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Our Approach to Meditation

What is meditation?

Meditation is both concentration and inquiry; it is waking up to the present moment and observing breath and sensation. It helps us learn to experience emotions without being hijacked by them because we are feeling and listening from a neutral, curious place. Meditation is a means to cultivate resiliency by returning to inner inquiry whenever we wander. Meditation is a practice for being part of the stream of life without shutting down or becoming lost in our stories. It is a physical and a psychological practice in which self-awareness is cultivated through stillness and silence. We learn to be intimate with our bodies, breath, thoughts, and emotions. Meditation is being rather than doing; it is the process of learning to stay, learning to let go, and learning to start over. Meditation is a daily act of love, peace, and compassion. Meditation is a practice, and like yoga, requires discipline, self-study, and surrender. We become free through rather than from our pain.

Drop-in classes

For a regular group sit, we’ve created a Tuesday evening drop-in meditation session from 7:30-8:30pm for all levels of practitioners. This will include several sits of varying lengths, long enough to settle the mind and build our focusing chops. There is great value in sitting with community, where we can support each other in our practice.
See the drop-in class schedule…

Intro to Meditation

We launched a new two-hour workshop that provides an introduction to meditation for those new to it. Participants will get some theory as well as an opportunity to “sit”. It is an easy way to introduce meditation into your practice and life.

Meditation 101 class

Pat and Michael lead Meditation 101. This progressive four-week program is a way to cultivate a regular meditation practice. It is accessible by all, beginner to seasoned practitioner. Participants meet weekly and receive guided meditations throughout the week via email.

Meditation 201 class

Pat leads Meditation 201. This progressive four-week program is a way to deepen a regular meditation practice. Designed for the seasoned practitioner with a focus on the four foundations (body, feelings, thoughts, and consciousness) in establishing mindfulness. Participants meet weekly and receive guided meditations throughout the week via email.

Meditate with Muse

Developed in partnership with Toronto Neurotechnology company Muse: the brain sensing headband, this weekly class will allow you to discover your mind-body connection in a completely unique way. Participants will experience powerful, accurate real-time feedback during meditation connecting with the physiology of brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements.

Muse Meditation Lounge

The Muse Meditation Lounge welcomes guests during Octopus Garden’s operating hours. Grab a Muse: the brain sensing headband from the reception desk and settle into a technology-enhanced meditation, or simply relax and take in the sights of the beautiful meditation light installation.

Virtual Meditation 101 e-Course

For those unable to attend Pat’s class in-person, it is offered as a 21-day e-course. Delivered to your inbox daily, you receive guided meditations and information to support and enhance your meditation practice. This is for both beginners and seasoned practitioners.
Read more…

Lectures, Guest Speakers, and Retreats

Throughout the year, we will be hosting guest meditation teachers, lectures, and 1/2-day to full-day meditation retreats at the centre.