November Retreat

When: November 9-15, 2018 (Friday to Thursday)
Where: Harmony Dawn Retreat, on Rice Lake, 90 minutes NE of Toronto

What do you know?
What do you wonder? 

Awakening moments can happen at any time, but they tend to occur when our defences are down: when our mental gates are left ajar, unattended by our sense of identity. They are like accidents. To paraphrase Trungpa Rinpoche, our task, as meditators, is to become more accident-prone.

How do we do this? Three ways:

  • By developing stability (so that when awakening accidents happen, we don’t immediately pop back into pattern)
  • By learn new ways to engage concept (so that thinking and speaking can serve awareness rather than reinforce patterns)
  • By practicing open awareness (so that opening becomes more natural in a wider range of mindstates)

Take a week to practice being accident-prone through breath meditation, insight techniques, and direct awareness.

This is a small-group retreat (limit: 12 students) conducted in silence. New people are welcome provided they have sufficient maturity and determination. The work will include formal meditation practice, creative work, free time (to rest, walk, journal, or do additional meditation), as well as interviews with the teacher.

The retreat takes place 90 minutes from Toronto at a retreat centre that was custom designed for sustainability. Situated a short walk from Rice Lake on 50 acres of rolling meadows and forests, it has a harmonious, safe, cozy, in-nature feeling.

The chef cooks a mostly-vegetarian menu (with exceptions as requested by retreatants) that incorporates the principles of health, energy balance, taste, and beautiful presentation. Sleeping accommodation is mostly shared.

This retreat is most suitable for people with at least a year of meditation experience and a consistent daily practice, although less experienced meditators can be accommodated with some preparatory work.

Cost: Accommodation and food $990 (paid to Harmony Dawn) plus donation for teaching (paid to teacher)

To apply: Email If you are accepted you will be directed to Harmony Dawn to provide your contact information and pay your deposit.

See this page for details on how to prepare for retreat.

Harmony Dawn Retreat is located on Rice Lake just 90 minutes northeast of Toronto in Northumberland County. It was constructed to inspire harmony, balance and transformation, making it ideal for healing and transformative retreats and workshops. The retreat building, surrounded by meadows and woodland, is independent of outside utilities and away from public roads due to solar and wind power as well as other sustainable energy technologies.

Franca Leeson

Franca LeesonI have been teaching meditation in meditation centres, community centres, and in private sessions since 2000. I’ve also presented meditation and creativity sessions at Mindcamp Canada since 2003, at the CREA (Creativity European Association) Conference in Italy since 2005, and at the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) in 2007. Click here for more information about me.