2021 Annual General Meeting

Posted Posted in Information, Members

The Annual General Meeting of the South Shore Buddhist Meditation Society will be held on Saturday, March 20 2021 from 10am – noon.  The meeting will take place (covid-19 permitting) at the Meditation Centre, or you may attend via Zoom:  invitations will be sent to everyone on our email list.   If you are currently signed up for a membership at the Mahone Bay Meditation Centre, you are a member of SSBMS.

The agenda for this meeting is shown below.

Our by-laws allow us between 5 and 7 directors, approximately half of whom will resign (and maybe re-offer) each year.  This year 3 directors will be staying on, 2 directors  will resign and re-offer, 2 directors will resign and stand down, and we currently have 2 nominations for new directors.

Due to covid-19 preventative measures, we regret that we are unable to offer lunch or a social gathering to follow the meeting.  However, tea and coffee will be available to attendees at the Centre.


Call to Order

10:00am, MBMC room (MBC #406)

Minutes of previous AGM 2020/03/14

Ordinary Business

  • Directors’ Annual Report
  • Financial Report for 2020 and auditors report
  • Appointment of Auditors for 2021
  • Directors’ comments
  • Election of Directors

Special business

  • Announcing: Reconnecting with What Matters

a day-long retreat with guest teacher Heather Martin

Sunday April 25th at MBMC and via Zoom


Community Meeting

following formal proceedings

Membership Renewal

Posted Posted in Members

Our Meditation Centre relies on your membership dues and donations!

The vast majority of our programs and services are provided at no fee to members.  We do our best to give good value for your money, and not to press you for additional contributions.  Although it has been a difficult year for all of us, since March we have offered:

  • Zoom meditation sessions several times each week
  • Weekly update newsletters
  • An opinion survey in May
  • A Nature Walk at Grave’s Island in June
  • A fresh coat of paint and partial reopening of MBMC in July
  • Wednesday evening meditation on the MBC soccer field in August
  • A guided tour of Anne & Tim Freeman’s sculpture gardens in September
  • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness course in October
  • A General Meeting of the Society in November

Your contributions are used to pay for rent, insurance, supplies, web presence, printing, and various other costs.  We thank you very much for your support, and we hope you feel it is money well-spent!

Your dues may be paid in cash, by cheque, by e-mail transfer, or by signing up for automatic payments.  Please see the main membership page for details.  It would be most helpful if you can renew before January 15, 2021.


Back at the Centre

Posted Posted in Information, Program

Tuesday morning and Sunday morning meditation sessions are now (since mid-July) being held live at MBMC.  The Sunday morning 3-hour practice is also being Zoomed for those who prefer to keep their distance.  We can fit about 10 people in with adequate social distancing and so far have had no trouble accommodating everyone who turns up.

Please consult our calendar for up-to-date information.  Since we really have no idea how life with Covid-19 is going to play out our plans may change with very little notice, but for now we are meeting:

  • Tuesday 10:30 – 11:30
  • Sunday 09:00 – noon … a few chants to start; come and go (quietly) as you please.

When we closed the Centre in March we took the opportunity to redecorate.  Drop in and check out the new cheerfully sunny colour scheme!  Here’s a video:

Outside Meditation

Posted Posted in Program

On Wednesday, August 12 2020 from 7-8pm we will be practicing in the Great Outdoors™️  In this case, that means the soccer field behind the Mahone Bay Centre.

If you would like to join us, please bring whatever you need to sit comfortably (folding chair, blanket, mat, or whatever) along with bug spray and anything else you need to cope with the Great Outdoors™️ and all that implies.

This event is open to everyone!

If you have never meditated before we will talk you through it.

Sitting with Zoom

Posted Posted in Information
Each week we offer a meditation practice session on  Sunday 9am  Atlantic time. Members and friends of MBMC should receive invitations to these events.  If you did not and you wish to attend, please email us. Note:   As of September 2020, previously offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evening sessions are no longer offered via Zoom, but in-person sessions take place on Sunday and Tuesday mornings.

Sunday morning 9am

The session is 3 hours long, alternating sitting and (optional) walking.  You may join or leave the session at any time.  Please leave your microphone muted unless you have something critically important to say! Our session leader will lead the morning chants.  We encourage you to chant along, but once again please be sure your microphone is muted!  A group chant in Zoom is an absolute cacophony.

Using Zoom

Theoretically you just click on the link in the Zoom invitation and follow instructions.  However, there are a number of things that can go wrong, especially the first time you try this.  We recommend you download the Zoom client program  and install it before you accept an invitation.
The Zoom Client for Meetings should get you something suitable for a desktop or laptop computer.  Further down the page there are Zoom Mobile Apps which you could use on an iPad, iPhone, or Android gizmo.  Follow whatever instructions there are for installing the program (app) on your system and then launch (open) it.  This will allow you to test your microphone, speakers, and camera, which will avoid a number of potential technical difficulties later on.
If all went well during the installation and testing process, clicking on the invitation link should work smoothly.  If it fails for some imponderable reason, launch your Zoom program, “Join a Meeting”, and enter the Meeting ID and Password from the invitation in the relevant boxes.

Why Zoom?

We have chosen Zoom for these events because it is widely available, familiar to many people, and generally free to end users.  There has been a lot of discussion in the news and on social media regarding Zoom security failings, “Zoom bombing”, and other issues that may put you off using it. This is, of course, a personal choice and we are not going to try to change your views, whatever they may be.  No communication channel is ever 100% secure:  telephones can be tapped, mail and email intercepted, telephone numbers and addresses spoofed, and so on.  Video conferencing software is no different, and the risks must be weighed against the benefits.  However, some of Zoom’s shortcomings have (in our opinion) been somewhat overstated.  For example:
  • Most of the Zoom bombing incidents arise because invitations to Zoom meetings were made public – published on web pages or otherwise widely distributed.  MBMC does NOT do this, and we ask all of you not to share the invitations we send out!
  • MBMC meetings are set up with shared file and shared screen access disabled.  This eliminates any easy ways for a malefactor to gain unintended access to your personal information.  You can avoid almost all such concerns if you run Zoom on a computer (or tablet or phone) which has no highly personal information stored on it.
  • Many concerns about Zoom are only relevant when highly confidential information is being shared in a meeting.  That does not apply to the stuff we do.
  • We do not record meditation sessions, so there is no prospect of anyone finding such a recording on the Internet.
For those of you who are interested in the more technical details, here is an overview which may be of interest to you and which advises:
Unless you’re discussing state or corporate secrets, or disclosing personal health information to a patient, Zoom should be fine to use. Just require that meeting participants sign in with a password.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues, drop us a line.

Isolation Resources

Posted Posted in Information

Self-isolation is very nearly the definition of individual retreat.  Here are some suggestions for activities you can practice, material you can study, and inspirational offerings to help you get the most our of this enforced retreat time.  We will update this page from time to time, so check back and see what’s new.  If you think of anything that you would like to share with the rest of us, please drop us a line, and Thank You to all who have already done so!

Online Interactive Sessions

… from MBMC:

We hope some of you can join us for one of our Zoom sessions.  Invitations will be emailed to everyone on our mailing list.

Starting in September we will be offering Zoom sessions on Sunday mornings only.  Sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday have been discontinued.

Those of you who wish to join in the Sunday morning 9am chants, here is the text so you can read along.

… from Elsewhere:

  • Atlantic Contemplative Centre – support local contemplation 🙂
  • Online dharma talks etc. from Insight Meditation Centre
  • Zen Nova Scotia – practice sessions
  • OMG Chester – contact Julia Creighton directly
  • A Virtual Salon 
    for This Time of Radical Uncertainty: 
    Conscious Living, Dying, and 
    the Deathless—Together 
    & Alone: 
    Profoundly Practical Guidance & Insight
    from Buddhism, Science, & Other Wisdom Traditions
    Saturday May 30th ~ 10:00 am – 12:30pm PDT / 2:00 pm ADT
    & Sunday May 31st ~    11:30 am – 1:00pm PDT / 3:30 ADT
    dana: offering on a sliding scale : $42-216 US$
              via your PayPal or use this link: 
                   WisdomAtWork paypal.me/Leveys

Online Dharma

Uplifting Items

Individual Offerings

“What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.”
By Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
this poem arrived via WisdomatWork.com
in spirit, Armand
“The quieting of our mind is a political act.
The world does not need more oil or energy or food.
It needs less greed, less hatred, less ignorance.
Even if we have inwardly taken on the political bitterness
or cynicism that exists externally,
we can stop and begin to heal our own suffering,
our own fear, with compassion.
Through meditation and inner transformation,
we can learn to make our own hearts
a place of peace and integrity.  Each of us knows how to do this.
As Gandhi acknowledged,
“I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.”
It is our inner nobility and steadiness that we must call on
in our personal and collective difficulties.”
— Jack Kornfield
“When a system is far from equilibrium
small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos
have the capacity
to lift the entire system
to a higher order.”
— Illya Prigogine

Covid-19 Closure

Posted Posted in Information

The Meditation Centre was CLOSED effective IMMEDIATELY due to Covid-19.  All regular programs were suspended.  The Centre remains available to members who have the door code, but please observe all best practices for dealing with the virus.

This also means the Gourmet Dinner fundraiser scheduled for April 18 was postponed until September 19, and subsequently cancelled entirely.

We wish everyone health and wellness, and look forward to welcoming you back when it is safe to do so.


2020 Annual General Meeting

Posted Posted in Information, Members

The Annual General Meeting of the South Shore Buddhist Meditation Society was held on Saturday, March 14 2020 from 10am – noon.  If you are currently signed up for a membership at the Mahone Bay Meditation Centre, you are a member of SSBMS.

At this meeting:

  • the director’s annual report  and the 2019 financial report were presented
  • financial auditors for 2020 were appointed
  • vacant director positions were filled by acclamation
  • feedback on recommendations from the Decor Committee was received

Our by-laws allow us between 5 and 7 directors, approximately half of whom will resign (and maybe re-offer) each year.  This year 3 directors stayed on, 1 director resigned and re-offered, 3 directors resigned outright, and we had 3 nominations for new directors.  Members were invited to email us before March 7th if they wished to nominate anyone. 

A light lunch was served following the meeting.

Close to 30 people attended in person or via Zoom.

A Taste of Meditation

Posted Posted in Program, Special

Everything you always wanted to know about mindfulness…

Free classes for beginners and those wanting a refresher led by Claire Bowers. 

Friday, Nov. 15 2019, 10-11:30am with a followup class on Friday, Nov. 22 10-11am.

It can be confusing or even intimidating to begin a new meditation practice.  How do you start?  Close your eyes, take a breath, then thoughts flood in, taking over your best intentions.  It’s easy to give up in frustration.  It’s honestly that way for everyone, you are far from alone.  Cultivating a calm mind is a skill that comes with time and practice.  Every time you sit with the intention to meditate, no matter the immediate results, you have indeed begun to nurture the practice that will grow over time.

Joining us for this morning session will provide you with the tools you need to begin a meditation practice at home, and to join a group of meditators with confidence,  You will learn how to make time and space in your day for meditation, what to do when the mind fills with thoughts and won’t let you focus, and the benefits (there are so many) of a daily meditation practice.  Time to ask your questions and offer your reflections (if you choose), will be woven around short practice sessions.

The holidays are fast approaching.  It can be a time of anxiety and frustration for many of us.  Learning to be in control of our reactions to others, to busy schedules, and external expectations of us is a gift of cultivating a meditation practice.   It is not necessary to repeat the same old behaviour and thought patterns of the past.  We will spend some time focusing on the holidays and how to best navigate them in ways that invite joy and peace.

Claire Bowers, our guide, has been practicing meditation since 1983 and has facilitated meditation groups in various formats since then.  She studied the contemplative traditions of the west at the University of Toronto as part of her Master of Divinity degree and continued on to receive a Master of Arts in Creation Spirituality at Holy Names Collage in Oakland California before turning her focus to the east and studying the practices of Tibetan Buddhism.