FAQ

We all have questions—hopefully yours are answered here! Just click the link to the category for more info.





CONTACT US

Email:   challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com 
Phone: 
647-524-6216

Media inquiries:  patricia@mindfulnessstudies.com
Back to top



GENERAL REGISTRATION
 


Is there a registration fee?

Yes. The registration fee depends on the location and how early you register. See The Event page for details. 

When is the registration deadline?

The registration deadline for Daniels Spectrum is Wednesday, October 11 at 11:59 pm. There is no deadline for other locations. Please keep in mind that Daniels Spectrum sold out last year. This is the first year at MacLachlan College in Oakville and Innovation Works in London.

Can I get a refund, transfer or deferral if I cannot attend?

Registration fees and donations are non-refundable. If you know you won’t be able to attend, we’d be grateful if you let us know! You can transfer your space to someone you know or we can offer the spot to another. Thanks!

What if I registered for the wrong venue?

If you registered for the wrong venue, please email us at challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com and we will correct it.

How many participants will there be?

We expect Daniels Spectrum in Toronto to be full, with 220 participants. MacLachlan College in Oakville can hold 110 participants and Innovation Works in London can hold 45 people. There's no limit to how many can participate virtually! 
Back to top


TEAM REGISTRATION


How many people do you need for a team?

We encourage a minimum of three to make a team, but you can register as one—the Team Captain, and then ask others to join your team. The more people who join your team, the more fun, and the more good you can do.

How do I register my team?

Be the Team Captain and register a team online now by CLICKING HERE. And have some fun with it—give your team a unique name or theme. Using the email templates in the online participant centre, it’s easy to invite your family, friends and colleagues to join your team.

What if I’m already registered and want to join a team
?

You can join a team by clicking on Join a Team in the main menu of the Participant Centre. Search for a Team and click Join beside the team you would like to join.

What if I joined the wrong team by mistake? How can I switch teams?

E-mail us at challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com or call us at 647-524-6216 and tell us your name and the name of the team you would like to join.

If you're already registered, more info about joining and switching teams is available in the Participant Centre online help.

Back to top


PRIVACY POLICY

Can my personal and/or team online fundraising page be viewed by the public?

Yes. Team and individual fundraising pages are viewable by the public. If you want you don't want to display your personal page in lists or searches, you can change it by editing your profile. 

Can people donate anonymously?

Yes. Donors have the option of keeping their name and/or their donation amount ‘anonymous’.  

Note: A donor's identity will still be passed on to the participant and to The Centre for Mindfulness Studies for processing reasons.

What if I forgot my online password or username?

Go to the Participant Login Page. Follow the prompts to have a new password and username sent to your email.

What is your privacy policy?

Please see our privacy policy.
Back to top



EVENT DAY 


What happens on the day of the Mindfulness Challenge?

Please check the location page for your venue:

What will the mindfulness program be like?

It will be awesome! The program includes a feast of fitness-for-the-mind activities—alternating between sitting meditation and walking meditation, total relaxation, gentle yoga, mindful eating and other mindfulness exercises. Even if you’ve never meditated or done yoga before, it’s no problem. The whole thing is designed to be accessible for beginners and powerful for all.

For sitting meditation activities, you can sit in a chair or on a floor sitting cushion. Sitting meditations will be 10-20 minutes, making them accessible for those who've never meditated before. You will be expertly guided, so you don’t need to know how to meditate. And you will always be free to change positions, lie down or stand up.

For more info, see The Event page.

What are the benefits of mindfulness meditation?

Proven benefits include:

  •     Stress reduction
  •     Reduced rumination
  •     Decreased negative mood
  •     Less emotional reactivity/more effective emotion regulation
  •     Increased focus
  •     More cognitive flexibility
  •     Improved working memory

Do I need to know how to meditate?

No. The Challenge is guided by experts and designed to be accessible for everyone, even if you have never practiced mindfulness or meditation. More in the answer just above.

How hard will it be physically? 

It will not be physically difficult, and is designed so that even those with physical challenges can participate. Each activity will last approximately 10 to 35 minutes. The longer activities include yoga and the mindful lunch. Sitting meditations will never exceed 20 minutes. You are always free to change positions, stand or lie down. 

There won’t be any complicated instructions, movements or sequences to think about. You may not be able to do exactly what others are doing, but it will be a safe space to modify any physical instructions as needed. In fact, your teachers will encourage you to make adjustments as you see fit.

How hard will it be mentally and emotionally?

If you’ve never meditated, you may wonder whether you can sit still or stay silent for that long. But the reality is that you can do it, no problem, because the program is designed for all levels. You can expect the 4 hours to fly by, as we guide you through one exploration after another, with increasing vividness of each succeeding experience as your mindfulness grows.

That’s not to say there won’t be challenging moments. There may be, because this is different, and our minds sometimes resist new ways of being. However, the expert guidance will help you through any rough patches. In fact, it’s the ability to be with difficulty that mindfulness trains, and which is one of its greatest benefits. The “secret sauce” if you will. 

And, if you need to, you are always free to move, stand up, lie down, or leave the hall.

Will there be set breaks?

Throughout the program, the aim is to maintain a continuity of mindfulness practice, to return again and again to an awareness of what is going on in our bodies, our minds and our surroundings. Continuity of practice supercharges your mindfulness batteries!

To support you to maintain continuity of your mindfulness practice, there will be no set breaks. You are free to go to the washroom or otherwise take care of yourself as you see fit. While on your break, we encourage to maintain your mindfulness by being aware of your steps, your breath, and your bodily sensations.

Silence 

Although the teachers will be speaking, and there will be sights, sounds, smells and tastes, we will ask you to maintain silence throughout the program. Maintaining silence allows our minds to settle and become clear, to be in deeper contact with ourselves and, believe it or not, those around us. If you need to speak, you can leave the room at any time, or raise your hand to call over a Guide to help you.

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

The Challenge offers a refreshing opportunity to take a break from our cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. If you do need to use them, please leave the hall and find a place where other participants cannot hear you.

Allergies and special dietary restrictions

In addition to the regular delicious lunch we’ll be serving, we will offer lunches that are free of nuts, dairy, soy, wheat, gluten, and eggs. We’ll email all participants in advance about selecting their lunch choice. And if you wish to bring your own lunch, all we ask is that it be nut free and not require heating.

How do I select a floor sitting cushion or a chair?

When you register, you will be asked if you prefer to sit in a chair or on a cushion. We do this so we can set up enough chairs, and leave room for those using cushions (which can be brought, rented or purchased at the event). We will be emailing all participants prior to the event to provide more information.

I’d like to learn how to take the chair or floor sitting posture workshop

We will be emailing all participants prior to the event to provide more information, including how to sign up. There will be space for all participants who would like to take this workshop. 

I don’t have a yoga mat, do I need one?

Yes, yoga mats are recommended for the yoga activities, and as a base if you’re using a floor sitting cushion. If you do not have a mat, try borrowing one from a friend. We will also have mats for sale at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto.
Back to top 




FUNDRAISING


Where will the funds go?

All funds will go to The Centre for Mindfulness Studies and used for its Community Program, which trains social service agency frontline workers to deliver mindfulness programs to their clients and provides bursaries for The Centre’s own therapeutic programs. The Centre is a registered charity and will issue tax receipts for all donations of $20 or more. No tax receipts are issued for registration fees, as the Canada Revenue Agency does not allow us to issue tax receipts where something of value is received in exchange.

If I'm participating at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto, what does the $250 fundraising requirement mean?

The $250 fundraising requirement at Daniels Spectrum means we expect you to commit to raising $250, to make a sincere effort. If you don't raise that much, you can still participate. Last year, Daniels Spectrum was full but over 50 people didn't raise any money at all. We didn't want that to happen again, because our commitment is to help as many marginalized people as possible. 


How do I raise money?

The online fundraising system makes it easy to email and use social media to ask people to sponsor you. It’s simple, effective and secure. You import the contacts you want and we provide templates to ask them to sponsor you, join your team, etc. On average participants who fundraise online raise significantly more than individuals exclusively raising funds offline.

But it’s really up to you, and there is no one right way. See our Fundraising page for a few more ideas.

What are the benefits of online fundraising?

Registering online, building your fundraising page, and then sharing will make your fundraising easier and effective. Here's why:

  • On average, participants who fundraise online raise more!
  • You can ask people around the globe to support you
  • You can customize your personal fundraising page, share your story, and add a photo/video
  • Access the online Participant Centre and fundraise using your smartphone or tablet
  • Electronic receipts will automatically be issued for online donations $20+
  • You can track who has donated to you, who opened your emails, and who linked from the email to this website. And of course you can track how much you've raised towards your goal.
  • Social media: login or link your personal fundraising page to your Facebook, or connect via Twitter
  • Online fundraising is a great way to connect and keep everyone posted on your progress
  • It's simple, effective and secure

Is the online fundraising tool secure?

Yes. The system uses the most current encryption tools to provide a safe and secure environment for participants and donors. All transactions and data are captured and stored in a secure environment. Industry standard Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption certificates are used. The online fundraising site displays the SSL Web Server Certificate seal that confirms the transaction is secure and encrypting all data.

Electronic tax receipts are secured with either a random 40-bit or 128-bit encryption code ensuring their authenticity while at the same time, meeting all government standards. While PDF tax receipts are sent via the online system and can be printed, they are tamper-proof.

All online transactions are conducted using the HTTPS protocol – the same standards used by most major financial institutions on their online banking applications.

What is required to set up my personal fundraising page?

It’s already set up, but we encourage you to make it your own. Customizing your personal web page is quick and easy and requires no technical skills. All you need to do edit the text, and upload your photo. You can add more photos or videos too. It’s important to let people know why the Mindfulness Challenge is important to you. These few minutes can make a big difference and will help kick-start your fundraising success.

How do I enter offline donations online?

Offline donations include cash and cheques collected through in-person fundraising. Using the online Participant Centre simply click the “Offline Pledges” button and input the requested information. The donation will be included in the ‘offline’ donation portion of your fundraising thermometer. You will also have the option to include donors’ names on your Honour Roll. 

NOTE:  To be eligible for tax receipting, ALL offline donations must be received at the event or by The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. When submitting donations, enclose  payment, and remember to include a copy of your pledge form outlining the address details for each offline donor. Keep a copy for your records.

When does online fundraising close?

You have up to November 15th: one month after the Mindfulness Challenge to collect pledges online and to submit offline pledges to the Centre for Mindfulness Studies office.

When and how do I submit my pledge form and offline monies?

Offline donations with accompanying pledge forms can be submitted on event day. Pledges collected offline will be added to your online fundraising total and will count towards eligible prizing. When submitting donations, enclose payment, and remember to include a copy of your pledge form outlining the address details for each offline donor. If you receive additional funds post October 15th, you have up to November 15th to submit monies and pledge forms to the Centre for Mindfulness Studies office.

You can also pay online using your own credit card or PayPal. The payment is made by clicking "Offline Pledges" in the Participant Centre menu, scrolling to the bottom, selecting the offline pledge to be paid, and clicking on the appropriate payment button. If you intend to use this method, please have your donors make their cheques payable to you.

What is a ‘Corporate Match Program’?

‘Corporate Match Programs’ are offered by many Canadian companies. Companies offering this program will match employees' charitable donation dollar for dollar, and some companies will also match dollars employees have fundraised or for their volunteer contribution.

How do I know if the company I work for offers a 'Corporate Match Program'?

Many Canadian companies offer a ‘Corporate Match Program’, encouraging employees to make philanthropic gifts to charities. Ask someone in human resources or if applicable your corporate donations department.
Back to top



DONATIONS AND TAX RECEIPTS

Who should my donor make cheques payable to?

Cheques can be made payable to: The Centre for Mindfulness Studies. You can also ask for the cheque to be payable to you, and then you can make the donation using credit card or PayPal. The payment is made by clicking "Offline Pledges" in the Participant Centre menu, scrolling to the bottom, selecting the offline pledge to be paid, and clicking on the appropriate payment button.

Can I make a donation even though I will not be participating in the Mindful Challenge?

Yes. Just click the “DONATE" button at the top right of this web page. You can donate to an individual, team or make a general donation to the event.

Can I donate to a TEAM?

No. You must donate to either an individual team member or to a location or to the event. If you donate to an individual team member, the donation will be added to both the individual and team fundraising totals.

When will tax receipts be issued?

Donors who pledge at least $20 online will receive an electronic tax receipt by e-mail within minutes of completing a successful transaction. A thank-you note is also automatically generated for all donations. Receipts for offline donations will be sent by February 15, 2018.

I lost my tax receipt, how do I get another copy?

Contact us at challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com or at 647-524-6216.
Back to top 



VOLUNTEER


Can I volunteer?

Yes, we need volunteers. Click here to fill out our volunteer form. Areas you can help with include registration, set-up/tear down, lunch and more. Thank you for your support!

Is there a minimum age to volunteer?

We love volunteers of all ages, however, if you are under the age of 18 years, you must have parental or guardian consent.
Back to top 




MINDFULNESS AND KINDNESS


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about being aware of what’s going on in your experience, and doing so with kindness, curiosity, acceptance and equanimity.

One way to practice mindfulness is to try and keep our attention on how our body moves with our breathing, to notice the sensations in as much detail as we can. Of course, our mind will wander. When we notice it’s wandered, we gently bring our attention back to our breath. It’s the act of bringing our mind back to our object of focus that strengthens our mindfulness “muscle.”

The program will take you through a wide range of activities, and in each one you will practice being aware of some aspect of experience, whether it’s sensations in your body, feelings, thoughts, tastes, smells, sights or sounds. Many of the experiences are designed to cultivate or evoke compassion and happiness.

Learn more here.

What are the benefits of mindfulness meditation?

Proven benefits include:

  •     Stress reduction
  •     Reduced rumination
  •     Decreased negative mood
  •     Less emotional reactivity/more effective emotion regulation
  •     Increased focus
  •     More cognitive flexibility
  •     Improved working memory
What is kindness?


Kindness is the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness. Like a muscle, kindness can be trained. As Samuel Johnson said, “Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” 

Some people say it’s not mindfulness without kindness! Ajahm Brahm, a leading monastic mindfulness teacher, coined the phrase “kindfulness” because bringing kindness to your mindfulness practice is so important in working with challenges and unpleasant experience.

The world needs more kindness, and becoming kinder is an important effect of practising mindfulness. Just ask Margaret Wente, who tried an 8-week program that, according to her husband, made her 
less crabby.

According to Lao Tzu, “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” In fact, studies show “that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved… there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.” (
The Atlantic, Masters of Love)

What if I can’t stop my thinking?

This is the biggest misperception people have about mindfulness practice. You do not need to stop your thinking!

Mindfulness is about awareness, not stopping our thinking. Being mindful means we are aware of the fact we are thinking, rather than being on autopilot.

Back to top

If you have any other questions, please email us at
challenge@mindfulnessstudies.com or call (647) 524-6216.