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Winter Meditation Retreat: The Kasinas

December 4, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - December 19, 2020 @ 2:00 pm UTC-6

In-Person and Online Meditation Retreat

Kasina meditation is a concentration meditation (samatha, jhana) intended to settle the mind and create a foundation for liberation. 

Take advantage of Acariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei’s mastery and wisdom in this powerful and rare two-week meditation retreat. Held online and at Clear Sky, in the Rocky Mountains of BC.

*IMPORTANT* We welcome you to spend additional nights at Clear Sky. When booking additional nights and flights, note that flights booked December 21-23 require personal transportation to the airport. 

Registration ends November 20, 2020

This is a two week retreat and the Teachers have added a one week option. The Teachers recognize that circumstances may make it difficult for some people to attend both weeks. Attending the full two weeks is ideal.

If you choose to take the one week option it is the first week, December 4 – 12, 2020.

The teachers will be offering a Chenrezi Wongkur at the beginning of the first week. This empowerment will be streamed live, enabling both online and onsite participation. (Exact time and date to be announced.)


Our main priority is to offer a retreat that is accessible and supports your health and safety. In response to COVID-19, we are offering two options for attending this retreat: In person at Clear Sky or (for those unable to travel), online from home. 

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


Settling the Mind, Cultivating Concentration

The ten kasina are part of the forty kammatthana: objects of meditation. They are described in detail by Buddhaghosa in the meditation section of the Visuddhimagga.

Kasina meditation is a concentration meditation (variously known in different traditions as samatha, dhyana, or jhana meditations), intended to settle the mind of the practitioner and create a foundation for further practices of meditation. In the early stages of kasina meditation, a physical object is used as the object of meditation, being focused upon by the practitioner until an eidetic (after-image) image of the object forms in the practitioners mind. In more advanced levels of kasina meditation, only a mental image of the kasina is used as an object of meditation.

Experience Acariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei’s meditation experience in this strengthening, mind settling and concentration building retreat.

Held online, and at our home retreat centre, Clear Sky, a 21st-century model for innovative awakening, situated in the beautiful B.C. Rocky Mountains.

White winter landscape and Meditation Retreats in Canada

Why Meditate on the Kasinas?

This winter meditation retreat focuses on the kasinas, part of the 40 classical Buddhist meditations.

By focusing on ten kasinas as mind objects we developing concentration, calm and bliss.  As we deepen our focus, we develop and strengthen our absorption, the jhanas. This provides a platform for awakening.

There are ten kasiṇa described in the Visuddhimagga, which are also mentioned in the Pali Tipitaka:[1]

  • earth पठवी कसिण (Pali: paṭhavī kasiṇa, Sanskrit: pṛthivī kṛtsna)
  • water आपो कसिण (āpo kasiṇa, ap kṛtsna)
  • fire तेजो कसिण (tejo kasiṇa, tejas kṛtsna)
  • air, wind वायो कसिण (vāyo kasiṇa, vāyu kṛtsna)
  • air, wind वायो कसिण (vāyo kasiṇa, vāyu kṛtsna)
  • blue, green नील कसिण (nīla kasiṇa, nīla kṛtsna)
  • yellow पीत कसिण (pīta kasiṇa, pīta kṛtsna)
  • red लोहित कसिण (lohita kasiṇa, lohita kṛtsna)
  • white ओदात कसिण (odāta kasiṇa, avadāta kṛtsna)
  • enclosed space, hole, aperture आकास कसिण (ākāsa kasiṇa, ākāśa kṛtsna)
  • consciousness विञ्ञाण कसिण (viññāṇa kasiṇa, vijñāna kṛtsna); in the Pali suttas and some other texts; bright light आलोक कसिण āloka kasiṇa according to later sources, such as Buddhaghosa‘s Visuddhimagga.

The framework we’ll use is the classical teachings on the Kasinas from Buddhaghosa’s 5th-century text Visuddhimagga (Path of Purification).


Meet the Teachers


Doug Duncan &
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei

Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat 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 has trained daily with Acariya 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.

Daily Schedule: Here is a sample schedule of what you can expect at this retreat.

Food: Our food is sourced as organically and locally as possible. Expect to be nourished with three wholesome meals a day. 

Accommodation: Shared and private accommodation options are available. 

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.
  • NOTE: If this is your first two-week retreat, advance permission from the teachers is required.
  • 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, meeting new people, or going to a new place. Particularly when all three happen together. 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.

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.

Here are some FAQs on how to get here, what to bring and what to expect. 

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!

guided meditations in Rocky mountains Canada


Dana: This course is offered by Doug and Catherine Sensei through the ancient principle of generosity, or Dāna. The retreat fee covers the cost of food and accommodation, whereas the Teachings are offered by generosity. Learn more about Dāna here.

Pricing: As a charitable organization, we strive to provide locally sourced organic meals and comfortable accommodations at an affordable price. Fees vary depending on your accommodation choice and early bird pricing.

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

Pricing: In order to bring you this retreat at home, there is an additional pay by the heart, sliding scale admin fee* of $200-$700. The admin fee is to cover the costs of running these online courses – for equipment and software to provide you the teachings online.

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 two weeks 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.
  • Classes and group sits will be recorded. Attendees from previous online retreats found it optimal to attend live where time zones support this.

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.

Arrival is Friday, December 4 at 4pm.

Departure is Saturday, December 19th at 12:00pm.

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. 


December 4, 2020 @ 4:00 pm UTC-6
December 19, 2020 @ 2:00 pm UTC-6
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