Awaken in Toronto is a dedicated community of individuals committed to awakening in this lifetime. We work together to overcome the isolation of contemporary urban life, and create a space where we can safely explore the workings of our minds. We have a weekly meditation class, and host regular discussion groups on topics such as abundance, and death & dying. We offer weekend meditation retreats at the Dharma Centre of Canada that allow us to explore some of life’s deepest questions, and hold regular social events to build friendship and community. Last but not least, we are honoured to host our root guru teachers, Sensei Doug Duncan and Sensei Catherine Pawasarat, for longer meditation retreats.
We currently meet near High Park at the The Village Healing Centre, a location that is easy to get to on foot and by bicycle, public transit, or car. Information about our classes, retreats and social gatherings is available on Meetup, and we also distribute a monthly e-newsletter to subscribers. We invite you to subscribe to our e-newsletter, and visit our Meetup page for up-to-date information on all of our offerings.
AIT and its teachers are supported by a group of committed students that meets regularly to plan, promote and deliver AIT’s classes, retreats and social activities. Working together offers an opportunity for group interactions and greater learning through a model of shared intentional training.
The organizing committee welcomes all students interested in supporting both the teachers and AIT as an organization to join.
Awaken in Toronto is led by Lama Linda Hochstetler, and follows the teachings of Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat. We invite you to explore the teachers’ most recent book, From Wasteland to Pureland, to learn more about our lineage and practice.
Lama Linda (aka Linda Hochstetler) has studied both mindfulness meditation and Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 20 years. She trained in mindfulness meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 90’s, and studied under Namgyal Rinpoche (the first Canadian-born Rinpoche) from 1995 until his death in 2003. She received permission to teach in the Namgyal lineage in 2014, and currently studies Vajrayana Buddhism with Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat. Silent meditation retreats are a central part of her study and practice, and since 1995, she has completed retreats of between 1 week and 2 months in length every year.
Lama Linda encourages students to explore their everyday lives in the city as a part of their spiritual development. She weaves together her meditation experiences, her professional background as a 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 retreats. She encourages students to join the Awaken in Toronto community, supports students in one-on-one relationships, and invites you to join her in your own explorations.
Lama Linda is supported by a group of committed senior students that meets regularly to plan, promote and deliver AIT’s classes, retreats and social activities.
All of our events are offered on the basis of dāna, or generosity. This provides our members with the opportunity to practice generosity, and contribute in a way that reflects their value of the teachings and ability to pay. All funds received go to support the teacher, the teachings, and the organizing of the group.
Upcoming Classes & Events
Click below to see our upcoming events and RSVP classes, outings and retreats
Primary teacher and trainer
Lama Linda (aka Linda Hochstetler) has studied both mindfulness meditation and Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 20 years. She weaves together her meditation experiences, her professional background as a 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 retreats. She encourages students to join the Awaken in Toronto community, supports students in one-on-one relationships, and invites you to join her in your own explorations.
Bat Fung has been studying with Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasaratt since 2003. He brings his wry sense of humour and pragmatic sensibilities to teaching meditation, and enjoys expounding on traditional Buddhists practices as well as interpreting meditation practices for everyday urban life. He brings to life meditation practices for new and old students alike.
Ariel first met meditation in 2006, and fell instantly and deeply in love with it. She found her first meditation home with the Mindfulness Practice Community of Toronto, and remains deeply grateful to the community she found there. The silent meditation retreats she attended at the Ontario Vipassana Centre raised deep spiritual questions for her, which she now explores with Awaken in Toronto.
Richard has been studying meditation practices for more than 25 years. He first studied with Namgyal Rinpoche (link to Namgyal), and has dedicated significant time in Karma Yoga to the Dharma Centre of Canada. He connects strongly with the Vajrayana practices of mantras, visualizations, and insight meditation. He has travelled extensively with Sayadaw U Tila Wanta to build Burmese pagodas in three Canadian provinces and in South Africa. He is a master builder and helped construct the Ecological Caretaker Residence (Sky Roots) at the Clear Sky Meditation Centre in BC.