Welcome to Community Meditation

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, all groups are meeting online using Zoom (details below).

Community Meditation is non-profit network of meditation groups. We bring mindfulness and wellness into people’s lives through courses, meditation sittings and group discussions, both in-person and online. By sharing the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, we support the evolution of a wise, caring, and healthy world.

Our network has existed for over a decade and we have groups in several cities including Mississauga, Oshawa, and Owen Sound.

Our roots are Buddhist, but we draw on many wisdom traditions as well as contemporary wellness, psychology, and neuroscience. Community Meditation is  completely volunteer-based and guided by a council of experienced teachers.

Community Meditation is a Canada Revenue Agency Registered Charity No. 73107 5719 RR0001.

Location Pages

Some of our locations have a dedicated page on the site, so please visit those for local news & updates:

Online Sessions - Week of January 18th

Tuesday, Jan 19 – Loving Kindness

Zoom session begins at 7:00 PM EST. Meditation starts at 7:15, with informal talk and discussion from 7:35 to 8:30.

Join Stephanie Stewart and Tammy Russell on Tuesday for the second in a series of talks about compassion. This week, they explore how loving-kindness meditation strengthens compassion, and look at the difference between empathy and compassion.

if you're not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you're not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.
- Jon Kabat-Zinn

Join Session


Wednesday, Jan 20 – The Empty Boat

Zoom session begins at 7:00 PM EST. Meditation starts at 7:15 PM, with informal talk and discussion from 7:35 to 8:30.

On Wednesday, Adam Wilkinson continues the shared reading of Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron. This week, he shines the spotlight on her version of the Zen story, The Empty Boat. Chodron writes:

This is the classic story of our whole life situation. There are a lot of empty boats out there. We're always screaming and shaking our fists at them. Instead, we could let them stop our minds.

Join Session


Friday, Jan 22 – Aware of Our Mind

Zoom session begins at 7:00 PM EST. Meditation starts at 7:15 PM, with informal talk and discussion from 7:35 to 8:30.

What does it mean to be aware of what's happening in our minds? What does that look like and how do we encourage it to happen more often? Debbie McCubbin looks into the nature of awareness this Friday.

Our experience is always changing. Without awareness, mental patterns related to what we crave and what we fear make life harder. Long past the time for valuable problem solving or learning from experience, rumination and other patterns continue and amplify stress. Thinking can be the problem, not the solution, when there’s nothing more to fix or to be done.
- Mark Bertin

Join Session


Sunday, Jan 24 – Hard to Relate

Zoom session begins at 10:15 AM EST. Meditation starts at 10:30, with informal talk and discussion from 10:50 to 11:45.

This Sunday, join Debbie as she explores an article by the always-insightful Ezra Bayda. The topic: what is it that can make close relationships with friends, family, and co-workers so challenging?

As we become more inwardly free from our conditioning and our fears, the love and connection that are possible in relationships tend to flow through us more naturally.
- Ezra Bayda

Join Session

Northern Lights

Photo by Michal Vrba on Unsplash

A Precious Human Life

I won't bore you with the math, but the odds of you getting this human life you're inhabiting are astoundingly small. Despite this, you probably don't wake up every morning with a huge smile on your face simply because you exist. Don't worry, it's not just you 😊  Most of us, much of the time, don't appreciate how lucky we are just to be here. In Buddhism, this is referred to as having a precious human life.

One reason we don't appreciate our life is that we have what psychologists call a negativity bias. What it means is that our attention, thoughts, and actions are more easily influenced by bad news than good. To be fair, this bias evolved to keep our species alive and it succeeded–or you wouldn't be reading this! But the 21st century mind has more to fear from doomscrolling than saber-tooth tigers, so a shift towards the positive is more than welcome.

Gratefulness practices, like gratitude journals or the daily noting of three good things, are a proven way to cultivate appreciation. I recently came across a related practice called "mental subtraction" that draws our attention to the gifts that flow from a chance encounter or event. Briefly, it works like this:

  1. Choose a positive, meaningful relationship or event in your life and then imagine the many ways it might have never happened.
  2. Bring to mind the pleasure and joy that came your way because it did happen, and then notice how you'd feel about having those taken away.
  3. Reflect on the fact that, somehow, you did meet this person or have that experience, and how fortunate you are.

For example: I met Debbie McCubbin in Owen Sound only because two friends took a course in Mississauga and it was just when Debbie was helping small regional groups to form. Thanks to that bit of serendipity, I'm grateful for the laughter, the heart-opening, the insights, the support, and to be writing these words as part of the awesome Community Meditation team 🙌

If you're curious about the mental subtraction practice, you can learn more here.

🙏
Ken & the Community Meditation Team

COVID-19 Statement

Our hearts go out to everyone — all of us are experiencing disruption of our normal lives and various levels of increased anxiety and sadness. It is an important time to pause, be present, and open our hearts.

We at Community Meditation will have completely transitioned to online sitting, discussion, and programs. These new online sessions are available to everyone, not just the local group, creating more opportunities for you to participate. Discussions are led by local teachers, including Debbie McCubbin, Ken Dow, Bob Hollett, Tammy Russell, Stephanie Stewart, Erin Vanderstelt and Adam Wilkinson.

For those of us working from home or self-isolating, these sessions provide a much-needed chance to connect with others in a heartfelt way. We have four sittings a week at this point and will keep you informed as new sessions and programs are launched. All are welcome!

Our future discussion topics will include ways to work with with anxiety and the current situation, along with our usual offerings about meditation, Buddhism, awareness and emotions.

We invite everyone to come together as a community to support each other in working towards a wise, caring, and healthy world.

Sincerely,
The leaders and teachers of Community Meditation Buffalo, Mississauga, Oshawa, and Owen Sound

Using Zoom

if you’re new to Zoom, check out The Art of Zoom page we put together.

Good to go with Zoom already? You can join a Community Meditation session using the button below.

Join Meeting

Our Aspiration

We started this meditation network to help you bring more clarity, balance, caring and joy to your life and your community.

What We Offer

  • Free meditation instruction and one-on-one follow-up sessions
  • Regular online sittings
  • Online wellness courses on Joyfulness, Mindful Leadership, Buddhism, Mindfuless & Anxiety, Compassion, and more

Quotable

As long as you are trying to become, trying to get somewhere, trying to attain something, you are quite literally moving away from the Truth itself.
― Adyashanti