What we're about

Awaken in Toronto is a dedicated community of individuals committed to awakening in this lifetime. We work together to overcome the isolation of contemporary urban life, and create a space where we can safely explore the workings of our minds.

We have a weekly meditation class, and host regular discussion groups on topics such as death & dying and integral spirituality. We offer weekend meditation retreats at the Dharma Centre of Canada that allow us to explore some of life’s deepest questions, and hold regular social events to build friendship and community.

Last but not least, we are honoured to host our root guru teachers, Sensei Doug Duncan and Sensei Catherine Pawasarat, for longer meditation retreats.

Learn more on our website: awakenintoronto.org (http://awakenintoronto.org/)

To join our mailing list click here (http://eepurl.com/ZvRh5).

Upcoming events (4+)

Meditation Class - Cultivating the Brahma Viharas

Online event

Weekly Meditation Classes will continue to be offered on Zoom video for the foreseeable future.

https://zoom.us/j/3695356130
Room:[masked]
Password:[masked]

Topic: A fully awakened being dwells in 4 feelings - the Brahma Viharas. These feelings are loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, and empathetic joy. Cultivating these feelings brings lightness to the being and makes awakening possible. It's a chicken and egg thing - the more one practices dwelling in these feeling states, the more likely that these feeling states will become the MO of the being, and awakening will occur. In the mean time, cultivating these feeling states brings much more joy and happiness to the being and to those around them.

These weekly meditation classes are an opportunity to join a committed group of students who value regular meditation sits in the middle of busy lives. These moments of silence and remembering to be mindful help ground the mind and remind oneself that there is more to life than the material and mundane world. Each class will present a theme related to Buddhism or mindfulness to focus on during the class.

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. Everyone is welcome, ages 12+.

Slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1z1d6ilulO_klmgJhD4_FzZj-qkwqwxVE/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=105810302062162823575&rtpof=true&sd=true

Classes are offered on the basis of Dana, also known as "pay from the heart" or "pay what you choose." This allows you to pay according to your heart, and to what you value. Dana can be sent by etransfer to [masked] or by PayPal to https://paypal.me/awakeningintoronto

Lama Linda (aka Linda Hochstetler) has studied both mindfulness meditation and Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 20 years. She trained in mindfulness meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 90’s, and studied under Namgyal Rinpoche (the first Canadian-born Rinpoche) from 1995 until his death in 2003. She received permission to teach in the Namgyal lineage in 2014, and currently studies Vajrayana Buddhism with Doug Duncan Sensei and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei. Silent meditation retreats are a central part of her study and practice, and since 1995, she has completed retreats of between 1 week and 2 months in length every year. She is both a meditation teacher, and also a psychotherapist and dying consultant, who has just published her first book - 21 Days to Die: The Canadian Guide to End-of-Life.

Dying, Death, & Community - Dementia and the Dying Process

Online event

https://zoom.us/j/3695356130
Meeting ID:[masked]
Password:[masked]

Instructor: Linda Hochstetler

Dates: Every 4th Thursday of the month
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm

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, Linda Hochstetler brings her 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.

Topic: Half a million Canadians are currently living with some form of dementia, and that statistic is expected to double within the decade. Dying with dementia complicates matters tremendously. At this session, we will learn about the various kinds of dementia, the likely illness trajectories, and how this might influence treatment decisions. This discussion is important for people dying with dementia and their caregivers.

Cost: Classes are offered on the basis of Dana, also known as "pay from the heart" or "pay what you choose." This allows you to pay according to your heart, and to what you value. Dana can be sent by etransfer to [masked] or by PayPal to https://paypal.me/awakeningintoronto

Facilitator: Lama Linda (aka Linda Hochstetler) has studied both mindfulness meditation and Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 20 years. She currently studies with Qapel and Catherine Sensei. She is both a meditation teacher, and also a psychotherapist and dying consultant, who has just published her first book - 21 Days to Die: The Canadian Guide to End-of-Life.

Death Cafe - Toronto West

Online event

Once again, we will be meeting online, using Zoom.

Be ready to begin at 7pm, with a brief history of Death Cafes around the world. Using breakout rooms, we will talk in small groups of 4-5 and share stories, ask questions, and ponder questions of life and death.

You can find out more details about this Death Cafe, as well as the global Death Cafe movement, at https://deathcafe.com/deathcafe/14376/.

If you're new to this idea of Death Cafe, consider checking out this podcast from Thursday, May 12, 2016 with CBC Radio 1 - The Current, on Death Cafes www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-may[masked]. The podcast includes an interview with Linda Hochstetler, Death Cafe facilitator, as well as Jon Underwood, the creator of the Death Cafe Movement who has since died, at the unseemly early age of 44.

A gentle reminder that a Death Cafe is not a bereavement or support group. If you are experiencing grief currently and need support there are organizations such as Bereaved Families of Ontario that can help you. For more information go to www.bereavedfamilies.net.

Please invite anyone else who may be interested, or bring a friend. RSVP is necessary to be let out of the Zoom Waiting Room. You will be sent the Zoom details 24 hours in advance of the gathering. Please ensure that your name on Zoom matches with your RSVP information.

Meditation Class - Cultivating the Brahma Viharas

Online event

Weekly Meditation Classes will continue to be offered on Zoom video for the foreseeable future.

https://zoom.us/j/3695356130
Room:[masked]
Password:[masked]

Topic: A fully awakened being dwells in 4 feelings - the Brahma Viharas. These feelings are loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, and empathetic joy. Cultivating these feelings brings lightness to the being and makes awakening possible. It's a chicken and egg thing - the more one practices dwelling in these feeling states, the more likely that these feeling states will become the MO of the being, and awakening will occur. In the mean time, cultivating these feeling states brings much more joy and happiness to the being and to those around them.

These weekly meditation classes are an opportunity to join a committed group of students who value regular meditation sits in the middle of busy lives. These moments of silence and remembering to be mindful help ground the mind and remind oneself that there is more to life than the material and mundane world. Each class will present a theme related to Buddhism or mindfulness to focus on during the class.

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. Everyone is welcome, ages 12+.

Slides:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1z1d6ilulO_klmgJhD4_FzZj-qkwqwxVE/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=105810302062162823575&rtpof=true&sd=true

Classes are offered on the basis of Dana, also known as "pay from the heart" or "pay what you choose." This allows you to pay according to your heart, and to what you value. Dana can be sent by etransfer to [masked] or by PayPal to https://paypal.me/awakeningintoronto

Lama Linda (aka Linda Hochstetler) has studied both mindfulness meditation and Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 20 years. She trained in mindfulness meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 90’s, and studied under Namgyal Rinpoche (the first Canadian-born Rinpoche) from 1995 until his death in 2003. She received permission to teach in the Namgyal lineage in 2014, and currently studies Vajrayana Buddhism with Doug Duncan Sensei and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei. Silent meditation retreats are a central part of her study and practice, and since 1995, she has completed retreats of between 1 week and 2 months in length every year. She is both a meditation teacher, and also a psychotherapist and dying consultant, who has just published her first book - 21 Days to Die: The Canadian Guide to End-of-Life.

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