Snow Lion: The Meditation Shop

Meditation Cushions & Meditation Essentials Since 1978

Mindfulness Meditation Classes in Toronto

Weekly Mindfulness Meditation drop-in classes are offered in Toronto. Teachings are secular-based but drawn from Buddhist meditation sources.

Mindfulness Meditation classes are offered by donation. Attend as you can. No registration necessary. Everyone is welcome.

For more information and location:

We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

The Buddha knew it would be difficult for people to follow his teachings on their own, so he established the Three Refuges for them to rely on A refuge is a place to go for safety and protection, like a shelter in a storm. Taking refuge does not mean running away from life. It means living life in a fuller, truer way.

Taking refuge is also like a man traveling for the first time to a distant city. He will need a guide to show him which path to follow and some traveling companions to help him along the way.

  • The Buddha is the guide and example.
  • The Dharma is the path (teachings).
  • The Sangha are the teachers or companions along the way. Sangha means "harmonious community".

THE THREE REFUGES by Charlene Jones

One quality of our human minds and hearts is the power of focus: what we focus on grows in power. Tibetan Buddhist practice provides many ways for us to explore this principal. In Refuge Practice for example, we focus on creation of shelter and safety, a haven to which we can retreat and from which we can emerge replenished.

The Three Refuges
Taking Refuge in the Buddha does not mean we expect Buddha to save us! Taking Refuge in Buddha means we reflect upon the power this one man demonstrated through his commitment to achieving his goal. He gained his goal through diligent efforts and hard work. We recognize we too have potential, to unfold inner talents, explore the unknown and awaken to the beauty and mystery of being alive. We take strength and gain confidence from recalling the Buddha's struggle and eventual success.

We take Refuge in the Dharma. The word dharma has many translations. The one I like for its simplicity is "Law". Dharma is the law of how our human awareness works on this planet. One way we can clearly see how our human awareness works is by looking at the past: we are not the same person we were ten years ago. Likewise we are not the same species who came down from the trees, we are not exactly the same as those who first learned to read the written word, an estimated 3000 years ago. You are not the same child who learned to walk many years ago. We are constantly changing and in this change whether we always see it or not, we learn. This is the law. We take refuge in the Dharma or law of change that we will be able to make progress, to grow from our current state to increased understanding and awareness.

Finally we take Refuge in the Sangha. Originally, the Sangha included only members of the Order, monks and nuns. Now, we open this Refuge to include all suitable friends. Suitable friends means people who support your efforts toward living a more wholesome, balanced and dynamic life. This means people who meditate formally, as well as those who encourage your growth and exploration in other ways. We take refuge, then, in everyone who helps us on our path to increased understanding.

In summary, taking refuge helps us. We gain a sense of safety and shelter from bringing to our minds the power of the Buddha's life and how one man achieved his goals and by the law of human awareness that allows us to know it is possible - that in fact it is our destiny to grow in understanding. As my teacher, Namgyal Rimpoche stated emphatically "You will overcome your hindrances, doubts, and self loathing. It is the Law." Finally, taking refuge creates a more powerful bond with others who intend to walk the path of this life with love and joy, awareness and understanding as their refuge and their goal.

As we consciously, with intent and purpose invoke a feeling of Refuge in our lives, we help bring about the conditions of Refuge: a sense of shelter from the chaos in life, and in this shelter a renewed sense of strength and confidence in our direction and in the support upon which we stand. As we feel these qualities we naturally reach out to help others. As we reach out to help others, we create the conditions of Refuge we so desire.

Store Products





Regular Store Hours:

Tuesday 11:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 11:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday 11:00am - 6:00pm
Friday 11:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday 11:00am - 5:00pm

If you are not able to arrive at the store during regular hours, please inquire with us, and we'll be pleased to make other arrangements either for you to arrive earlier or later.

708a Pape Avenue
(Across from Pape subway)
Toronto, ON
M4K 3S7
Tel: 416-461-1611


Click here to Email Us


This document states the terms and conditions under which you may use this site, which is the property of Snowlion. Your use of this site constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree with these terms please cease using this site immediately.

These terms were last revised on July 16, 2007. Snowlion reserves the right to amend these terms from time to time.

The contents of this site are owned by and copyrighted by Snowlion. You may print or copy portions of this site for your own use only - provided that all copyright and trademark provisions contained on the site remain intact.

Unauthorized use of any portion of this site beyond that contained in the previous paragraph may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws.

While Snowlion uses reasonable efforts to maintain this site in an up-to-date fashion, it does not warrant the completeness, timeliness or accuracy of any information contained on this site, and may make changes thereto at any time in its sole discretion without notice. All information contained herein is provided to users "as is". All prices shown are retail and are subject to change without notice. In the event an item is priced wrongly on the web site, Snowlion reserves the right to change the price without notice to the customer. We regret any typographical errors and cannot be held responsible for them.

In no event shall Snowlion or any third parties mentioned on the site be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, direct, incidental or consequential damages, lost profits, or damages resulting from lost data or business interruption) resulting from the use or inability to use this site or the services or the material contained on the site for any reason whatsoever whether based on warranty, contract, tort, or any other legal theory, and whether or not Snowlion is advised of the possibility of such damages.

Snowlion disclaims all warranties or conditions, express or implied, in respect of any information on this site, or services performed by Petite Images including, without limitation, any implied warranties or conditions of fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability and non-infringement.

The user will indemnify Snowlion for any damages Snowlion may suffer resulting from your use of this site or breach of these terms.

This site is governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario, Canada, excluding any conflicts of law provisions and excluding the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods. Any legal action against Snowlion shall take place in the courts of the Province of Ontario. The party’s attorney to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ontario.

You may link to the home page of this site, however, you may not link within this site or within frames on your site.

Any third party sites that are linked to this site are not under Snowlion control. Snowlion is not responsible for anything on the linked sites, including without limitation any content, links to other sites, any changes to those sites, or any policies those sites may have. Snowlion provides links as a convenience only and such links do not imply any endorsement by Snowlion of those sites.

Information regarding Snowlion collection, use, and disclosure of information is contained in our Privacy Policy which forms part of these Terms of Use.

Contacting Snowlion:

If you have questions about our terms of use, the practices of this site or your dealings with this web site, you may user our Contact Us page.