Outer Clarity : 5 Principles for Transformative Growth

Thursday, October 20, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Whether you are exploring spirituality alone or following an ancient tradition, there is a point where the journey can seem like you are not getting where you want, or at least is not following the pace you would like.  The reason you may be feeling stuck is that you are focusing all your attention on guides, teaching and meditation techniques. These things are essential, but often do not give the right importance to what we call the “container” or foundation – a positive structure and space.

Perhaps during retreats you have experienced this kind of support structure that helps you to deepen more easily, but you haven’t thought of creating this kind of supportive environment in your daily life yet.  Knowing how to create a supportive environment can give you the strength and the space required to continue developing yourself even though you are surrounded by the pressures of daily life.

During the class we will look at the following 5 principles (originally formulated by Clear Sky Retreat Centre) to creating a stable environment that allows growth and transformation to take place:

  • Honour your space
  • Routine and freedom
  • It is easier with company
  • The cleaning that releases energy
  • Conversations that connect

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Meditation on Compassion and Emptiness – Practice of Chenrezi

Thursdays, October 13th & 27th, November 3rd and 10th, 2016

True compassion can only be realized by the understanding of emptiness, recognizing the non-dual nature of reality and the oneness of life.  The cultivation of compassion is also the path to realization of oneness of all beings, the true beauty of ‘our’ mind and heart.

Chenrezi, also known as Avalokiteśvara, is regarded as the embodiment of boundless loving kindness and compassion.  Chenrezi meditation is an arising yoga practice, using creative imagination, to lead us to go beyond conceptual thinking and seeing, to the direct experience of the true nature of reality.

In a series of 4 classes, we will dive into the practice of Chenrezi to experience first hand the true nature of our mind and emptiness.  In each class we will go through the meditation instructions in detail, and let the practice take us to the inner space of the mind.  Both beginners and experienced meditators are welcome to join.

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The Key to Freedom

Thursdays, September 8 & 15, 2016, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Meditation offers a great key to unlock the mysteries of the mind. If you’re looking for a place to explore your own spirituality, this is the place. The first 2 classes of the Fall series will help you get out of “the basement” of your life and move into “the penthouse” of your vision for who can become.

In the first class on Sept. 8 you will be encouraged to summon 5 faculties to help you make the transition beyond your small and separate ego.  The second class on Sept. 15 will show you how to ride out the hindrances to keep yourself on track to living the life you want, and to recognize your patterns that hold you back.

These 2 classes will be taught by Linda Hochstetler, and are based on Chapter 7 in Dharma If You Dare: Living Life with Abandon, by Doug Duncan. The full book can be purchased as an e-book at Amazon.  Read More

Exploring the Quadruple Bottom Line

Thursdays, June 23, June 30, July 14 & July 27, 2016, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

June 23: Financial
Is your personal life financially sustainable? Do you earn and spend your money in a way that matches your priorities? Are you a warrior generating an abundance for yourself and your world? Using “money coaching” archetypes we will explore where you are financially and how to get and keep yourself more in line with your other values.

June 30: Social
How connected are you to others? There are 3 levels of connections – close up, middle, and far away, and most of us struggle with one of these levels. Learn how be more at peace with yourself, and explore how you use your social connections to more sustainably live with others.

July 14: Environmental
After you’ve taken care of yourself and your own social needs, how do you spread this out to the environment and the whole world? Is it necessary to be an environmentalist to be awakened? Consider how connected you are to choices that impact the environment and how aligned they are to your spiritual aspirations.

July 21: Spiritual
We will begin with a brief overview of Buddhism as a spiritual practice. From there, we will further look at the basic tenants of Buddhism and how sustainable they are. Read More

Bringing Mindfulness and Awareness into Daily Activities

Thursday, June 2nd, June 16th and July 7th, 2016 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Bat Fung will be leading us in mindfulness meditation practice for 3 weekly sessions starting from the 2nd June.  Mindfulness meditation is the practice of bringing a non-judgmental, friendly, open-hearted, and accepting way of looking at anything that arises in awareness. By intentionally practicing mindfulness, we can learn to spend less time on “auto pilot” and live more fully and be more present.  Each class will include an overview of some principles of mindfulness, as well as at least 30 minutes of silent mindfulness meditation practice.  New and experienced meditators alike are welcome.

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Embracing Radical Change

Thursday, June 16th, 2016 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Do you find you have big visions and goals about ways you would change your life, but find that somehow you keep falling back into old habits?  The spiritual life is one of profound transformation.  Yet even something that sounds simple like setting up a strong regular daily meditation practice can actually be a big change and is challenging for many of us.

“Immunity to change” is a tool introduced by Dr. Robert Kegan that helps us surface and explore hidden agendas and mental models that keep us stuck.  In this class we’ll use simple meditation techniques, teachings and interactive exercises to explore our big visions and how to transform old habits and views that are limiting us.

Teacher

Duncan CryleDuncan Cryle has been practicing meditation for more than 20 years and has studied intensively with Doug Duncan Sensei since 2001. After completing a Ph.D. in philosophy he turned to a career as an IT consultant in the financial industry. He spent 5 years working short-term IT contracts and spending the remainder of the year with Doug Sensei – travelling, on retreat, and helping with the set-up and running of Clear Sky. His primary teaching focus is to develop ways to apply and integrate the rich tradition of meditation teachings into our busy and complex city lives.

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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.

Living Dharma, Reverence for Life & the Path of Natural Awakening

Contemplative Explorations with Tarchin Hearn

August 2nd and 3rd  at 2:30 PM

In Buddhism, wisdom is not a knowledge of ultimate facts or truth but an ever deepening process of understanding, life enhancing connectivity, and communion.

We radically intermingle; cells and organs, minds and bodies, creatures and communities, beings and environments, the so called animate and the so called inanimate. This is a broad and all-encompassing view.

Learning the art of compassionately embracing this multi-leveled dynamic of interpenetrating realms and times, is to master the craft of meditation.

Maturing this craft, until the hint of wholeness permeates all our actions, and we discover a sense of utter at-homeness in the mist of everything we do, is the fruition of this work.

In the temple of this living world, we are deeply intermeshed with the lives of our families, friends, neighbours, strangers and adversaries, and the myriad other species and beings that we travel with from birth to death. Our bodies and minds are rivers of evolving life – landscapes of unfolding communities. What could it mean to be fully human?

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