Online Discovery Week

May 2 - 7, 2021

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A Feast of Learning

We're moving our usual Discovery Week Online. You will learn lots! Here's what it includes:

  • On Sunday: Two introductory talks set the stage. One gives an overview of world religions. The second on how to see religions clearly, while being careful of some distorting lenses.

  • Weekday Mornings: Five talks, one each on five religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and First Nations

  • Weekday Afternoons: Five interviews with Guides from each tradition. The Guide will speak briefly and then we'll open for Q&A.

  • Extra Sessions: On Tuesday and Friday, you have the opportunity to participate in a small group conversation in an online breakout room. You will be learning a lot so this gives time to process, and to hear what others have noticed. On Monday, Brian will hold a special "Ask Me Anything" session where you can post questions about the week, about religion, or anything else that emerges. 

  • In Addition: You will get an electronic coursepack that contains highlights from the classes plus loads of additional information on each tradition. 

  • The whole week will be conducted via Zoom.

Brian is a charismatic speaker, full of knowledge & humor. Getting a glimpse inside each faith is mind expanding. If you love knowledge for its own sake, attend.

M. Evans

It was the best lecture on Hinduism that I have ever heard. I now understand why I had a difficult time learning about it growing up.

S. Khare

Brian is a gifted and engaging teacher; but beyond that, it's obvious he loves world religions and the people that practice them.

S. Kurlowich

Instructor: Brian Carwana

Our Guides to the Five Traditions

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Raj Balkaran, Ph.D.

Dr Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Hinduism, focusing on ancient Indian Sanskrit narrative texts. He is the author of "The Goddess and the King" (2018) and "The Goddess and the Sun" (2020).  Alongside his academic training, Dr. Raj has received a number of spiritual initiations form Indian masters, and is an ardent spiritual practitioner, versed in Sanskrit mantra.

Rabbi Becca Walker

Rabbi Becca Walker is the engagement rabbi at Beth David in Toronto. She is one of two women recently made the first female Conservative rabbis in Toronto. Prior to that she served as the Senior Jewish Educator for Michigan State University Hillel and the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan (HCAM), collaborating with and empowering college students across 11 campuses. She has been an educator for over ten years, teaching at Hillels, religious schools, summer camps, adult learning initiatives, universities and more. 

Reverend Shan Ping

Reverend Shan Ping arrived in Canada as a Vietnamese refugee. After experiencing hardships early in life, she chose to respond by cultivating compassion. She studied Buddhism in Taiwan, philosophy at York University, and took her monastic vows. She is the head female nun at Cham Shan Buddhist temple in Toronto and a longtime friend of Encounter's.

Shaykh Imran Ally (Abu Musa)

Imam Shaykh Abu Musa is the Imam at the TARIC Islamic Centre in Toronto, and one of Canada's longest serving imams. Imam Shaykh Abu Musa is a stalwart in interfaith dialogue and in multifaith chaplaincy including for first responders, health & educational institutions and international sports. 

Imam Shaykh Abu Musa has many professional appointments in the public and non-profit sectors and received numerous recognitions. He is popularly known for saying “if you’re not making a positive difference in your community - there is a deficiency in your understanding and practice of Islam.”

Ernest Matton (Elder Little Brown Bear)

Ernest Matton is a Métis Elder and Order of Ontario recipient who blends Traditional teachings with mainstream information to provide holistic healing for individuals and to guide professional disciplines.

He is an expert in Trauma, Addictions/Mental Wellbeing, grief, suicide, conflict resolution, forgiveness, mediation, and anger release. He is the Director of Aboriginal Education, Programs, Culture and the Elder for the Accredited Leading Practice Aboriginal Healing Program which  developed t Michael Garron Hospital Toronto East Health Network.


Contact us for Group Pricing