Community Meetings for Mindfulness Professionals

Upcoming Meetings

November Community Meeting  

Mindfulness for Vulnerable Youth, with Alison Burkett

Thursday November 23rd, 2017

If research shows that mindfulness practice strengthens the immune system, decreases emotional reactivity, and fosters self-compassion then shouldn’t the practice be available to youth in our society’s most wounding environments? Through the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation soon our most vulnerable youth will have access to safe, caring spaces with compassionate adults who can gently guide them into stillness. Join Alison to learn and practice trauma-informed mindfulness, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of mindfulness with at-risk youth, to learn more about the integration of mindfulness into the youth justice system, and to share about our community’s commitment to bringing mindfulness into the hardest parts of our society.

Alison Burkett holds a Master of Education from the University of Toronto and works for Springboard Services as their Program Development Specialist. In this capacity, Alison has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to bring mindfulness to the most vulnerable youth in Ontario, including all of Ontario’s secure youth justice facilities. Alison uses a trauma informed approach to practice that works to recreate critical internal, compassionate bonds. Alison is the co-founder of Rwanda Survivors Foundation and has worked on a number of mindfulness initiatives in Toronto including Mindfulness Without Borders pilot project with the TCDSB and the Centre for Mindfulness Studies Stress Reduction for Front Line Workers.

Past Meetings

October Community Meeting  

Mindfulness in the Workplace: The benefits and downside of Mindfulness at work, with Ellen Choi

Thursday October 19th, 2017

While there is a growing body of research that has shown mindfulness has salutary effects on emotions, performance, and well-being, there have been calls for more research that examines the dark side of mindfulness. This presentation will review two studies: one where mindfulness demonstrates positive relationships to performance consistent with what theory would predict; and another where mindfulness is amplifying negative emotions and envious behaviour. The implications of these findings will be discussed.

Ellen Choi has been researching the effects of mindfulness on workplace outcomes since 2012 as a doctoral student at the Ivey School of Business. She has created research-based mindfulness programs designed for a variety of audiences and loves sharing mindfulness with executives, students, and really any one that exhibits the faintest indication of interest.

September Community Meeting  

Emotions as Adaptive Resources in Mindfulness, with Bill Gayner

Wednesday September 27th, 2017

This evening we will explore emotion-focused mindfulness therapy and how highlighting the central role of emotions in mindfulness and life can help people deepen embodied emotional experiencing, make better sense of life, transform deeply conditioned maladaptive emotion patterns, and cultivate their own and others' flourishing. The approach integrates emotion-focused therapy with secular Buddhist perspectives, including Stephen Batchelor's translation of the Four Noble Truths into a pragmatic fourfold task.

The evening will include an introduction to emotion-focused mindfulness therapy and meditation, a 20-minute silent meditation, journaling, interviewing each other about your experience, discussion, followed by a presentation on the emotion-focused fourfold task, and more discussion. Please bring paper and pen or a digital device you can use to your journal your meditation practice.

Bill Gayner, BSW, MSW, RSW, is developing emotion-focused mindfulness therapy to address difficult emotional issues such as internalized stigma, shame, and trauma, and to provide secular clinical and professional training contexts for developing mature mindfulness practices. He is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social, University of Toronto, and a Mental Health Clinician in Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, where he teaches mindfulness to people living with HIV, psychiatric outpatients, and hospital staff, as well as providing psychotherapy for people living with HIV. He trains mental health professionals in emotion-focused mindfulness therapy through the Mount Sinai Psychotherapy Institute, the Health Arts and Humanities Program at U of T, and Mission Empowerment.

June Community Meeting  

Mindfulness: The Big Picture with Kate Kitchen

Tuesday June 27th, 2017

Kate Kitchen will lead a sitting practice and a discussion about how we each define mindfulness, as mediators and as professionals. Kate recently found it fascinating to hear a young clinician include relaxation in a description of using mindfulness with her clients, and it made her want to talk to other mindfulness teachers about their thoughts.

Kate Kitchen, M.S.W., R.S.W. is a registered social worker, with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has been providing individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy since receiving her M.S.W. from The Ohio State University in 1980. Kate worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) from 1997 to 2010. She was a Clinical Social Worker in the Mood and Anxiety Program, providing psychotherapy, and later an Advanced Practice Clinician. She now provides psychotherapy in private practice and is part of the multi-disciplinary team at the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre.

Kate began leading Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) groups at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2000 and has been leading mindfulness professional trainings for over ten years. Along with Dr. Steven Selchen and Kirstin Bindseil, MSW, RSW, she teaches Mindfulness-Based Group Practice professional education through the Sunnybrook Psychiatry Institute for Continuing Education.

Kate is a co-author of an upcoming article in the Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy (Vol 7,Issue 3) entitled “Effects of Group Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on Depression and Role Impairment in a Comorbid Psychiatric Population” (with research based on her MBCT groups at CAMH). She is also co-author with Kirstin Bindseil of a chapter on “Mindfulness and Social Work” in the new social work textbook entitled Social Work Treatment: Interlocking Therapeutic Approaches, Francis J. Turner, Ed., 6th Edition 2017.

May Community Meeting  

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens (MBSR-T) with Gina M. Biegel

Thursday May 11th, 2017

At the May meeting, Gina Biegel, will give those in attendance the opportunity to learn some of the key formal and informal mindfulness practices in the MBSR-T program. Some of the practices to be shared: the Drop-in Practice, Mindful Check-In, Riding the Wave, Dropping Anchor, Sense Connection to Activities, and Mindful Messaging. She will discuss the role of social media in meeting teens where they are at today. Gina will share some of the directions MBSR-T will be heading in the next few years.

Gina Biegel is a San Francisco Bay Area-based psychotherapist, educational advocate, author, and researcher specializing in bringing mindfulness-based work to youth, families, professionals, and the community. Gina pioneered the use of mindfulness-based approaches to stress reduction and management for youth and created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens Program (MBSR-T). She has conducted a myriad of research studies that have shown her work to be efficacious and an evidence-based treatment program.

Gina is the author of the Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness Skills to Help You Deal with Stress and Be Mindful: A Card Deck for Teens. She also has a mindfulness practice audio CD, Mindfulness for Teens: Meditation Practices to Reduce Stress and Promote Well-Being to complement her program. Gina works nationally and internationally training professionals and working with youth and their families. Her work has been featured on CNN, Reuters, and the New York Times.

April Community Meeting  

Rethink Social and Emotional Health in Youth with Theo Koffler

Tuesday April 18th, 2017

In order to transition into compassionate and fulfilled adults, youth need a firm grounding in social emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills with a focus on a growth mindset – to grow and learn, take risks, bounce back from adversity, and to build healthy relationships. ReThink Digital Kit does just that. It offers a platform for individuals working with youth to share over 100 activities that will help them discover and appreciate their unique qualities, make authentic connections, value diversity and promote a compassionate understanding of the world that surrounds them.

Join Theo Koffler, founder of Mindfulness Without Borders for an interactive discussion on how challenging youth to self-reflect, self-regulate, expand limiting beliefs, manage stress and develop care and concern for self and others will promote both long-term developmental benefits as well better prepare and lead them to success in adult life.

Theo Koffler is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of Mindfulness Without Borders, which advances mindfulness-based social and emotional competencies through strategic long-term initiatives in educational, healthcare and corporate settings. Author, public speaker, philanthropist and Instructor at The University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education, Theo passionately advocates for ‘whole-student” education, with a special focus in mindfulness, social and emotional health.

March Community Meeting  

Mindfulness Based Resiliency Training (MBRT) with Jon Carson

Thursday March 2rd, 2017

The York Regional Police service has been using mindfulness techniques over the past few years. Using the Mindfulness Without Borders (MWB) program initially, participants got a taste of the many possible benefits that mindfulness meditation may offer. The essence of the MWB program involves creating cross-cultural conversations where people of all backgrounds can explore and build a repertoire of skills for enhancing their social and emotional awareness, their decision-making process and their overall health and well-being.

The York Regional Police training branch in late 2016 then established their own police specific material relating to mindfulness to assist officers in recognizing what arises at the moment when they are interacting with a member of the public. Like many other mindfulness programs that have done great work on the back end of trauma, the York Regional Police service has focused on the performance aspect of the mindset of its class to encourage the learner to look inward to be better outward when coming into contact with the public.

Since December 2016, the group, along with the police service psychologist, has endeavoured to look at some specific questions regarding a police officer and mindfulness. Right now the police organization is looking at the increase in self-awareness through recognizing patterns of behaviour. The group is also currently in the early stages of an implementing a plan to provide recruits with the skills to assess their resilience for their ability to recover.

Jon Carson is bringing mindful meditation to the York Regional Police force. After spending four years in therapies after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2009, Carson was handed a magazine about mindfulness. On the cover? An officer, much like himself, speaking about meditation. The magazine marked a turning point in Carson’s life, and he began practicing mindfulness and meditation, first individually, before bringing it to the police force. Today, Carson, a training and academic instructor, works with various officers in the force, teaching them how to incorporate mindfulness into their everyday lives and policing.

January Community Meeting  

MBCT for Chronic Pain with Angie Kingma and Ted Robinson

Tuesday January 24th, 2017

At the January meeting, Angie Kingma and Ted Robinson will give those in attendance the opportunity to learn all about their new program in MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) for Chronic Pain. They will explore the background leading up to their two 2016 pilot programs, discuss the curriculum and its implementation, and present recent research data gathered from their pilot groups. They will also include some hands-on practice of both Mindfulness and CBT elements from the curriculum. Angie and Ted are looking forward to brainstorming with those who are there and receiving feedback that they can then use as they explore future directions for this new program.

Dr. Ted Robinson is a family physician, on staff at The Sinai Institute – both Bridgepoint and Mt Sinai Hospitals. He has worked with chronic pain patients for over 25 years, teaching them self-management strategies for coping with pain. He conducts group programs in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) at the Wasser pain Management Center, Mt Sinai and Bridgepoint Hospital Ambulatory Care. In 2016 he co-led two pilot groups in MBCT for chronic pain. He has been practicing mindful meditation for over nine years. Dr. Robinson is a lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Angie Kingma has been practicing mindfulness since 2006. She is an Occupational Therapist with specialties in psychotherapy and mindfulness. She has over 16 years of experience working in a variety of mental health and chronic pain settings (home care, hospitals, auto insurance and public sector). Angie’s private practice is called Mindfulness for Health and she is on faculty at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies. She runs several MBCT group programs per year for a variety of populations. Angie continues to work part-time at Trillium Health Partners, Credit Valley Hospital, in Ambulatory Mental Health Services. She founded Mindfulness Mondays for staff and co-founded the Mindfulness Halton/Peel Community. Angie received extensive professional Mindfulness Teacher training over the years through the University of California San Diego (UCSD); the Centre for Mindfulness Studies; Mark Coleman (Spirit Rock); and Mindful Self-Compassion Skills Training. She is also a certified MBCPM teacher (Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management). Angie has a daily mindfulness practice and attends retreats regularly (True North Insight - Michele McDonald & Jesse Vega-Frey). Her personal meditation teacher/mentor is Beverly Yates (Theravada tradition).

Background Information for the new MBCT for Chronic Pain program

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been taught to and practiced by hundreds, perhaps thousands of patients with chronic pain since it was first introduced at UMass Medical Center in 1979. Many studies have shown how effective Mindfulness can be in mitigating the impact that chronic pain has in the lives of those who suffer from it. Changes that many experience include improvement in mood (depression, anxiety, anger, guilt feelings), increased activity level, reduction in pain, and enhanced self-efficacy.

Over 20 years ago, a group of psychologists (Segal,Teasdale & Williams) were looking to develop a program for relapse prevention in patients with recurrent depression. They were all trained in Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT); after meeting Jon Kabat-Zinn and exploring the MBSR program at UMass Medical Center, they developed a new program (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – MBCT) which incorporated elements of both MBSR and CBT. MBCT has been highly successful and has become the gold standard in UK for relapse prevention of recurrent depression. It has also been applied to other patient populations – notably for patients with anxiety, addiction disorders, diabetes and healthcare workers (to prevent burnout).

Since both MBSR and CBT are effective in helping chronic pain patients, we hypothesized that a hybrid program (MBCT for Chronic Pain) might also be effective in this population – and perhaps even more than either MBSR or CBT alone. We then developed a modified MBCT curriculum for chronic pain and introduced it with a pilot group at Wasser in spring 2016. A second pilot group was conducted at Bridgepoint Hospital in fall 2016.

November Community Meeting  

Mindful Parenting: Resilient Children with Lee Freedman

Tuesday November 22nd, 2016

Mindful parenting/caregiving refers to intentionally practicing present moment awareness through paying attention to the here and now while with our children with a curious, kind and receptive attitude. The awareness that arises under these conditions provides caregivers with choices in how to consciously respond to children in a wise, empathic and value-driven way, rather than reacting in a emotionally-driven and habitual way, particularly when stressed. This practice has great potential to enrich the caregiver/child relationship as well as build child, parent and family resilience to stress. As Whitney Houston beautifully expressed in the song “The Greatest Love of All", “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” In this session, we will explore ways to practice mindfulness in the context of raising children through discussion and experiential practices. This interactive exploration may include discussion of mindful parenting dimensions, practical applications, benefits, challenges and relevance to society.

Dr. M. Lee Freedman is a co-parent of 4 adult sons and a Toronto-based psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, parents and families under stress. Over the past decade, drawing from her own personal mindfulness practice, she has been integrating mindfulness training into her clinical work with families. She has experience leading mindful parenting therapy groups, mindfulness-based group therapy for adults with ADHD and Camera-Assisted Mindfulness and Attention Regulation Training (CAM-ART™).

November Community Meeting  

Mindfulness in Education: Why Begin with Educators? With Heidi Bornstein and Stephen Chadwick

Thursday November 3rd, 2016

As mindfulness in education continues to gain more acceptance in Ontario, many implementation plans begin with programs for students. Since mindfulness is an experiential, embodied practice that evolves over time, providing mindfulness training for those educators who are interested in finding out the benefits for themselves, before exploring options for bringing the practice into the classroom, would be preferred.

Why Begin with Educators?
  • In social learning theory, behaviour modeling is the demonstration of a desired behaviour.
  • A teacher’s presence in a classroom, together with the related capacity to build relationship, is considered more important than any instruction a teacher can offer.
  • Teachers often neglect their own needs, resulting in the high incidence of stress and burnout in the profession. Mindfulness-based self-care practices can help restore balance in educators’ lives, enabling them to be present for their students.

  Healthy employees are a critical component of a thriving school. A healthy workplace leads to employees who are more satisfied with their jobs and are able to be higher performing. They are absent fewer days and more likely to stay in their positions. Healthy employees provide the continuity and stability so essential for educational success. Research shows employee health and wellness programs contribute to workplace excellence and job satisfaction in a variety of ways. (

This presentation offers a chance to learn more about programs and resources in education as well as local opportunities for teacher training. We will share experiential practices that are based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workshop of Jon Kabat-Zinn and the Emotional Balance work of Margaret Cullen.

Heidi Bornstein and Stephen Chadwick, the founders of Mindfulness Everyday, a registered Canadian charity, have been delivering mindfulness training to students, educators and parents since 2010. Through Professional Development Workshops and Mindfulness Training for Educator Courses, they have offered experiential programs to thousands of educators in both the public school and independent school systems.

September Community Meeting  

Five Fundamental Fears with Paul Baranowski

Tuesday September 27th, 2016

One way of looking at our experience is that five fundamental unconscious fears give rise to our reactive emotional states. These fears generate a predictable pattern of emotion, thought, behavior, and beliefs. For example, someone who tries to intensify their experience, such as with intense all-night conversations, jumping out of an airplane, drinking heavily and partying all night, is an indication that a pattern is running that has at the bottom of it the fear of isolation and rejection. When the pattern runs, it creates the conditions such that the fear comes true - in the example above, the person will end up feeling alone and disconnected. The feeling of aloneness triggers the fear of isolation and the pattern repeats. We have the ability to transform these five fears into five types of wisdom. In this session we will explore how these wisdoms manifest when we practice mindfulness meditation, and how the five fears operate unconsciously in our daily lives and how we can practice with them.

Paul Baranowski is the founder of Luminous Ground, a meditation group located in the heart of Toronto. Paul has been studying and practicing Buddhism and meditation since 2004. He is an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing in the Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, and author of Interdependent Liberation. Paul has also trained in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition with teacher, executive coach and accomplished translator Ken McLeod. By day, Paul helps produce Muse, a brain-sensing EEG headband and app. Muse is an innovative biofeedback wearable technology that teaches users how to meditate, gives real-time guidance during meditation sessions, and provides a motivational framework for positive habit-forming. Paul’s students benefit from his integrative teaching style which marries fundamental technique with action in daily life.

June Community Meeting  

Somatic Awareness through Mindful Movement with Rachael Frankford

Tuesday June 7th, 2016

Traditional psychotherapeutic approaches to working with mental health problems have emphasized the role of thoughts in causing anxiety and depression. The role of the body is less recognized and it is known that mental health disorders involve a loss of body awareness and habitual somatic patterns that perpetuate mood dysregulation. In this presentation, participants will learn how mindful movement and yoga practices can promote an interoceptive awareness necessary to promote emotion regulation. Somatic resources such as breath regulation, alignment and grounding will be taught through guided experiential practices. We will discuss how body awareness and self regulation skills can enhance our mindfulness and clinical practices.

Rachael Frankford, MSW, RSW is a social worker, psychotherapist and yoga teacher. She works in the department of Psychiatry at St. Michael’s Hospital and is also in private practice in Toronto. Rachael specializes in mindfulness based interventions for mental health and is training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body oriented approach to psychotherapy. She is also the creator of the MAST (Mindful Awareness Stabilization Training) program ( Rachael will also be offering a Mindful Movement for Clinicians workshop through the AMM-MIND program at the University of Toronto on June 17-18, 2016 (

May Community Meeting  

Sitting in the Volcano: Using Meditation to Work with Intense Emotional States with Dr. Paul Kelly

Wednesday May 4th, 2016

Meditation can be useful to moderate and explore intense emotional states such as anger, anxiety and depression. Both Concentration and Receptive styles of meditation can be helpful. I will review these styles and offer some suggestions about how to decide which type of meditation to employ with a particular patient. A few case studies will be presented. We will also have time for discussion and sharing.

Dr. Paul Kelly is a Psychologist, Founder and Clinical Director of The Mindfulness Clinic in Toronto and a Canadian pioneer in the adaptation of Mindfulness Meditation to Psychotherapy and Mental Health. He has practiced meditation since 1970 and in 1988 he started the first hospital-based Mindfulness Stress Management program in Canada at Toronto General Hospital. Since 2009 he and his staff of over 25 therapists at The Mindfulness Clinic have treated more than 6,000 patients with mindfulness-based psychotherapy and groups based on MBCT and ACT.

April Community Meeting  

Find Out Why The iBme Retreat Is So Effective For Teens with Andrea Poile and Stephen Chadwick

Monday April 4th, 2016

The time-tested Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme) retreat incorporates mindfulness meditation, compassion practices, mindful movement and sports, creative workshops, and group discussions to create a unique and rich retreat experience. Andrea Poile, the Outreach Coordinator for iBme, and Stephen Chadwick of Mindfulness Everyday will present information and research on the transformation retreat model. Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Toronto Teen Retreat, August 6-11, 2016 at the Ecology Retreat Centre (near Toronto). More information here:

Talking About Breath with Kate Kitchen

Tuesday March 8th, 2016

What do we mean when we talk about the breath? With mindfulness we encourage people to follow the breath. This is so positive because often people come to us feeling that they are doing everything wrong and we don’t want the breath to get in the way of self-acceptance. But, does bringing attention to the breath change it? And is that what we really have in mind? And what about those of us who came to mindfulness after integrating deep breathing and relaxation into our work? What do we do with that? Whenever I speak and lead practices at Mindfulness Toronto I take it as my opportunity to share and hear thoughts with other teachers, and it is wonderful that it includes so many different professions and backgrounds. If the breath is on your mind and you have questions, thoughts or opinions about the breath in practice, please bring them. I want to hear them all. And we will do some practice, of course! - Kate

Kate Kitchen, M.S.W., R.S.W. is a registered social worker, with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has been providing individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy since receiving her M.S.W. from The Ohio State University in 1980. Kate worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) from 1997 to 2010. She was a Clinical Social Worker in the Mood and Anxiety Program, providing psychotherapy, and later an Advanced Practice Clinician. She now provides psychotherapy in private practice and is part of the multi-disciplinary team at the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre. Kate began leading Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) groups at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2000 and has been leading mindfulness professional trainings for over ten years. Along with Dr. Steven Selchen and Kirstin Bindseil, MSW, RSW, she teaches Mindfulness-Based Group Practice professional education through the Sunnybrook Psychiatry Institute for Continuing Education.

The Mindful Way Through the Creative Process with Elaine Smookler and Florence Borshy-Desroches

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
  In order to give a compelling speech, write something of impact or seek to innovate, you enter a relationship with the creative process. When you bring mindful awareness to the process, terror, revulsion, shame and resistance become the ideal raw material for every venture. Elaine and Florence will offer a mini-workshop exploring ways to ride the waves of resistance to allow you to write that speech, create that program or find the voice you have kept locked away. This workshop offers a sampler of “The Mindful Way Through The Creative Process" through the University of Toronto's Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Continuing Education Department in March 2016.

Elaine Smookler is a mindfulness teacher, writer, performer and innovator who has spent a career exploring mindfulness through her work in stage, radio, writing and comedy. Elaine is on faculty at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and is the facilitator of the Mindfulness Project at Sick Kids Hospital. She also offers mindfulness online to corporate America through eMindful and teaches part of a mindfulness elective at the U of T Medical School.

​Florence Borshy-Desroches learned to be a performer through flute and voice training. For the past decade, she has worked as an arts administrator & consultant, collaborating with performers, festivals, ensembles and arts organizations.

Application of mindfulness to mental health challenges among marginalized individuals

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Tita Angangco's talk will center on the application of mindfulness to mental health challenges among marginalized individuals. Mindfulness based interventions have been shown in numerous research studies to be effective in the alleviation of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. These interventions, however, are not readily accessible to marginalized populations where the prevalence of mental health issues is 2 to 3 times that of the mainstream population. The Centre for Mindfulness Studies has been working for the past four years with social service agencies to bring these interventions to their staff and client groups.

Tita Angangco is a Founder and the Executive Director of The Centre for Mindfulness Studies, a charity whose mission is to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and communities through the development, delivery, training and research of mindfulness-based therapies, and to make these therapies available and accessible to disadvantaged and marginalized populations who disproportionately suffer poor health.Tita Angangco has worked with the Ontario Public sector for many years as a senior manager in several ministries, including the Ministries of Health and Housing and Management Board Secretariat. She has been an active volunteer in the area of social housing, having organized the funding and development of two not-for-profit housing developments in the GTA. She was Chair of the Homes First Society, from 1995 to 2001, where she stabilized the the operational and financial standing of the organization and created the Homes First Foundation, a fund-raising agency arm of the Society. Since then, she has been involved in several volunteer start-up ventures. She has received extensive training in mindfulness, Buddhist psychology and yoga.

Mindfulness When Times are Difficult

Thursday November 19th, 7pm
  As we watch the attacks in Beirut and Paris and the suffering throughout the world it is clear how connected we all feel and how much we need connectedness when confronted with suffering. In light of this we decided to postpone "Breath" as a topic and, instead, to focus on the meaning of Mindfulness during difficult times. We will, of course, have a loving kindness practice and share our thoughts and feelings about the importance of being mindfulness teachers in and for a suffering world. - Kate

Kate Kitchen, M.S.W., R.S.W. is a registered social worker, with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. She has been providing individual, couple, family and group psychotherapy since receiving her M.S.W. from The Ohio State University in 1980.
Kate worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) from 1997 to 2010. She was a Clinical Social Worker in the Mood and Anxiety Program, providing psychotherapy, and later an Advanced Practice Clinician. She now provides psychotherapy in private practice and is part of the multi-disciplinary team at the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre.
Kate began leading Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) groups at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2000 and has been leading mindfulness professional trainings for over ten years. Along with Dr. Steven Selchen and Kirstin Bindseil, MSW, RSW, she teaches Mindfulness-Based Group Practice professional education through the Sunnybrook Psychiatry Institute for Continuing Education.

Bringing mindfulness into education & daily life: a hands on presentation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh & Plum Village, with Elli Weisbaum


Monday October 19th, 7pm

  Mindfulness has become an increasingly accepted and popular resource for teachers and students, in Ontario and around the world, to increase well-being and self regulation and to combat issues such as burn-out, anxiety and stress. This presentation will focus on the work and practice of international scholar, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and his community’s approach to bringing mindfulness into education.

Participants will get to experience several hands-on practices and also view visual materials from the presenter’s time travelling around the world with the Plum Village community to bring mindfulness into educational spaces. Using this as a foundation, the presentation will explore how participants might effectively bring mindfulness into their personal and professional daily lives.

Elli Weisbaum holds a masters degree from the Environmental Studies department at York University, focused on bringing mindfulness-based practices into classrooms. In 2014, Elli joined the faculty at the University of Toronto's Applied Mindfulness Meditation certificate, AMM-MIND. She spent a year as the international program coordinator for Wake Up Schools, a global initiative to cultivate mindfulness in education, established by Nobel Peace Prize nominee, scholar and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. She has organized retreats and facilitated workshops in Bhutan, India, Germany, Canada, the UK and the USA. In 2013 she was part of Thich Nhat Hanh's North American teaching tour, offering retreats and workshops at centres across Canada and the United States, including workshops at The World Bank and Google headquarters.

Elli is a co-founder of Partners in Mindfulness, which offers mindfulness workshops and trainings in business, health and education based settings. For more information you can visit For more information about Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village please visit:

Yoga for anxiety with Tama Soble

Wednesday Sept. 16th, 7pm
  Spend an evening exploring how asana, pranayama and meditation practices can support the physical body, the nervous and respiratory systems and the mind in returning to homeostasis. We will practise and engage in discussion in order to reflect on how gentle reflective yoga and meditation might support those living with the challenges of anxiety. No previous yoga experience is required.

Tama Soble began practising yoga in 1984 with Esther Myers and Monica Voss. Her work is deeply influenced by her 17 years of experience with modern dance, contact improvisation and Body-Mind Centering. Tama co-owns and teaches classes and teacher training at Esther Myers Yoga Studio. She conducts retreats in Ontario and internationally. She has been teaching and writing about yoga specifically for those living with anxiety since 2007.

The Mindful Salon: Exploring the Big Questions through Inquiry into Eudaimonia (Human Flourishing)

Thursday June 11th 2015 at 7pm

After attending an inspiring Mindful Salon, led by Michael Krasner, MD and Patricia Lück, MBChB, MPhil Pall Med, at the UMass Center for Mindfulness 12th Annual International Scientific Conference for Clinicians, Researchers and Educators last year, the four discussion leaders of The Mindful Salon, to be held in June, wanted to use the salon model at a Mindfulness Toronto meeting for an engaged inquiry into Eudaimonia, an inquiry that is felt to be central to a person’s and society’s development.

Using contemplative exercises and both small and large group discussion, participants will inquire into questions of “belonging” and “authenticity", topics inspired by the overarching questions of “What constitutes a good life?” and “What is true happiness (human flourishing)?”.

The salon is designed for anyone interested in elevating the level of discourse in their community through a contemplative and inquiry-based approach.

The four discussion leaders are
Jaisa Sulit, BPHE, B.Ed, MScOT;
Shari Stein, LL.B., LL.M., MSW;
Ted Robinson, MD;
Susan Meech, JD, MCRP.

Mindfulness in Education with Dr. Amy Saltzman

Thursday May 7th 2015 at 7pm

Dr. Amy Dr. Amy Saltzman is a holistic physician, mindfulness coach, scientist, wife, mother, devoted student of transformation, long-time athlete, and occasional poet. Her passion is supporting people of all ages in enhancing their well being and discovering the Still Quiet Place within. She is recognized by her peers as a visionary and pioneer in the fields of holistic medicine and mindfulness for youth.

She has offered mindfulness to young people from pre-K to college undergrads in socioeconomically diverse school and community settings. She has conducted two research studies evaluating the benefits of teaching mindfulness to child-parent pairs and to children in low-income elementary schools. These research projects were conducted in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. She is one of contributing authors of the White Paper.

To support others in discovering the joy and peace of the Still Quiet Place she has written a book, A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions, and created two CDS: Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Young Children and Still Quiet Place: Mindfulness for Teens.

You can visit her website at

Mindful use of technology: living well with our personal devices A presentation and discussion led by Dr. Evan Collins

Wednesday April 15th, 2015 at 7pm

Dr. Collins' presentation and discussion will explore mindful uses of digital technology and the possible re-evaluation of our relationships to our personal devices. Feel free to bring your cell phone for a practice.

Dr. Evan Collins Dr. Evan Collins is a psychiatrist at Toronto General Hospital where he is affiliated with the HIV Clinic. He teaches MBCT to people with depression and anxiety at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and to those with cancer at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. In addition, Evan runs groups for people living with HIV and trains clinicians in various aspects of mindfulness.

Mindfulness and Alternative Health: Part of the Same Revolution?

Led by David Denis, ND

What do mindfulness, going gluten-free, and detoxification have in common? Are they related paths of a positive health revolution or are they rife with empty promises and bad science? Join David Denis, Naturopathic Doctor, for an exploration of mindfulness in the context of alternative health. This talk will take a closer look at the relationship we hold to our health and how we seek out ways to find balance in mind and body.

Dr. David Denis is a naturopathic doctor in private practice in Toronto. He specializes in providing naturopathic care for people with mental and emotional suffering. He utilizes a range of naturopathic modalities but in addition has developed expertise in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness Based Interventions.
Dr. Denis is the course coordinator and lecturer for the Health Psychology courses at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine which emphasize an evidence based approach to treating mental health problems.
Dr. Denis is a faculty member for the Centre for Mindfulness Studies which is a centre dedicated to bringing Mindfulness Based Interventions to a wide variety of populations and to providing the very best of professional development in this new field. Dr. Denis has significant experience teaching advanced practical training in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy to interdisciplinary health professionals. He has also taught continuing education

February meeting: Integrating Therapeutic Yoga into the Treatment of Psychosis

Thursday February 19th, 2015 at 7pm

Over the years Stephanie’s experience of her yoga practice has shifted and expanded. It has gone from a more sports focused practice to a personal movement meditation practice and now to something that is woven into her work with youth. Using case examples and opportunities for experiential learning, she will review ways she integrates yoga into the treatment of individuals who are suffering with symptoms of psychosis, anxiety, depression and PTSD. Discussion will include research findings on the benefits, risks, and barriers to using yoga with this population. Participants are asked to bring a hot drink so they can participate in a mindful drinking practice.

Stephanie FrancoisStephanie Francois, BSc, MSW, RSW, works with youth in a First Episode Psychosis Program as a clinician, mindfulness facilitator, yoga instructor and personal trainer. She creates opportunities for youth to explore and experience their true nature through innovative individual / group programming. Stephanie loves to weave in nature-based practices, photography, and yoga into her clinical work.

January Meeting: Movie night!

Come out of the cold and join us for an evening of connection, community and entertainment on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015. We will begin with a group meditation, followed by a viewing of “The Mindfulness Movie” and, if time permits, a discussion of the film. You can read some reviews here. We look forward to seeing you!

Camera-Assisted Mindfulness Practice

Lee began a photography journey with looking deeply and bringing her focus into the present moment. This led her to an appreciation for the way the photographic process may help to rewire the brain by combining with mindfulness meditation practice, executive function training and cultivation of the foundational attitudes of mindfulness. She has named this process Camera Assisted Mindfulness and Attention Regulation Training (CAM-ART)™ Please join Lee for a taste of this experience at our November monthly meeting.

Lee Freedman M. Lee Freedman MD,CM, FRCP(C) is a Toronto-based child and adolescent psychiatrist who has expanded a personal mindfulness practice into her professional life by increasingly integrating mindfulness practice into her work with children, adolescents, adults and families. Currently her psychiatry practice is dedicated to helping families struggling with attention regulation challenges. She is a psychiatric consultant at the ADHD Clinic, and leads mindful parenting groups for parents raising children with attention and emotion regulation challenges. Lee is particularly interested in exploring applications of mindfulness practice to presence in relationships, contemplative art, and attention and emotion regulation.

Mindful Psychotherapy


Bill Gayner will present an emotion-focused orientation to integrating mindfulness into clinical practice based on enhancing common therapy factors, such as empathy, positive regard and congruence, accessible regardless of the modality clinicians are most deeply embedded. Participants are asked to bring note paper and pens so they can journal their meditation practice.

    Learning objectives:
  • develop overview of emotion-focused mindfulness (EFM)
  • consider relationship between experiential openness, self-compassion, and empathic attunement to clients
  • experience, journal and discuss an innovative, experientially open form of mindfulness, recollective awareness meditation, in a brief meditation

Bill Gayner
Bill Gayner, BSW, MSW, RSW is a mental clinician in Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital and directs the Mindful Psychotherapy course in the Mount Sinai Psychotherapy Institute. He leads and researches mindfulness groups for people living with HIV, psychiatry patients, and hospital staff, and integrates mindfulness into individual psychotherapy with people living with HIV. He co-led a randomized-controlled trial of mindfulness for gay men living with HIV. Bill provides a monthly practice group for mental health professionals and students through the Health, Arts and Humanities Program, University of Toronto, and is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.


IMPERMANENCE... that's one of the most important things mindfulness meditation teaches us. After five (yes - five!) years, Mindfulness Toronto is changing too. From our earliest days when the group was conceived of by our six founding members (Bobby Esbin, David Etlin, M. Lee Freedman, Shari Geller, Jackie Masson and Lisa Vettese), we now have a membership of over 350 members committed to applying mindfulness to healthcare, education, the workplace and their daily lives.

To celebrate our growth and change over the past five years, we are inviting all of our members and prospective members to join us at our next meeting on Monday September 29th at 7:00p.m. at our usual meeting place (Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, 11th floor, Function and Pain Program Gym, Room 1182.)

We'll have a chance to hear from some of our founding members and to celebrate our inter-connectedness they will also lead us in practice. In addition, we'll talk about the future and discuss how we can best meet the needs and goals of our membership moving forward. Your attendance and input into the future of Mindfulness Toronto are very important.

Snacks, beverages and 5th anniversary cupcakes will be provided. We hope you can join us!

Update on Mindfulness for Chronic Pain Sufferers: Different Strokes for Different Folks
June Community Meeting led by Jackie Gardner-Nix

June 16th, 2014 at 7pm

In this meeting led by Jackie Gardner-Nix, we will look at the special needs of chronic pain sufferers for managing a mindfulness course, and discuss which meditations are particularly meaningful for them. Mindfulness practice changes the brain in chronic pain.

Jackie Gardner-Nix

Jackie Gardner-Nix Dr. Gardner-Nix is an Associate Physician, Departments of Anaesthesia, St Michael’s Hospital, and Sunnybrook HealthSciences Centre, and Assistant Professor at University of Toronto.

She trained in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program in the USA in 2001, and evolved the Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management (MBCPM) curriculum from the MBSR program, customizing it to the needs of chronic pain sufferers. She extended MBCPM courses to patients across Ontario using the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). She has trained other facilitators (MDs, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers), to deliver the courses across Ontario, as well as in the USA, UK, and Australia.

You can visit her website here :

The Joy of Practice - May Community Meeting led by Heidi Bornstein

May 13th, 2014 at 7pm

Heidi will lead practices in empathetic joy and compassion, and how they can be adapted for adolescents and children. Empathy and compassion practice enables participants to connect to the quality of kindness, which fosters acceptance and non-judgment in self and others, the heart of connection. There will be the opportunity to share experiences and ideas for developing these practices with different groups.

Heidi Bornstein

Heidi Bornstein Heidi Bornstein is the founder of Mindfulness Everyday, a registered charitable organization that provides mindfulness programming, facilitates research, and teaches mindfulness in schools and community settings. She teaches MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) workshops in Scarborough, The Mindful Edge: Stress Reduction and Life Strategies for Teens and SMARTinEducation (Stress Management and Relaxation Training) for Educators and Professional Support Workers. Heidi is on the steering committee of Mindfulness Toronto and Discover Mindfulness, and is committed to developing opportunities for our community to experience mindfulness, particularly in education for both students and teachers.
You can visit her website here :

Mindfulness Practice and Burning, or even, Smoldering Questions - April Community Meeting led by Kate Kitchen

April 23rd, 2014 at 7pm

Kate will lead a practice and then open the floor to any questions about leading mindfulness practices, leading inquiry, leading groups that are on your mind. Instead of addressing one topic, this will be an opportunity to bring whatever is on your mind. There is an enormous amount of wisdom, including practice wisdom in Mindfulness Toronto, so this will be a time of sharing it.
And all questions will be welcomed.

Kate Kitchen

Kate Kitchen Kate Kitchen, MSW, RSW, is a clinical social worker who has been leading mindfulness groups, both MBCT and MBSR for fourteen years. She has also led professional trainings in mindfulness for over ten years, often with Bill Gayner and Kirstin Bindseil and now teaches Mindfulness-Based Group Practice through the Sunnybrook Psychiatry Institute for Continuing Education, with Dr. Steven Selchen and Kirstin Bindseil. She values very highly the opportunity to work with these colleagues, who she respects highly and and appreciates the opportunities to teach enthusiastic professionals to develop their own mindfulness practices and add mindfulness to their therapeutic toolboxes.

Kate has had a long career as a social worker, psychotherapist and professional educator. She worked at CAMH as a Social Worker and later an Advanced Practice Clinician and now works in the Frederick W. Thompson Centre for Anxiety at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. This is part-time, as Kate also has a private psychotherapy practice and is an artist and poet.

You can visit her website here.

Mindfulness Toronto Community meeting led by Laura Sygrove of the New Leaf Yoga Foundation

March 25, 2014 at 7pm

At this month's Mindfulness Toronto Community Meeting, New Leaf's co-founder and executive director, Laura Sygrove, will discuss the organization's approach, their work within several TDSB schools, how this fits into their overall mandate, and the impact that their programming is having with youth in educational settings.

New leaf Yoga FoundationNew Leaf Yoga Foundation has been offering yoga-based life-skills programs to youth in Ontario for the past 7 years. The organization works specifically with young people in some of the least-served communities and facilities. Believing in the strength and resiliency of youth and drawing on their capacity to heal and thrive, yoga offers tools for cultivating self-awareness, emotional resiliency, the ability to respond rather than react, and the opportunity to tap into a sense of personal empowerment. NewLeaf offers integrated, long-term support through their schools programs, youth justice programs and community-based drop-in programs. All classes are taught in a trauma-sensitive and inclusive approach.

Cultivating Therapeutic Presence with Therapeutic Rhythm and Mindfulness (TRM) - led by Shari Geller

February 2014 Community Meeting

Mindfulness Toronto Community MeetingBeing fully present enhances our health, well-being, and relationships. Therapeutic presence, which includes feeling grounded, immersed, spacious, and compassionately with and for another, can be strengthened with awareness and practice. Therapeutic presence is foundational to promoting positive change and creating safe relationships with clients, students, and loved ones. This evening will provide a taster of the Therapeutic Rhythm and Mindfulness (TRMTM) program to cultivate presence. TRM is an innovative approach combining group drumming, mindfulness and emotion focused awareness to help cultivate presence and is designed to increase positivity, vitality and social connectedness. Learn more about TRM at

Dr. Shari Geller is an author, clinical psychologist, and creator of the Therapeutic Rhythm and Mindfulness Program (TRM™). With over twenty years experience weaving psychology and mindfulness, Shari co-authored the book Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy. Shari has a long-term personal mindfulness meditation and drumming practice. Shari serves on the teaching faculty in Health Psychology at York University and for the Applied Mindfulness Meditation (AMM) program as well as Adjunct Faculty at the Music and Health Research Collaboratory (MaHRC) at University of Toronto. Learn more about Shari at

Mindfulness in the Workplace - Led by Susan Meech, Wendy Woods and Hersh Forman

January 2014 Community Meeting

Mindfulness in the Workplace - photo by Lee FreedmanJoin us to find out more about the explosion of interest in mindfulness in the workplace and mindful leadership.

Discover what is included in some of the mindfulness based corporate programs available and experience a few practices & reflections introduced in those programs.

The role of narratives in a mindful Western life
- led by Norman Farb

November 2013 Community Meeting

Norm FarbThe theme for the evening will be an examination of the role of narratives in a mindful Western life, from both personal experience and contemporary neuroscience perspectives. Is thinking about the world conceptually really antithetical to being mindful? What does the average person mean by self-improvement through mindfulness practice? Does it even make sense to think about living a 'judgment free' existence?

Guided meditation will combine elements of traditional mindfulness meditation practice and more experimental reflection on personal narrative habits.

Norman Farb is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto. His work examines the neural mechanisms of emotional responses to stress, distinguishing between adaptive and maladaptive habits. He is particularly interested in how mindfulness training alters a person's sense of self, potentially transforming their perception of stress in the world.

Mindful Eating
- led by Jackie Masson and Gwen Morgan

October 2013 Community Meeting

Jackie Masson and Gwen Morgan will talk about their 10 week Mindful Eating Awareness course and will lead the group through a mindful eating exercise.

Dr. Jackie Masson is a psychiatrist working in private practice. She taught groups in MBSR after which she became interested in mindful eating.

Gwen Morgan is a social worker with over 22 years of experience of working in Healthcare centres. Currently she is a facilitator at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and is working as a social worker and MBSR teacher at the East GTA Family Health Team in Scarborough.

EEG and Meditation- led by Michael Apollo

September 17, 2013

Michael ApolloEEG and meditation have always shared an interesting relationship - creating the opportunity for anyone to engage in simple mindfulness practice using EEG has been the work of Michael Apollo at InteraXon. His work has been focused on quanitifying internal states relating to simple mindfulness practices. InteraXon has been around for the past 5 years providing engaging experiences using brainwave controlled devices.

This evening we will partake within an interactive view into how meditation alters one's own brainwaves, along with insight into the future use of brainwave controlled devices as an aid to bridge science and contemplative practice.

There will be a silent seated meditation practice with at least one participant having the opportunity to have their EEG recorded to review after our session. There will also be an opportunity for asking questions and engaging with brainwave enabled experiences.

Michael Apollo is currently Faculty at the UofT's applied mindfulness at work certification program teaching MBEIT mindfulness-based emotional intelligence training. He is a certified facilitator in MB programs and a seasoned specialist at individual and team social and emotional competency development.

Michael is founder of the Healing the Healer mindfulness program for medical professionals at University Health Network and the Mindful Gateway workplace MBEIT program. His passion is mental fitness training and currently is Director of Applied Mind Science at InteraXon Inc. building EEG-based programs to support mindfulness development.

Developing a Mature Mindfulness Meditation Practice with Bill Gayner and Steven Selchen

June 2013  

MBSR and MBCT have done a great job of introducing people to mindfulness meditation in secular, psychologically-grounded contexts. However, less attention has been given to supporting the ongoing development of mature, secular, meditation practice. In fact, practitioners attending advanced professional training are typically expected to have a Buddhist teacher and to attend Buddhist retreats. This evening we will explore how you, as a professional who teaches or aspires to teach mindfulness within secular contexts, are navigating the process of sustaining and further developing your meditation practice.

There will be a silent meditation practice, set up in an inclusive way allowing for any kind of meditation practice, followed by journaling or reflection about the practice, and then discussion.

If you wish, you will also be able to engage in a novel, experientially open form of mindfulness meditation – recollective awareness meditation.

Bill Gayner, BSW, MSW, RSW integrates mindfulness in his work as a mental health professional in the Clinic for HIV-Related Concerns at Mount Sinai Hospital. He co-led a randomized controlled trial of mindfulness for gay men living with HIV. He has trained and mentored professionals in mindfulness for many years. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at U of T and the Head of Meditation Innovation at the new Sunnybrook Mindfulness Centre.

Steven Selchen, MD, MSt, FRCP(C) is a staff psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (University of Toronto). He has a Master’s degree from Oxford University in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. He runs a clinical and research program for mindfulness-based approaches, and leads mindfulness-based educational and professional development workshops in local and international settings. He is Director of Continuing Mental Health Education at Sunnybrook, and Director of the new Sunnybrook Mindfulness Centre.

Mindful Inquiry with Kate Kitchen

May 14, 2013  

Kate KitchenBeing a mindfulness group leader is complicated. We do the practice, we lead the practice, we discuss the topic and review the homework, we keep track of group process, we assign homework and always with the intention of bringing our full selves to the experience.

This week we will take time to appreciate the mindful attention and professional skills that we bring to our work, with an emphasis on mindful inquiry.

And, of course, we will have a mindfulness practice.

Kate Kitchen is a clinical social worker who has been leading MBSR and MBCT groups for over ten years, previously at CAMH and now privately. She also leads workshops for professionals who want to learn more about leading mindfulness groups through Sunnybrook Continuing Mental Health Education at Sunnybrook,

Mindful Breathing and Relaxation Techniques with Aidan Tierney

April 11, 2013  

Aidan TierneyIn leading the mindfulness practice for this month's community meeting, Aidan Tierney will introduce simple breath and relaxation techniques drawing from yoga and other traditions.

These techniques can be a very effective way to clear and concentrate the mind, and can serve as a good preparation for meditation and other mindfulness practices.

Aidan Tierney has studied and taught breath work for over 20 years. His first introduction was as an actor, training for 4 years with one of the world's top voice coaches, Patsy Rodenburg. This foundation helped him understand the yoga breath techniques. Aidan has practiced yoga for the past 20 years, teaching since 2003. He has an advanced teaching certificate from the Sivananda Yoga Centres and the Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy of Rishikesh and is a Yoga Alliance Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher E-RYT 500. Aidan currently teaches yoga and relation classes at his mobile studio, QuietNorth - the system of calm

Zindel Segal: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Comes of Age

March 12, 2013  

Zindel SegalIf the past decade has witnessed the establishment of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy’s broad appeal and effectiveness, the question of how exactly this multi-modal treatment achieves its benefits remains largely unanswered. It is still fair to ask, for example, about the relative contribution of cognitive therapy principles versus mindfulness practice to the benefits patients report. Clarifying mechanisms of action is of more than academic interest, as it will likely inform the approach taken to training the next generation of MBCT practitioners.

Zindel Segal PhD C.Psych is the Cameron Wilson chair in Depression Studies and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, where he directs the CBT program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health. He has studied and published on psychological treatments for depression for over 25 years. His most recent book, The Mindful Way Through Depression, advocates for the relevance of mindfulness-based clinical care in psychiatry and mental health.

Practicing Dying - Contemplative End of Life Care in Life

Presented by Michele Chaban

February 2013

Practicing dying  is an ancient practice to help prepare the living for our dying and death, while we are very much alive and well. Contemplative End of Life Care is a more contemporary practice that can be integrated into hospice and palliative care with remarkable results. Come learn some of the basic principles of the contemporary practice, consider how it is a greatly different approach to western psychotherapies use of grief and bereavement theory both pre and post mortem. Contemplative end of Life care is changing the way we experience dying and death, pain and suffering.

Michele Chaban MSW, RSW, PhD. began integrating CEOLC practices into palliative care over 22 years ago before mindfulness and mindfulness meditation was so well known in Toronto. Her first mentors were Sogyal Rinpoche, HH The Dalai Lama, Dr Herbert Benson ( Harvard Mind Body Institute). Michele introduced this practice to University Avenue and had some of the first mindfulness meditation groups at University of Toronto when she was the Director of the Psycho-social-spiritual team for Temmy Latner's Center for Palliative Care.

Currently, Michele is the co-director of the Inter-professional Applied Mindfulness Meditation Certificate ( AMM-MIND) at University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work. The AMM-MIND program has three streams of application : psychotherapy east and west, enabling learning or mindfulness in the educational system, and the mind at work or mindfulness in organizations. The AMM-MIND program draws upon the poly-scholarship of history, philosophy, the lineages of buddhism and science, humanities and social science, as well as the mindfulness methodologies and scientific protocols which provide the scaffolding of this ancient yet contemporary practice of mind.