“Being” by the Sea Weekend Retreat
July 26–28, 2024
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Life is messy…
clean it up with Mindfulness & Meditation.

A bit about me...and my (formerly) stressy, messy life.

Certified Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher Karen Vincent

There is a saying…

When the student is ready – the teacher appears.

So here WE are.

There are many reasons people come to
Meditation and Mindfulness practices.

It could be in order to strengthen concentration, find more peace in life
…or to simply be 10% happier.

But usually, it’s because they’ve hit a wall on some sort of stress, struggle, or suffering. Pressures in life…difficult situations, concerning health issues.

Or– all three!

That would be me.

Misery is an inside job…

For various reasons, I have moved provinces, from coast to coast here in Canada a total of seven times.

I now live a simple quiet life in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland & Labrador. A small seaside fishing village of traditional tiny homes with only one road in and out.

Which suits me fine, because at this stage in my life, I am a minimalist. I don’t need too much of anything, be it possessions, responsibilities, even friends.

I dislike grocery shopping – there are way too many choices.

I make my bed in the morning – my motto being: messy bed = messy head!

I like things clean and simple.

However, my life hasn’t always been that way. In fact, it’s been flat-out messy at times. Ten years ago I started to see how I actually contributed to that mess.

You know how they say, “Happiness is an inside job”?

Well…so is misery…

Here are a few highlights of my stressy messy life, before meditation. You might relate to a few things I have grappled with:

  • Struggled with aspects of personal relationships – which ended most of them.
  • Was drawn into the legal system through divorce and custody issues.
  • Worked in a creative industry with odd (and stressful) hours, and very odd (and stressful) “personalities”.
  • Lost my home and belongings in a house fire five days after moving in.
  • Was diagnosed with a chronic, life altering illness.

Life with Meditation…

Twenty-three years ago, I was introduced to meditation at the end of a yoga class. I eventually dropped the yoga because I just didn’t have the time for both, and frankly, my mental flexibility was more important to me.

Through meditation, I learned how to get comfortable with the stressful discomforts of life.

Through mindfulness, I learned how to stand up for myself in ways that did not cause more damage to myself…or others.

I also realized: there are no Others…there is only Us. This made me a kinder, more compassionate, person.

As I studied everything I could about meditation, mindfulness helped me take what I was learning on the cushion out into my daily life. These tools were a game-changer for me. Meditation helped me understand that there was nothing wrong with me…nothing wrong with my life.

I stopped seeing myself as a victim of my experiences and was able to take more control of my choices.

Meditation slowed my busy mind enough to see that I actually had choices in how I wanted to move through life. It showed me ways to effectively deal with stress of all kinds and how to not cause myself even more.

Like many people, when I was well into my 50’s, I had to acknowledge changing relationships, unrealized dreams, and the emotional baggage I didn’t want to carry any further into my life. I decided to get serious about dropping the mental and emotional s#it that no longer served me.

So, I traveled to the other side of the world to a village in Indonesia, where, to deepen my practice, I did a 10-day Vipassana silent meditation retreat.

Ten days of silence.

Ten days of 14 hours in meditation. Ten days of witnessing the hamster wheel of hell, the mind creates. It was a shocking thing to see how much pain we cause ourselves, just by thinking.

And while a retreat may sound relaxing, it was actually the hardest thing I have ever done. But it kickstarted my way to a wiser, lighter, and certainly saner, way of living.

My teachers appeared…

A few years later, I felt compelled to share what I learned, so I applied to a two-year Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher Certification program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach with the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Goodness Science Center.

I am a life-long learner and I continue to study, train, and certify, so that I can help others find strength and stability in their lives, no matter what the circumstance.

If you too want to change your relationship to your life, work or health, too, but aren’t interested in studying for years or any approaches that are religious, cultural or even spiritual, then we are perfect for each other –I’m going to give you just the facts…none of the woo-woo.

The most important lesson I teach is that stress and struggle are a normal part of life.

And that you can be (more) OK with everything in your experience by learning how to access the peace, ease and wisdom that is already here, through simple shifts in perspective. Mindfulness & meditation training will awaken your ability to tap into and apply these new perspectives as you move forward in your life.

One comforting caveat…

In case you’re thinking mindfulness and meditation will solve everything for you…even though there’s no guarantee of a “Happily Ever After”, there can definitely be a “Being OK, Right Now” – wherever you happen to be.

And that is enough to change your entire life.

Speaking of which...

Of course, right when we think we have it all down…life throws something else at you!

Early in 2022 I suddenly lost hearing in one ear. Unfortunately, if Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is not treated within a short window of its onset, it can be permanent.

I ended up with moderate to severe hearing loss in that ear, and also a 24/7, 9 out of 10 in loudness, case of Tinnitus. Tinnitus is a disorder in which, for one of a few different reasons, the brain creates an internal ringing, hissing or multitude of other sounds.

This condition, at its worst, can be extremely debilitating and disruptive to your entire life. In fact, many people with Tinnitus have had thoughts of ending their life as a last attempt in finding relief….

They were fleeting, but I did too. I totally get why anyone would go there.

But fortunately for me, my mindfulness meditation practice was exactly what gave me relief, rest and real hope for the future.

(Learn about my programs for those with Tinnitus here.)

And just so you know…

I’m not going to tell you that there’s just Three Easy Steps to Learn Meditation!

I’m also not going to take you on a journey to your higher/better/badass self…or nourish your soul. Nor will we use beads, chant, or burn incense (not that there’s anything wrong with those, they’re just not my thing.)

If that’s the approach you need, I am not your teacher.

But, I AM the mindfulness & meditation teacher who will show you in plain language how to live with less stress, more presence, and how to find rest and recuperation from the challenges you may be experiencing. And, most importantly, how to stop making your life more bloody difficult than it needs to be.

If you’d like to learn how to start living your life, with more calm and less chaos–choose the area(s) of interest to you: Life, Health, or Work.

Contact me using the form below if you’d like my guidance on how to start your mindfulness meditation training.



Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification
A 2-year Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Goodness Science Center and the Awareness Training Institute.

Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification:
Mindfulness Exercises with Sean Fargo

Certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher through YogaRenew –a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider.

How to Guide Meditation: Jeff Warren


10-day Vipassana Retreat, Bogor, Indonesia

Two 5-day Vipassana Retreats, Montebello, Quebec

4-day MMTCP Mindfulness Retreat, Bethesda, Maryland

4-day Consciousness Explorers Club Retreat, Mono, Ontario

4-day MMTCP Mindfulness Retreat, On-line

2-day Teacher Training Weekend – Suriyacitta (the “teacher’s teacher”)


Mindfulness in the Workplace: Centre for Mindful Business

Mindfulness for Caregivers: Zen Caregiving Project

Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness for Immigrants, Refugees, and Displaced Peoples:
Juditta ben David

Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness Workshop: David Treleaven

How to Stay Grounded in Troubled Times: Engaging with the Healing Genius in Your Intense Emotions: Karla McClaren

The Elements of Meditation: Jeff Warren

The Power of Awareness: Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach

Mindfulness Made Easy: Mindfulness Exercises

Effortless Mindfulness: Loch Kelly

Focusing: Beginners: Annette Dubreuil

Emptiness: A Practical Course for Meditators: Guy Armstrong

Becoming a Teacher of Presence: Eckhart Tolle

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Bhikkhu Analayo

Introduction to Meditation – Insight Meditation Centre: Gil Fronsdale

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I’ll be in touch with you as soon as I can (please keep in mind any time difference between your location and mine). If you don’t see an email in a day or two, be sure to check your spam folder!


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