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.

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+. (more…)

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. (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. (more…)

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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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. (more…)

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.  (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. (more…)