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.

Online: Week of July 19th

Tuesday, July 20 – Interconnected

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 Bob Hollett and Tammy Russell after meditation this Tuesday to read and discuss a few selections from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo. What is the feeling of interconnectedness that can arise from practicing mindfulness-awareness meditation? How do we invite it? Why would we want to?

 felt certain that in the paradox of the aspen trees waits the secret to our interdependence: being who we are.
- Mark Nepo

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Wednesday, July 21 – Six Ways to be Lonely

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.

Here's a topic that may raise an eyebrow: Six Ways to be Lonely. Who wants even one way, let alone six?! If there's wisdom and clarity to be found in loneliness, leave it to Pema Chodron to find it. What would happen if we befriended and welcomed the inevitable loneliness of this life as part of our path? Join Adam Wilkinson after meditation this Wednesday to explore this surprising suggestion.

When we rest in the middle of it, we begin to have a non-threatening relationship with loneliness., a cooling loneliness that turns our usual fearful patterns upside down?
- Pema Chodron

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Friday, July 23 – Is There a True Self?

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.

Be yourself, everyone else is taken. Or are they? Join Debbie McCubbin this Friday after meditation to investigate this question of a true self. Is there a true self we can locate that will put an end to our searching? Or are we just an endless series of states that shift from one to the next.

The Buddha never spoke of humans as persons existing in some fixed or static way. Instead, he described us as a collection of five changing processes: the processes of the physical body, of feelings, of perceptions, of responses, and of the flow of consciousness that experiences them all.
- Jack Kornfield

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Sunday, July 25 – Difficult Relationships

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

If there's a single area of our lives that seems tailor-made to demolish any illusions we may harbour about how patient and generous our meditation practice has made us, surely it's relationships. As one spiritual wag remarked, if you want to know how awakened a teacher is, don't read their books, ask their intimate partner! Join Debbie McCubbin this Sunday after meditation to explore difficult relationships and how the qualities we develop through mindfulness and meditation can in fact help us navigate them more skillfully.

All of us enter into relationships with expectations and agendas of how we want the other person to be...we always have our own agenda about how the other should be.
- Ezra Bayda

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Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay

 

Active & Awake

A few weeks ago I came across a video in which Eckhart Tolle was taking questions from a live audience. A woman described having had a tremendous insight at a meditation retreat, a shift that moved her into a prolonged state of sublime joy. She went on to say that since returning to her workplace, however, she could feel it slipping away. What should she do?

Tolle's response struck a chord in me, and it applies whether you finally had 30 seconds of serene meditation or Avalokiteshvara appeared to you in a chai latte 😉  What he said was a variation on this quote from his book, A New Earth:

The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm...You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex.

We can take "awakened doing" to mean being present and actively engaged in something, as opposed simply sitting on a chair. What Tolle is suggesting is that we can bring our 30 seconds of serenity (or whatever it was) into our daily actions by accepting, enjoying, and being enthusiastic about them.

These three strike me as a progression: first you accept, then you enjoy, and finally you rouse enthusiasm. It's hard to enjoy what you're doing if you find it unacceptable, and if you're getting zero enjoyment out of a task, enthusiasm is a mirage. So, we might start with acceptance and then, depending on how we're doing, move on to enjoyment and possibly enthusiasm. Any practice that evokes our acceptance of this moment can work, but what spring to mind are gathas.

A gatha is a short phrase that you speak silently to yourself, in tune with your breath, during an activity. Ideally, you would use deep, slow breathing–say 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out. Here's an example:

(Breathing in) "I embrace"
(Breathing out) "This moment"

One of the great things about gathas is that you're encouraged to experiment with them and make up your own. You could have one for acceptance, another for enjoyment, and a third for enthusiasm. Who knows, maybe it's easier for you to cultivate enjoyment first and then acceptance. Go for it, experiment!

Eckhart Tolle is right: the composure and grace we glimpse in meditation needn't evaporate just because we're active and doing. That string of moments we call the daily grind is in fact quite open to a more embracing, joyful, and wholehearted you–one embrace at a time.

🙏

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.

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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

Time is a game played beautifully by children.
- Heraclitus