It is always exciting to find new cultural activities going on in Toronto. Such was the case when I checked out the Tao Sangha form of Free Spirit of Buddhism at its new digs here earlier this month.
Briefly, Tao Sangha focuses on the devotional aspect of Buddhism. It attempts to help people serve others with joy without dwelling on themselves. This organization started in Japan with the Wada-Ji Temple in the last decade. Since then there has been a steady stream of Tao Sangha Healing Centres opening throughout the world. They welcome everyone and follow the Pure Land style of Japanese Buddhism.
Europe and the USA as well as Montreal and Toronto have centres. Ours is at 375 Jane St. at Annette. This is the only place right now where you can find this form of spirituality in our city.
I wanted to advertise its free opening event on our website calendar but the place is small. For the tea ceremony, for example, there was only room for four guests at a time and only six such occasions on the opening days.
I was among the fortunate who learned about it early. It was fun to see how creatively the Center opens its philosophy to different forms of expression and adapts them to spiritual practice. It uses a specialized form of clowning to help break down barriers from past experience that are preventing us from enjoying ourselves in the present, explained clown teacher Anvita Martin Winter. Winter teaches the Galli Method, whose motto is ‘When we allow ourselves to play, our true self comes to the fore.’
I enjoyed Mr. and Mrs. Maekawa’s beautiful tea ceremony and I heard about transforming eating habits to a Tao diet.
The kimono demonstration given by Yufuko Mochizuki (left) was charming.
The highlight was an intriguing performance of Okinawa dance by Tomomi Miyagi and hopefully more will be about her later.
This opening event was highly successful and I expect there will be others to follow. To learn about future occasions and its classes, you might want to sign up to join its email list at:
The only concern I have is that the building is very narrow and events are on more than one floor. There is no elevator for folks like myself who are not able to climb stairs. I found the main floor full of activities and enjoyed sitting in the waiting room where I was able to talk to members about what was occurring elsewhere. Everyone was very friendly and informative. Its telephone number is 416-925-7575.
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