There are many influences that have shaped Linda's views on life, dying, and death. She was raised as a Mennonite, and her family had a very open view towards death. The Mennonite values of deep community and pragmatic acceptance of the cycle of life continue to resonate with her. Decades ago her parents completed their advance care plans and had family discussions about their end of life wishes over Christmas dinner, with all kids and grandkids present. They talked openly about death, and children of all ages attended funerals.

Years later, Linda began practicing meditation and studying Buddhism. She finds Buddhism so rich in acceptance practices and appreciates how it encourages everyone to face impermanence and their own mortality. She has been meditating for more than 20 years, and studying Buddhism with her teacher, Qapel, (Doug Duncan). In 2009, she completed a 2 month silent meditation retreat at the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre, in Cranbrook, BC, In 2014-15, she commuted to New York every month for 9 months to study with the New York Zen Centre for Contemplative Care and develop her end of life contemplative care skills. She became a lay Buddhist Chaplain endorsed by her teacher, and supports many persons, both Buddhist and non-Buddhists, at end of life. She is the co-founder and Meditation Teacher for Awaken in Toronto, a Sangha of connected students who gather to support each other and their meditation practices and explorations.

Lama Linda (as she's known to her students) teaches meditation classes regularly with the Toronto Sangha called Awaken in Toronto. She has training in Buddhist Psychotherapy from the University of Toronto and integrates mindfulness and Buddhist practices into her psychotherapy services when requested. She is deeply committed to her own daily meditation practice, and reports that she cannot imagine where she would be in her life if she did not have this grounding practice. 

Awaken In Toronto

Awaken in Toronto is a dedicated community of individuals committed to awakening in this lifetime.  They work together to overcome the isolation of contemporary urban life, and create a space where we can safely explore the workings of our minds.  They have a weekly meditation class, and host regular discussion groups on topics such as death & dying and integral spirituality.  They offer meditation retreats at the Dharma Centre of Canada that allow them to explore some of life’s deepest questions, and hold regular social events to build friendship and community.  All classes and discussion are based on Daná, which is a pay-what-you-value model. or

Meditation Classes - Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 pm ET

Short Dharma talk on a given topic + 30 minute meditation. Dharma talk includes themes of Buddhist principles, Western psychology, and greater connection to ourselves and others. 

In person: Boomerang Pilates Studio, Village Healing Centre, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON

Online on Zoom:, Meeting ID: 369 535 6130,

Password: 108108

Topic: Becoming an Ecosattva
Dates: Oct 12 (online-only)
           Oct 19 (online and in-person)
           Oct 26 (online-only)
           Nov 2 (online and in-person)

           Nov 9 (online-only) 

Topic: Buddhism as a Wisdom Tradition

Dates: Nov 16 (online and in-person) 

            Nov 30 (online-only)

            Dec 7 (online and in-person)

            Dec 14 (online-only) 

Topic: Getting Acquainted with Vajrayogini

Dates: Nov 23 (online-only) 

Meditation Retreats

Weekend retreats out of the city at the Dharma Centre of Canada. Opportunities to take a deeper dive into silence and greater self awareness. Covering topics related to Vajrayana Buddhism as well as general meditation themes.  

November 18-25, 2022 - Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism: Basic Tenets, Tantra, & a Variety of Meditation Practices

Vajrayana Buddhism is an evolution of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, and was practiced and taught by Namgyal Rinpoche, spiritual leader of the Dharma Centre of Canada. Basic tenets and principles underlying Vajrayana Buddhism will be explained and explored this week. This will include the 4 Ennobling Truths, the 8-fold Ennobling Path, the 3 Marks of Existence, the 6 Paramis, and the 8 Poisons. Practicing this path can lead to awakening in this lifetime. No previous experience with Buddhism is required, and those who have studied some will find this retreat fills in more gaps of knowledge.

Another key component will be the exploration of tantra. A tantra Vajrayogini Wongkur will be conducted on Sunday morning.

2023 Dates:

March 17-19 - Meditation as Antidote to Anxiety

July 7-9 - Building a Strong Spine and a Soft Belly through the Vajrayana Foundation Practices - with Chenrezi wongkur

November 17-22 - Embracing Green Tara Earth Energy to stimulate the Ecosattva Within

Meditation and Buddhist Resources:

Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat

Inspiring Buddhist teachers intent on helping people awaken in this lifetime through intentional practices of dãna, karma yoga, and spiritual community. They connect with students through a virtual community and on-line webinars, and are based on-site as spiritual leaders of the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre in BC.

Clear Sky Meditation and Study Centre

A centre for awakening using a balance of conscious interaction and silent reflection. This 300 property sits at the foot of majestic Bull Mountain in south-east British Columbia, in a stunning forested valley of pine trees and farmland. They offer individual and group retreats and courses throughout the year, with resident teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat and other senior students.

The Dharma Centre of Canada

Located in Kinmount, Ontario, the Dharma Centre of Canada is a non-sectarian retreat centre dedicated to awakening, compassion, awareness, and wisdom. It is affiliated with the Venerable Namgyal Rinpoche, the first Canadian recognized Rinpoche, and the Namgyal lineage of Western Vajrayana Buddhism.


New York Zen Centre for Contemplative Care

The organization is based in Manhattan and delivers contemplative approaches to end of life care through education, direct service, and meditation practice. They offer a 9 month Foundations in Buddhist Contemplative Care Training Program involving 100 volunteer hours in a hospice or palliative care unit as well as individual and group learning opportunities.

Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism

A Buddhist site for Contextual Education for students attending the University of Toronto Masters of Pastoral Studies (MPS) in Buddhist Studies. Linda provides group clinical supervision to persons offering paid or volunteer counselling services to fellow Buddhists in the community. Supervision may qualify for CRPO (College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario) Supervision hours necessary for certification as registered psychotherapists.

Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism