We cannot solve the problems of the world with undeveloped tools.

The human mind is our most fundamental tool.


Willow Monastic Academy is a training centre dedicated to developing the capacities of the human mind through rigorous mental, ethical, and interpersonal practices grounded in ancient Buddhist traditions.

Our goal is to create leaders who are an unstoppable force for justice and peace in the world.

What’s the problem?

Our environmental and social ecosystems are in peril. Between a worldwide pandemic, an increasing crisis of loneliness and mental health, compounding climate catastrophes, and a media landscape that prioritizes capturing our attention over providing truth, it has become increasingly clear that our current way of doing things is unsustainable.

How do we emancipate ourselves from these harmful systems and become the kinds of leaders the world desperately needs?

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”

– Archilochus

What can we do?

We begin with the premise that it is possible to create fundamental changes in our minds, our characters, and our behaviour, and increase our capacity to be sovereign agents capable of facing the world’s largest problems with clarity, conviction, and care.

How?

At Willow, the two pillars of our training are Awakening – classical insight, the ability to radically transform the mind – and Responsibility – the power to take clear action in the world.

We create an environment that fosters broad human development through practices which incorporate ancient wisdom traditions and modern transformational modalities.

Located near Toronto, Canada, Willow is the newest branch of the Monastic Academy for the Preservation of Life on Earth.

Our intention is to make this training available to anyone willing to engage wholeheartedly in the hard work of self-transformation for a better world, regardless of their financial situation.

If our mission resonates with you, please help us bring it to the world.

We live frugally, and spend little.

  • $2.66 provides one meal for one trainee
  • $50 provides a new fruit tree for our budding food forest
  • $100 provides one scholarship for a weekend of workshops
  • $750 subsidizes residential training for one apprentice for a month, providing access to our full ecology of practices
  • $2,000 jump-starts our self-sufficiency garden project
  • $30,000 covers our most frugal core costs for 6 months, allowing us to offer dozens of retreats, workshops, and events

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There are many options for visiting us in-person, for anywhere from a few hours to many months

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What our attendees and friends have to say

Humanity’s current challenge is to increase our wisdom and love so that it is commensurate with the exponential power of our technology. If we fail to achieve this balance the odds of our civilization’s survival are vanishingly small.

Willow meets this grand challenge through a synthesis of transformational practices meant to create trustworthy stewards of the planet in a time of crisis. If we succeed in creating a future of sustainable whole-system flourishing, it will be because we valued and supported institutional experiments like Willow.

Daniel Thorson

Daniel Thorson

monastic & host of the emerge podcast

When Seishin comes to mind, so do the following words: integrity, care, and character. She shows up in life embodying these traits, along with a loving, no bullshit attitude. She is a dear friend, a trusted peer, and I fully believe she is the right person to bring the Monastic Academy to Canada. May we all be blessed with her wisdom, and her steadfast fidelity to the truth.

Peter Limberg

Peter Limberg

Creator & Steward of The stoa

Here are two ways of framing the purpose of Buddhism: it’s a way to find true happiness, and it’s a guide for how to live in accordance with truth, which is to say, ethically. After the time I spent at Willow and MAPLE, I notice that happiness seems to come more easily these days, and I have far less patience for my own (very human) tendencies for selfishness and self-deception. If more people have a chance to learn how to be both happier and more ethical, life on Earth just might have a chance. I believe Willow and places like it are a crucial part of what the world needs right now.

Brooks Yardley

Brooks Yardley

2020 Resident

Willow is a truly wonderful place for physical, mental and spiritual development. Seishin has built an incredible container that is simultaneously deeply nuturing and extremely challenging. My time there showed to me that I could live the life I’ve dreamt about.

Amit Deshwar

Amit Deshwar

Co-working guest

It was so lovely to experience, even for a short amount of time, a taste of sangha — a community of people who I could learn with and from, while being guided by Buddhist values and principles. The circling in particular really helped uncover and unravel certain emotions, in a way that was safe, tender and supportive. I’m very grateful to my temporary sangha for that.

Maggie Huang

Maggie Huang

Retreat guest

Fundraising Drive

$23,484 of $30,000 raised
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