Linda Hochstetler - Monthly Newsletter
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Loving the outdoor life

In the middle of September, I began commuting back and forth on weekends up to the Dharma Centre of Canada to spend time with my husband Richard who began a 3 month volunteer stint on September 11. I was a little unsure about the commitment, given how much I hated my daily commute to Bethell Hospice. But this commute has proven to feel different. Probably it helps that it's at most a once weekly sit in a car. I walk to my office and generally bike everywhere to run errands and see friends and spend little time in a car outside of this trip. I travel during non-regular commute times, so I never have to sit in traffic.

And at the end of the commute (usually on a Saturday evening after teaching my last class for the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism), I arrive to a beautiful star-studded sky. And sometimes even a gorgeous full harvest moon, like this one. Another fascinating weekend I arrived to cloud cover with absolutely no stars or moon in the sky, no lights, and the darkest inkiest black sky, When going to bed that night I couldn't see my own hand in front of my face, and lost all track of my own body. A strange sensory deprivation experience, without even the usual float tank.
 Yes, I could get used to this kind of commuting!

Meditation Retreat - Regulating Wild Feelings & Emotions: Learning Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Self-help Strategies to Calm Your Emotional Reactions
Dates: November 1-3, 2019, with an option to stay till Nov. 4
Time: Begins Friday at 8pm and goes till Sunday at 3pm
Place: Dharma Centre of Canada (2.5 hours north of Toronto near Kinmount)
Instructor: Linda Hochstetler

As many Dharma practitioners know, sitting on a meditation cushion can unleash some wild and crazy feelings and emotions. Meditation isn't always relaxing, and it doesn't always feel good. It's considered a positive step in the awakening process when negative memories surface, or when the body releases some of the pain and suffering that it's been holding from traumatic experiences in the past. Learning to calm the overstimulated mind and body requires mastery of specific techniques borrowed from trauma-informed psychotherapy.

This retreat will introduce students to several different self-help EMDR techniques that they can apply to their own emotional disturbances. Retreatants will be encouraged to apply these techniques throughout the weekend, and also later during meditation sits and retreats, as well as in response to stressful situations in life. Weekend activities will include group classes to learn and practice the techniques, as well as meditation sits.

For students wanting to experience EMDR psychotherapy with a trained psychotherapist, there will be individual sessions available to persons extending their retreat an extra day and pre-booking for a Sunday afternoon or Monday session.

To view the Dharma Centre Website
To Register

First Annual Canadian Swan Song Festival

Date: October 19, 2019
Time: 6:00-9:00pm
Location: Revue Theatre, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue

“An evening Extravaganza of Grief and Sorrow through Song and Poetry” 

Come Prepared to Share your own Spectacular Poems and Songs on Stage

The Toronto Swan Song Festival Host team invites you to join us in celebrating the launch of Community Deathcare Canada (CDC) that promotes a re-engagement with death and dying in meaningful and community based ways. See

I will be attending and providing supportive counselling to anyone feeling provoked by the poetry. Sure to be an awesome evening in our neighbourhood. 

To Register

Contemplative Care at End of Life

10 Saturdays; January 11 - March 28, 2020 1:30-3:00 pm at 33 High Park Gardens
Instructor: Linda Hochstetler, MSW RSW
Sponsor: Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism

Registration fee is subsidized and costs only $50, thanks to donations to the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada. Please request  an application form 
from Registration will be open shortly.

The fall module on Introduction to Buddhist Counselling, or its equivalent, is a pre-requisite for this second module. 
For More Information

Clinical Supervision and Consultation

I have 17 years of Clinical Supervision and Consultation experience, and I really enjoy working in groups. Although I am a Social Worker, I qualify as a CRPO Supervisor, and can provide documentation for any of these sessions. Here are 2 different opportunities to participate in. All sessions will be held at the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue.

1. Monthly Clinical Group Supervision: 1.5 hours, $75, 2nd Friday of the month, 9:00-10:30am

- Reflective Practice model of supervision
- 3 month commitments for Jan-Mar 2020 and Apr-June 2020 $225
- limited to 3 or 4 persons

RSVP and payment is required in advance, as space is limited to 4 persons maximum. Send to
Flyer for Monthly Supervision

2. Bi-monthly Clinical Group Supervision: 1.5 hrs, $60, 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 12:30-2pm

- Reflective Practice model of supervision
- 3 month commitments for Jan-Mar, 2020 and  Apr-June, 2020 $360
- 4-8 persons

RSVP and payment is required in advance, as space is limited to 8 persons. Send to
Flyer for Bi-monthly Supervision

Buddhist Group Supervision: 1.5 hrs, $80, 10 Saturdays January - March, 2020, 3:30-5pm, meets at the Toronto Zen Centre, 33 High Park Gardens

This will be our 3rd session of a special group supervision expressly to help individuals connect their personal Buddhist practice to their professional psychotherapy practices. It included Buddhist practitioners from the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions.

To Learn More about the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism

Private Practice is open again!

My private practice is open and I have days, evenings, and Saturday appointments. For the fall, I will be available Wednesday-Saturday. Starting in January, I will be available Tuesday-Saturday. I am enjoying seeing individuals, couples, and families. I'm open to a wide range of issues, everything from anxiety/depression, health issues, working through fears, relationship issues, LGBTQ issues, and of course anything related to aging, illness, death, & dying. 

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)
I am EMDR trained now and have provided many EMDR psychotherapy sessions for persons with PTSD and trauma histories. I also am finding it helpful for a wide range of issues related to anxiety, anger, and overwhelm. I often add a few EMDR sessions to our usual talk-therapy and it is transformational. I love having a body-centred psychotherapy to help people access their feelings and stored negative memories. I am looking for referrals for persons dealing with a fear of death or to help persons who have witnessed a traumatic death of a loved one. There is little research for using EMDR in these situations, but my anecdotal evidence supports the tremendous help this provides. 

Village Healing Centre Website

Teaching Schedule for Awaken in Toronto

We've got things going on every week at the Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, with the following schedule. I will be leading the 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 put in the bowl what you value and can afford to keep the learning accessible.

I recently learned it is possible to give receipts from me, a registered social worker, to you for insurance reimbursement for the Dana that you give to attend any of our meditation sessions. If you would like this, feel free to attend, and just let me know, and I'll be happy to provide these to you. 

Weekly Meditation Classes- Wednesdays, 7:45-8:45 pm 
Meeting Room: Boomerang Pilates Studio, 3rd floor
Will include a short dharma talk, followed by 30 minutes of meditation. Each week we will explore a given Buddhist concept or principle, and then join in a variety of different meditation practices. There will be time to ask questions related to meditation practice each week. 

Death, Dying, & Community - 4th Thursday of each month- 7:00-8:30pm
Dates: Oct. 28 * Special Date for October * , Nov. 28

Meeting Room: Corner office #5 on the 3rd floor
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. There is an opportunity to share information amongst the group if you have your own area of expertise. A theme will selected for the evening, with relevant materials and handouts provided. Sure to be thought provoking. The idea is that the more you prepare for death, the more joyful your life becomes. The October topic is Advanced Care Planning, a topic we've covered before, but continue to circle back to because it's so important for everyone to get them done. We will likely continue this topic into November, and will play it by ear. 
Awaken in Toronto Meetups
Awaken in Toronto Website
Awaken in Toronto Facebook

I successfully ran 2 more Death Cafes this fall, bringing my total hosting history to 21. We are looking for more dates in the new year, and I will keep you all posted of these once they are set. It is awesome that there continues to be interest in these public events, even 5 years after we started holding them. Stay tuned for more dates!

I promise to send news only once every few months. This is the last newsletter of 2019. I plan to take my usual December off to attend a 2 week meditation retreat in BC at Clear Sky Mediation Centre. However, if you want to be removed from this list, please know that I have no problem if you Unsubscribe.

Spend as much time outside as you can before the cold comes and the snow follows. The colours are truly awesome this year. 

Linda Hochstetler

Copyright © 2019 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.

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