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Meditation Classes – Building the 7 Attitudinal Foundations of Meditation

The first and third Thursday of each month – 6.30 to 7.30 pm

October 4
October 18
November 1
November 15
November 29
December 6

The first 7 classes of this new program year will look at Jon Kabat-Zinn’s 7 Attitudinal Foundations of mindfulness. Essentially, it’s a look at how you meditate and what you’re actually supposed to be doing with your mind as you practice various meditation practices. Each class we will look at a different aspect. This is a fantastic place to begin if you’re new to meditation. And if you’ve been meditating by yourself for a while, it will be a good check to see where you might be more ineffective or less efficient than you might want to be.

As always, these meditation classes include basic mindfulness techniques including noticing thoughts, feeling, and perception, but are “beyond mindfulness” in that they include challenges to some of the limiting observations. They are great for persons who have tried a bit of mindfulness meditation but would like a bit deeper dive now. Each class includes a 30 minute silent meditation practice time. Suitable for beginners to advanced, ages 12+. Attendance at single sessions is permitted, but you’ll get the most out of it by attending the whole series from September 20 to December 6, 2018. Classes are offered on the basis of Dana, which is also “pay what you choose”, which allows you to pay what you value.

Linda Hochstetler will be teaching these classes. She 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 who has studied with Senseis Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, meditation teachers and authors of 2 books – Wasteland to Pureland, and Dharma If You Dare.

DEATH, DYING, & COMMUNITY

A personal exploration into end of life tasks

The last Thursday of each month.

Fourth 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
October 25
November 22

 

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

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.

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

Weaving the Truth: Relative and Ultimate Realities

with Special Guest Teacher, Doug Duncan Sensei

Thursday, July 20th, 7:00pm – 8:30pm at The Village Healing Centre

Meditation masters have compared the events of our body/mind to a rainbow, a mirage, a dream, a dewdrop in the sun and the like. These events – thoughts, feelings and sensations – seem so real because they are habitual and repetitive. Moreover, we cling to the ones we like and run from the ones we don’t. We have been habituated to see these events as real, when really they represent relative reality. Meditation lets us see and experience them for what they are: “the play of the mind.”

Come to this talk and learn how to experience and dwell in absolute reality, with its spaciousness of mind and accompanying joy and bliss. Learn how to do this while still working, relating and playing in the relative world where our daily lives are mostly lived.

Class Fee & Dāna

The cost of this class is $20 ($15 Early Bird Price for tickets purchased by July 12th.) plus dāna for the teacher. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of this page.

The class fee will go to cover travel and accommodation costs to bring the teacher to Toronto. Doug Sensei offers his classes without any expectation of compensation, as an act of generosity. We encourage you to reciprocate and give generously to the teacher in return, whatever that looks like in your situation. You can make your offering when you purchase your ticket or in person when you arrive for the class.

Teacher

Sensei Headshot SmallAchariya 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. You can learn more about Doug at his website, planetdharma.com.

Location:

This special event will be held in the gymnasium of the Village Healing Centre. (240 Roncesvalles Avenue, 1st Floor)

Inner Economics: Cultivating an Empowered Relationship with Money

Join Behavioral Money Coach, Karen McAllister, for a lunchtime conversation about money. Unravel the mystery of money and learn to understand why it has such a hold on us. Learn about the innovative, therapeutic and practical money coaching tools and support through an exploration of the eight Money Archetypes (Innocent, Victim, Warrior, Martyr, Fool, Creator/Artist, Tyrant and Magician). And explore simple mindfulness techniques to deepen your awareness about money.

As a result of attending this talk, you will be able to:

  • Understand how money and the brain relate to each other
  • Understand how well-being and income speak to each other
  • Understand that our economic reality is really an inside job
  • Understand the importance of making your unconscious money patterns conscious
  • Understand the origin of your money triggers
  • Learn some mindfulness techniques to help recognise and work with these triggers
  • Identify conflicting emotions around the topic of money
  • Identify the money archetypes working in your life right now.

Foundations of Tantra Meditation Retreat

A silent meditation retreat with Sensei Doug Duncan at the Dharma Centre of Canada (Kinmount, ON)

Week-Long Retreat: Friday July 21st to Friday July 28th, 2017 

Weekend & Wongkur option: Friday July 21st to Sunday July 23rd

Looking for an immersive retreat experience and wish to gain tools to help make major shifts in your life?

The practice of tantra is a weaving of a clear mind and a blissful heart.

Engaging in the path and practices of tantra creates greater space between ourselves and our stories. The fully immersive nature of this work – including visualization, mantra and mudra – allows us to take a break from the constant maintenance of our persona. Through this, we experience a feeling of true release and peace. Through a regular practice we can integrate this experience of greater spaciousness into our daily lives.

This retreat begins with a Green Tara empowerment (wongkur) on Saturday, July 22nd.

For more information about the retreat visit the Planet Dharma website.

To register, visit the Dharma Centre’s website.

Teacher

Doug Duncan has been practicing the teachings of awakening for more than 40 years. He is well versed in Buddhist and Western philosophy and practices, as well as contemporary psychology, consciousness studies and art.

Doug Sensei is the root guru of the organizers of Awaken in Toronto. His last visit to Toronto was in November 2015, where he led a retreat on the Hero’s Journey at the Dharma Centre of Canada.

You can learn more about Doug and his partner, Catherine Pawasarat, on their website, Planet Dharma.

Spiritual Field Trip – Come Up To My Room

This event has been cancelled due to low enrolment. Thank you for your interest. Stay tuned for future events.

January 12th, 2017 at the Gladstone Hotel

(Cost: $15, RSVP through Meetup)

Our lives are ruled by the power of intention. Whether we make them consciously or not, we are bringing intention to everything we do.

Intention can transform experience. Two people at the same event can have completely different experiences. Spiritual Field Trips leverage this to provide experiences that are immersive, engaging and growth-inducing. Come together with others to explore your world, expand your mind and uncover the magic in the environments that surround you.

January’s Event:

Come Up To My Room is an annual event that describes itself as “an alternative design exhibition that provides a platform for experimentation outside the norms of art and design, at the edges between intention and interpretation.” You can learn more about the event here: http://www.gladstonehotel.com/spaces/cutmr2017/

We will come together to set intentions and to go over some tips for getting the most out of the experience. Then we’ll explore the exhibit, individually, in pairs, or small groups. Participants will be provided with a handout with reflective prompts and questions to encourage and support a fuller experience of exploration.

To finish, we’ll reconvene as a group for a facilitated discussion of our experiences, with an opportunity to share any thoughts, insights or excitement about the exhibit.

Cost for entry is $10 (not included in our event fee) and can be purchased ahead of time here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/come-up-to-my-room-2017-tickets-28765824355

The cost for this event is $15 and can be paid upon arrival.

Mantras for Anxiety

Thursday, December 1st, 2016 at Inhabit Pilates

  • Do you find yourself struggling to slow your mind down when you feel overwhelmed?
  • Do you sleep poorly because you can’t fall asleep easily or you wake during the night?
  • Do you have a body that’s fidgety or seems to have excess energy causing foot tapping or nervous movements?

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or not, if you’re living in modern society, you probably experience a fair amount of daily anxiety. There’s a lot about daily living that’s stressful, and this often leads to anxiety in its many forms.

If you’d like to learn how to use mantras as a way of calming the mind and helping ground yourself when you’re anxious, this is the class. You will learn how to use a “mala”, or set of prayer beads, as an anchor to the mind. If you have your own mala, please bring it with you. Includes a 30 minute silent meditation practice time. Suitable for ages 12+. Read More