The Seven Factors of Awakening: Waking Up to Suffering and the Overcoming of It

A meditation and discussion group on Monday evenings for service providers in Vancouver

September 10 to November 26 at the Lookout Training Room

with Brian Dean Williams (MA, CCC) / / 778 320 8586

and Rachel Lewis (PhD) /


The Meditation for Service Providers group has been meeting together since January 2010, to support and sustain one another in the community service work we are doing.  In this particular series, local therapist Brian Dean Williams and meditation teacher Rachel Lewis will be guiding participants through the Buddha’s teachings on the Seven Factors of Awakening:  mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity.   Training and guided meditations will be offered for each, to support our engagement with suffering in the community, and within ourselves.  Whether you are doing outreach in the Downtown Eastside, counselling in the West Side, or working with yourself on the Inside, this group is an opportunity to co-create community with supportive allies.


Brian has been practicing meditation since 2001, and trained with Noah Levine (author of Dharma Punx) in Los Angeles as a meditation facilitator. He has led dozens of mindfulness and meditation trainings for service providers.  Brian is a counsellor with a local Housing First ACT Team and co-created the Mindfulness for Service Providers group in January 2010 as a way to support others doing compassionate work in the community.  Brian lives with his extended family in East Van, and is also a musician, cyclist, and community organizer.

Rachel has logged over 300 nights on meditation retreats since 2003, including completing Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program and Community Dharma Leaders training. She teaches meditation classes at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women and in Vancouver, as well as via her alter egos Buddhist Hulk and Bhante Mixalot. Rachel’s paid work at UBC is only barely related to her physics PhD. Rachel lives with her partner in East Van and is developing a songbook of Buddhist music for choirs.SCHEDULE

Sept 10 – Introductions, intention-setting, meditation
Sept 17 – Mindfulness
Sept 24 – Investigation
Oct 1 – Energy
Oct 8 – no meeting due to Thanksgiving holiday
Oct 15 – Joy
Oct 22 – Tranquility
Oct 29 – Concentration
Nov 5 – Equanimity
Nov 12 – no meeting due to Remembrance Day holiday
Nov 19 – Community as Support in Awakening
Nov 26 – Closing, intention-setting, meditation



Time:  Mondays.  Doors open 5:30pm, session begins 5:45pm and ends at 7pm
Cost: by generous donation, no one turned away for lack of funds
Location: Lookout training room, #206 – 524 Powell Street, above the Living Room drop-in centre – go to 2nd floor via street level entrance on Powell.  Do not enter drop-in centre on main floor as staff are busy helping others.
This is an open group and drop-in format – all levels of experience and professions are welcome.   While these teachings are grounded in the Buddhist tradition, there is no need to abandon one’s own beliefs, or to be Buddhist, to participate.


  1. Hi, i just heard about this. Can i drop in ( as its already started? I work tonight, so have to miss it. I work with Atira Womens Resource Society. I think some of my team would also like to join.
    Thank you

    • Absolutely, you’re welcome to join us whenever you can make it – the door is locked at 5:45pm so let you team know they’d need to be at the Lookout Training room before then.
      Thanks for getting in touch, look forward to meeting you and practicing with you:

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