Winter Holiday Retreat: Quiet Mind/Open Heart - Weekthun

with Donald Eckler

December 27th—January 2nd (2020)

Date details +
    Price:
  • $300 Program Price
  • $350 Patron Price
  • Or pay what you can afford

This seven-day retreat, also referred to as a weekthün in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, is an in-depth meditation retreat. It is a powerful introduction to and deepening of mindfulness-awareness meditation -- a technique that transforms how we relate to ourselves and everyday life.

"Quiet Mind/Open Heart" is founded on the Shambhala principle that everyone, at their core, is worthy and complete. From this point of view, meditation is not so much a tool to fix ourselves or improve our abilities, but a powerful way to connect with the inherent goodness and wisdom within our present experience.

The daily meditation practice and routine of the retreat supports our journey of gently making friends with who we are and giving rise to our inherent fearlessness. The design of this program creates an atmosphere in which we can trust in the experience of truly feeling ourselves, the natural world, and human society.

This retreat is a "city retreat" and takes place at the Shambhala Meditation Centre of Toronto. Practice includes:

  • Sitting and walking meditation
  • Individual meditation instruction
  • Talks/Discussions
  • Study periods
  • Silence practice


Note: This program fulfills the weekthün practice requirement for those on the Shambhala Buddhist path.

Sample Daily Schedule

8:00 Coffee/tea Preparation
8:30 Coffee and tea
8:55 Group clean-up
9:00 Chants/Practice
9:35 Walk
9:50 Sit
10:20 Walk/Yoga
10:35 Sit
11:10 Walk
11:25 Sit
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Walk in Park (?)
1:30 Study/Nap
2:00 Reading  
2:10 Sit/Walk
3:00 Sit/Tea Prep.
3:15 Tea
3:45 Sit/Tea clean-up rota
4:00 Reading Circle
4:30 Sit
4:45 Closing Chants
5:00 End

Please note that lunch is not provided for this retreat.

About Donald Eckler

Donald Eckler is a senior teacher and mindfulness instructor at the Toronto Shambhala Meditation Centre where he teaches regular programs as well as yearly seven-day retreats. He leads weekly mindfulness classes for the Adult Mental Health Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital and for faculty and staff at Ryerson University. In early 2019, as a teacher for the Centre for Mindfulness in Public Safety, he facilitated a mindfulness-based wellness program for correctional officers at the Elgin-Middlesex maximum security facility. Donald has trained in end of life care and he offers ongoing spousal-loss programs for Bereaved Families of Ontario. Over the past thirty years he has presented mindfulness programs at schools, universities, YMCA’s, community groups, and symposiums.

For 37 years he was a teacher with the Toronto District School Board where he taught emotionally vulnerable children. He was responsible for designing and introducing the first class in the TDSB to integrate these sensitive, yet inherently good students into regular classrooms.

More Retreat information

This retreat is open to everyone from beginning meditators to experienced practitioners.  This is a seven full-day retreat and participants are encouraged to attend the entire weekthün.

Suggested donation: $55 per day or $300 for the week.

The retreat is also open to those who wish to do a three day retreat, December 27, 28, and 29. If you want to attend the three day retreat, please register on the three day retreat page.

If circumstances don't allow you to attend the full retreat, contact Donald Eckler at [email protected] to discuss options.

Note: If you cannot afford to pay the full program fee, see our generosity policy.

Online Registration

Please register for this program in advance by clicking on the "Click here to register" link below. After filling out the online registration form, you will have the option of paying online through PayPal using your credit card or PayPal account. If you prefer not to pay online, you can pay by cash or cheque at the beginning of the program.