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Finding the right Buddhist meditation center in Toronto
March 6, 2012 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the right Buddhist meditation center in Toronto. More info inside.

I've been dealing with depression and anxiety my whole life, unmedicated, but have recently found that a combination of meditation and CBT makes a 90% difference in my mood and ability to cope. These guided meditations by Malcolm Huxter, in particular, have been helpful: http://www.buddhanet.net/audio-meditation.htm

Also, I find that learning about the tenets of Buddhism have made life so much more enjoyable, helped me immeasurably.

Now I'd like to be able to do some in-person weekly meditations in Toronto. In undergrad, many of my friends were into Shambhala. I did a few weekends with them in the introductory levels (and, must say, found their meditation to be extremely difficult, almost physically painful, where these guided meditations are easier to do). In the years since university, many of my Buddhist friends have also left Shambhala, claiming that it's a cult. I looked into alternatives here, and am not sure I trust my limited knowledge of meditation centers and Buddhism to discern what I really need. I'm not totally convinced Shambhala is a cult and would even give it another shake, and am not familiar with other centers. There seems to be a lot of backlash against Diamond Way. My leanings are towards zen Buddhism, free of any sort of guru or leader people seem to defer to. Is there such a place in Toronto?

Or is there a non-Buddhist meditation center/group that might be more appropriate?

Thanks for any advice you can give.
posted by Miss T.Horn to Religion & Philosophy (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Toronto Budddhist Church (located next to Downsview Station) appears to have a meditation group. While not exactly what you're looking for, contacting them may point you in the right direction.

No connection to them myself, but I have gone there for movies and the occasional event.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:13 PM on March 6, 2012


I've been dealing with depression and anxiety my whole life, unmedicated, but have recently found that a combination of meditation and CBT makes a 90% difference in my mood and ability to cope.
...
Or is there a non-Buddhist meditation center/group that might be more appropriate?


You might want to look into MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) an/or MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy). Both are based in large part on Buddhist meditation practices, aimed specifically at helping with anxiety and depression. If you google MBSR Toronto, I think you'll find there are a few people and organizations offering classes. MBCT is a little newer- I'm not sure if there's anything being offered in Toronto right now.
posted by ManInSuit at 6:31 PM on March 6, 2012


I love everything I have heard from Michael Stone at Centre of Gravity.
posted by Marquis at 6:33 PM on March 6, 2012


Try this

SGI Canada Culture Centre
2050 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario, M6E 3R6
Canada
posted by pakora1 at 8:24 PM on March 6, 2012


There are some that say that SGI is a cult as well. At any rate, they don't teach meditation in SGI, they are "chanting" Buddhists. Just my two cents.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 5:21 AM on March 7, 2012


I have a friend who has found the Mindfulness Practice Community on Roncasvalles to be very welcoming & helpful. They are interfaith but following a Buddhist method.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 6:41 AM on March 7, 2012


Check out the University of Toronto Multifaith Centre's Meditation and Yoga schedule.
posted by sid at 8:24 AM on March 7, 2012


My leanings are towards zen Buddhism, free of any sort of guru or leader people seem to defer to.

Zen has a very strong teacher-student relationship, but not a guru relationship. I don't know if that's within the realm of OK for you or not.

But in case it is: I practice at the Toronto Zen Centre, near High Park. We're a friendly bunch. There's half-day introductory workshops once a month, so you can come out and see what Zen's about.

You might also find the Spring Rain Sangha of interest.
posted by mendel at 10:31 AM on March 7, 2012


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