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The Fast Track to Spiritual Awakening

Thursday May 26th, 2016

These days we are constantly looking for ways to do things faster and with less effort. The good news is that in terms of spiritual unfoldment, there are ways to satisfy the first requirement: speeding up our progress. (Sorry to say that the effort piece can’t be avoided… ūüėČ )

If we are willing to accept the challenge of meeting our limiting conditioning head on, to swim directly upstream to the flow of our karma, we have access to a powerful and joyful method of unfolding. By embracing the principle of short-term discomfort for long-term freedom we can make dramatic changes to our levels of stress. sense of connection, peace of mind and compassion.

Come to this talk and meditation practice to explore ways to jumpstart and turbocharge your awakening journey. As always, we will be incorporating 30 minutes of meditation practice into the class.

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9 Point Meditation on Death and Dying

Thursdays, April 28, May 5, May 12, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Contemplations and meditation on death and impermanence are considered to be some of the most important reflections for Buddhists. The idea is that by forcing yourself to look at these ideas that typically arouse fear for the Westerner, the meditation student can embrace life more fully. It is thought that these contemplations help show how precious and short life is, and also that by familiarizing ourselves with the death process, we can remove our fear of it. Both of these endeavours can actually free up mental energy and help us live our lives with greater meaning and more fully.

As always, there will be at least 30 minute meditation time in each class, and you are welcome to attend just one class, although you will find it most helpful to attend the series. These classes are part of a series, but the content of each class will stand on its own.  You are welcome to attend any or all of the three classes.

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The Brahma Viharas – The 4 Immeasurables

Thursdays, March 24th & 31st and April 7th & 14th, 2016

Come and find out how to transform your daily life: live with more kindness and understanding for yourself and others. Embrace a life with more joy and easefulness.

The Brahma Viharas, or “The 4 Immeasurables”, are said to be the only 4 ‘feelings’ of a fully-awakened being:

  • Lovingkindness towards all (MettńĀ)
  • Compassion when taking action (KarunńĀ)
  • Sympathetic Joy in witnessing the wholesomeness in others (MuditńĀ)
  • Equanimity: non-attachment to the result of one’s¬†actions (UpekkhńĀ)

Each class in this series will explore one of these immeasurable states, both its theory and practice.

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The Stages of Insight

Thursdays, February 25th, March 3rd, 10th and 17th, 2016

As we unfold towards greater freedom, our calm, wisdom and insight into the true nature of reality deepens.  In this series of four classes, we will explore different stages of development as our meditation practice progresses.  Various Vipassana meditation exercises will be used in the class to help practitioners gain insight into these stages and their own practices.

Although these classes are part of a series, the content of each class will stand on its own.  You are welcome to attend any or all of the three classes.

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Dharma Exploration Outing: Eating Crickets!

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Come meet us in the trendy Distillery District and give crickets a taste. Considered a tasty delicacy in many cultures, crickets are becoming more popular and easier to find on menus at fun restaurants. ¬†Come out and enjoy the evening with conscious company and insightful conversations.¬† This is our monthly explorative event, so come prepared to have your taste buds and ideas about food challenged. ¬†Reservations are required and space is limited, so let us know if you’re able to make it. Join us!

Location: El Catrin in The Historic Distillery District (www.elcatrin.ca)
Time: 7:30-9:30pm

Please RSVP on meetup if you decide to come.

Self-Acceptance & Commitment

Thursdays, February 4th, 11th and 17th, 2016

This class will explore how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is related to Buddhism, and how it might apply to reducing your own suffering. Students also find these methods help to make their meditation experiences richer, and provides them a context larger than mindfulness for understanding their barriers to happiness.

First, you will learn to be with yourself and to observe your own feelings and experience them (acceptance). Next you will learn to recognize that your reality is a construct seen through the world of your own lens (delusion). You will learn to contact the observer of feelings (self as context). And finally you will learn to alleviate your own suffering by committing to what matters the most to you (commitment and values).

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2016: Your Best Year Yet

Thursdays, January 7th, 14th and 28th, 2016

The basics of a fulfilling life aren’t complicated: exercise, nutrition, work/social balance and study/exploration, to name a few.

And yet maintaining health/momentum in all these areas can feel so elusive. Why is that?

To kick off 2016, Awaken in Toronto will be exploring these questions together. We’ll be setting the path and putting supportive conditions in place for a year of growth and greater states of peace and freedom in our lives.¬†

Ready for your best year yet? 

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Dharma & Relationships

Thursday, January 21, 7:30pm Р9:00pm

Husband and wife dharma teachers Duncan Cryle and Karen McAllister have been living and exploring the question of how to bring dharma into our relationships for more than a decade.

Join us for this special event as they share the wisdom they’ve gleaned from their years of study on this topic.

This will be their only teaching in Central/Eastern Canada on this trip. Don’t miss it.

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Karma Yoga: The Path for the Western Mind

Hands up if you want to awaken in this lifetime and fully realize your potential as a human being, transcend suffering and attachment and help make the world a more compassionate place?

Keep your hands up if you are able to do a 3-month retreat once a year where you can live in silence and engage in formal meditation for 20 hours a day.

For those who still have their hands up: happy meditating!

For the rest of us, there is another path to unfoldment and awakening: The Path of Karma Yoga. This path requires much less time on the cushion and gives us the ability to leverage the busy-ness of our modern lives into a tool for transformation.

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The Hero’s Journey, a retreat with Doug Duncan

For most of us, the ego is locked in a life-and-death struggle with the shadow. We’re continually pulled back and forth between the excitement of exploration on the one hand, and the fear of abandonment and rejection on the other.

What is the ‚ÄėHero‚Äôs Journey‚Äô?

The Hero’s Journey is the courageous path the hero/ine undertakes to assimilate ego and shadow, tapping into inner, previously unknown gifts to triumph over lifelong challenges. The results blossom as the harmonious union of light and dark that characterizes a truly healthy, integrated human being. Exquisitely humbled by the process, we offer all that we have learned to benefit all beings in our lives.

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