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Linda Hochstetler - Monthly Newsletter
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Compact Fun and Exploration!

How much can you explore in 5 days? I recently flew to London, England for a short visit, and managed to pack in a month's worth of exploration. I built my trip around a 2 day workshop on Lucid Dreaming with Charley Morley (www.charleymorley.com) which totally inspired me to get serious about improving my dream recall. I filled remaining time walking around London with my big sister Kathryn, who recently moved there to teach at the London School of Economics. We logged 25+ km a day (great training for that half-marathon run I was training for) wandering the streets of London taking in the art and architecture of this great city and feasting on the fabulous tastes of the incredible local restaurants.

If you're itching to do some explorations yourself, but can't afford the time or money of a trip abroad, perhaps you'd like to try a silent meditation retreat. Turning inwards to the wanderings of your own mind can be another way to explore, and insights and revelations may be just as surprising and rewarding. The weekend date has been changed to November 10-12 (due to a accidental double booking at the Dharma centre), and there's still time to register and plan to attend. 

Meditation Classes - Conscious Living - a series of 9 classes

Teacher: Me!
Dates: Every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, November 2 and November 16
Time: 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Place: Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue 
(enter at the back of the Howard Park United Church parking lot)
Room: Middle Room on Main Floor, opposite Yoga Village; enter door to church from parking lot
Cost: Dana - practice generosity by paying what you value
BYOC: Bring Your Own Cushion (anything to sit on the floor with) or sit on one of our chair
Sponsor: Awaken in Toronto group of practitioners

We are working our way through these various ways of spending our time. After exploring some of the biggest uses of our time (earner, hobby, and creator work), this month we turn to several of the types of work that often bring individuals some of their greatest meaning - monk's and helper's work. We will be exploring what feeds our need for spiritual time or acts of service. Exploring these aspects often help one find more time for them in our busy lives. 

These classes include basic mindfulness techniques including noticing thoughts, feeling, and perception, but are "beyond mindfulness" in that they include challenges to some of the limiting observations. They are great for persons who have tried a bit of mindfulness meditation but would like a bit deeper dive now. Each class includes a 30 minute silent meditation practice time. These meditations will support the exploration of conscious living, and will include a variety of meditation techniques. Suitable for beginners to advanced, ages 12+. Attendance at single sessions is permitted.

Introduction to Conscious Living, September 7
The Earner’s Work + Precepts, September 21
The Hobbyist’s Work + Vitality, October 5
The Creator’s Work + Patience. October 19

The Monk’s Work + Calm, November 2
The Helper’s Work + Equanimity, November 16
The Parent’s Work + Giving, December 7
The Learner’s Work + Humility, January 4
The Elder’s Work + Wisdom, January 18
To Learn More

Toronto Death & Dying Network Meeting, November 9 - Beauty and Art at End of Life 

Most of us know that it’s possible to do death better. Maybe you feel a calling to support dying people and their families, but aren’t sure where to start. Or maybe you’re already working somewhere in the field of death and dying, and are trying to do it better on your own. 

The Toronto Death & Dying Network brings together all these interesting people—death doulas, healthcare practitioners in hospice palliative care, funeral directors, professionals in their own niche of death and dying, and ordinary people just interested in learning about what’s out there before they need it—for support, learning, and networking.

This month, I will be leading a discussion on beauty and art at end of life. For some reason, some of the services for end of life, like residential hospices, have an appreciation for this, while others are totally lacking. Also, the human form at end of life is sometime considered sacred, and other times grotesque and to be spared from children and loved ones. Together we will reflect on where there is beauty and aesthetic appreciation.

We will meet Thursday,November 9, 6:30-7:30 pm at the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON M6R 1L3.

There is a fee to attend the gathering to cover rental and promotion costs. Early Bird tickets can be purchased for $10 through Eventbrite to ensure a space for yourself and help with planning, and are available now. Tickets at the door cost $15 and can be paid for in cash only.

Note: There has been low attendance at our events this fall. If you have any feedback or comments about the venue, date/time, cost, or topics, 
please share with me, as I believe these topics are of interest to many persons and am curious why our attendance has dropped. If you would like to see this group head in a different direction, please share you thoughts with me.  
To Register

Death, Dying, & Community
Have you been putting off thinking about your own mortality and taking the necessary practical steps to plan ahead? Maybe you need some information or more support from others to get started. This is a group of individuals willing to commit to meeting regularly to take on some of these tasks, and to talk about what this brings up for them. Unlike the Toronto Death & Dying gathering, this group is for individuals wanting to look at their own personal experiences and views. 

This group meets on the last Thursday of the month in my office on the 3rd floor at the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Ave.  Our next meeting will be held Thursday, November 30, 2017, 7:00-8:30pm. 

This month we will be talking about Ethical Wills, also called Legacy Letters. This writing is about the hopes and dreams that have guided your own life and you want to pass on to the next generation. We will do a bit of writing related to this in the session itself, and get you set up for further writing. Space is limited, so RSVP is necessary. This is a pay-what-you-choose event. 

 

To RSVP

Vajrasattva Meditation Retreat

 
NOTE: DATE CHANGE!!!

Teacher: Me!
Dates: November 10-12, 2017
Time: Begins Friday at 8pm and goes till Sunday at 3pm
Place: Dharma Centre of Canada (2.5 hours north of Toronto near Kinmount)

The Vajrasattva practice is one of the Vajrayana Foundation Work practices, and as such is said to be one the most important starting points for persons seeking personal transformation. The Vajrasattva practice is said to be particularly powerful for purifying all negative energy of the mind. This then reduces the negative actions of body and speech, and opens up the individual to greater degrees of freedom. 

Learning the long 100-syllable mantra can be daunting on one's own, so this weekend will offer the opportunity to practice as a group and to jump-start the effort toward completing 100,000 mantras. Classes on sounding, visualizations, and movement will round out the study of this archetype making this a multi-intelligence experience. Beginners to mantra practice are welcome to attend and detailed instructions will be provided.

Registration is now open.
To Register

I was employed by PalCare Network of York Region prior to my current job as Social Worker at Bethell Hospice. PalCare has invited me back to present at their annual symposium on November 16. I will be presenting on Complicated Grief, and how this differs from regular grief that is a normal part of death and dying. You will leave this workshop understanding how complicated grief is a culturally constructed reaction to loss, and also some of the factors that predict whether grief becomes complicated or not, and how to handle it if it does. Note: If you can't see the flyer, click on the link at the top of this email saying "display images below".  

To Register

Private Practice

I maintain a small private practice, with hours mostly available on Saturdays only .My speciality is helping individuals and families deal with illness, death, and dying issues. I provide both counselling support as well as information about end of life options. As a registered social worker, I can provide a receipt that allows fees to be covered under psychological services on my insurance plans. 

My office is located on the third floor of the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON, M6R1L3. For more information on rates and the space, check out the Village Healing Centre website. 
To view the Village Healing Centre Website

Other Interesting Events

To Register

I will be off-line December 8-23 while I attend a 2 week meditation retreat. I'm looking forward to learning more about the 6 Yogas of Naropa, including practices on dumo heat yoga and illusory body yoga. I can't say I know much about either of these ancient practices yet, but I trust my teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat will pull these practices into the 21st century and make them come alive for me. For more information or to consider registering, check out their website on Planet Dharma. 

Linda Hochstetler

Copyright © 2017 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.


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