Getting Through This Pandemic Together

As month by month of this pandemic goes by, we get more used to all the inconveniences and precautions. It reminds me so much of what really matters to me - friends and connections and nature. I am happy letting go of the shopping and the pretentiousness of dressing up. But I really miss moving around freely and seeing smiles from strangers on the street. I miss the hugs when greeting friends. My food and drink tastes are so uninspired, as we prepare yet another meal at home without guests or visitors. I gratefully stood in line (photo above) for over 3 hours to get my Pfizer vaccine on March 23. I jumped on the opportunity when the city finally opened it up to social workers and other healthcare workers offering in person support services. The older I get, the more I want to be of service, while balancing that urge with safety. Here's hoping we will all soon be vaccinated and able to move around freely once again, and maybe even to dream of international travel and explorations. 

Book Update - With a new Subtitle

21 Days to Die: A Canadian Guide to End of Life

While the rest of you have been sitting around watching Netflix with your feet up, I have been spending all my spare time finishing writing and then editing my book. This takes way more time than I ever would have guessed. I added a whole bunch of quotes from other Canadians working in the field, which really adds to the readability of the book. My publisher has been great suggesting edits and helping me sharpen the writing. Last week he delivered the book to me in 'pagination form' and he has transformed it from my lowly word document to what looks like a book now. We've got more image edits ahead as I try to figure out what he means by high-resolution copy. Looks like I'm getting a book publicist to help me with social media and interviews. I'm so grateful for this great machinery for helping me get this book published!

Tiny Home / Glamping Tent Farm

I learned the hard way that spring is wet on a farm. I showed up last week to grab my new Tiny Trailer from the farm only to get my AWD Subaru royally stuck in mud for 6 hours! Unbelievably, we finally got the car out by putting a long board between my car's hitch and the farmer's truck's hitch, and having him push me backwards out of the mud and spewing mud on the bystanders and both vehicles. Needless to say, between that mud experience and the latest lockdown, we've decided not to have any visitors in April up to the farm. 

Looks like there will be some open weekends this summer when anyone who wants to come up and hang out with me can do so. We're still working out fees to the farmer. We're hoping to set up a large kitchen tent to hold the kitchen supplies and keep them safe and dry, even if it rains. I thought I'd know this information by now, but things move slowly on a farm. Let me know if you're interested and I'd love to have some visitors. The first date will probably be June 4-6. Maybe we'll even do some work projects that weekend and make some more shared amenities. We expect to have some glamping tents for rent, as well as open camping for you to bring your own tent. Anyone wanna join me for an early dip in the ponds at the end of the work day? 

Awaken in Toronto Meditation Classes

Our classes switched to Zoom video in March, 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. 

April 14-May 5 - Chanting & Visualization Practices
May 12-June 2 - Engaged Buddhism
June 9-July 7 - Exploration of Chakras

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. We hope we can offer this in person in the fall again, starting on September 26, after our usual summer break, but will need to find a new venue that has more space to allow for appropriate spacing. Alternatively we stay virtual on Zoom. Stay tuned for details of this decision.

April 22 - Advanced Care Planning
May 27 - Green Options at End of Life
Awaken in Toronto Meetups
Awaken in Toronto Website
Awaken in Toronto Facebook
Death Cafe - Toronto West - Online
Date: Monday, May 10, 2021
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Zoom Link:
Room: 3695356130

We're holding our 4th 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 - Buddhism 101; Introduction to Buddhist Principles and Practices
Dates: April 23-25, 2021
Place: Online, on Zoom, of course

This introduction course is for those of you curious about meditation and its benefits, as well as the basic Buddhist principles that support the meditation practices. We'll explore mindfulness, karma, and the middle way and how they inform these various meditation practices. You'll learn about the 3 marks of existence - impermanence, no-self, and suffering. Whether you're looking to understand what Buddhism stands for or you want to journey all the way to awakening, this weekend will be a great step of the way. 

Lama Linda (aka Linda Hochstetler) will be leading the retreat. A $100 administration fee covers 7 classes, and participants are also encouraged to offer Dana to the teacher, who provides teachings without any other payment. 

Schedule: 7 classes (Friday: 7:30pm, Saturday: 7am, 10am, 4pm, 7:30pm, Sunday: 7am, 10am)

Next retreat dates:
August 13-15, 2021 - Exploring the Universe - Buddhist Summer Camp
November 12-14, 2021 - Reckoning Between the Ego and the 'Self' Using Internal Family System Therapy

To Register
Buddhist Contemplative Care for End of Life
Speakers Series

Dates and Speakers

February 6, 4–6 p.m. EST: Doug Duncan Sensei and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei (Vajrayana)
Recording, in case you missed it:

April 17, 2–4 p.m. EDT: Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison and Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell (Mahayana–Zen)
New York Zen Centre for Contemplative Care Co-founders

This series is FREE and registration is required. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants on the morning of each talk.

About the Series

This speakers series, cosponsored by Emmanuel College’s Centre for Religion and Its Contexts, the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism and the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada, is a pioneering effort to provide a platform for Canadian teachers from the three main traditions of Buddhism to address contemplative end-of-life care. 

For More Information

Private Practice - Online & Some In-Person
The hybrid model was working really well for me, doing both in person and online psychotherapy. And then we went into 3rd wave and yet another lockdown. I'm again online, but looking forward to May and a return to my hybrid model. I have answered many questions of my older clients and helped them figure out when they were eligible for vaccines and where to go. I, too, got my first vaccine nearly a month ago, and am looking forward to my second dose. We won't all be safe till we all are vaccinated. I continue to do my best to stay strong mentally to be able to serve clients who are struggling with their various situation. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have my meditation practice and my own people around to support and sustain me. 

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, but as I am a registered social worker but not a registered psychotherapist, my background no longer qualifies for the CRPO requirements. All sessions will be held online for now.
Monthly Clinical Supervision Group: 1.5 hours
Monthly BIPOC Clinical Supervision Group: 1.5 hours
To Register for a Group

Fitness and Health During the Lockdown

It's slowly getting warmer and maybe your've tried to get moving after a slow winter indoors. If you're worried about injuring yourself as you get started, you might benefit from some virtual personal training. I know I'm biased, but I highly recommend my son, Adrian. He offers 30-45 minute workouts that are short enough to fit in before or after most workdays, and he offers a varied cardio, core, or stretching combination that meets your needs. His classes are online on Zoom, and are reasonably priced for any budget. He has experience working with people of all ages (including his 85-year grandmother).


Exploring the Bardos - One Week Online Meditation Retreat

Dates: June 19-25, 2021 - 4 sessions per day - from the comfort of your own home

If you're interested in learning more about that special time between the last breath and what Tibetan Buddhists have mapped to be the next rebirth, consider joining me for a weeklong online meditation retreat when I will co-teach with my own beloved Buddhist teachers, Doug Duncan Sensei and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei on the Bardos of Living and Dying. They are experts on the topic of seeing gaps as opportunities to explore life more fully. Come meet my teachers and the source of my own inspiration, and let's learn together.

This will be an online course, but be prepared to put aside your every day activities and immerse yourself in the teachings and meditation activities. 
For More Information

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Be well! Stay connected!!!
Linda Hochstetler
Copyright © 2021 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.

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