Our communities have been forever changed by the effects of social media, computer technology and globalization in a way that has reduced the amount of time we have to spend with family and friends and changed the way we communicate with them. We are often communicating in sound bites and photo captions that do not create a sense of real connection with the people we care about. In fact, some feel we have lost the art of communication.

Sakyong Mipham shows us a way to do better. 

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Toronto invites you to a profound weekend program that will give you insights to the importance of conversation, tools to improve your conversation ability, and practice in the art of good conversation.

Join us for the Friday night meditation and discussion with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and guests to hear a variety of perspectives on the vision and practicalities of using conversation to benefit our own lives and the world. When we are armed with a sincere belief in the inherent wisdom and compassion of others, we can take our first steps towards being helpful to the world as a whole.

Then on Saturday, Lodro Rinzler will host a day-long retreat with teacher Fleet Maull, featuring a talk by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. 

The full retreat includes the live events on Friday and Saturday and a six-week online companion called The Cushion Tour.  The online event features exclusive content and behind-the-scenes footage from the tour as well as the live talks and live panel discussions with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche from every stop in Denver, New York and Toronto.


Affiliate Partners Panel

Unique to the Toronto tour is an affiliate partners panel:

Community leaders engaged in mindful action for social change will be hosting dynamic, interactive activities and workshops for event participants.  Findings from the activities will be presented during the Affiliate Partners Panel presentation, on Saturday afternoon.  Make sure to visit the Affiliate Partners tables before the start of the event and during break periods!

Participating in the panel:

Climate Fast, CSI, A Mindful Society, Groove Education. See detailed descriptions of the panel members at the bottom of the page:


Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Sakyong Mipham is the head of the Shambhala lineage and the global network of more than 200 Shambhala Meditation Centers. With a unique blend of Eastern and Western perspectives, his teachings focus on living a courageous life based on wisdom, kindness and compassion. He also holds the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the author of four books including the bestselling Turning the Mind Into an Ally. He is a husband, father of three daughters, and avid runner. More >>



Lodro Rinzler, a senior Shambhala teacher, is the award-winning author of six books including The Buddha Walks into a Bar. He serves as co-founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of MNDFL, NYC's premier drop-in meditation studios. More >>


Friday night guest panelist

Tara slone

Tara Slone is a Juno-nominated musician and an award winning TV host. Slone achieved success with the band “Joydrop”, and can be seen on Sundays as co-host on Rogers Hometown Hockey. Tara is a long-time student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. More >>


Featured Teacher

Acharya fleet maull

Fleet Maull, PhD is an internationally renowned social activist, meditation teacher, author and founder of numerous engaged organizations including Prison Mindfulness Institute, who leads retreats and trainings worldwide. More >>


Friday night guest panelist

Michelle Latimer

As a filmmaker, actor, and curator, Michelle’s goal is to use film and new media as a tool for social change. Her films have screened at film festivals internationally. More >>

The Toronto retreat will focus on the role of conversation in society and how it shapes media, film and diversity, as well as our international communities and political environments. 

Full Retreat

Friday and Saturday

Full retreat includes:

  • Ticket to Friday night meditation and panel discussion
  • Saturday all-day retreat
  • Free bonus: Access to the six-week online Cushion Tour including exclusive content with the Sakyong, Lodro Rinzler, Ethan Nichtern, Susan Piver and Fleet Maull as well as behind-the-scenes footage and live streaming of Sakyong Mipham at the events in Denver, New York and Toronto. 

Friday Night Event

Friday Night Only

Meditation and Discussion

See the Sakyong with Lodro Rinzler, Fleet Maull and guests as they discuss the current state of conversation, why conversation is important, what it means to them in their lives, and what we can do to improve our conversations in our own lives in what will surely be a rousing discussion. 



Beanfield Center, Lakeside Room

100 Princes' Blvd
Toronto, ON M6K 3C3




We are pleased to bring several organizations to this event. Read below to learn about the diverse groups that will be joining us as we talk about conversations in society. On Saturday, we will hear a short presentation from each one to learn about the good work they are doing. 

Mindful Logo with Head Square.png

A Mindful Society Conference

Michael Apollo, Founder & Conference Chair

From Curiosity to Compassion: Build an understanding of the different phases in mindfulness practice and find where you lie in the path to helping cultivate a mindful society. 

A Mindful Society researchers will be mapping participants' experiences of entering the path of mindfulness and how it can lead to compassionate action.  Place where you lie in your path on a whiteboard - captured stories will be shared at the Affiliate Partners Panel.


Center for Social Innovation

Shilbee Kim, Regent Park Manager

Shilbee will host a 30 minute Courageous Conversations workshop during the last half hour of lunch break on Saturday.  The conversation topic will focus on opening meaningful dialogue for difficult conversations for marginalized communities.  Shilbee will then report on what was discovered during this workshop at the Affiliate Partners Panel.


Contemplative Arts Psychotherapy (CAPT) 

Emma Ates, Founder and Education Director of Mindful Rupa Arts Program

Emma will share investigations on Contemplative Arts Psychotherapy (CAPT) derived from the Shambhala teaching of Miksang Contemplative Photography to see what is, investigate the mind  and the perception processes, as well as an introduction to Contemplative Photo Therapy.  She will use images and photography to share stories. 

During the Affiliates Partners panel, Emma will speak on contemplative arts and its applications in clinical and community settings.


University of Toronto - Applied Mindfulness Meditation Program at the School of Continuing Studies

Michael Apollo RP, Program Lead

Michael Apollo RP, Program Lead of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation Program will be providing a presentation on the “Contemporary Mindfulness Movement: Challenges and Trends”. Participants will have a chance to discuss their views and ask questions. Visit the Applied Mindfulness Meditation booth to interact with the Program’s leadership team and learn about the offerings available to support you in your contemplative path.



Groove Education  

Danielle Nobrega, Education Director & Master Teacher The World Groove Movement PhD (ABD)   

Michelle Hillier, B.A., B.Ed., OCT,  Founder & Creative Director - UOIT B.Ed. - Program Instructional Leader, York University

Dani will offer a moving mindful experience using The Groove Method®, where participants will be inspired to feel how movement and music has the power to transform and create change and community, as well as promote overall health & wellness. Acceptance, self-expression, risk taking and trust will be explored as a powerful community-builder. Not to mention the opportunity to have some fun, laugh and rejuvenate. 


Climate Fast -  Lyn Adamson

Climate Conversations - Responding to climate change with open hearts.

Climate Fast will engage participants in an interactive activity involving climate change dialogue. Lyn Adamson will use 30 minutes of the lunch break for discussion and exploration on collective response, collective action, and a shift in how we see and relate to the natural world.  Questions that lead to reflection on the challenges we face with the rapidly changing climate will be explored. Responses will then be posted on an art or writing table for people to further process responses to the questions posed.


Inner City Family Health Team

Kyrsten Howat - Social Worker

Inner City Family Heath Team provides accessible, interdisciplinary primary care to improve the health and quality of life of homeless and marginalized people.  Addressing their health, housing, and social care needs while transitioning to community based living.

Kyrsten's presentation will expand our ideas of the paths to wellness, recovery, healing and health through cooking, photography and mindfulness groups. Broadening our perceptions of folks who are marginalized and what happens when they are given the opportunity to lead and share their stories.