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The Heart of Inter-Being: Understanding Dependent Origination: Paṭiccasamuppāda

Everything depends on everything else. An Ecosystem is pure and simple, the way things are. Would you like to look closer at the nature of our mind-body continuum?

What makes you “you”? How does everything “you” perceive arise? Why does this matter? Together we’ll study a powerful map of consciousness: the wheel of dependent origination. This is a foundational philosophical doctrine shared by all schools of Buddhism, recommended for students of all levels. It directly correlates to suffering, and how to become free, wise, and compassionate.


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Foundational Teachings





Skill Level

In-Person & Online


Interdependent Origination: Paṭiccasamuppāda

Ask yourself—what makes up a human? The 12 elements of the wheel of dependent origination teach us to look at the basic building blocks of the human being. The result of this understanding? Suffering goes down. Wisdom and compassion go up. This is the power of what it is to know thyself.

All schools of Buddhism share this fundamental teaching of the wheel. It is a highly recommended foundational perspective that has deep repercussions on how you see and experience your life, the body-mind continuum, and the world around you.

The focus of Buddhadharma is to become free of being subject to suffering. There is necessary suffering (sickness, old age, diseases, joint pain, babies—that which is part and parcel of living), and unnecessary suffering (our personal dramas, relationship pains, self-image). If you look at the nature of suffering, you see how nature pushes itself forward because of suffering. The purpose of the wheel of dependent origination is to help us ask, “What is necessary, and what isn’t?”

In your life, what is necessary, and what isn’t?    

cara log

 This course for you if:

  • You’d like deeper foundational understanding of core Buddhist philosophy.
  • You want to learn a 2000 year old science of consciousness
  • You’d like to deepen your spiritual understanding in modern language and practical applications, with a wisdom teacher in the Namgyal lineage.
  • You want greater ability to apply your meditation insights in your daily life.
  • You want inspiration and motivation to change your life according to what is possible through conscious awareness.

Course Details

Time and Location

This weekend retreat will be led by Catherine Pawasarat Sensei at Clear Sky Meditation Center in Eastern BC. This course is offered online or in-person.

Schedule / Class Times:  Classes will be 60-90 mins in duration, with classes in the morning and evening and possibly the afternoon each day (Mountain Time) – the exact schedule to be confirmed. Please ensure you are available for the whole weekend to focus on the course material and attend classes live.

Online participants are expected to attend classes live.  We will arrange class times to be comfortable for most time zones. However we understand that some class times might occur after midnight in some regions, if this is the case for you, please let us know when you register.  Then we can provide a recording so you can catch up on that particular class.

What Does the Course Cost?

In-Person Participants: 1) dāna to the Teacher plus 2) accomodation and meal costs for your stay Clear Sky Meditation Centre.

Online Participants: 1) dāna to the Teacher  2) online administration fee of $150 CAD.


If you have questions about the retreat, please contact the Clear Sky Retreat Manager at 250-429-3929  (phone) or at [email protected] (email).

Meet the Teachers

Awakening Community and Tarot Retreat
Catherine Pawasarat (Sensei)

Catherine Pawasarat was a student of metaphysics, Western spiritual traditions, and the ayahuasca sacraments in the 1990s. Living in Kyoto, Japan for 20 years, she worked as an advocacy photojournalist specializing in environmental and human rights, and edited sustainability-related publications for various United Nations bodies. She also studied traditional Japanese arts.

Since 1998 she has trained daily with Buddhist teacher Achariya Doug Duncan (Qapel) in an intensive spiritual apprenticeship that’s rare in the modern West. Transmitted from the remarkable Namgyal Rinpoche, they are both lineage holders of these teachings.

With Qapel, she is co-founder and resident teacher at Clear Sky Retreat Center in the British Columbia Rockies. There Catherine Sensei has spearheaded an innovative and sustainability-oriented culture and organization, specializing in conscious community. Together Doug and Catherine also teach through a virtual vehicle, Planet Dharma. In 2018 they wrote the best-selling book Wasteland to Pureland.

More About Sensei | About the Lineage

About Clear Sky

Located in the BC rocky mountains, we offer over 300-acres to deepen your practice and reconnect with nature. 

Founded by Qapel Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei, 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.

In adherence with our quadruple bottom line, we source our food as local and organic as possible.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW on how to get here, what to bring and what to expect. 

Clear Sky Meditation Centre sanctuary
a plate of food including avocado
Breathing Meditation and Tarot Retreat
Best Tarot Retreat in The World


You may have come across this elsewhere in the form of “pay from the heart”. Dāna is a Sanskrit term meaning “generosity”. 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.

The dharma has been built on generosity. No-one is excluded for lack of funds but it is also extremely beneficial to give as much as you are able

Typically people give in a range of $120-$500 USD for a course. 

As we’re committed to ensuring everyone has access to the Dharma, please feel comfortable to give less if you are not financially secure.  Another form of giving dāna is to offer service, and if you are interested in providing support in a non-financial way, we invite you to contact us. 

Conversely, if you are financially secure, we invite you to generate merit by providing more financial support to the Triple Gem. Contributions like these make the difference in supporting our teachers, teachings, and center.

Learn more about the practice of dāna here.

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.

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. The admin fee changes based on date of registration.

*We also do not wish to exclude anyone from the Teachings, so if you are not currently in a financial position to afford the admin fee, please contact the course Registrar via [email protected] so we can support you to attend.

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.

We welcome any questions. May all our efforts be sustainable, abundant and for the benefit of all beings!

Specific times may change – this is a rough guide (MST)

6:30 – 7:30 AM: Walk &/or Personal Practice
7:30 – 8:15 AM: Breakfast: Prepare, eat, clean up
8:15 – 8:45 AM: Walk &/or Personal Practice
9:00 – 10:00 AM: Class with Teachers
10:00 – 10:30 AM: Walk
10:30 – 11:30 AM: Group Practice led by Sangha
11:30 – 12:30 PM: Personal Practice
12:30 – 1:30 PM: Lunch: Prepare, eat, clean up
1:30 – 3:00 PM: Personal Practice
3:00 – 4:00 PM: Group Practice led by Sangha
4:00 – 5:30 PM: Personal Practice
5:30 – 7:00 PM: Dinner: prepare, eat, clean up
7:00 – 7:30 PM: Walk &/or Personal Practice
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Group Practice and Q & A with Teachers
8:30 – Beyond: Personal Practice & bed

We recognize and respect plant medicine as an important part of some people’s spiritual paths. 

Please note, the meditation practice on this retreat is very powerful. Consuming mind-altering substances will detract from your experience and could cause negative side-effects. 

We ask that you refrain from microdosing or consuming mind-altering substances during this retreat and in the days immediately following it. 

We aim to make our retreats as accessible as possible. 

As a centre run entirely by Karma Yoga (selfless service), retreat fees only cover food, accommodation and the equipment required to offer them online. We do not have paid staff. 

The teachings themselves are offered on the basis of Dāna (pay-from-the-heart). 

For some, this is still a barrier of entry.

If you are seeking financial assistance to attend a retreat, please complete a Scholarship Application form.

Orange flowers in field at meditation retreat center