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Dzogchen Meditation Retreat: Online

August 21 - August 31

Opening to the Clear Light of the Mind

(Online Retreat / In Person At Clear Sky / UK Residential)

Beneath the confusion and distraction of our minds, the Mind itself is empty, spontaneous, and compassionate. The practice of Dzogchen helps us cut right through the confusion to this original, pure, and luminous nature of Mind.

This retreat, with meditation masters Acharya Doug Duncan And Catherine Pawasarat Sensei, is for any meditator looking to go deeper to the essence of practice.

This retreat is a collaboration between the dedicated teams at Planet Dharma, Dharma Europe, and Clear Sky.

Organiziers Dharma Europe invited our founding teachers Doug and Catherine Sensei to teach, and due to travel restrictions the retreat became an online offering, streaming live from Clear Sky.

You can also attend in person at Clear Sky and do a residential retreat in the UK, please see below for more information.

** See our FAQ section below for more details about our covid policy and requirements for attending online.  

Dzogchen - The Natural State

The direct teachings of Dzogchen offer a refreshing clarity amidst the confusion of our times, when a myriad of teachings and techniques surround us.

The Core Texts

  • Three Words that Strike the Vital Point offer one of the principal teachings of the practice of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection.
  • Patrul Rinpoche’s Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King, with commentary, is treasured as one of the most crucial instructions in the practice of Dzogchen. It’s pith teachings give simple yet deeply profound guidance on directly recognizing the mind’s innate purity and clarity
  • From daily life to Dzogchen can be a sudden step, so as well as the teachings of the Three Words, the Teachers will draw on another key text: the ‘Progressive Stages of Meditation on Emptiness,’ a treatise by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamsto Rinpoche, to help gain a deeper understanding.

Why do a Retreat on Dzogchen?

Relaxing the mind, dropping words, the practice leads us towards an experience of profound openness. New perspectives can arise from this place of clarity and origin. We gain confidence, founded on our own direct experience that wisdom and compassion are possible, and in fact an inherent part of our nature.

As we learn to rest more and more in this inherent nature of mind, we bring this experience of openness into every moment, transforming how we live and act.  

Drawing on decades of personal practice and teaching experience, Acharya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei will lead you with practical experiential exercises and humour, and explore the nature of Mind beyond the surface confusions.

Doug and Catherine teaching
ice wrapped in a bow

Attend the Retreat Online (from home), or in Person in Canada or in the UK

1) Online Attendance

        Basic requirements to do the retreat online from home:

  • Block out the 10 days and be focused on the retreat for this entire period, using this time and participating in the retreat as if you were at Clear Sky in person.  This includes a rigorous, full, daily meditation schedule.
  • Participate in all of the daily classes and group practices via online streaming.
  • Set up a quiet space or location where you can focus on the Meditation Retreat, and not need to engage in conversation or work with others.
  • Put away your phone, digital devices and other distractions.
  • If there are enough people in the same time zone as you, you could also make a cohort to meet to do a group practice throughout the retreat.

2) Residential Retreat in the UK

        Attending in person at Maitreya House

  • Maitreya House is a beautiful retreat centre located in the golden valley, a remote part of Herefordshire, near the Welsh border in the United Kingdom.
  • Learn more about the retreat location: Maitreya House.
  • There will be appropriate Covid 19 protocols followed on this retreat – with numbers limited to 12 people at Maitreya House.
  • The retreat is hosted by Dharma Europe.
  • The teachers and Dharma Europe operate on the basis of the ancient tradition of dāna or generosity. Please learn more about this profound practice before you register.

For UK and general enquiries contact Jonathan Clifford,
[email protected] +44 7891 621865

3) In Person at Clear Sky

If you are local to Clear Sky in BC, Canada you may also choose to be onsite in person, where the teachers are.  We invite you to book a personal retreat cabin for the duration of the retreat.  See here for details.  Or contact us the Clear Sky team to discuss other options.

Meet the Teachers

Achariya Doug Duncan Sensei & Catherine Pawasarat Sensei are Dharma and meditation teachers who founded Clear Sky Meditation Centre, BC, Canada.

Achariya Doug Duncan received lay ordination from Namgyal Rinpoche in 1978, and is a lineage holder in that teaching. Known for his direct, humourous and compassionate engagement with students, Doug embraces various traditions, contemporary psychology, and science, to mentor all beings to a more awakened state.

Catherine Pawasarat Sensei has trained daily with Achariya Doug Duncan since 1998 in an intensive spiritual apprenticeship that is rare in the modern West. She received lay ordination from Namgyal Rinpoche in 2003. In addition to Buddhist philosophy and its applications to daily life, Catherine also draws on generative living and the arts. With Doug she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies.

What can I expect?

Our teachings and Clear Sky operate based on the ancient tradition of Dāna or generosity. As generosity is the basis upon which all spiritual practice flourishes, we recommend that you learn more about this profound practice before you register.

What’s Expected of Me?

  • This meditation retreat consists of many hours of consecutive practice each day. Therefore some experience, especially with insight meditation, is highly recommended.
  • An open mind and heart, and a spirit of adventure are excellent things to bring!
  • It’s human to have some apprehensions about doing something new.  We try to make this as supportive as possible.
  • This is a silent retreat. To deepen your meditation, we ask that participants refrain from reading, using the internet, phone or listening to music during the course.
Summer Meditation Retreat: Breathing - Clear Sky Center

About Clear Sky

Located in the BC rocky mountains, we offer over 300-acres to deepen your practice and reconnect with nature. Founded by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, we are home to students from around the globe who are dedicated to co-creating a supportive and innovative space for awakening in our modern world.

To help you get acquainted with us, some community members made this short video during our 2019 Buddhas in Action retreat. To learn more about us and our incredible community, click here!

Clear Sky Meditation Centre sanctuary

FAQs

Dana: This course is offered by Doug and Catherine Sensei through the ancient principle of generosity, or Dāna. Learn more about Dāna here.

Pricing:

  • Online Retreatant Admin Fee: CA$250
  • UK Residential Admin Fee CA$250 (Approx £150) plus
  • UK  Residential Fees £550 (Inc. Food & Accommodation)

Teachers receive no income from these administration fees. They offer their teaching on the basis of generosity, or Dāna, which you will have an opportunity to give when you register.

How Much to Give? A short exercise:

  1. Take a few quiet breaths and center yourself.
  2. Spend another few moments contacting as best you can a sense of health, strength and abundance (noticing without judgement if this is hard to contact)
  3. Offer an aspiration (using the below, or your own words).

    May this practice of dāna open up a space inside me to learn and receive.
    May this gift support the teachers and teachings for the benefit of many other people.
    May this gift directly support my own awakening through a strong dāna practice.
    This gift, myself the giver, and the teachers are all impermanent – with this in mind I give lightly and generously, for the benefit of all beings!

  4. Now check with your heart and mind what amount feels both consistent with your situation, and expressive of your aspiration. Remember, you are free to offer whatever amount of dāna feels good for you right now.
  5. Now simply, with a joyful abundant heart aspiring for awakening, and awareness of the preciousness and impermanence of life, enter the amount you choose to offer.

About the administrative fee

In a traditional model of in-person teachings, a retreat center or urban meditation center invites teachers to visit. In these cases the centers have infrastructure and organization costs to cover, which might be covered by an admin fee. For the teaching itself, dāna to the teachers is offered in a bowl. This honors both the sustainability of the teachers, and of the supporting center.

We’ve tried to recreate this approach online.
The teachers’ time and the teaching themselves are offered on the basis of dāna, separate to the admin fee. With our dāna offering we are making a direct gift of generosity to the teachers to support their teachings and livelihood. Learn more about the practice of dāna here.

The admin fee goes to support the infrastructure and organization necessary to support them to teach. As anyone with an online business will know, it can be surprising the costs of setting up a good infrastructure to support effective teaching and connection online.

Below are a few of the work and benefits that your admin fee payment is supporting:

  • high speed internet (to allow interviews and classes on-line)
  • online class systems (Zoom)
  • registration / admin systems (Eventbrite, Basecamp)
  • communication systems to keep everyone informed, share connection details, teachings and other resources (Mailchimp)
  • online storage (for example, Dropbox, to allow us to let students watch recordings, and to store and share selected teachings in other forms such as podcasts and video later, and Amazon cloud)
  • quality sound, video and editing equipment (both for live teachings and to provide good enough quality for later sharing as podcasts and video). We are regularly updating our equipment to improve your user experience.
  • online calendar booking system to allow students to book interviews
  • website hosting and maintenance for sharing upcoming courses, teachings, blogs and other resources.

May all our efforts be sustainable, abundant and for the benefit of all beings!

We welcome any questions. Please feel free to contact [email protected]

If you are taking this retreat online, we require that you devote your full attention to the retreat for the entire two weeks.

Online Retreat Requirements:

  • Block out the full period of retreat and be focused on the retreat for this entire time, participating in the retreat as if you were at Clear Sky in person.  This includes a rigorous, full, daily meditation schedule. 
  • Participate in all of the daily classes and group practices via online streaming.
  • Set up a quiet space or location where you can focus on the Meditation Retreat, and not need to engage in conversation or work with others.
  • Put away your phone, digital devices and other distractions.
  • If there are enough people in the same time zone as you, you could also make a cohort to meet to do a group practice throughout the retreat.

Please note, we are taking measures to keep us all healthy during this retreat, including:

  • You must have experienced no symptoms associated with COVID-19 in the past 14 days and will be required to take an online assessment prior to your stay.
  • You have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
  • Physical distancing (2m) amongst all visiting retreatants will be observed during this retreat.
  • Please bring your own face mask(s) that you will feel comfortable wearing. When physical distancing is not possible during this retreat, you will be asked to wear a mask.
  • Sanitation and hand washing procedures will be explained when you come and must be followed.

Learn more about our COVID-19 Policy here.

Airport pickups can be booked when you register for the retreat. On the rare chance that this retreat is cancelled, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance.

In order to give enough time to rest from travel before the retreat starts, we recommend that domestic travellers arrive one day early, and long distance international travellers arrive two days early.

After the retreat we also suggest staying for at least another day for integration.

Travel Restrictions, COVID-19 Policy: Please contact us – Email [email protected] or (250) 429-3929 for details/options for local participation. 

Venue

Clear Sky Meditation Center
3567 Cockell Road, PO BOX 19
Fort Steele, British Columbia V0B 1NO Canada
Phone:
2504293929
Website:
www.clearskycenter.org

Organizer

Clear Sky Center
Phone:
250-429-3929
Email:
contact@clearskycenter.org
Website:
www.clearskycenter.org