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

Friday, November 3, 2017 8PM to Sunday, November 5, 2017, 3PM

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

DEATH, DYING, & COMMUNITY

A personal exploration into end of life tasks

The last Thursday of each month.

Thursday September 28th, 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.

Conscious Livelihood: Inspired Living from the Inside Out

with Special Guest Teacher, Doug Duncan Sensei

Wednesday, July 19th, 7:00pm – 8:30pm at the Centre for Social Innovation – Spadina

Contemporary society and the consumer marketplace offer mostly an empty substitute for a life well lived.

Conscious (or Complete) Livelihood means learning to live in accordance with deeper truths. When we uncover these truths for ourselves through meditation, mindfulness and applied awareness in our day-to-day lives we find that real satisfaction was always within our grasp.

Conscious Livelihood directs our aspiration to a radiant, blissful state of being. By seeking the best state of being, and the best supporting conditions to do so, we uncover for ourselves a new, more holistic and inherently satisfying vision that invigorates our life with purpose and meaning.

From this state we naturally explore and develop sustainable lives that serve the planet and create the world we truly want to live in.

Class Fee & Dāna

The cost of this class is $25 ($20 Early Bird Price) plus dāna for the teacher. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of this page. Early Bird Price ends July 12th.

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 Alterna Savings Room at the Centre for Social Innovation – Spadina. (4th Floor, 215 Spadina Avenue) This is a fully accessible venue.

 

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.

Reducing Energy Drain at Work

with Special Guest Teachers, Duncan Cryle & Karen McAllister

Wednesday, July 5th, 6:30pm – 8:00pm at The Centre for Social Innovation – Spadina

You want to maximize your impact in your community and in the world at large. You want to find a way to avoid unnecessary drains on your energy. You want to have your work nurture your growth, not only professionally but also as a growing and evolving individual.   

But with spending so much time and energy trying to realize your vision in the world, is this all even possible?

Yes, it is.

In fact there are ways to use your time at work to feed and deepen what truly nourishes you. And to transform your work into a vehicle to deepen your path of mindful awareness.

Whether you are looking for more holistic approaches to life, ways to bring meditation into your day, or you are looking to make changes to bring yourself into greater alignment and integrity with your life’s purpose, this session is designed to reduce the drain on your energy as you work to realize your dreams.

Join us and learn to build up and maintain your energy, so you can focus it on what really matters to you.

At this session we’ll explore:

  • Simple ways to set up your workspace that support your clarity and remind you to be self-aware.
  • How small tweaks to your schedule can make a big difference to your energy.
  • Practical day-to-day mindfulness exercises to support your presence at work.
  • Simple routines and changes that can help you keep focused, present, and enlivened.

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Introduction to Tantra Meditation (Weekend Retreat)

A weekend retreat with Linda Hochstetler

May 12th to 14th, 2017 at the Dharma Centre of Canada (Kinmount, ON)

If you are living in a busy environment and need to calm your mind, this short weekend retreat is for you. This retreat is ideal for those who are new to meditation and want to try a silent retreat.

You will be introduced to tantra, which creates a greater space between ourselves and our ego stories. You will learn to practice with a more active form of meditation involving sound, visualization, and hand positions for contacting the energy of compassion.

Registration is necessary in advance to ensure a space in one of the private meditation rooms. Cost is $220 for food and accommodation + dana for the teacher. Carpooling can be arranged for 2.5 hour journey from Toronto.

For more information about the retreat or to register, visit the Dharma Centre’s website.

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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.