We're ready for 2022!

2021 was full of client work, solitary work editing on my computer, and only occasionally spending time with others. As an extrovert, I have really missed people this year. I miss hanging out, gabbing, and just generally passing the time talking about anything. I found the part of me that enjoys being alone, as well as thinking and writing about ideas, but nothing will make up for the time lost longing for more conversations.

My 2022 New Year's resolutions involve making time for more people. Whether that's spending time going for walks in the city, spending weekends together at our cottage, or just sitting around talking. Here's hoping that we can do this more this year, and in larger groups. I plan to continue all the outdoor time, as we've all learned that our wonderful seasons are all fine outdoors with a little planning, proper gear and clothing, and big enough bonfires and heaters. Let's make this year a good year of catch up on connections.


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

2021 will always be the year I released my first book. The entire year has been dominated by this thread. It has presented unlimited learning opportunities for me. I have met so many lovely and talented people along the way, including my publisher John Negru, the many people who helped me edit the book and give me feedback, and the people willing to interview me about the book.

Now that the book has been released and is out in the world, I am blown away every week by the many responses I am getting to the book. They are overwhelmingly filled with gratitude for the knowledge, and glad to have had someone taken them into this scary territory. Time and again I'm told that my straight-ahead, direct and no-nonsense approach is calming as one imagines and also faces the dying process.

The book is more widely available for sale now. The best place for Canadians (and cheapest) is still through my publisher, Sumeru. If you're in my neighbourhood of Roncesvalles in Toronto you can pick one up at Another Story Bookshop, at 351 Roncesvalles. And if you're lucky enough to ever meet with me in person, I am happy to sell you one out of the basket on my bike, with no shipping costs! 


What's Covered in this Book?

There are so many books written about dying and death. (If you didn't know this already, just check out my bookshelves. I have lots of them, and have read them all.) If you're wondering what's different about this book, it's that it focuses on the final 21 days. Many, many books are written about the illness journey or cajoling you into completing your Advanced Care Plans. And there are many books written by Americans about their healthcare system. This book is the only one embedded in the Canadian healthcare system and one that really focuses on the dying process of the body.

Here's a peak at the table of contents and how the book is organized. 

1. Introduction to Hospice Palliative Care
2. Body at End of Life
3. Speech at End of Life
4. Mind at End of Life
5. Final 24-48 hours
6. Spirituality
7. Grief Support
8. Death as Opportunity
Quick Reference for Practical Lists
Palliative Performance Scale v.2 full version
Quick Reference for Websites and Books

Book Events
This book is meant to be read, discussed, and engaged with. Some people plow through it quickly reading it from start to finish in a couple of hours. Others read it slowly digesting each page, and imaging whether what it means for them. There's no one right way to read it. Just do it! And let it change the way you live the rest of your life.

Book Review
As you'll know from my non-so-subtle rants and comments, I'm not a fan of Amazon. They are too big and they represent everything bad about corporate greed and not caring about people in every possible way. I have made it through another year without purchasing anything from them. For a while a 3rd party was selling the book with a $44 markup. They've since disappeared, and the new one only has an $11 markup. So if you want to add a review of the book on the Amazon site, go ahead, but it doesn't really matter to me. 

What I would prefer is that you give a book review on Goodreads. For those of you who don't know Goodreads, it's a great website just for readers. No selling, no promoting. In their own words:

Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love. If you're looking for a place to discover a great book or to discuss your favorite books with a community of readers, you've found the right place!

If you've already read the book, please join Goodreads and share a review. I'm also happy to engage with you on the site to answer any questions you might have about the book. Let's get a buzz going!

Goodreads Review

Virtual - Recognizing the Final 21 Days of Life:
Public Education/
Meditation Retreat
January 21-23, 2022,  online on Zoom

Join author, Linda Hochstetler, as she conducts a public education training on recognizing the final stage of dying. She will describe what happens at the body, speech, and mind levels, and embeds this information in hospice palliative care options in Canada. She will describe many of the terms and interventions unique to end-of-life care, and ensure that you are equipped to make decisions that align with your values.

In addition to learning knowledge about the dying process, participants will be encouraged to do traditional Vajrayana Buddhist meditation practices on dying and death in an experiential way.

Class schedule (6 sessions):

Friday - 7:30-9:00pm ET

Saturday - 9:00-10:30am ET, 3:00-4:30pm ET, and 7:30-9:00pm

Sunday - 9:00-10:30am ET and 3:00-4:30pm ET

Fee: $100; registration is required


In Person - Recognizing Death: Developing an Awareness of Body, Speech, and Mind Changes in the Dying Process
Dates: March 25-27, 2022

Location: Dharma Centre of Canada, Kinmount, ON

Join author, Linda Hochstetler, as she conducts a public education training on recognizing the final stage of dying. She describes what happens at the body, speech, and mind levels, and embeds this information in hospice palliative care options in Canada. She will describe many of the terms and interventions unique to end-of-life care, and ensure that you are equipped to make decisions that align with your values.

In addition to learning knowledge about the dying process, participants will be encouraged to do traditional Vajrayana Buddhist meditation practices on dying and death in an experiential way. This will be a silent retreat, with opportunity for questions and discussions in class.

Class schedule (6 sessions):

Friday - 7:30-9:00pm ET

Saturday - 9:00-10:30am ET, 3:00-4:30pm ET, and 7:30-9:00pm

Sunday - 9:00-10:30am ET and 3:00-4:30pm ET

Fee: $250; registration is coming early February.


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 Dr. Matthew Welsh -
Spiritual Media Blog 

Dr. Matthew Welsh is a registered psychologist in Chicago who is engaged with exploring spirituality, psychology, and inspirational entertainment. He interviews individuals and prepared hour-long video podcasts. During the interview we discuss: 
- Practical advise for preparing for the death of a loved one
- Spiritual and mystical experiences
- Psychological preparation for death

'Last Aid' Public Education Course

'Last Aid' is a public education initiative that was created in Germany, and is "a concept built on the presupposition that palliative care knowledge should become a part of public education." Much like better-known 'First Aid' courses that help people save lives and minimize the threat of death, 'Last Aid' courses were created to help people help others die better. If you liked my book on the dying process, you'll love this course, as they dovetail well together.

The four modules of this oh-so-practical course are:
1. Dying is a part of life
2. Making provisions and decisions
3. Relieving suffering
4. Saying goodbye

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario has jumped on board to sponsor Last Aid training in Ontario, and eventually roll this out to all of Canada, and there will be countless opportunities for signing up for a FREE 3-hour public education training throughout 2022. Courses will start on line, and may move to in person as the pandemic allows. I have been honoured to be one of the first trainers selected to co-lead some of these courses. I will be co-leading with my death buddy, Dr. Julie McIntyre, who many of you will know already, and I think we'll be an awesome team of presenters. Our first 2 courses are tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 10 and Thursday, April 7, 1:00-4:00pm. If you'd like to join one of these, feel free to email me and I'll let you know when registration is open. Registration will be through the HPCO Compassionate Care Community 
More about Last Aid
Registration - coming soon!

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. 

January 12 - February 9, 2022, Cultivating the Brahma Viharas: Compassion, Loving kindness, Empathetic Joy, and Equinimity
February 16 - March 9, 2022,  Meditation on Compassion and Emptiness: Practice of Chenrezi - teacher will be Bat Fong

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're still meeting online, but we will consider in person options again in the future, when things finally open up again.

January 27, 2022, Dementia and the Dying Process
February 24, 2022, Considering Advanced Care Planning - facilitator will be Dr. Julie McIntyre
Awaken in Toronto Meetups
Awaken in Toronto Website
Awaken in Toronto Facebook
Death Cafe - Toronto West - Online

Date: Monday, January 31, 2022
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Zoom Link:
Room: 3695356130

I'd really hoped that we could meet in person again, but Omicron is not allowing this. We'll hold our 6th 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. Please ensure the Username is recognizable.
For Information about Death Cafes

Understanding Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
Sponsored by Vaughan Public Libraries
February 1, 2022 - 7:00-8:30pm Virtual, on Zoom
What does Canadian law say about MAiD? What are alternatives to MAiD? Come prepared to discuss the process and available options. Session is hosted live on Zoom. Register on Eventbrite. Facilitated by yours truly!


Meditation Retreats In Person at the Dharma Centre of Canada
June 23-26, 2022 - Getting to Know Your Inner Critic: Recognizing and Taming the Parts that Slow Down Your Spiritual Progress. Weekend retreat that combines IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Vajrayana Buddhism to release hidden blocks of feelings and thoughts about the individual identity that make meditation difficult and add to life challenges.

November 18-25, 2022 - Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism: Basic Tenets, Tantra, and a Variety of Meditation Practices. Come prepared to study many of the various Buddhist Lists (4 Noble Truths, 8-fold Noble Path, 3 Marks of Existence, 6 Paramis, 8 Poisons) and see how they hang together. Add in a Vajrayogini Wongkur ceremony to understand Tantra in an experiential way and participants are assured of returning home changed and invigorated. 

Save the dates! Registration coming in February for both retreats. Note: previous retreats have sold out, so sign up early. 
Registration Coming Soon

Private Practice -
Mostly Online & A Few In-Person Sessions

The pandemic has been tough on people. Many love the new online psychotherapy, because it's so flexible and convenient. I have tried to make an in person option also possible, and still safe, for the few people that really want it. It's been tough to figure out how to do this safely, but I know it matters to some people. I figure if restaurants can figure out a way to stay open safely then therapists can also try. Omicron has made this more difficult as contagion seems to be way easier than before. I do believe in client choice, so I will continue to offer most of my psychotherapy services online, and see what 2022 brings for the few clients who want to come in person.

My practice has gotten even fuller, as many returning clients have returned for support during the pandemic. Therefore, I thank you all who have referred yourselves, friends and family, and other clients to me through the years. For now, I'm only accepting new clients who have issues related to illness, death, and dying. Perhaps by the time I send another newsletter this will change, and I'll keep you posted.

Village Healing Centre Website

Clinical Supervision and Consultation

I have 20 years of Clinical Supervision and Consultation experience (Yikes! How can that be???), 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 3 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
In 2021, I offered my first free BIPOC Clinical Supervision Group. It was so successful, I have decided to run another. We learned so much from each other and the discussions were rich and deep. For 2022, I am again offering a BIPOC group to a group of 4 special therapists who are growing their own psychotherapy 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. We 
Register for a Group

Additional Photos
If you've gotten to the end of this newsletter and haven't quit reading yet, I'll reward you with a few photos of the awe-inspiring cottage views that have helped me maintain my sanity and equilibrium this past long year.


I send news only once every few months. However, if you want to be removed from this list, please click on Unsubscribe or let me know, and I have no problem if you do so.

2021 has been a hard one for many people. Let's hope that 2022 brings an end to the pandemic as we know it, international travel opens up again, and everyone gets to hug and spend time with whoever they've decided they want to spend time with.

Much love to all!
Linda Hochstetler
Copyright © 2021 Linda Hochstetler, All rights reserved.

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