Linda Hochstetler - Monthly Newsletter
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Happy and joyous 2018!!!

What does 2018 look like for you? Is your bright future and sunny peak experience seeming a little obscured by the clouds? Are you needing to make some changes or upgrades but unsure how to do so?

I've just returned from a 2 week silent retreat in the rocky mountains of British Columbia. It might sound funny to say that centring myself in the moment with no attention to the various thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that inevitably pop up has brought me much clarity in my own life. Moments of such intentional silence helps me listen better to my thoughts, feelings, and body sensations post-retreat. I feel more confident that I'm making better choices that align with my bigger dreams and contributions to the universe, rather than thinking small and personal, and getting lost in mundane drivel. I hope you've found something in your life that helps you look up and focus on the mountain peaks, regardless of the clouds blocking the view on bad days. 

Meditation Classes - Conscious Living 

Teacher: Me!
Dates: Every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, Final 2 sessions in this series on January 4 & 18
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 chairs
Sponsor: Awaken in Toronto group of meditation students

We are working our way through these various ways of spending our time. We have explored 6 of the biggest uses of our time (earner, hobby, creator, monk, helper, and parent work), and this month we turn to the last 2 types of work - learner's and elder's work. We will be exploring how we explore and grow, and also how we mature with age and gain wisdom from life's lessons. Exploring these various 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, so please join us in 2018, even if for the first time.

To Learn More

Toronto Death & Dying Network Meeting - No Longer Meeting

I'm sad to say that we've decided to close down our networking group after one year of meeting. We started out strong with good attendance, but numbers have dwindled this fall, and I've decided to turn my attention elsewhere. There are other groups around that you may want to join, and I've added some ideas on our FaceBook page. Please stay in touch with each other, as this is a new and growing field, and I value on the persons I've met through this network and the great work everyone is doing in their own way to change the way that Canadians are dying. 
To view FaceBook page

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.  This group is for individuals wanting to look at their own personal experiences and views of death and dying, and take charge of some of the tasks of planning for one's own death. 

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, January 25, 2018, 7:00-8:30pm. 

This month we will be talking about obituaries, and drafting one for ourselves. Writing our own obituaries is and opportunity to think about what matters in a life, and helps us plan the time before we need to use the obituary in the best way possible to become the person we want to be at death.

Space is limited, so RSVP is necessary. This is a pay-what-you-choose event. 


Meditation Practice Retreat

Teacher: Me!
Dates: February 2-4, 2018
Time: Begins Friday at 8pm and goes till Sunday at 3pm
Place: Dharma Centre of Canada (2.5 hours north of Toronto near Kinmount)

Winter is a wonderful time to practice meditation. The air is still, animals are mostly in hiding, and the snow muffles all sounds. 

Do you have a personal meditation practice? Would you like an opportunity to practice together with others for a weekend in a beautiful nature setting? This weekend is a opportunity to do a chunk of your own practice in the community and support of others. You may intersperse your meditation in the temple with winter walks in the woods.

We will be sharing together in the cooking tasks and and also scheduling in relaxing times around a wood stove. We will have group sits throughout the day to participate in. 

Registration is now open. Costs are reduced, as we we will be doing group cooking.

To Register

Hope and Fearlessness Retreat
Teacher: Me!
Dates: March 16-18, 2018
Time: Begins Friday at 8pm and goes till Sunday at 3pm
Place: Dharma Centre of Canada (2.5 hours north of Toronto near Kinmount)

Much of what we see and hear on the news and social media is all about doom and gloom. How does one rise above the mundane world to find meaning in today's world? One method for finding hope and growing fearlessness to take us into new territory is to develop the 4 enlightened activities in every day life.  A second method is through systematically challenging the ego to take it outside of its normal comfort zone. Following the steps laid out by Sensei Doug Duncan in his book, Dharma If You Dare, these challenges help you transcend your ego's need for security and comfort and open up new possibilities for you. 

Persons attending this retreat will attend classes inviting them to explore these 2 methods, both on and off the cushion throughout the weekend. Through meditation practice and personalized activities, participants will explore where they get stuck in everyday life and how to apply an attitude of fearlessness to these struggles. ​

Registration is now open!
To Register

Private Practice

I maintain a small private practice, with hours 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 many 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

Dharma in Film Webinar Series: Jan 29 to Feb 19, 2018

This series of webinars is offered by my Buddhist meditation teachers, Senseis Doug Duncan & Catherine Pawasarat. Webinars will take place live on Monday evenings 9:30-11:00pm (7:30-9:00pm MT). Recordings are also available to listen to or watch at other times throughout the week if that time is too late to watch live.

Whether a comedy, drama or thriller, the medium of film brings us great joy. Astrologically speaking, film is ruled by the same planet as meditation and the transcendental unitive experience: Neptune (which also rules things like delusion, fantasy and substance abuse). Join us in these webinars to learn how to use our pleasure from film to explore the experience of spiritual awakening. 

To Register

I am back on-line and around again. I have learned so much from you all, my virtual and live community. I stand on the precipice of the 2018 new year with a heart full of gratitude and a joy to be alive. Thank you all for being in my universe and for teaching me the lessons that I need to learn this time around.
Linda Hochstetler

Copyright © 2018 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.

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