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The Eightfold Noble path is about methodology—walking the talk. And what is the talk that this Buddhist wisdom ennobles us to walk? Freedom. Compassion. Wisdom. As applicable now as 2,500 years ago, when the Buddha first taught it.

Walking the Eightfold Noble – and Ennobling Path

We want peace and harmony—well-being? Wholeness? What about… emptiness? Whatever we think and say we want—which at our core is all the same—how do we put all the talk and philosophy into place in a meaningful, practical, and grounded way in our lives?

Theravadan

Buddhism

focus area

Online Course &

Weekend Home Retreat

practice

Four

Weeks

Duration

All 

Levels

Skill Level

Online or

In-Person

format

8 steps of the eightfold path:

  1. Right View: sammā-diṭṭhi
  2. Right Intention: sammā-saṅkappa
  3. Right Speech: sammā-vācā
  4. Right Action: sammā-kammanta
  5. Right Livelihood: sammā-ājīva
  6. Right Effort: sammā-vāyāma
  7. Right Mindfulness: sammā-sati
  8. Right Concentration: sammā-samādhi

Though the word ‘sammā’ is often translated as “right,” the original Pali could be better translated as “complete” or total. The Western mind is quite steeped in notions of “good” and “bad,” “right” and “wrong”—but this idea of “complete” is more about wholeness. The eightfold path is something we practice and develop over time for an ever more complete understanding or embodiment of that quality—from Complete View to Complete Concentration. We like to use the image of a mandala as an example: your being is a mandala, but you’re most likely only seeing and manifesting certain, fragmented parts, where the Eightfold Path gets you to the whole picture.

Our thinking and perceptions get us stuck. Through this study, the practice of this Path, and by really seeing the stuckness of our patterns, we will begin to loosen our tight sense of who we are. The results? Greater freedom, compassion, and clarity. From ordinary to extraordinary. It’s a win-win.

Complete Living:

Living in accordance with truth means living by the laws of nature. The human task of awakening is to realign with nature and its laws. To do so, we have to work with our views, our livelihood, and our speech.

By seeking the best state of being, and the best supporting conditions for that state of being, we can see through what the consumer marketplace usually offers: second-rate goods dressed up to be shiny and appealing. The best life we can live is one that is complete, in its integrity.

In this talk, Qapel and Sensei explore the topic of Right Effort, from the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. They explain that wholesome effort is when we are in the moment and not distracted by conflicted emotions or primitive thinking.

Practice of Karma Yoga
Woman hking up mountain at a meditation retreat center

Course Schedule

April 14th – May 5th, 2024

With a new format: Morning (9:30am Class) Mountain Time

  1. Sunday, April 14th – 9:30-11am Class
  2. Sunday, April 21st– 9:30-11am Class
  3. Sunday, April 28th – 9:30-11am Class
  4. Saturday & Sunday, May 4th-5th – 9:30am and 2:30pm (approx 60-90 min classes)

The formal and participatory teachings for this course will occur on Sundays with a Saturday-Sunday flash retreat on the fourth weekend. Class times are estimates and may change slightly.

We encourage you to connect with sangha outside of class times to discuss and deepen your learning of the material.

Flash Retreat Weekend: May 4th-5th

To deepen and integrate your experience, the final (fourth) weekend during the course will also be a Flash Retreat (May 4 – 5). This can be done at home, or with us at Clear Sky Meditation Centre, in Eastern British Columbia. We highly recommend clearing your schedule over the weekend to focus on the retreat. Formal group sessions will be held at these approximate times.

  • Flash Retreat morning group workshop time:   9:30 am MT
  • Flash Retreat afternoon group workshop time: 2:30 pm MT
  • Sessions will be 60-90 mins in length.

If you’d like to join the Flash Retreat from Clear Sky, please contact [email protected].

Meet the Teachers

Awakening Community and Archetypes Retreat

Doug Qapel Duncan

Awakening Community and Tarot Retreat

Catherine Pawasarat Sensei

Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat are Dharma and meditation teachers who founded Clear Sky Meditation Center, 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, humorous 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.

Course Details

Time and Location

Each of the four weekly classes in this online course will be streamed live at 9:30-11am MST.  We ask participants to attend live whenever possible. The recording of each class will be available for one week after each class. We encourage you to connect with sangha outside of class times to discuss and deepen your learning of the material.

The course culminates with a Flash Retreat on May 4-5, 2024, with formal workshop times held at approx. 9:30-10:30am and 2:30-3:30pm Mountain Time on Saturday and Sunday.

What Does the Course Cost?

This course is offered based on the unique combination of 1) dāna  and 2) a $80-120 USD administrative fee. Register four + weeks prior: $80 | Register two to four weeks prior: $100 | Register less than two weeks prior: $120.

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

FAQs

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. Register four + weeks prior: $80 | Register two to four weeks prior: $100 | Register less than two weeks prior: $120.

*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!

Orange flowers in field at meditation retreat center