November 2014 Archives

Life According to Scott



It's a beautiful morning in mid-October. My friend, Scott Simcoe, who you may remember from the profile "Meet Scott," has graciously permitted me to pick his brain once again and ask potentially invasive questions about his illness and his personal life to share his experiences with the world. I have offered to meet him anywhere in the city and at any time, and he has chosen "the slope across from the park by the south-eastern edge of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery" for breakfast. Obscure directions notwithstanding, I know exactly the place he means, which is one of my favourite spots on my way to and from University. He offers to bring pumpkin spice tea and cupcakes, and I am bringing roasted Mediterranean vegetable wraps and a blanket. I arrive fifteen minutes in advance, as is my habit, and am surprised to see Scott coming over the crest of the hill, early in a way I am not accustomed to from my friends. In spite of the cool breeze, Scott is wearing shorts and sandals, as well as a Billabong sweater, his bronze-tinted Ray Bans hiding his eyes. His smile is boyishly charming as we spread the blanket out on a gentler slant of the hill and serve out the food and drinks we brought. Before we can start the interview, there is one thing I need to know.

Get your Facts Straight about Meditation with Montreal's Gen Donsang


Thumbnail image for 1407kd_uk-114-2-4.jpg

(Photo Property of NKT-IKBU)

"Your age doesn't matter," said the teacher to Gen Donsang once upon a time, "All you need to do is seriously engage in the Buddhist practices and have a good heart." At only 35 years old, Gen Donsang is a Buddhist monk belonging to the Kadampa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is also the resident teacher at the Kadampa Meditation Centre in Montreal (KMC Montreal), located not even 5 minutes away from the Laurier subway station on 835 Laurier East.

Gen Donsang was not always Buddhist. In fact, his parents were non-practicing Roman Catholics who allowed their son to explore different types of spirituality. At one time, he was studying social sciences, where he touched upon psychology and philosophy. At first, Gen Donsang wasn't very interested in spirituality. "My interest in Eastern religion philosophies was more of a philosophical questioning," he said. Just like others in their late teens, Gen Donsang found some philosophies quite appealing and started to read about them. One thing leading to another, he eventually met with a Tibetan teacher. "That's the form of Buddhism I'm practicing nowadays," he said, "however, it's not typically Tibetan Buddhism because it's a Tibetan teacher who adapted Tibetan Buddhism to the modern world." He also insisted that they study everything that is presented at Buddhist universities.

Visit our community forum!