Saturday, March 30, 2013

Seeking Book Donations for Prison Library - Meditation & Yoga

Want to help make a difference in your community? If you have gently used paperback meditation or yoga books or magazines, we are seeking to expand the library for prisoners at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (VIRCC) who are engaged in the Path of Freedom program.

VIRCC is a maximum security remand centre for adult men in Victoria. VIRCC has run mindfulness meditation courses in the past and is now offering on a regular basis the Path of Freedom program. The program, developed by the Prison Mindfulness Institute (formerly the Prison Dharma Network), includes mindfulness meditation, emotional intelligence skill building, communication skills, conflict resolution, and various resourcing skills grounded in the context of mindfulness-awareness practice. The program is presented in a nonsectarian manner and is open to participants of any faith and/or those who do not identify with a particular faith tradition. Participants develop greater self-awareness, improved impulse control, greater social awareness and relationship, communication and leadership skills that will give them a new vision for their lives and how they could contribute to their communities.

If you can donate softcover books or magazines, or want to donate cash for the purchase of books and magazines on our wish list, please contact

Please note that hard-cover books cannot be accepted.

Thanks for considering this request!

Dependent Origination with Brock Brown

Victoria Insight Meditation Society
One Day Retreat
Sunday April 28, 2013
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Goward House
2495 Arbutus Road, Victoria, BC

Dependent Origination is said to be at the core of the Buddha’s teachings showing how suffering arises and how we can be free from suffering.

In this day long retreat, we will combine sitting and walking meditation with teachings on this subject. There will be a focus both on the theory of Dependent Origination and how it relates to other teachings of the Buddha such as the 4 Noble Truths, and practical examples of how this teaching operates in our everyday lives.

This retreat is not intended as an introductory course, but if you are a beginner and feel motivated to attend then please come.

About the Teacher: Brock Brown has been practicing in the Theravada Buddhist tradition since 1989. He is a graduate of the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader training program and Dedicated Practitioner’s Program. His teachers include Heather Martin, Guy Armstrong and Ajahn Sona. He is inspired by the Ajahn Chah lineage of the Thai Forest Tradition. Brock offers meditation courses and retreats and is a facilitator for
the Victoria Insight Meditation Society Sunday Night Community sit. Brock is also the Chair of Victoria Insight Meditation Society.

Cost: The Buddha’s teachings are considered to be priceless. In keeping with the teachings and spirit of generosity or dana, we offer this retreat on a donation basis.

We will set out a basket for you to offer dana for the teachings and the teacher who has shared them with us.

We will set out a second basket to receive donations to cover the cost of facility rental, and other organizational expenses. A suggested amount for a one day retreat is $20. Any money collected above the costs of the retreat will go towards other Victoria IMS programmes.

No one will be refused for lack of funds; please give whatever is affordable given your means.

To register go to:
For more information:

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Online Orientation to Zen Practice

"For over twenty years I had read book after book on the subjects of Zen and Buddhism, but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew all that reading was not enough. I was not DOING. The 'Orientation to Zen Buddhist Practice' course was that huge nudge I needed to get myself truly participating and practicing." - Seishin Susanne Ledingham
Discover the impact that consistent Zen practice can have on and in your life! The Victoria Zen Centre now offers a comprehensive Orientation to Zen Buddhist Practice training package to help you develop a stable Zen practice, no matter where you are.

Once the program has been completed, your knowledge and physical Zen practice should be well established enough for you to begin formal practice with the Victoria Zen Centre, and the experience you gain through practice will also ease your entry into virtually any other Zen or Buddhist group you choose to engage with.   

Online Training Materials
The online course is structured as a gradual and progressive four-week program, utilizing online videos, audio files, and a practice journal. Course materials are available at and are free for you to use any time, as often as you like, and to share as widely as you wish to. These resources are made possible through the generous support of the Members and Associates of the Victoria Zen Centre.

Course Support
In addition to the online materials, we also offer one-to-one Course Support. By registering for support, you will receive a once-weekly, 30-minute Skype support meeting with one of our training guides for each of the four weeks of the Orientation program (for a total of four meetings). These one-to-one sessions provide a forum for discussion of your experiences as you engage in the the program, and an opportunity for support and feedback from experienced practitioners regarding the challenges of establishing a consistent Zen practice.

Participation with a training guide is not required to access the online course materials, but is a requirement for completion of the Orientation to Zen program (a pre-requisite for further training with the Victoria Zen Centre).

To register for Course Support visit or email

Practice Assessment
When you have completed the Orientation to Zen program, if you wish to as a next step undertake further training with the Victoria Zen Centre or become a member of the VZC, you must first complete a formal Practice Assessment. This can be done online, or in person. When you register for a Practice Assessment you will be contacted to arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct your assessment.

To register for a Practice Assessment visit or email