What we're about

Awaken in Toronto (AIT) is a community of dharma students drawn together by a common vision of transforming life in the city from a lonesome search for meaning to one of exploration with a group of like-minded questers. We have weekly sits and discussions on a variety of topics and welcome visiting teachers on a regular basis. We also engage in quarterly weekend meditation retreats out of the city at the Dharma Centre of Canada.

All classes are offered by dāna to give people the opportunity to practice generosity and to cover the costs of organizing the group. In the case of dharma classes by visiting teachers, any offerings collected are passed on to the teachers.

Join us for one of our weekly classes or activities. Experienced and new meditators alike are all welcome. Stay tuned for weekend retreats and for opportunities to hear teachings by visiting teachers.

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

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

Upcoming events (5+)

Meditation Classes - 5 Hindrances to Concentration in Meditation

The Village Healing Centre

It's easy to notice that some meditation sits feel "better", and others feel like a waste of time. This is because the nature of the mental state of mind varies greatly. Buddhism categorizes the most common 5 hindrances to a calm mind state as: 1. Sensory desires 2. Ill-will 3. Sloth and torpor 4. Restlessness and worry 5. Doubt Over the next 5 classes, we will explore how these hindrances show up in our own meditation practices (and our lives), and how to work with them to lead us back to the calm mind. As always, 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 practice time. Suitable for beginners to advanced, ages 12+. Attendance at single sessions is permitted, but you'll get the most out of it by attending the whole series (May 16, May 30, June 6, July 4, and July 18) . Classes are offered on the basis of Dana, which is also "pay what you choose", which allows you to pay what you value. Linda Hochstetler, Co-founder and Senior Teacher of AIT, will be teaching these classes. She 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 who has studied with Senseis Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, meditation teachers and authors of 2 books - Wasteland to Pureland, and Dharma If You Dare.

Meditation Classes - 5 Hindrances to Concentration in Meditation

The Village Healing Centre

It's easy to notice that some meditation sits feel "better", and others feel like a waste of time. This is because the nature of the mental state of mind varies greatly. Buddhism categorizes the most common 5 hindrances to a calm mind state as: 1. Sensory desires 2. Ill-will 3. Sloth and torpor 4. Restlessness and worry 5. Doubt Over the next 5 classes, we will explore how these hindrances show up in our own meditation practices (and our lives), and how to work with them to lead us back to the calm mind. As always, 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 practice time. Suitable for beginners to advanced, ages 12+. Attendance at single sessions is permitted, but you'll get the most out of it by attending the whole series (May 16, May 30, June 6, July 4, and July 18) . Classes are offered on the basis of Dana, which is also "pay what you choose", which allows you to pay what you value. Linda Hochstetler, Co-founder and Senior Teacher of AIT, will be teaching these classes. She 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 who has studied with Senseis Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, meditation teachers and authors of 2 books - Wasteland to Pureland, and Dharma If You Dare.

Death Cafe - Toronto West

Bluebird Bar

So we're meeting at The Bluebird Bar, in the same location as the Belljar Cafe that closed last year. They don't have tea or coffee, as they are a bar, but they do have lots of choices of beer, wine, and other drinks. It will be familiar, for those of you who have attended previous events. We'll sit outside on the patio in the back, weather permitting. This will be our 14th Death Cafe in Toronto West. Please come in time to grab a drink and be ready to begin at 7pm. As always, we will sit 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 DeathCafe, as well as the global Death Cafe movement, at www.deathcafe.com/deathcafe/5411/. 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 myself, 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. For more information on the Bluebird Bar, go to www.bluebirdto.com. The Bluebird Bar is located at 2072 Dundas Street West, at the intersection of Howard Park Avenue. It's an 8 minute walk south from Dundas West subway station, with stops on both the College and Dundas streetcars There is free street parking on Dundas West or Howard Park Avenue if you drive cars, or you may park at the Master Mechanic parking lot across the street after 6pm. Please invite anyone else who may be interested, or bring a friend. RSVP to ensure a space at our tables.

ABUNDANCE PRACTICES - Abundance of Adventures

Village Healing Centre

Instructor: Linda Hochstetler Dates: Every 2nd Thursday of the month, starting January 10, 2019 Time: 7:00pm - 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 Cost: Pay-what-you-can Will consist of a theme for the evening with lots of time for group discussion and input. Maybe some writing exercises, or reflection time. Or watching a YouTube video or podcast together, followed by a discussion about how to bring that aspect of ABUNDANCE into your life. Our topic this month will be abundance of ADVENTURES. Are you someone who likes to take risks and challenges? What kind of adventure is of interest to you? What satisfaction do you get from your adventures? What prompts you to see out adventures? Are your adventures cultural, travel, social, in nature, towards a bucket list item? How much money do you spend each year funding your adventures?

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