“Our being is a brilliant pattern of energies,
a spectrum of possibilities.
At every moment we have the capacity to experience
the open dimension of what we are.“
– Ngakpa Chogyam
Hello! Welcome to Luminous Ground, or LG for short. LG was founded to enable exploration of meditation and Buddhist teachings in Toronto in an atmosphere of lightness, openness, non-judgement, and safety. We try to bring curiosity, fun, and passion to the learning of spiritual methods.
No prior experience is necessary to attend. All are welcome, whether you are curious and starting to explore, already have a meditative practice, or are interested in training to become a meditation instructor.
Luminous Ground caters to people who are interested in meditation/mindfulness/Buddhism taught in a Western style. It is an interactive class format, where something new is taught and practiced each week that often builds on the previous week’s topics. The group provides a space to ask questions and try out new practices.
We learn from all the main schools of Buddhism – Theravadin(Vipassana), Mahayana(Zen), and Vajrayana(Tibetan). If you don’t know what those mean, don’t worry about it. It just means we learn and explore from all the main Buddhist teachings and lineages.
Opening up new possibilities
The primary purpose of the group is to enable us to open up to new possibilities in our life. To stop picking up pennies on the street and instead turn around to see the palace of glittering diamonds behind us. It’s always been there, but we just never knew to turn around.
Our being is a luminous space of infinite possibilities. There is a space inside of us that allows things to be done without effort while bringing benefits to all. Life is complete, miraculous, present, and all-pervading. The methods we learn clear away the internal haze that prevent these possibilities from arising and cultivate skills that bring us into presence. We all have this quality inside of us at all times. But sometimes it is covered up. A perception of separation and permanence permeates our lives, causing endless difficulties.
To put it more simply: everything we do, we do it out of love. Love for ourselves or for others. We learn to rest in that space, without effort, and operate from there.
Skills that come with practice
The skills that we learn produce results over time. Some of these results are fairly easy to imagine:
- better sleep
- less agitation
- increased ability to deal with stress
- more healthy lifestyle
- improved immune functioning
- more relaxed and at ease
And some that come over longer periods of time:
- An authentic ever-present feeling of lightness and happiness.
- Being able to be with the pain, anger, sadness, despair of others and be at ease with it and know what to do.
- Being able to bring lasting happiness to others.
- Being loved and protected by everyone and everything around you.
- Being at peace and happy without needing anything to happen.
- Understanding what others feel and think simply by looking at them or hearing them speak.
- Fearlessness. Ability to do what needs to be done even in difficult situations.
- Feeling connected to everyone and everything.
- Knowing that others want what is best for us
- Transforming all the major fears: instability, paranoia/loss of control, rejection/isolation, destruction, and being nothing.
When we start looking for a meditation group we typically look for a group of people that we feel comfortable with, with people we can learn from, and with people dealing with similar life experiences on a daily basis. We are looking for a sense of togetherness and connectedness. We are looking for genuine people who are passionate, willing to put in effort, enthusiastic and full of joy and silliness. Some place we wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell your friends or family about it. Or maybe just a little. We try to make LG that place, and we welcome you to help!
We encourage you to explore different meditation groups to find out which one is right for you. And as you do that exploration, please trust your instincts.
We organize meditation retreats and classes, as well as provide curated recommendations of teachers, books, and health professionals. One-on-one coaching/mentoring is also available for those who wish to go deeper in their practice.
How did the group start?
Luminous Ground was started by Paul Baranowski, on the encouragement and suggestions of a number of students he trained privately. Paul has been a dedicated and enthusiastic student of Buddhism since 2004. He has been passionately teaching Dharma for the past 6 years. Dedicated students that train with Paul are working to bring the practices into their lives and into the lives of others. Click here to find out more about us.