What we're about

At Mindful Montreal, we practice the life affirming practices of mindfulness meditation and alignment based yoga. Mindfulness (vipassana/insight) is the art and science of understanding and skillfully working with the nature of our hearts and minds. This 2500 year old practice, from the historical Buddha, cultivates a mind that is balanced, joyful and compassionate. Through concentration, gratitude and Metta practices, our capacity grows to respond to our mind/heart with skill and compassion. In 21st century, mindfulness and neurological research has shown that these practices create more neural connections which results in emotional resilience. Because of this, we become more patient, inquisitive, compassionate, appreciative and realistic with our life's challenges.

I, lead weekly sessions and retreats to practice, discuss and support each other's growth. In each session, we practice sitting meditation, sensing exercises, somatic movement and Informal forms which are mindfulness exercises we can use in daily life. I have been practicing Yoga and mindfulness (vipassana) meditation since 1988 and teaching since 1996.

Come learn the art of mindfulness and embodied compassion.

About Insight Meditation and Mindfulness Based Yoga:

WHAT IS IT?

Insight meditation is a particular form of meditation that aims to cultivate wisdom and compassion, so that we can live our lives with less stress and distress, and more happiness, ease, and freedom. This type of meditation comes from the Buddhist tradition, though it’s not necessary to be Buddhist to benefit from the practice. Mindfulness Based Yoga using the tools of meditation in somatic exercises to heighten sensory awareness. The basic forms of insight meditation are very compatible with Western psychology, so these days, variations of insight practice are taught in many different settings, including schools, hospitals, prisons, businesses and government departments.

METHODS OF PRACTISING IT

Insight meditation uses a combination of different techniques to develop mindfulness in every aspect of daily life, and also to cultivate specific positive mind-states as a support for freeing ourselves from challenging emotional states and beliefs. Mindfulness can be defined as “… the cultivation of clear, stable and non-judgmental awareness”.

In insight practice, the techniques that we use to develop this kind of awareness start with mindfulness of the breath and the body, then progress to include mindfulness of the mind through relating to thoughts, emotions, moods, and mind-states with interest.

As the practice develops, we grow in our capacity to bring mindfulness to more aspects of our daily lives, so that nothing is left out. However, this takes training and time. We learn how to develop this continuity of mindfulness through regular periods of sitting and walking meditation, in formal and informal techniques, in daily life, in workshops, and on residential retreats. Also included within insight practice are meditation techniques that directly cultivate the positive mind states of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. In these practices, we silently recite phrases of well-being towards ourselves and others, so that over time, these positive states become the default setting of our hearts and minds.

SOME OF ITS BENEFITS
There are many benefits to practising insight meditation, which are becoming increasingly well-documented by neuroscientists and other researchers.

These include:
1. reduced levels of physical and psychological stress,

2. better understanding of the mind-body relationship,

3. an enhanced ability to navigate through life’s inevitable challenges,

4. increased kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others,

5. emotional intelligence and resilience,

6. greater mental clarity and increased concentration abilities,

7. and the capacity to access intuitive wisdom.

About Allison Ulan:

Allison has been exploring yoga and meditation as a path of learning and healing since 1987. She has been teaching since 1996. Her approach offers students practices of embodiment to live life with more ease, freedom and joy. Her methodology is a systematic approach that awareness is both a physical health practice and a meditation system. She specializes in Yoga for Back Care and Posture, Yoga to support recovery from injury, Mindfulness based practices for optimal performance for artists & athletes and Vipassana Meditation. Time spent on the meditation cushion with Allison, as a guide, is time for individual growth and discovery. Her classes offer pathways to know the language of the body, work with the complexities of the mind and honour the heart.

Upcoming events (3)

Summertime and the living is easy - Yoga and Meditation retreat at Jouvence

Friday, August 30th to Sunday, September 1st, 2019 at Jouvence, Orford, Quebec It is essential for our physical, mental, social and spiritual health to take a moment from time to time to pull back and slow down. Taking time out from our busy lives can be pleasant, centring and helps us to revitalize on all levels. It is a gift we give to ourselves of self care and compassion. When we deeply receive our own attention and tenderness, it naturally extends to those around us. Take advantage of this retreat as a healthy break to balance your mind and rejuvenate your body in nature. We will invite insight and joy into our lives through a weekend of yoga, mindfulness meditation and living connected to natural world. The menu for the weekend will be connecting to nature to revitalize, intentional self care and awareness. This retreat will be held in English, with the possibility of having individual meetings with the teacher in French if needed. Fees pay for your accommodations, six meals, seven yoga/meditation sessions and all hotel facilities. The accommodations are individual or shared cabins. $300 (plus gst and pst = $345) per person for shared accommodations (two to three people per room) $391.40 (plus gst and pst = $450) for single occupancy accommodations. If you want to only participate in the yoga and meditation sessions and stay off site, the fee is $130 plus taxes = $149.48 for all seven sessions. Please contact Allison for the full list of accommodation options, detailed weekend schedule or anything else you want to know about this annual weekend retreat. About Jouvence – Jouvence is located on a 194-acre site on the shores of Lake Stukely in Mont-Orford National Park. Known for its warm hospitality and excellent food, Jouvence has been an Eastern Townships treasure for over 35 years. Offering an all-inclusive formula to its guests, which includes overnight stays, meals, and access to outdoor activities, equipment, and facilities, this hotel will both win you over and help you completely unwind.

Introduction to Mindfulness - Everything you wanted to know with Allison Ulan

In this introductory session, you will learn what mindfulness is and is not? The session will explore the relationship between the secular mindfulness movement and the Buddhist traditions of mindfulness. You will find out where did “mindfulness” come from and how did it really develop in the West. Plus, you will discover why practicing mindfulness improves how your mind functions and how this improves your life. The course will sequence through simple explanations and instructions on the mindful practices of calm abiding, insight, and wisdom. Then you will practice these forms followed by group discussion. This workshop is three simple introductory lectures and then the practice sessions to embody mindfulness. This session will give you the foundational tools to practice at home and integrated mindfulness into your everyday life. You will leave this mindfulness workshop with: ~ The History of Mindfulness ~ The foundational practices of calm abiding, concentration and self compassion, ~ understand what self regulation is and how it helps us meet difficult emotional states with understanding and compassion, ~ exercises to strengthen your capacity to live your life through joy, calm and insight. Fee: pwyc, suggested donation is $10 – $25 plus taxes No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please register by writing to [masked] to confirm your place in this course.

Joy and Presence - Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Retreat in Costa Rica

Good news my friends, I have found the perfect place for a retreat by the ocean to ease your winter blues. Martine of Rainforest Reef Escape and I are co-hosting Joy and Presence – a weeklong Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Vacation on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica from March 2nd to 9th, 2019. If you have ever dreamed of practicing and relaxing in an ecological paradise, then this is your opportunity. Plus Rainforest Reef Escape will give $175 US discount and a free boat tour to anyone who books their spot by December 15th, 2019! Also RR Escape is open to paying for the retreat in payment instalments. This vacation/retreat package includes everything so you can relax and settle into a week of self care, mindfulness and deeper awareness. In this weeklong vacation, the following is arranged for you. - Arrival in San Jose, a hotel is already booked for you on Saturday February 1st, 2020 - Sunday February 2nd, taxi service to the airport and flight to Osa Peninsula. - Friday February 7th, flight back to San Jose, taxi service and hotel in San Jose. - Included in your escape package are daily yoga and meditation sessions with Allison overlooking the warm Pacific Ocean, daily walking through the rainforest as well as a host of additional activities to help you explore the beauty and diversity of this sacred space. - Each day you will begin with a yoga practice and then a nourishing breakfast. - After breakfast you can partake in an 90 minute asana alignment session or be free to explore local trails and discover abundant wildlife on the Osa Peninsula. - Enjoy a delicious lunch and then have the afternoons free to play and chill at the beach or hike. - Each evening, there will be an iRest yoga nidra session before dinner and a mindfulness meditation session by sunset. - You will be staying in a stunning private home with impressive views of the ocean and lush rainforest. This home is equipped with comfy beds in five separate sleeping areas, an infinity pool overlooking the Golfo Dulce and trails that lead to the ocean and rainforest. - Accommodations vary from single rooms, dorm style rooms and shared rooms. - When you register and place your down payment, you will be able to choose which accommodation work best for you. - Enjoy delicious fruits, freshly picked vegetables and locally inspired foods. Meals are served family style. If you want more information on prices and itinerary, please click on this link. https://t.e2ma.net/webview/jb8qnd/7ebdd288dfc60623b88e8817e555e2c4 Ojo Del Mar Retreat Centre - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1uB7NLF6n-F5UviAi0pHU4wLS7zE&ll=9.758077029443866%2C-83.74716989662477&z=6 and http://www.ojodelmar.com. To register immediately, contact Martine at RR Escape through [masked]. More about your Retreat Leader Allison Ulan - Since 1996, Allison Ulan has been teaching Mindful Yoga and Vipassana Meditation. Her approach blends the traditional contemplative practices and alignment based yoga with current evidence based research in neurology and physiology. From her over 30 years of practice, she is a teacher of teachers. She directs A Balanced Approach Yoga Teachers’ Training Programs and Mindful Montreal which offers programs to nurture awareness, compassion and community sharing. Her methodology is a systematic approach to yoga as both a physical health practice and a mindfulness meditation system. Her classes are practices of embodiment through alignment, breath awareness and meditation so each student can access ease, focus, freedom and joy. She specializes in Yoga for Back Care, Yoga to support recovery from injury, Mindfulness-based practices for optimal performance and Vipassana Meditation. Time spent on the practice mat with Allison is time for individual growth and discovery. Her classes offer pathways to know the language of the body and work with the complexities of the mind & heart. More on Allison go to www.allisonulan.com

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