Spring and New Growth 

Spring is in the air, and there is new growth everywhere. For someone, like myself, who is still exploring the first year of cottage life, it is still exciting to see what each new season brings. This last month has shown me midges/May flies, white and purple Hepatica flowers, and a challenge to take an icy dip in the lake just days after the ice left. I just don't tire of the changing colours on the water, and the way the light is reflected in different seasons and different times of day. 

After reading so extensively on anything related to dying and death for many years, I'm starting to read more about climate change and nature spirituality, particularly from a Buddhist perspective. I'm also exploring how indigenous beliefs and practices overlap with these explorations. I'm rereading Braiding Sweetgrass, and falling in love with the ideas of Joanna Macey and Stephanie Kaza, as well as Bill Plotkin and David Loy. If you have any particularly insightful readings or films to recommend, please feel free to share them with me, and I'll take them up to my cottage for my next weekend exploration.

'Last Aid' Public Education Course

'Last Aid' is a public education initiative that was created in Germany, and is "a concept built on the presupposition that palliative care knowledge should become a part of public education." Much like better-known 'First Aid' courses that help people save lives and minimize the threat of death, 'Last Aid' courses were created to help people help others die better. If you liked my book on the dying process, you'll love this course, as they dovetail well together.

The four modules of this oh-so-practical course are:
1. Dying is a part of life
2. Making provisions and decisions
3. Relieving suffering
4. Saying goodbye

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario has jumped on board to sponsor Last Aid training in Ontario, and eventually roll this program out to all of Canada. There will be many more opportunities to sign up for a FREE 3-hour public education training throughout 2022. 

I will be co-leading with my death buddy, Dr. Julie McIntyre, a retired family doctor who specializes in Advanced Care Planning. Many of you already know her, and I think we'll be an awesome team of presenters. Please RSVP on Eventbrite, as space is limited.
Zoom details are provided with the registration process.
More about Last Aid

Spirituality and Aging
I've been asked to return to my Alma Mater for undergrad studies, Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo, to lead a daylong presentation in their Spirituality and Aging series. My topic will be Open Eyes & Open Hearts: Recognizing and living the journey of dying and death together. I will cover decision-making at end of life, with a special look at how Baby Boomers and other generations make good decisions around dying and death, and also look at what Covid deaths have been like and how we're handling the collective losses. There will be both presentations as well as time for discussion with other attendees. 

The seminar will be on Friday, June 3, 10am-4pm, and registration is now open. You can attend in person in Waterloo or virtually on Zoom.  

For More information

Book Update - 21 Days to Die: A Canadian Guide to End-of-Life

I'm slowing down with all the book promotion events. The book is out, it's being read by lots of people, and there are lots of ways to engage with it and apply it to your personal situations of dying and death.

The best place for Canadians to purchase a book is still through my publisher, Sumeru. If you're in my neighbourhood of Roncesvalles in Toronto you can pick up a book at Another Story Bookshop, at 351 Roncesvalles. And now that we're out and about in person, I am happy to sell you one out of the basket on my bike, with no shipping costs! 

To Purchase a Book

Meditation Retreats In Person at the Dharma Centre of Canada

May 20-23, 2022 - Inner and Outer Peace: Cultivating resources for yourself and the world. Imagine the peace of body, mind, and soul that comes from simple meditation practices that focus on breathing, the senses, and nature. Consider this in person long weekend retreat just the thing to feed your inner world as well as global consciousness.

June 24-26, 2022 - Getting to Know Your Inner Critic: Recognizing and Taming the Parts that Slow Down Your Spiritual Progress. Weekend retreat that combines IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Vajrayana Buddhism to release hidden blocks of feelings and thoughts about the individual identity that make meditation difficult and add to life challenges.

November 18-25, 2022 - Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism: Basic Tenets, Tantra, and a Variety of Meditation Practices. Come prepared to study many of the various Buddhist Lists (4 Noble Truths, 8-fold Noble Path, 3 Marks of Existence, 6 Paramis, 8 Poisons) and see how they hang together. Add in a Vajrayogini Wongkur ceremony to understand Tantra in an experiential way and participants are assured of returning home changed and invigorated. 

Registration is OPEN for all 3 Retreats

Awaken in Toronto Meditation Classes

Our classes switched to Zoom video in March, 2020, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
Zoom Link:
Room: 3695356130
Password: 108108

I lead these classes with support from the other AIT senior students - Richard Clark and Bat Fung. All group classes are offered on the basis of Dana, which means "pay what you choose", as an opportunity to pay what you value and can afford and still keep the learning accessible. Dana can be sent by etransfer to or by PayPal to

Weekly Meditation Classes- Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 pm 
Will include a short dharma talk, followed by 30 minutes of meditation. We've extended the class by 30 minutes to allow for time to ask questions and interaction with each other better. Each week we will explore a specific Buddhist concept or principle, and then join in a variety of different meditation practices. Classes are usually often in a series, but you can attend single classes as well.

April 13-May 4 - Getting to Know Male Energies
May 11-June 1 - Braiding Sweetgrass
June 8-June15 - Preparing to do a Personal Retreat
June 22-July 13 - Conscious Relationships

Death, Dying, & Community - 4th Thursday of each month- 7:00-8:30pm
Will continue the exploration of dying and death, and the various decisions one makes to prepare for death. The aim is both practical and existential, and is discussion based. The idea is that the more you prepare for death, the more joyful your life becomes. We're still meeting online, but we will consider in person options again in the future, possibly before our summer break!

May 26 - Dementia and the Dying Process, Part 2
June 23 - Facing the Big 'C'
Awaken in Toronto Facebook
Awaken in Toronto Meetups
Awaken in Toronto Website

Private Practice - Online & In-Person Sessions
The pandemic has been tough on people, and even with provincial rules opening things up, many people are feeling vulnerable and not yet ready to meet in person (see Harvard Business Review article below). This applies to not only clients, but also many therapists! Many clients and therapists love the new online psychotherapy, because it's so flexible and convenient. I've also been recently inundated by new clients begging for in person sessions. I continue to practice client-driven psychotherapy letting clients determine whether they want in person or online sessions.

After 8 years in private practice, my practice is full, with a long waitlist. I will only make space in my practice for new clients looking for my illness, dying, death, and grief specialty. I enjoy doing EMDR for trauma, but at this point, have no room in my schedule for new clients for this. I am grateful beyond belief to all of you, my extended community, who have sent referrals to me over the last 8 years. Word of mouth seems to be most common ways of finding a therapist these days, and so many recent requests have all been sent by colleagues and friends. If spaces open up again in the future, I'll let you know in the next newsletter. I do have a large referral list of therapists that I know well (and often supervise), and will share this with people looking for a new therapist. 

Referrals to Other Therapists

Clinical Supervision and Consultation

I have 20+ years of Clinical Supervision and Consultation experience, and I really enjoy helping new therapists launch their private practices. I use a Reflective Practice model of supervision. The groups cover clinical questions, as well as self-employment guidance. Supervision is open to persons with varied clinical backgrounds. All sessions are held online for now.

Monthly Clinical Supervision Group: $75 for 1.5 hours, with maximum of 4 persons
I currently have 4 groups, and they are currently all full. If you would like to join a group, I will put you on a waitlist until there is space available in one of the groups.

Monthly BIPOC Clinical Supervision Group: 1.5 hours, with maximum of 4 persons
For 2022, I'm again offering a BIPOC Clinical Supervision Group to 4 therapists who are growing their own psychotherapy practices. I offer my clinical services for free to this group to provide one small and practical way of righting an imbalance in our society of bias and discrimination. We talk opening about race, power, and politics, and the way that this impacts individuals both seeking and offering therapy services. I'm already appreciating this new group and the richness of the discussions!
Village Healing Centre Website

Thanks for sharing my world and helping me to expand my world view and place on this planet. Anything we can do together to make the world a kinder place that includes people, animals, and plants is a positive step in the right direction.

I send news only once every few months. However, if you want to be removed from this list, please click on Unsubscribe or let me know, and I have no problem if you do so.

Much love to all!
Linda Hochstetler
Copyright © 2022 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.

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