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 November 22nd

Monday, Nov 22 – Resistance

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 Lauren Anastasi and Brenda Buchanan on Monday to continue discussing Ezra Bayda's book Being Zen. Everyone is welcome and there's no need to have the book. This week we'll talk about how resisting what's going on brings us no peace. As we cultivate a willingness to be with life as it is, our relationship to what we've avoided begins to change.

Saying “Yes”...means we’re no longer resisting the people, things, and fears we don’t like; instead we’re learning to open to them, to invite them in, to welcome them with curiosity, in order to experience what’s actually going on.
- Ezra Bayda

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Tuesday, Nov 23 – Sitting Meditation + Discussion

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

Sitting meditation followed by discussion (topic to be determined).

 

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Wednesday, Nov 24 – Wheel! Of! Samsara!

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.

This week, our Wednesday session dives into a new chapter from Comfortable with Uncertainty: Reversing the Wheel of Samsara. The Wheel of Samsara can be likened to a hamster wheel, only in your brain. Repetitive thoughts, recurring worries–round and round we go. This particular hamster has an ego, by the way, and really believes in their wheel. Can we slow that wheel down, even pause it? Is there another way altogether? Join Adam Wilkinson, an animal lover who wants to give those weary hamsters a break.

We are stuck in patterns of grasping and fixating, which cause the same thoughts and reactions to occur over and over again...The instruction is to relate compassionately with where we find ourselves and to begin to see our predicament as workable.
- Pema Chodron

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Friday, Nov 26 – Wise View

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.

Wise (right) view is the first step in the Eightfold Path. Although it's called a path, it isn't exactly linear–more a cycle of practices that weave and overlap. So we can look forward to taking that first step, and the other seven, many times 🙂 What do we mean by "wise"? By "view"? Why is wise view the starting point of the Eightfold Path? Join Debbie McCubbin and Tyler Munhall to explore this key component of the Buddhist teachings on liberation.

Suffering is the disease, and the eight steps are a course of treatment that can lead us to health and well-being.
- Tricycle Magazine, Buddhism for Beginners

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Sunday, Nov 28 – Encountering Robina Courtin

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

Robina Courtin describes herself as having been–among other things–a hippy, a communist, a feminist, and a karate fanatic. In the late 1970s she was ordained as a Buddhist nun and has worked since then in support of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Intrigued? Join Debbie McCubbin to discover more about this witty and unique teacher.

I don’t think we like the idea of patience. We think it’s like gritting our teeth and waiting for the awful thing to go away. For us it’s more like passive aggression!
- Robina Courtin

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A Positive Trend

In his book Just One Thing, Rick Hansen offers a collection of simple practices aimed a "developing a buddha brain". It's a great resource if you're looking for ways to weave mindfulness and kindness into your days.

One of the chapters in Hansen's book deals with negativity bias, the way that unpleasant or negative experiences stick with use more readily than positive ones, even when they're of similar intensity. Have you ever found yourself, at the end of the evening, going over that one thing that didn't go well even though ten others did? Welcome to negativity bias.

In meditation, we're developing our capacity to notice, and Hansen has a practice for working with negativity bias that begins with noticing. For example, I've never played basketball but will take almost any opportunity to toss something into a wastebasket from a distance. Why? We'll never know 🤷‍♂️ Sometimes, I actually hit the target! What if my fleeting experience of sinking that garbage can buzzer-beater triggered the first of three steps that help to counter my negativity bias?

Here's what that might look like:

1. Notice and acknowledge the simple fact that something good happened. It's so easy to skip right past those seemingly trivial hit-the-wastebasket moments.
2. Pause briefly and give yourself over the experience of this positive event. This isn't about becoming attached to it, but to really register it and let it fill your awareness.
3. With intention, sense the good experience flowing into your body. Use whatever method works for you: feeling warmth in your chest, visualizing light filling the body–anything that grounds the experience in your physical body.

With a bit of practice, this process only takes a minute or two. Keep it up and you could wind up with positivity bias, that daunting condition that leaves you laying in bed each night, appreciating all the wonderful things that happened during the day 😉

🙏
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

It turns out my really big problem was thinking I might one day get rid of all my problems.
- Oliver Burkeman