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Ignite Your Spiritual Life – Spring 2018

March 7, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - April 11, 2018 @ 7:30 pm UTC-6

Ignite your spiritual life

This course is now closed to new registrations. Join our mailing list to keep informed of upcoming courses and resources.

Though not required, we highly recommend participants do a weekend retreat during or after the course to bring what they are learning deeper into consciousness, especially if they have not experienced a retreat before. If you are close to Clear Sky, we highly recommend The Easter weekend retreat focusing on some of the basic Buddhist teachings, the Paramis: Becoming A Work of Art.

The critical lost art of the spiritual container

and how it can re-ignite your spiritual life

If you’re like many people, you may know what will help keep you calm and centered – like a regular meditation practice, yet you have a hard time applying it in your daily life.

Especially in these turbulent times, when it seems nobody is immune from the growing levels of fear, depression, and anxiety in the world, we can feel overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Even with a regular meditation time you may still feel pulled off-center through the day as that precious energy gets leaked away.

Yet, it’s possible even on the busiest days to stay centered, alive, and engaged. You can learn to set up your life to support and protect your energy, and re-ignite your spiritual life.

How can you do this? By learning about the art of the spiritual container, and redesigning your everyday life to be more like you’re in the protective space of retreat.

Sounds impractical?

Well, like you, we’re not monks or nuns – not in this lifetime, at least. This is a practical course that looks at how we can thrive and grow in a busy world – it’s not about learning how to withdraw, or fit in hours of formal meditation.

The magic of a retreat

If you haven’t been in retreat before, take a moment and open your heart to the beauty of the experience.

lady's hand touching purple flowers in a field

Imagine moving in a space where you’re calm and bright enough to notice the simple beauty of life around you. A space where, whatever happens, you’ve got energy and a sense of equanimity to keep things in perspective.

Simple chores feel joyful and alive, instead of mundane. You move from task to task with ease, seeing things just as they are and responding to what’s needed rather than reacting to what’s happening.

Picture yourself being more compassionate, friendly, and open to other people. You enjoy the space to see when confusion or negative thoughts creep in for yourself or others, and let them pass by without giving them energy to grow.


Do you recognize anything there? Those moments when the ego seems to quieten and all is right with the world? It can be a morning walk in nature with a beloved pet, a stroll on the beach, or a slow Sunday at home.

Your life can be closer to this than you may think – whether you’re at work, at home, at school, or traveling around, there are things you can do to bring the beauty of retreat into your day.

You won’t be able to do that, however, unless you acknowledge what’s been missing.

What’s missing? Attention to the outer supports you need

So, what isn’t working in our daily lives? Why do people trying their best to find calm, presence, and joy still sometimes feel disheartened, stuck, or lost?

Well, in fact it’s not surprising. Especially in difficult times, the day-to-day demands of living will stay very much in charge – unless we tweak our lives to better support us.

If the inner work you’re doing isn’t sustaining you, then you’re probably missing the importance of the outer supports you need – especially if you’re one of those people who tends to take care of others, more than you take care of yourself.

Yet once you set up these outer supports, you’ll find you have a better container for generating a sense of calm, focus, and joy.

Outer support: The Five Principles of a good spiritual container

From years of running a retreat centre, and applying what we learn to our own lives, we’ve rediscovered five ancient principles that help create the right outer conditions we’re talking about:

underneath view of pier on a lake with mountains in background

1. Honor your space

2. Structure and routine are your friends

3. It’s easier with others

4. Cleaning up big areas of your life frees up energy

5. Conversations shape the space where we meet


These are the factors that have made Clear Sky work, a place that wakes people up and supports their practice. And these same principles can transform and support our daily lives, too.

That’s why we created this course. We’ll share with you the insights and learning we’ve had from creating Clear Sky – a physical and virtual centre for awakening – in the form of these five simple yet empowering principles, that have been time-tested over centuries.

As well as the core content on each of the principles, each webinar will include meditations and exercises to try in your daily life, and will end with question-and-answer sessions.

Register Now

Try the quiz!

See how you’re doing in terms of the Five Principles, and get simple tips for using them to free up energy. Click the image to open up a new page and take the quiz.

Ignite your spiritual life quiz image


Why take the course? Ignite Your Spiritual Life will help you:

  • establish a more consistent meditation practice
  • redesign your life to be more in line with your spiritual aspirations
  • get relief from being reactive and stressed by daily events
  • break through blocks and old patterns that seemed like they’d never shift
  • reconnect with your heart and other people at a deeper level
  • make a difference in the world from a more grounded and confident place
  • clarify where you want to direct your energy

Though not required, we highly recommend participants do a weekend retreat during or after the course to bring what they are learning deeper into consciousness, especially if they have not experienced a retreat before. If you are close to Clear Sky, we highly recommend The Easter weekend retreat focusing on some of the basic Buddhist teachings, the Paramis: Becoming A Work of Art.


A Video Introduction to the Course:

Learn more about the five principles in this 40-minute, edited recording from a live webinar, on March 29, 2017:



The presenters were very good ... I think these principles are relevant not just for a spiritual practice but life as a whole.

Course Participant, Spring 2017

It's really, really brought me back home to myself... I found myself in the past very scattered and would put off all the important things, the spiritual aspects of life, the mindfulness and so on, just to blast through my day and get things done, but now I am really taking pause. I still don't get everything done, but I don't get everything done in a much more calm way, haha, in a much more soulful way... So for me that was probably the most important takeaway from the six week program is just you can't let those things slide no matter what because when you do, you're giving up little bits of your soul and then you've really lost. ..That for me was wonderful to come back to.

Morgana from Victoria, Spring 2018

To have a weekly course like that it created space for me to reflect in a different way and to pause in a different way to focus on some of these questions.
And [the principles] are so basic, they're so important and that's why they're profound..[your course gave me] a feeling of more alignment with my path.

Meg O Leary, Spring 2018

Lemuel - testimonial
The course had a big impact on me. It not only helped me to organize my life in different aspects, like the respect towards my personal living spaces or the way I relate to others and with time, I also understood the power meditation can have in my life and how it can contribute to making more assertive choices.

I had a very strong empowering sensation of conscience expansion and  learned how to better deal with my emotions, specially my anxiety, throughout the meditation on spaciousness. Now, I understand I am a better person and for that I’m very grateful.

Lemuel Simis, 5 Principles Course, Brazil 2017

My environment has changed, the way I organize my activities, my communication and trust in others ... Applying those principles can hold love and clarity for even big groups, creating a genuine awakening field."

Emmanuel Ponte - Five Principles Course, Brazil 2017

I highly recommend the Ignite Your Spiritual Life online course. It is a great introduction for people exploring the Dharma path, but it's valuable in daily life too! The course is also a great refresher for experienced practitioners, which helps strengthens your spiritual practice and allows you to connect with the community.

Jenai Lieu, Program Coordinator, Spring 2018

Luana - 5 Principles testimonial
When I was making my list of aspirations and plans for 2017, I realized that I was structuring it from the five principles learned in the course “Outer Clarity.” The learnings served as a good medicine for doubts about how to lead transformations I want in my life.

All the principles have reinforced for me that it is necessary to water the outside garden very carefully, with attention and presence, so that the flowers of compassion and love can flourish inside and in my relations. Thank you, dear Karen, Duncan, and Sangha.

Luana Messena, 5 Principles Course, Brazil 2017

Karen's guided meditations were lovely; they provided new ways to meditate and increase space-awareness- on the relevant issues. I'd like to go back and review them all so I can do them again. In fact, I'd be happy to review the whole course week by week, just from the recordings.

Course Participant, Spring 2017

I found the course filled with a lot of practical information. I would recommend it to anybody interested in improving their spiritual practice. Thanks Karen and Duncan!

Course Participant, Spring 2018

Toward the end, I realized that the principles give you a format to bring Dharma into - which reassures you that they are deeper than just the surface.

Gretta, Mental Health Therapist, Spring 2018

rita - 5 Principles Testimonial
With this course we learned how to strengthen our practice taking care of our meditation space, creating wholesome habits, exchanging and strengthening the practice with the support of the Sangha and so on. The outside is not separated from the inside. That is why taking care of the outside with attention, generosity and joy, we meet the clarity within us.

Rita Chirata, 5 Principles Course, Brazil 2017

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Participant, Spring 2018

Thank you! I really felt both Karen and Duncan were so caring and sincere.

Participant, Spring 2018

I think this course is a beautiful, utterly grounded and relevant way of making the spiritual life very real and integrated with how we are living every day of our lives. I also think that this course lays an important foundation for a meditation practice that can actually go somewhere as well as allowing a practice that may already be strong to better feed the other parts of our lives for a really well-rounded and truly fulfilling life.

Ruth Levin - Movement Educator & Solopreneur - Spring 2018

I am so impressed and happy with Karen and Duncan. You have done a fabulous job with this course, and have provided a role model example of working together. I loved hearing your real life stories, things that you have struggled with in life- this added another level of reality to it that was applicable to my reality too. 

Course Participant, Spring 2017


Course Dates and Times


What it costs

We offer this course on the basis of dāna.  If you’re not familiar with dāna, you may have come across related approaches such as “pay from the heart.” Dāna is a Sanskrit term that translates as generosity in English. It’s radically different from the transactional way we normally interact in the world – where we give to get something back, either a service or thing. Instead, with dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity. It’s our joy to offer this course, and we trust you’ll match our time, energy, and passion by giving an amount of money that feels good and healthy to both you and us.

You’ll see equivalent live courses offered for between $120 and $360 CAD.  Over six, 90-minute classes, this represents an average of $20-$60 per class. We highly recommend taking time to check in with your heart on an amount that feels good. Find the amount you feel balances and honors your aspiration for this course, the energy we are giving to deliver the course, and what is sustainable for you.

In this pay from the heart exercise, you might also consider what you pay for different things as a matter of course: a night out with friends, a session with a chiropractor or acupuncturist, or an hour with a life coach, for example.

As for our part in this pay from the heart reflection : since we have expenses hosting the classes and we are investing significant amounts of our own time and experience in creating and teaching the course, we are setting the minimum amount at $120 CAD.

Why do you use dāna?


The practice of generosity is central to spiritual unfoldment, whatever path you follow. In our own Buddhist lineage, teachings have always been given on the basis of dāna, and we are committed to this practice and its development in the West. Dāna is also a radical and – we believe – viable economic alternative to capitalism, which our planet would really benefit from. We all know there must be something better than capitalism or its hungry cousin, consumerism. We maintain that, together, we can offer a financial model that is based in life-affirming mutual support. Please join us in co-creating this promising economic alternative.

Register Now


Click here to go back up the page and see Further Information about the course


Not sure? Fill out this online form and we’ll get back to you.


March 7, 2018 @ 6:00 pm UTC-6
April 11, 2018 @ 7:30 pm UTC-6
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