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 May 23rd

Mon, May 23 – This Very Moment Is the Perfect Teacher

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 Brenda, Lauren, Sharon, and Jim on Monday to read and discuss Chapter 3 of Pema Chodron's book When Things Fall Apart. The chapter, titled "This Very Moment Is the Perfect Teacher", suggests that reaching the limit of what we think we can handle may in fact be a precious gift. Everyone is welcome and there's no need to have read the previous chapters or have the book.

Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom, available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.
- Pema Chödrön

Join Session

Tue, May 24 – Mindfulness in Plain English

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

This week, Bob Hollett continues with the book Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. What do we mean by mindfulness? What is possible by practicing it? No copy of the book required.

The way out of a trap is to study the trap itself, learn how it is built. You do this by taking the thing apart piece by piece. The trap can’t trap you if it has been taken to pieces. The result is freedom.
- Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Join Session


Wed, May 25 – Effort, Love, and Attention

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.

How do you relate to the word effort? What do you put effort towards, and what drives that effort? Join Jessica Fenbow and James Collura this Wednesday for a talk by Jack Kornfield on wise effort and it’s relationship to attention and love.

Join Session


Fri, May 20 – The Work of Joan Tollifson

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.

Joan Tollifson's writing "points to the ever-changing, ever-present living reality Here / Now" and employs a "bare-bones approach [that] is open, direct, immediate and down-to-earth". Join Debbie McCubbin this week to sample and discuss some of Tollifson's work.

Liberation is when all the answers, explanations and positions disappear, and what remains is the open mind of not knowing.
- Joan Tollifson

Join Session


Sun, May 22 – The Muddy Waters

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, Debbie McCubbin continues a series of readings and discussions that draw on Ezra Bayda's book At Home in the Muddy Water. Bayda is an American author and Zen teacher best known for his insights into working with difficulties and fear in everyday life. No need to have a copy of the book.

The only real emotional need, if we want to call it that, is to love. To love is our essence; it is who we are.
- Ezra Bayda

Join Session

Nothing Added

Woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off, I sat and wondered


Bob Seger penned those lines in 1976 and I bring them up because I did wake up to the sound of thunder last night. While I didn't ponder how far away the storm was, I did start thinking. If waking up at night is a fire, then thinking is the gasoline for staying awake. I thought about the details of an upcoming trip, the strange dream I'd been having, whether I'd locked the shed, and how to get my headphones repaired.

But Ken, you show people how to meditate–can't you just meditate yourself back to sleep?! Well, yes and no. There's a reason why meditation centres have cushions and chairs instead of mattresses 😉  The practice of sitting meditation is for cultivating awareness and mindfulness, not for inducing asleep. Training yourself to fall asleep when you meditate will definitely not help your meditation practice 🧘  Don't get me wrong; if you're tossing and turning and unable to sleep, then sitting up and meditating is a much better way to pass the time.

What works best for me is to apply whatever mindfulness I can summon along with a slogan that I recite to myself. The slogan is simple: Nothing added. These two words encourage me to tune into the sensations originating in the body and outside of it. Without adding judgement, analysis, resistance, rumination, and such–what is actually happening right now? Patter of rain, warmth of bed, softness of pillow. A slight breeze from an open window, the solid and secure feeling of the room, the body breathing, the heart beating.

The next step will be familiar from meditation practice: rinse and repeat 😊  As thoughts arise, I gently repeat "nothing added" and return to the what-is. More often than not, my next conscious experience is waking up to bird song as morning light fills the room.

Do you have any mindfulness practices that help you sleep? Send them along and (with your permission) I'll share.

🙏

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

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

Experiencing, rather than trying to have special experiences, is where real freedom lies.
- Ezra Bayda