Category Archives: Events & Workshops

FREE your love on Valentine’s Day (no sweetheart required)

yoga heart light

What could be more perfect for Valentine’s Day than to bust open our heart chakras? Well, any day is a good day for that really. But I’m offering a FREE class in Tibetan Heart Yoga on Sat Feb 14 from 2:00-3:15pm at Energy Xchange, a super lovely state-of-the-art studio in the heart of Leslieville.

Merge your yoga with mindfulness and compassion to unlock your heart chakra. This yoga series from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas releases energetic knots surrounding the heart, to increase our warm-heartedness and dispel feelings of isolation. Using meditation, mantra, breath and asana, we’ll practice sending a loved one everything they need for true happiness – in turn, planting seeds for our own.

You’ll find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition. Suitable for all levels.

Bring a loved one or come on your own. There will be lots of love in the room!

Sun Feb 14 from 2:00-3:15pm at Energy Xchange – 698 Queen St E at Broadview. Did I mention this class is FREE?!?

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Tibetan Heart Yoga: unlocking your heart

thy

This yoga series from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas releases energetic knots surrounding the heart, increasing compassion and dispelling feelings of separation. A compact practice using meditation, mantra and asana that can be done in under 40 minutes, perfect for anyone looking for a simple, effective home practice. Includes an introduction to the subtle energetic body and its function that you can apply to any yoga practice you do. You`ll find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition.

Suitable for all levels.

Sun Dec 14 from 11:00am-1:00pm at The Yoga Sanctuary Danforth – 95 Danforth Ave (at Broadview)

$25.00 + hst. Click here to pre-register.

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Practicing Compassion

diamond in the rose

“If you  want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

This fall, I’ll be offering two complimentary workshops at The Yoga Sanctuary College. While each workshop stands on its own, attending both will allow you to expand your understanding and experience of these two practices, one meditation, and one a physical asana series. Both practices are designed to open our hearts and increase our compassion and happiness.

Breath of Compassion meditation workshop

Sun Sept 21 from 12 noon-2pm at The Yoga Sanctuary College – 2 College St, at Yonge

$25.00 + hst. Click to preregister.

In the meditation practice known as Tong Len, or giving and taking, we actively use our breath to take away others’ suffering and send them happiness and healing. In the process, we create the causes for our own wellbeing and deepen our capacity for compassion. A powerful and useful practice that can be done both on and off the meditation cushion, as we encounter suffering in our world.

Tibetan Heart Yoga workshop

Sun Oct 5 from 12 noon-2pm at The Yoga Sanctuary College – 2 College St, at Yonge

$25.00 + hst. Click to preregister.

This yoga series from the lineage of the Dalai Lamas embodies the Breath of Compassion meditation practice. This is a compact practice using meditation, mantra and asana that can be done in under 45 minutes, perfect for our busy modern lives. You will find familiar yoga poses in this series, as well as some unique to the Tibetan tradition. The series is designed to release the energetic knots surrounding the heart, increase our compassion and dispel feelings of separation. Suitable for all levels.

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Filed under Events & Workshops, Meditation, The Yoga Sanctuary, Tibetan Heart Yoga, Tong Len, Yoga

Setting the Stage for Meditation

zen-meditation

Meditation: The Six Conditions

with Rhondda Smiley

6 Wednesdays 4:45-5:45pm, from Jan 15 to Feb 19, 2014

Our inner and outer lives are fundamentally interconnected. With shifts in our relationship with our world, we can create positive conditions for meditation practice.

In this six week course, we will learn how to cultivate the key conditions that support inner growth for greater freedom and happiness. The Six Conditions are based on the teachings of the ancient Indian yogi Master Kamalashila’s The Stages of Meditation circa 750AD.

Each week we’ll cover one condition, with discussion of how they apply to our modern lives. Each session will include guided meditation using the breath to develop single-pointed concentration. Beginner and experienced meditators alike are welcome.
At The Yoga Sanctuary – 95 Danforth Ave, 4th floor
Full course $120.00 + hst, drop-ins welcome $22.50 + hst

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Dharma with David Gluck

David

Mondays from 7-9pm, June 10, 17, 24 and July 8

Whitby Central Public Library – 405 Dundas Street West, Whitby, ON

David Gluck will be leading a discussion group on a book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama this summer at the Whitby Public Library. Join us for four Monday nights as we explore together His Holiness’ book Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment. The text is available in its entirety for free from the incredible Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, which says:

“About one thousand years ago, the great Indian pandit and yogi, Dipamkara Shrijnana (Atisha), was invited to Tibet to re-establish the Buddhadharma, which had been suppressed and corrupted for almost two centuries. One of Atisha’s main accomplishments in Tibet was his writing of the seminal text, A Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, in which he extracted the essence of all 84,000 teachings of the Buddha and organized them into a clear, step-like arrangement that makes it easy for any individual practitioner to understand and practice the Dharma. This genre of teachings is known as lam-rim, or steps of the path, and forms an essential part of every school of Tibetan Buddhism.

In this book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama gives a commentary to not only Atisha’s revolutionary work but also to Lines of Experience, a short text written by Lama Tsongkhapa, who was perhaps the greatest of all Tibetan lam-rim authors. In bringing together Atisha, Lama Tsongkhapa and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this book offers readers one of the clearest and most authoritative expositions of the Tibetan Buddhist path ever published, and it is recommended for those at the beginning of the path, the middle and the end. This is the first time a major teaching by the Dalai Lama has been published for free distribution.”

David Gluck began his study and practice of yoga and dharma in 2001. In 2003, he became a certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, studying directly under Sharon Gannon and David Life. He has worked professionally as a teacher of Yoga and Dharma since that time, and has taught and led retreats both nationally and abroad. His fortune of having been able to study with many gifted teachers worldwide brings richness to his classes surrounding the philosophy and tradition of yoga. The most inspirational of these teachers are Dharma Mittra, Ruth Lauer-Manenti, Jeannine Woodall, Ram Dass, author Douglas Veenhof and His Holiness, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama. In addition to teaching Asana, David has taught many courses in philosophy from both the Buddhist and Yoga traditions, including the Lamrim, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and much of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. He is also a gifted musician and experienced Kirtan artist.

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Buddhism 101 starts this Sunday!

Please download the course outline and reading from the attached link. Download Course Materials

If you need a ride from Toronto, please email me at smileymadsen@yahoo.ca. We have space for you!

And a reminder that drop-ins are most welcome for this course. Come to one or all of the classes.

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Buddhism 101

Buddha headshot

Dharma Essentials 1: The Three Principal Paths

with Rhondda Smiley

NEW DATES!  Sundays from 11am – 1pm, from April 14 to May 5

Are you interested in Buddhism but overwhelmed by all those lists (The 4 of This, The 8 of That…) and don’t know where to start? Join us over four Saturday mornings for an overview of the complete Buddhist path. Find out how to follow the steps to enlightenment and blissful living.

Each class leads with an open discussion based on readings translated from original ancient Tibetan texts that are time tested and go back at least 2500 years. These include instructions on the steps to creating the good life and will include a short guided meditation designed to empower any spiritual practice and enhance your life.

Everything you need to know to begin, renew, or enhance your spiritual life! No previous background in Buddhism required.

at Bikram Yoga Toronto East – 111 Island Rd. Parking and entrance at rear. www.bikramyogatorontoeast.com

Offered by donation – what you can give happily.

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Focus Here and Now: The Key to Progress on All Paths, with Douglas Veenhof

Lama Doug headshot

Presented by Durham Dharma www.durhamdharma.org

Sat May 11 & Sun May 12, 2013 – 1:00-3:00pm and 4:00-6:00pm daily

At The Centering Space www.thecenteringspace.ca 59 Cambridge Ave (Broadview & Danforth)

We are extremely fortunate to have Douglas Veenhof returning to Toronto to share his insightful teachings on how to develop shamata, or single-pointed concentration. Friends in Vancouver have been raving about these classes, and now Lama Doug is bringing them here to Toronto! Come and learn how to sharpen up your focus in meditation, or any other pursuit in your life.

Whether your practice is Vipassana, Yoga, prayer, tennis, or enjoying your breakfast, your ability to concentrate your full attention on the present moment of experience is the key to attaining the results you hope for.  For 2500 years, Buddhist contemplatives have regarded single-pointed concentration to be as vital to health  as food and sleep, and generations of meditators have refined step-by-step techniques for training the mind.  In this experiential workshop you will learn proven methods drawn from three meditative traditions that can  reverse the fragmenting influence of our multi-tasking, virtual culture on your ability to stay focused on the  here and now. These skills can be used in a daily practice to explore the potential of human consciousness  as well as to relieve the stress and anxiety of everyday life.

Doug Veenhof is a former mountain guide, an award-winning journalist, and the author of White Lama,  the acclaimed biography of Yoga pioneer and Tibet explorer, Theos Bernard (Harmony Books, 2011).  He has studied and practiced Buddhism for more than twenty years and graduated with honors from  the seven-year program of advanced Buddhist studies at Diamond Mountain, the academy founded by  Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally. Known for his broad knowledge of the intersection of Buddhist, Yoga, and scientific traditions, Doug is a frequent guest of radio and television interviewers  and a popular teacher at Yoga and Dharma centers throughout North America and Europe.

SESSION 1
• How the quality of your attention creates the world you experience
• Our default state: the uncontrollable infomercial of our ruminating mind
• Unplugging incessant memories of the past and fantasies of the future by training  attention to focus moment to moment on the physical sensations of the breath
• The first key to mindfulness: balancing relaxation and clarity.

SESSION 2
• The second key to mindfulness: adding stability and continuity to your attention without losing relaxation and clarity.
• How to notice distractions before you are kidnapped by them and how to infuse your attention with brightness.
• How to make your attention more acute by focusing on more subtle physical sensations.

SESSION 3
• Shifting balanced attention to the space of the mind and its contents.
• How to maintain stillness of awareness while observing the motion of the mind
• The liberating distinction of objective and subjective appearances in the mind
• How mindful attention can get you through the day with peace and grace

SESSION 4
• The space of the mind you discover between thoughts
• What can focused attention reveal about the potential of the human mind?
• Using finely tuned attention to focus on the nature of I and the world
• The keys to establishing a successful daily meditation practice

Full weekend $75, single session $25.

Drop-ins welcome, but registration for entire weekend strongly encouraged.

Email durhamdharma@gmail.com or call 647-692-2995 to register.

Scholarships available – contact doug@douglasveenhof.com  for information.
 

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Shamatha Retreat with Douglas Veenhof in BC

While most of what’s on this site are Dharma, yoga and meditation events in and around the Greater Toronto Area, this is a very special event that begs to be shared.

Join Three Jewels Vancouver from March 15 to March 24 (a 4 day option of March 15-18th is also available) on a Shamatha retreat in Squamish, British Columbia led by popular teacher and author Douglas Veenhof.

For over 2,500 years, Buddhist meditators have considered developing single-pointed concentration as the prerequisite for progress on the path to liberating wisdom. Shamatha is that step-by-step progression of meditative techniques for training our unruly and drowsy minds to be perfectly attentive to the present moment of experience.

The enthusiastic response to his weekend intensive at Three Jewels Vancouver last fall inspired them to create a retreat with all the support, instruction, and inspiration needed to make a leap in the stability and clarity of your attentional skills.

Douglas Veenhof is a former mountain guide, an award-winning journalist, and the author of White Lama, the acclaimed biography of Yoga pioneer and Tibet explorer, Theos Bernard (Harmony Books, 2011). He has studied and practiced Buddhism for more than twenty years and graduated with honors from the seven-year program of advanced Buddhist studies at Diamond Mountain, the academy founded by Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally. He has been interviewed on both radio and television and is currently at work on a new book examining his own spiritual experiences in light of contemporary theories of consciousness.

The retreat is intimate (maximum 25 students), and whether you are just beginning to meditate or are a long-time practitioner looking for the keys to go deeper, this is a great opportunity to learn, ask questions, and enrich your practice.

Early bird tickets are now available via Eventbrite. http://www.eventbrite.ca/event/5226757372#

And keep your eyes peeled for a visit by Lama Doug to Toronto later this spring….

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Joyful Yoga of the Innerbody: a Lady Niguma Yoga immersion with Nicole Vigna

Lady Niguma yoga

The oldest known recorded yoga series was created by a woman named Lady Niguma 1000 years ago. It is designed to systematically open each of the chakras from bottom to top. It is a concise and complete practice that is particularly well suited to our busy modern lives. The weekend will include lectures, asana, breath awareness, meditation, mantras, stories, alignments and adjustments, healthy food and a deep exploration of the innerbody and how yoga works.

Sat March 9 from 10am-6pm
Sun March 10 from 10am-3pm
at Karisma Retreat Centre – 6673 Wellington Rd. 16 in Bellwood, ON (near Guelph)

$150 early bird rate til Feb 24
$175 after Feb 24

To register http://ladynigumayoga.wordpress.com/

or contact Nancy Giovinazzo –  LadyNigumaGuelph@gmail.com or 519-823-5810

nicole vignaNicole Vigna is trained in the Vinyasa, Anusara and Tibetan Heart Yoga traditions. She has over 10 years of studies in Indian and Tibetan lineages of yoga, meditation and enlightened business management under the guidance of her mentor Geshe Michael Roach. Nicole finds great joy in sharing these timeless and practical ancient teachings throughout the world.

If you’re looking for a regular Lady Niguma Yoga practice, there is a monthly pay-what-you-can class at Moksha Yoga Guelph with Lorri Medill. http://guelph.mokshayoga.ca/home/

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