The mission of Clear Mind, Open Heart is to help people be free from fear and desire, so they can suffer less, enjoy life more, and contribute to a healthy society and planet.
Community & Connection
I am passionate about teaching mindfulness, compassion and letting go, and am connected with several sanghas (meditation communities) and teachers. So I built this website as a place where I can share my unique experience and from which I can offer my course.
Money is a touchy subject, with the power to trigger all sorts of reactions. There are many views on charging money for teaching meditation, mindfulness and Dharma. In Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition, the teachings are viewed as priceless, and teachers are generally not permitted to charge. Instead, students offer “dana” or donations, both as an offering of gratitude and as a practice of generosity. In the West, people often perceive value based on price, and something offered for free or at a low price may be perceived as not being worth much. Even worse, people sometimes don’t show up or make an effort if they haven’t paid much for a course.
Money sometimes leads mindfulness and meditation groups to see themselves as competing with each other. I wish to promote a sense of us all being in this together.
So I have decided to set a range of prices for my courses, and to donate half the money to the various communities to which I am connected, based on the choice of the student.
Nobody will be turned away if they can’t afford it, but everyone is expected to donate something.
It is my hope this will encourage generosity, harmony and good feelings all around.
If you wish to support the Clear Mind, Open Heart project, please send an etransfer to lauriearron [at] gmail.com (preferred if you are in Canada) or donate through PayPal using the button below. At the end of the year, any excess of donations over expenses will be donated to Plum Village or a mindfulness non-profit group.
I’ve practised mindfulness and meditation since 2000 and guided since 2008, with several schools of mindfulness, both spiritual and secular. What they all have in common is seeing clearly what is going on in our mind and body, seeing cause and effect, and creating space to connect to the wonder and beauty of each moment of life. As Thich Nhat Hanh would say “Breathing in, I know I am alive. Breathing out, I smile to life, in me and around me.”
At the heart of my practice are the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, affectionately known as “Thay,” meaning teacher in Vietnamese. I’ve studied with Thay at Plum Village for well over a year in total, am a member of the Order of Interbeing, and currently facilitate at MPC Toronto.
In addition to retreats with Thay and other Plum Village teachers, I have trained with Shinzen Young, Ken McLeod, Joseph Goldstein, Dan Schmidt, Paul Baranowski, and several other incredible teachers.
After reading The Untethered Soul in 2017, I traveled to the Temple of the Universe in northern Florida to meet Mickey Singer in person, and have enjoyed several retreats there. My time there gave me added insight into how to practice Mickey’s teachings.
I live in Toronto and am currently the president of On Call Centre (a family business), and before that was the Managing Director of the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, Director of Advocacy for national LGBTQ equality group Egale Canada, Executive Director of the Green Party of Canada, an associate lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, and a development manager at CN Real Estate.
While at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, I was certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. I am currently on the board of directors of the Centre.
One of my favourite things to do these days is to simply explore the aliveness of each moment. I’m passionate about teaching a course I developed on “The Untethered Soul” and talking with people about practice and the wonders and difficulties of life. And eating really good chocolate! (Well most chocolate really… present chocolate, wonderful chocolate!)
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
“Laurie is an incredible teacher who guides you through this unique course in a very concise, pragmatic, compassionate, passionate, engaging, fun, uplifting manner and shares openly and honestly from his own life experiences which definitely makes the experience very meaningful.” – Gary McLaughlin
This website is brand new, and very much a work in progress. I will be adding blog posts, resources (guided meditations, links to great mindfulness groups, etc.), and a newsletter signup! If you wish to contact me, please email laurieclearmind [at] gmail.com.