“Better to be a work of art than make a work of art.” – Namgyal Rinpoche
Would you rather create one work of art or become a work of art? In a culture that values external achievements, we often forget the hidden gem inside us. This gem creates bliss, wisdom, and radiance, and it is fiercely worth growing.
Let your internal works of art flourish during our three-day retreat this May Long Weekend. Led by Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, it is a perfect time to embrace springtime and nurture your inner potential.
During this retreat, we will study six aspects of consciousness that we may cultivate to become our own inner and outer works of art. These six aspects are called the paramis in Sanskrit, and have been taught in the buddhadharma for more than two thousand years.
The paramis are qualities that we grow to feel internally grounded and to act from a positive, wholesome place in our relationships with others. They help us reside in a clear, calm, and loving place, while becoming more curious and absorbed with our inner and outer worlds. With these qualities, happiness and beautiful works of art shine.
Who is this course for?
Because we are active people with busy lives, it is common to feel like we can’t take the time to get grounded. This affects how we work, play, and relate to each other. As the saying goes, “when you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp.”
This short course is designed for those of us who feel challenged around making the time.
We’ll explore how to cultivate mindfulness as we go about our daily lives. As our relationships and professional lives blossom, we’re of greater service to ourselves, our communities, and the planet.
This retreat is intended to create a work of art that is founded in an abundant and durable happiness … even when there are ‘gators nipping at our heels.
Note: These are universal teachings open to people of any faith, or with no particular faith.
- Learn to be more generous with ourselves and others, materially, emotionally and mentally.
- Develop a greater sense of ease around thorny emotional issues.
- Cultivate greater patience in the face of life’s ongoing challenges.
- Open more energy through less resistance rooted in fear and mistrust.
- Find greater calm and focus based on a clearer sense of one’s place in the world.
- Discover a closer connection to the wisdom inside us that arises from the development of the above outcomes.
About the Teachers:
We encourage everyone to find the “teacher within” that we can be. But, for almost everyone, we need to apprentice before we can master. Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat apprenticed in the teachings of awakening for decades with their teachers. Between them they have been teaching for more than 30 years.
Their explorations and teachings are guided by four principles: spiritual growth, social connectivity, economic sustainability and environmental integrity.
Doug & Catherine teach from various wisdom traditions – including buddhadharma, Western Mysteries, modern science, art and nature – based on broad interests and a non-judgemental approach. We’ve lived and worked overseas for many years, and a planetary outlook is important to us. So is humour!
Read more: Full Bios.
This course is open to all experience levels
- We work with beginners and advanced participants alike, and mold our teaching to the readiness of each student.
- Each student sets the pace and scope of their own development. We do encourage you to stretch your comfort zone so that it becomes broader, and so you enjoy maximum benefits of the course.
- The schedule is very accessible (see below for details).
- Our teachers and staff are friendly and well trained, and have supported many people in becoming ever-evolving works of art.
What’s expected from me if I come to this course?
- Come with an open and engaged attitude.
- Participate in the program as fully as you’re able.
- Foster and maintain an atmosphere of trust and acceptance in the group-learning environment.
- Refrain from reading, using the internet or listening to music during the course (except journaling and assigned reading).
- Participate in Karma Yoga [Note 1 below] service at Clear Sky (maximum of two hours daily).
- Support the teachers and teachings through the practice of dāna.
Why come to Clear Sky: Experience the difference:
- Know what it is to truly unwind, surrounded by pristine, tranquil nature.
- Enjoy fresh air and wholesome food, with an emphasis on organic and locally sourced.
- Experience the support of a community that exists to help you reconnect.
- Be part of a working and awakening community that practices what it teaches.
- You’ll both reinvigorate and integrate what you learn into your daily life.
- Share the learning and growth with other participants, making new friends who are also on a path of spiritual unfoldment.
- Connect to the teachings that have enlivened humanity over centuries (regardless of religion).
What else do you need to know?
- Dāna (Generosity Based Teaching)
Doug & Catherine are teaching this meditation retreat via the ancient tradition of Dāna (generosity), an offering from them to the attendees. It is considered of supreme value to your life and thus “beyond price” so it is expected that the student will be equally generous and support the teaching and the teachers by making an offering.
While no offering is too small, also no offering is too great. The giver benefits by offering as much as they can, given the individual’s circumstances. Along with compassion, generosity is considered the root of spiritual progress and, according to the ancients, therefore the root of our success in daily life as well.
Find out more about how you can practice Dāna. We invite you to offer Dāna when you register and via the Dāna bowl available at Clear Sky.
- Meditation Retreat Centre Fees (Lodging & Meals)
This meditation retreat will be held at beautiful Clear Sky Meditation Centre. Fees which include lodging & meals are as follows: SUPER Early Bird price until April 19: CAD $449.00 / Early Bird Price until May 5: CAD $469 / Regular Price: CAD $529.
- Course Schedule
-Friday, May 19, 7pm – 9pm
-Saturday, May 20, 7am – 10pm
-Sunday, May 21, 7am – 10pm
-Monday May 22, 7am – 1pm
 Karma Yoga is our practice of awakening in action. It may entail supporting the center and participants in the area of nourishment, environmental services, land management or infrastructure.
Doug and Catherine Sensei have their own website. Sign up here to be notified about any updates regarding this retreat and other Planet Dharma news.