineage holders) and considers Senseis Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat her primary gurus. She follows their tradition of encouraging exploration of everyday life beyond the spiritual realms, particularly while living in the city. She has completed many silent meditation retreats, including a 2-month silent retreat in 2009. She weaves together her personal meditation experiences, her professional background as a palliative care social worker, her years as a mother and step-mother, and her passion for awakening in this life into each of her classes, and invites you to join her in your own explorations.

Teacher

DEATH, DYING, & COMMUNITY

A personal exploration into end of life tasks

The last Thursday of each month.

Last Thursday of each month, 7pm to 8.30pm

Place: Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto M6R 1M3

Room: 3rd Floor, Room #5 in corner; meet in the 3rd floor waiting room till 7:00
June 28

July 26

August 30

 

Have you spent much time thinking about your own mortality? Have you thought about how to prepare for the kind of death you’d like to have? Have you taken the practical steps to make sure your loved ones aren’t stuck wrapping up your affairs? As a Buddhist Lay Chaplain and Registered Social Worker, I would like to bring my personal interests and professional skills as a guide to these profound discussions. If you’d like to join of group of spiritually-minded persons to explore your options and help motivate yourself to prepare better, consider making a monthly commitment to joining us.

Possible topics to cover in 2017: Advanced Care planning, financial wills, prayers at time of death, physical signs of death approaching, sharing caregiving, fears at death, funeral options, and what ever else comes up in the group.

Dāna:

Awaken in Toronto classes are offered on the basis of dāna. The teacher offers classes without any expectation of compensation, as an act of trust of generosity. We encourage you to reciprocate and give generously to the teacher in return, whatever that looks like in your situation.

Teacher:

LindaThis class will be taught by Linda Hochstetler, a psychotherapist, mother, and Death Cafe host. She has also been a meditation student of Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for more than 20 years, and is a Buddhist Lay Chaplain. She was a manager of a social enterprise for 13 years, and helped the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre generate a balanced budget for the first time for their Farm Social Enterprise.

Location: 

Classes are held at the Village Healing Centre (240 Roncesvalles Avenue) in the Middle Room on the Main Floor, opposite Yoga Village. Enter through the door to the church via the parking lot.

MEDITATION PRACTICE TIME – a group weekend meditation retreat

Friday, March 16, 2018 8 PM to Sunday, March 18, 2018, 3PM. 

Much of what we see and hear on the news and social media is all about doom and gloom. Does this feed your own experience of anxiety and fear on a daily basis, and do you desire a transformation away from these negative emotional states? Are you looking to rise above the mundane world to find meaning in today’s world? Are you struggling under your own inner fears and the limiting ideas that hold you back?

Register here:
https://www.dharmacentre.org/hope–fearlessness.html

Facing your fears head on is necessary to push through to see the spaciousness behind the anxiety and fear. One method to face fears and invite you into new territory is to develop the 4 enlightened activities in every day life. A second method is through systematically challenging the ego to take it outside of its normal comfort zone. Following the steps laid out by Sensei Doug Duncan in his book, Dharma If You Dare, these challenges help you transcend your ego’s need for security and comfort and open up new possibilities for you.

Persons attending this retreat will attend classes inviting them to explore these 2 methods, both on and off the cushion throughout the weekend. Through meditation practice and personalized activities, participants will explore where they get stuck in everyday life and how to apply an attitude of fearlessness to these struggles.


The first class will begin on Friday evening at 8:00pm, and the retreat will end at 3:00pm on Sunday. Silence will be maintained throughout the retreat, with plenty of opportunity for questions and discussions at the group sessions.

Registration:
https://www.dharmacentre.org/hope–fearlessness.html

DEATH, DYING, & COMMUNITY

A personal exploration into end of life tasks

The last Thursday of each month.

Thursday March 29th, 7pm to 8.30pm

Place: Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto M6R 1M3

Room: 3rd Floor, Room #5 in corner; meet in the 3rd floor waiting room till 7:00

Have you spent much time thinking about your own mortality? Have you thought about how to prepare for the kind of death you’d like to have? Have you taken the practical steps to make sure your loved ones aren’t stuck wrapping up your affairs? As a Buddhist Lay Chaplain and Registered Social Worker, I would like to bring my personal interests and professional skills as a guide to these profound discussions. If you’d like to join of group of spiritually-minded persons to explore your options and help motivate yourself to prepare better, consider making a monthly commitment to joining us.

Possible topics to cover in 2017: Advanced Care planning, financial wills, prayers at time of death, physical signs of death approaching, sharing caregiving, fears at death, funeral options, and what ever else comes up in the group.

Dāna:

Awaken in Toronto classes are offered on the basis of dāna. The teacher offers classes without any expectation of compensation, as an act of trust of generosity. We encourage you to reciprocate and give generously to the teacher in return, whatever that looks like in your situation.

Teacher:

LindaThis class will be taught by Linda Hochstetler, a psychotherapist, mother, and Death Cafe host. She has also been a meditation student of Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for more than 20 years, and is a Buddhist Lay Chaplain. She was a manager of a social enterprise for 13 years, and helped the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre generate a balanced budget for the first time for their Farm Social Enterprise.

Location: 

Classes are held at the Village Healing Centre (240 Roncesvalles Avenue) in the Middle Room on the Main Floor, opposite Yoga Village. Enter through the door to the church via the parking lot.

5 BUDDHIST PRECEPTS – 5 classes in learning about this training

The First and Third Thursday of each month, starting February 1st.

6.30pm to 7.30pm

The 5 Buddhist Precepts are considered to be classic training exercises in moral conduct. But Buddhist precepts are inherently different from rules in other religions, in that they are meant to be explored. The practice is to think about what behaviours and thoughts cause harm to self or to others, rather than imagining that disobeying the rules will lead to an external condemnation in this life or in the afterlife. Understanding the precept will show how difficult it is to truly honour the precept, not only in behaviour but also in thought.

Participants will be encouraged to make a vow to explore these 5 precepts over the next 5 classes at the beginning of the first class.

The 5 precepts are: I undertake to train myself:

1. to abstain from taking life. Thursday, February 1st. 6.30pm.

2. to abstain from taking what is not given. Thursday, February 15th. 6.30pm.

3. to abstain from sensuous misconduct. Thursday, March 1st. 6.30pm.

4. to abstain from false speech. Thursday, March 15th. 6.30pm.

5. to abstain from intoxicants as tending to cloud the mind. Thursday, April 5th. 6.30pm.

These classes include basic mindfulness techniques, including noticing thoughts, feelings, and perception, but are “beyond mindfulness” in that they include challenges to some of the limiting observations. They are great for people who have tried a bit of mindfulness meditation but now would like a bit deeper dive. Each class includes a 30-minute silent meditation practice time. These meditations will support the exploration of one of the precepts, and will include a variety of meditation techniques.

Cost: Dana – Practice generosity by paying what you value

BYOC: Bring Your Own Cushion (anything to sit on the floor with) or sit on one of our chairs

 

Dana:

Awaken in Toronto classes are offered on the basis of dāna. The teacher offers classes without any expectation of compensation, as an act of trust of generosity. We encourage you to reciprocate and give generously to the teacher in return, whatever that looks like in your situation.

Teacher:

Linda Hochstetler has been studying and practicing a variety of meditation practices (mindfulness, Zen, and Vajrayana Buddhism) for more than 30 years. She is a meditation teacher in the lineage of Namgyal Rinpoche (one of the first North American lineage holders), and considers Senseis Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat her primary gurus. She follows their tradition of encouraging exploration of everyday life beyond the spiritual realms, particularly while living in the city. She has completed many silent meditation retreats, including a 2-month silent retreat in 2009. She weaves together her personal meditation experiences, her professional background as a palliative care social worker, her years as a mother and step-mother, and her passion for awakening in this life time into each of her classes, and invites you to join her in your own explorations.

Location:

 Classes are held at the Village Healing Centre (240 Roncesvalles Avenue) in the Middle Room on the Main Floor, opposite Yoga Village. Enter through the door to the church via the parking lot.

MEDITATION PRACTICE TIME – a group weekend meditation retreat

Friday, February 2, 2018 7.30PM to Sunday, February 4, 2018, 4.30PM. Registration Link will be posted soon.

Do you have a personal meditation practice? Would you like an opportunity to practice together with others for a weekend in a beautiful nature setting?

This weekend is a opportunity to do a chunk of your own practice in the community and support of others. You may intersperse your meditation in the temple with winter walks in the woods. We will be sharing together in the cooking tasks and and also scheduling in relaxing times around a wood stove. We will have group sits throughout the day to participate in.

There will be an onsite meditation teacher, Linda Hochstetler, to answer any meditation questions that arise throughout the weekend.

Register here.

 

LindaThis retreat will be lead by Linda Hochstetler, a psychotherapist, mother, and Death Cafe host. She has also been a meditation student of Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for more than 20 years, and is a Buddhist Lay Chaplain. She was a manager of a social enterprise for 13 years, and helped the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre generate a balanced budget for the first time for their Farm Social Enterprise.

Location: The Dharma Centre of Canada.

1886 Galway Road, Kinmount, ON

Conscious Living

A series of 9 classes towards personal transformation

The First and Third Thursday of each month. 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Personal transformation begins by understanding your purpose for this lifetime, and directing energy towards achieving this purpose. This happens when you slow down, consciously start to notice how you make decisions, and ultimately how you spend your time and money. If you’d like to explore conscious living and find your own purpose in life, this is the series for you. Over the next 5 months, we will investigate 8 different modes of “work” and investigate how we spend our time. At the same time, we’ll look at 8 modes of consciousness (represented by Buddhist values called Paramis) connected to these modes of work. Each session, we’ll discuss one pair of aspects and see how they apply to our own lives here in the city. These classes include basic mindfulness techniques, including noticing thoughts, feelings, and perception, but are “beyond mindfulness” in that they include challenges to some of the limiting observations. They are great for people who have tried a bit of mindfulness meditation but now would like a bit deeper dive. Each class includes a 30-minute silent meditation practice time. These meditations will support the exploration of conscious living, and will include a variety of meditation techniques.

Introduction to Conscious Living, September 7

The Earner’s Work + Precepts, September 21

The Hobbyist’s Work + Vitality, October 5

The Creator’s Work + Patience. October 19

The Monk’s Work + Calm, November 2

The Helper’s Work + Equanimity, November 16

The Parent’s Work + Giving, December 7

The Learner’s Work + Humility, January 4

The Elder’s Work + Wisdom, January 18

Cost: Dana – Practice generosity by paying what you value

BYOC: Bring Your Own Cushion (anything to sit on the floor with) or sit on one of our chairs

Dāna:

Awaken in Toronto classes are offered on the basis of dāna. The teacher offers classes without any expectation of compensation, as an act of trust of generosity. We encourage you to reciprocate and give generously to the teacher in return, whatever that looks like in your situation.

Teacher:

LindaThis class will be taught by Linda Hochstetler, a psychotherapist, mother, and Death Cafe host. She has also been a meditation student of Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for more than 20 years, and is a Buddhist Lay Chaplain. She was a manager of a social enterprise for 13 years, and helped the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre generate a balanced budget for the first time for their Farm Social Enterprise.

Location: 

Classes are held at the Village Healing Centre (240 Roncesvalles Avenue) in the Middle Room on the Main Floor, opposite Yoga Village. Enter through the door to the church via the parking lot.

VAJRASATTVA MANTRAS FOR BEGINNERS

A weekend Meditation Retreat

DATES UPDATED: Friday, November 10, 2017 8PM to Sunday, November 12, 2017, 3PM. Registration Link will be posted soon.

REGISTRATION:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

The Vajrasattva practice is one of the Vajrayana Foundation Work practices, and as such is said to be one the most important starting points for persons seeking personal transformation. The Vajrasattva practice is said to be particularly powerful for purifying all negative energy of the mind. This then reduces the negative actions of body and speech, and opens up the individual to greater degrees of freedom.

Learning the long 100-syllable mantra can be daunting on one’s own, so this weekend will offer the opportunity to practice as a group and to jump-start the effort toward completing 100,000 mantras. Classes on sounding, visualizations, and movement will round out the study of this archetype making this a multi-intelligence experience. Beginners to mantra practice are welcome to attend and detailed instructions will be provided.

The first class will begin on Friday evening at 8:00pm, and the retreat will end at 3:00pm on Sunday. Silence will be maintained throughout the retreat, with plenty of opportunity for questions and discussions at the group sessions.

Teacher: Linda Hochstetler has been studying and practicing a variety of meditation practices (mindfulness, Zen, and Vajrayana Buddhism) for more than 30 years. She is a meditation teacher in the lineage of Namgyal Rinpoche, and considers Senseis Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat her primary gurus. She follows their tradition of encouraging exploration of everyday life beyond the spiritual realms, particularly while living in the city. She has completed many silent meditation retreats, including a 2-month silent retreat in 2009. She weaves together her personal meditation experiences, her professional background as a palliative care social worker, her years as a mother and step-mother, and her passion for awakening in this life time into each of her classes, and invites you to join her in your own explorations.

For more information on fees or to register, go to www.dharmacentre.org/vajrasattvapracticeforbeginners. Note:  registration will be opened soon!

Teacher:

LindaThis class will be taught by Linda Hochstetler, a psychotherapist, mother, and Death Cafe host. She has also been a meditation student of Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for more than 20 years, and is a Buddhist Lay Chaplain. She was a manager of a social enterprise for 13 years, and helped the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre generate a balanced budget for the first time for their Farm Social Enterprise.

Location: The Dharma Centre of Canada.

1886 Galway Road, Kinmount, ON

REGISTRATION:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER