The Program


Life is wonderful. And life is awful.
Take a moment to breathe with this reality.
Life is wonderful. And life is awful.

So what to do? One answer is to cultivate resilience in ourselves. Another is to help those less fortunate to deal with the many difficulties they face, every day. This is what Mindfulness Challenge 2018 is all about.
Resilient self. Resilient communities.

The program is designed to generate mindfulness and cultivate resilience in a powerful way. We’re excited that Lama Rod Owens will be leading the day, teaching us “radical presence,” so we can adapt to constantly changing conditions, and feel at home in our bodies and in the world. 

You’ll experience an incredible variety of mindfulness and resilience exercises. Even if you’ve never meditated or done yoga before, it’s no problem. The whole thing is designed for everyone from beginners to Zen masters!

   Sunday, November  25, 2018
             10:30 am - 3:15 pm
             Check-in opens at 9:30 am.
Please be settled in the hall by 10:15 am.
             (see your Location for detail on what you need to know, bring, wear, etc!)

Where:  Multiple locations

How it works 
Mindfulness Challenge 2018 works like a walkathon or bikeathon - you ask people to sponsor you. We’ll provide you with the latest tools and great ideas to make it easy to reach your fundraising goal.

It was a lovely reward -- I find it hard to do fundraising, and don't enjoy it, but the cause really mattered to me. On the day, instead of feeling like I'd lost most of the day, I felt like I'd given myself, and received from others, a real gift.” - Jacqui Pegg

Click to learn more about: 





Lama Rod Owens is considered one of the emerging leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. An author, activist, and formally authorized teacher in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, after his three-year silent retreat, where he got up at 2:30 am, meditated all day in a 3x3' box in his room, and slept in that same box, sitting up.
He can now sleep anywhere! A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Lama Rod is a guest faculty member at the Harvard School of Education’s program Mindfulness for Educators. He is co-author of Radical Dharma, Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. For Lama Rod, “radical” is remembering and returning to a simple and basic way of being in the world, one that reduces the violence to oneself and others, honours one’s own passions and aspirations, and relates to the world from a place of equanimity.

Zindel Segal is a distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Dr. Segal pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation for promoting wellness in mood disorders and co-developed the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) program. His studies have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Health Online and the New York Times. An author of over 10 books and 150 scientific articles, Dr. Segal’s recent books The Mindful Way Through Depression and The Mindful Way Workbook, are patient guides for dealing with stress and achieving mood balance in everyday life. We are honoured that Dr. Segal is Senior Faculty at The Centre for Mindfulness Studies.

Roberta Mohler
 teaches Nia, yoga and expressive arts. After a career as a renowned professional modern dancer, she joined the Nia faculty, training hundreds of instructors across Canada.  Roberta has practiced and taught yoga for 20 years. Presently, as a registered somatic movement educator, she brings compassion and humour to mindful movement based expressive arts with the Tamalpa Life Art Process.


Patricia Rockman is a Co-Founder and the Director of Education and Clinical Services at The Centre for Mindfulness Studies, and the developer of the MBCT Core Facilitation Certificate Program. She has a longstanding mindfulness practice grounded in both Buddhist and secular teachings, and has led many silent retreats. She is also an associate professor with the University of Toronto, department of family and community medicine; cross appointed to psychiatry. She is the past chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians Collaborative Mental Health Network and is a medical psychotherapist. She has been educating healthcare providers in stress reduction, CBT and mindfulness-based practices for over 20 years.

Posture Expert

Julie Jarvis is the founder of REALthings. Julie has helped thousands of people find the right cushion and posture to sit quietly and meditate deeply. She also works with companies, retreat centres and individuals to create calm inspiring spaces to breathe and be still. When Julie started REALthings, she had a vision to help people meditate and be mindful. Now her cushions are lifting the world, and she is launching new educational initiatives to help people find their own path to mindfulness. Julie and REALthings will be offering 'sitting fittings' before the program at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto.

The Cushion Swap is Back! The Swap starts at the Mindfulness Challenge on Nov 25, 2018 and runs until December 31, 2018. When you donate your used meditation cushions to the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, REALthings will give you a 20% discount on new cushions - a great holiday gift you can take home with you! Doors open at the Mindfulness Challenge at 9:00 a.m. Come early to get fitted! We can’t wait to see you there!