Tantric Deep Dive: A Week of Empowerments
August 6 @ 4:00 pm - August 12 @ 2:00 pm UTC-6
Tantric Deep Dive: A Week of Empowerments
Covid-19 travel restrictions threw a wrench in our plans for a 15th Anniversary and Tantric Deep Dive in 2020. Let’s celebrate in 2021 instead! Join us to fete 16 remarkable years at Clear Sky. To celebrate, we invite you to join us for a week of rarely given Vajrayana initiations.
These empowerments give you an energetic blessing, and access to practice mantra and visualisation of different transcendental archetypes from the Himalayan schools of Buddhism.
Following the week of empowerments, we invite you to stay for the weekend and celebrate our 16th anniversary with us.
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.
What are Vajrayana Empowerments (aka Wongkur)?
Namgyal Rinpoche, our lineage root guru, put it best:
In the depth of the psyche lie all possibilities in a state of unrealized potential. In every being there exists the possibility of experiencing transcendental consciousness, which when the student is ready, the Teacher(s) can make accessible to him or her via empowerment, initiation, or wongkur.
One should regard Wongkur as an event in which the Lama sows the seed of transcendental consciousness in the depth of the student. The seed will lie in the unconscious until the student brings it to realization in the practice of meditation.
Why a Week of Empowerments?
Doug and Catherine Sensei will be giving a total of twelve empowerments during this Tantric Deep Dive week. They have chosen to do so, to celebrate Clear Sky’s 16th anniversary, to honour lineage, and to sow the seeds for future realization. Some of the initiations given will be rare empowerments that they have not bestowed recently.
There will be two empowerments a day, with practice time in between. Look forward to a busy, bustling, engaging, immersive and quite frankly incredible week of transcendental magic.
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 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’s Expected of Me?
- This vajrayana or tantric retreat consists of two empowerments / wongkurs per day, and meditative practice time each day. While some meditation experience is helpful, it is not a pre-requisite.
- The weekend following the empowerments (August 13-15, 2021) will be a celebration for Clear Sky’s 16th Anniversary. It is possible to attend only the weekend, with arrival on August 13. Or, leave before weekend, on August 13, though we encourage you to stay!
- 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.
- The empowerment portion of the week will largely be a silent retreat combined with some karma yoga (mindful service). To deepen your meditation, we ask that participants refrain from reading, using the internet, your phone or listening to music during the course. During the weekend anniversary celebrations we will no longer be silent, instead embracing joyful connection.
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. Note: all times are Mountain Time and subject to change.
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.
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.
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:
- Take a few quiet breaths and center yourself.
- 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)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!