Donald Woodside

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Unified Mindfulness Coach

At a time of transition in my life many years ago, while travelling in India I discovered the teachings of the Buddha. They were a revelation, and I immersed myself in vipassana practice.


I like to say that the experience opened my spiritual eye. I have been practicing ever since; initially alone, then at the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts for years, then with Ajahn Viradhammo, a monk in the Thai forest tradition.


Then in 2005 I went to my first Shinzen retreat. I was drawn by his teachings on pain and difficult emotions, and quickly became engaged by his brilliant innovations in mindfulness. I have attended a retreat of his twice a year since then, home practice programs for years, and enrolled in facilitator training in 2012.

I also trained in the Mind the Music program with Soryuforall, and presented it at a high school and a mental health clinic.


I graduated from the Pathways program in Aug 2018. I have been running regular mindfulness programs at a cancer resource centre in Hamilton Ontario for 20 years, and taught various other groups, as well as offering individual coaching.


I have been involved in Mindfulness Hamilton since its inception in 2013. While my own practice is coloured by the Buddha’s teachings, and my largely Christian Quaker community, I teach a secular style of mindfulness.


I enjoy teaching beginners, assisting more experienced practitioners with the many obstacles which can arise, and finding ways to transform our workaday life with mindful attention and compassion.