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.


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.


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.


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.

Practice Circles

Thursdays from 7:30pm to 8:30pm (Except the first Thursday of the month, which is a Dharma class.)

It is so much easier to practice in a group!

Our practice circles are a great opportunity to establish or strengthen your meditation practice with experienced instructors and a supportive group environment.

Each circle starts with a review of basic techniques and an explanation of the evening’s practice. Then we do 30 minutes of that meditation together as a group. Finally there is an opportunity for participants to report back to the group and/or asking questions of the instructor. (Sharing is always optional.)

New and experienced meditators are all welcome. Please arrive early if you are new to meditation and would like some more involved individual instruction.

We will be covering various meditation practices. Please follow the MeetUp links on the right to find out what specific practice is happening on a given day. Read More

Dharmic Astrology, An Introduction

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 at Inhabit Pilates

Astrology is a powerful and fun way to explore our patterning, including our strengths, predilections and working with challenges. It is so much more than a horoscope! Dharmic Astrology takes the wisdom, tools and insights of this system and leverages it to maximize our growth and unfoldment.

In this introductory-level class we will look at the very basics of how to use our natal charts to plan our spiritual engagements. We’ll do a quick survey of the different parts of our charts – sun, moon and ascendent, signs, planets and houses – and set the stage for future exploration.

If you have always wondered what astrology can offer your spiritual growth, or if you are just looking for a new way to inject energy and insight into your path, this is the right class for you. Read More

A 21st Century Spiritual Awakening

Thursdays on September 22, September 29th, and October 6th, 2016

The great wisdom traditions of the world have for millennia described the rich internal landscape of the human mind. Systems like Buddhist psychology (the Abhidhamma) offer maps and techniques to find greater inner peace.

The modern era and its new contributions – such as psychology – have opened up a fuller understanding of the human spiritual experience. In doing so, we now have access to a fuller awakening than ever before.

Ken Wilber and his colleagues have taken the 21st century tool of Integral Theory and have applied it to the domain of spirituality. Integral Theory is a tool that allows us to examine all aspects of experience. 

This work is a game changer. It transforms our ability to leverage our learning and life experiences to expand our consciousness, unfold our being and increase our capacity to be clear, compassionate and fully engaged in the complex context of our 21st century lives. Read More

Meditation Boot Camp

Thursday July 28th, 2016

Want to establish a regular meditation practice? Want to reap the benefits of a clear mind? Ready to let go of anxiety and unhelpful personal narratives?

In many ways, meditation is to our minds what exercise is to our bodies. Setting up a sustainable practice requires determination, consistency and accountability. It is also easier (and more fun) when we train with others and when we have the support of trainers.

During this class we’ll be looking at how to establish a routine that fits your life:

  • Setting up a space
  • Establishing a schedule and routine
  • Keeping on track: rewards and accountability

We’ll also review the basics of meditation and help you find a practice that suits you best. As time allows, we’ll also look at other practices that can support a mindful life. Read More

Why Meditation Alone Doesn’t Work

Thursday May 19th, 2016

There was a time when it was easier to awaken through a path of meditation. People’s worlds were smaller and simpler and, depending on where you were in the world, pursuing the life of a spiritual practitioner (like a monk or a nun) would have been a more common path.

Modern life, especially for those living in the city, rarely allows for the kind of in-depth meditation practice needed to awaken as a methodology alone.

This is not to say that meditation is not important. A strong meditative/contemplative component is a vital part of a spiritual practice. Rather that in these busy and complex times, a meditation practice is unlikely to lead to awakening on its own. “Professional” meditators meditate upwards of 20 hours a day for extended periods throughout a year. The number of people with the opportunity – not to mention the proclivity – to practice like this is very small.

So, what do we have to do in addition to meditation in order to realize significant spiritual unfoldment, and awakening, in our lifetime? We will be exploring this during this week’s class.

As always, we will be incorporating 30 minutes of meditation practice into the class.

Read More

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… 😉 )

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.

Read More