Autumn is a Time for Regrouping

No matter how old we get, we still think of September as the beginning of a new year. Weather starts to get cooler, we return from vacations (even local ones!), and we start looking around for new things to dive into. For many people, that also means returning to past commitments, like exercise and meditation classes. For others, it's an opportunity to learn new skills, or enrol in new activities and classes.

For me, this means switching up my work schedule to allow for more time at the cottage my husband and I purchased a few weeks ago. We purchased a waterfront cottage on the edge of Frontenac Provincial Park (north of Kingston) that we hope to turn more into a 'lodge' that we (and others) use as a home base as we explore the great outdoors. Steps from the cottage are endless hiking trails and canoe or kayak routes. There are also winter opportunities for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, and maybe even ice fishing. And at the end of the day, there are the daily 'light shows' of the the setting sun on the water and trees (photo above). Hope you're finding your own explorations of the natural beauty around you, and feeling your own peace and love from mother nature as we head into this autumn season.

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

It was soooo exciting on August 9 to hold a copy of my book in my hand for the very first time. This is a pre-order sample, but holding it in my hand makes the whole book publication stage seem real. The book can be pre-ordered now with a 20% discount of fee. 

I'm looking forward to October 13 when the book will finally be available for sale to the public. My book publicist team is busy organizing media opportunities to talk about the book. There are already a number of events scheduled to promote the book. Feel free to attend as many as you're interested in and in whatever format you like.


What's this book really all about?
This book Some of you may be asking yourself what this book you are reading about is really all about. Here's a summary from the back cover that describes it for you.

Conversations about death don't have to be morbid. Following the 'Positive Death Movement' and public education such as Death Cafes, many of us yearn to speak more openly about dying and death in ways that are more natural and direct.

21 Days to Die was written in that spirit, in the hopes that all Canadians will come to recognize the signs of physical death and the sequence to facilitate necessary conversations and better timely decision-making. The book addresses botht the medical and advance care planning aspects, but also aspect such as the psycho-social needs, grief work, and rites of passage, and so much more. 

Written by a social worker and lay Buddhist Chaplain, 21 Days to Die inspires fearlessness in the face of seeing what doesn't want to be seen. under these circumstances the mindfulness practices of being fully present in the moment, and remembering the impermanence of all living things are both universal and calming. 


Book Events
This book is meant to be read, discussed, and engaged with. As such, it's really good to have other people around to talk to about the ideas in this book. It's meant to be provocative and disrupt your every day life and the trajectory you think you're on. In short, it's meant to remind you of the impermanence of life, and to motivate you to live more urgently and more fully. Here are a few ways to 'meet the author' and learn about the book, in addition to just buying the book and reading it by yourself. There will be more options in the months ahead, but here are the current opportunities.

Virtual Book Launch
October 19, Tuesday on Zoom, 7:30-9:00pm
Listen to sections read by the author, answer questions from the audience, and generally celebrate together. BYOC (Bring Your Own Champaign). 
Cost: Free! 

To register

Weekly Meditation Class With the Awaken in Toronto group for 4 sessions - Wednesdays on Zoom, 7:30-9:00pm
November 3 - 24, Recognizing the Dying Stages
Includes a review of portions of the book, as well as question and discussion times. Includes 30 minute meditations on traditional Buddhist death practices and meditations.
Cost: Dana donation

To register

Monthly Discussion with the AIT Dying, Death, and Community group - Thursday on Zoom
October 28, 21 Days to Die: Recognizing Death
Single session discussion on the signs of death, including body, speech, and mind indications. 
Cost: Dana donation

To register

Speaking Engagements

If you have connections to a group who would like me to talk about the book, or select topics from the book (like navigating the hospice palliative system), please share my contacts. Or maybe you would like to choose this book as the book to read for your book club, and invite me to join your book club and lead the discussion for the evening. Let's get the word out together about recognizing the final 21 days of life!
Interview with the Buddhist Door Global 

I was interviewed by my publisher, John Negru, for a blog on his website. If you'd like to learn a little bit about my views on end-of-life while waiting for the book, here you go!

Introduction to Buddhist Counselling

Instructor: Linda Hochstetler, MSW RSW and Dharma teacher in the Vajrayana tradition.
Teaching Assistant: Charles Chiarelli, BEd, Master of Pastoral Studies in Buddhism (Candidate) and Assistant to Ven. Bhante Dhammo, Dharma teacher in the Cambodian community.

14 Saturdays (on-line classes via Zoom) - ** REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 11!
September 18, 2021- December 11, 2021 – 20 hour course
- 7 (wks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13) two-hour classes of instruction with Linda (total 14 hours, 4-6 pm) and
- 6 (wks 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12) one hour of practice and integration sessions with Charles (4-5 pm)

The Fall 2021 course is designed to provide basic Buddhist counselling skills to individuals with little or no clinical experience or training. It is intended to prepare participants to volunteer with Buddhist community members, friends, and family. No previous training is required.

This course includes learning generic counselling skills. Participants will role play with others, and talk about their own Buddhist and meditation practice with each other. They will see how Buddhist principles of impermanence, suffering, and no-self can be included into their supportive counselling conversations and they will be encouraged to practice these skills in their many conversations.

Registration fee is only $50 for the full 20 hours. Please send completed application by September 11, 2021 to ensure a spot for yourself. Course fees are supported by the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism and the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada,

For More Information

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 rest of the AIT group. 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 to keep the learning accessible. This is especially important now when finances are stretched for many people, and we want everyone to be able to attend regardless. 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 given Buddhist concept or principle, and then join in a variety of different meditation practices. 

September 8 - 29, Awakening States and Ego Stages
October 6 - 27, Exploration of Body and Form
November 3 - 24, Recognizing the Dying Stages

Death, Dying, & Community - 4th Thursday of each month- 7:00-8:30pm
Will continue the exploration of death and dying, 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. Looks like we're still meeting online, but we will consider in person options again in the future, when things finally open up again.

September 23, Coping with Long-term Terminal Illnesses
October 28, 21 Days to Die: Recognizing Death
November 25, Crossing Over: Can We Communicate with the Dead?
Awaken in Toronto Meetups
Awaken in Toronto Website
Awaken in Toronto Facebook
Death Cafe - Toronto West - Online
Date: Monday, September 27, 2021
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Zoom Link:
Room: 3695356130

We're holding our 5th virtual Death Cafe on Zoom, and plan to utilize their Breakout Room option to "sit" in small groups and ask each other questions and share stories. There's no agenda and no guarantee of where the conversations will go other than the death theme. There is no fee to attend, and conversations are sure to be one of the most profound and deep experiences of the month. The pandemic experience has increased the urgency to get us talking about death and dying, and facing up to our own mortality. 

RSVP is required to receive the password for the gathering and be let in from the waiting room.
For Information

Meditation Retreat - Reckoning between the Ego and the 'Self' using Internal Family Systems Therapy
Dates: November 12-14, 2021
Place: Dharma Centre of Canada, Kinmount, ON
Teacher: Lama Linda AKA Linda Hochstetler

Meditation introduces us to the idea that there are many voices in our head constantly speaking and contradicting one another. Sitting in silence also allows for various feelings and body sensations to arise, and we may find ourselves either identifying or pushing these away. Overall, it's easy to become a 'hot mess' whenever we slow things down to notice what's happening.

Components of one form of therapy - Internal Family Systems (IFS) - can be combined with meditation to help meditators find their core Self. The Self is also known as Buddha-nature, and is inherently part of each of us. The Self is blocked by Exiles, Managers, and Firefighters who overreact and place the protective ego in front of the Buddha-nature.


To Register

Private Practice - Online & Some In-Person
The hybrid model has been working really well for me, offering both in person and online psychotherapy. I will be asking in person clients to show me their vaccine passports, whenever this becomes encouraged. I continue to offer psychotherapy for life and all the challenges that life presents, including transitions, relationship changes, and of course my specialty of illness, death, and dying. I provide talk therapy using a variety of modalities, but also EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for trauma and PTSD symptoms. If I'm not the right person to see you, I'm happy to give a referral to someone in my large network who might be better for you. Therapy is a special relationship that I'm happy to see more and more people see the advantage of for themselves. 

Village Healing Centre Website

Clinical Supervision and Consultation

I have 19 years of Clinical Supervision and Consultation experience, and I really enjoy working in groups. I use a Reflective Practice model of supervision. Covers clinical questions, as well as self-employment guidance. Supervision is open to persons with varied clinical backgrounds. All sessions will be held online for now.

Monthly Clinical Supervision Group: $75 for 1.5 hours, with maximum of 4 persons
I currently have 2 groups, and have a waitlist for a new group. If you would like to join, please let me know, and when I have 3 persons, I will create a new group.

Monthly BIPOC Clinical Supervision Group: 1.5 hours, with maximum of 4 persons
Since January 2021, I have been offering a BIPOC group to a group of 4 special therapists who are growing their own therapy 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 learn much from my supervisees, and hope they are also learning from me. I anticipate offering another such group with different therapists again in 2022, as an on-going commitment on my part to diversifying the private practice world.
To Register for a Group

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Find one new place to explore this autumn, and share a photo with me from your travels!  
Linda Hochstetler
Copyright © 2021 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.

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