Summer Retreat: Know Wonder

When: July 10-14, 2019 (Wednesday to Sunday)
Where: Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, 233 Cummer Ave., Toronto (all genders welcome)

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 5 days to practice being accident-prone through breath meditation, insight techniques, and direct awareness.

This is a small-group retreat conducted mostly in silence. 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.

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 $500 plus donation for teaching

To apply: Email A deposit of $50 is due upon acceptance, with the balance due May 15.

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

About the Venue

The retreat takes place at the Guest House of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, a retreat centre maintained by a female monastic community located next to St. John’s Rehab on Cummer Avenue, near Finch and Yonge. Guests of any gender are welcome and the community is extremely diversity-positive, welcoming and kind.

The Guest House is within Toronto city limits and accessible by TTC; it also has free parking for anyone who drives in. Each retreatant stays in a single room; bathrooms are shared. There are lovely gardens, a beautiful labyrinth, and lots of places to walk in the area, including pathways on the grounds of the Rehabilitation hospital next door, a ravine nearby, some large parks, and residential city streets.

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.