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Western Enlightenment: The Path of Kabbalah (Online)

May 7, 2023 @ 9:30 am - June 4, 2023 @ 11:00 am MDT

“The Tarot represents a system of complete liberation for Westerners.” -Namgyal Rinpoche

What is it you are seeking? Make deeper contact with wider dimensions of wisdom. With spirit rooted in the earth and form opened to the heavens, the path of Kabbalah gives us a worthy bridge between form, formless and ultimately wonder. 

Using ancient maps from our wisdom traditions, we will explore how practices from the Western Mysteries can be woven into our daily lives to push our spiritual expression outwards.

This online course is also the pre-requisite for the Movement of the Mandala retreat in 2024. 



focus area

Online Course &

Weekend Home Retreat







Skill Level

Online or



What is the Kabbalah?

Discover how the Kabbalah and tarot are designed to cultivate dormant aspects in ourselves so we may reach our highest potential. This course builds on the Tree of Life and is a pre-requisite for the Movement of the Mandala interactive tarot retreat in 2024.

We’re all familiar with Eastern spiritual traditions, but did you know the West also has a legitimate path for spiritual awakening? This path provided the philosophical and mystical underpinnings upon which the Judeo Christian religions formed. You could say it is the inner, spiritual partner to the outer ‘religious’ face that we see in Western culture today.

Kabbalah also guides one through the terrain of the psychological and emotional transformations that are possible in the psyche. The Kabbalah is like an early map of western psychology from which science and philosophy developed. Additionally, as with Satori, Nirvana and sunyata in Eastern traditions, the Kabbalah points us to the realisation of ‘God’, described as the limitless, infinite Ain Soph Aur.

What about the tarot?

The Kabbalah is the framework upon which the Tarot, particularly the profound symbology of the major arcana, sits.  This course will teach aspects of the tarot and will also describe the Tree of Life as a chakra system.

Western Archetypes Retreat Booking 2022
Western Retreat Booking
Tree of Life
This course for you if:
  • You’d like to study a framework for spiritual understanding with a wisdom teacher in the Namgyal lineage.
  • You’d like to make contact with deeper wisdom and discover what is truly important.
  • You’d like to leverage new tools for compassionate manifestation in the world.
  • You’d like to explore the kabbalah as a framework for deeper realisation of the dialogue between form, subtle energy and the void.
  • You want to understand the building blocks of the consciousness and your part in it.

The Movement of the Mandala Retreat

The Movement of the Mandala retreat is scheduled for August 2024, has limited enrolment and requires this Kabbalah course as a pre-requisite.

Qapel’s first retreat with his Teacher Namgyal Rinpoche was on the ‘Movement of the Mandala’, an embodied initiation into the Tarot’s archetypes. Together with Catherine Sensei, he would like to pass on an in-depth transmission of the Western spiritual teachings.

Ananda Bohdi

Namgyal Rinpoche, then Ananda Bodhi Bhikkhu in 1969 at the Dharma Centre of Canada

In fact, the Western Mysteries was the path by which our lineage’s founder, Namgyal Rinpoche, awakened. Rinpoche was a Master of the western spiritual tradition before becoming a Buddhist monk.

Course Schedule

May 7th  – June 4th, 2023

All Kabbalah Teachings will be on Sundays

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

  1. Sunday May 7th – 9:30-11am Class
  2. Sunday May 14th – 9:30-11am Class
  3. Sunday May 21st – 9:30-11am Class
  4. Sunday May 28th – 9:30-11am Class

The formal and participatory teachings for this course will occur on four Sundays. There will be a live group class in the morning (9:30-11am MT). We encourage you to connect with sangha outside of class times to discuss and deepen your learning of the material. 

Flash Retreat Weekend: June 3-4th

To deepen and integrate your experience, the final weekend during the course will also be a Flash Retreat (June 3rd – 4th). This can be done at home, or together 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 also be held at these times:

  • Flash Retreat morning group workshop time:   9:30-10:30am
  • Flash Retreat afternoon group workshop time: 2:30-3:30pm

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

Western Retreat Center

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 video streamed live at 9:00am MST. The recording will be available for one week after each class.

In addition to the classes there will be Q&A / participatory style workshop sessions at 3pm MST each Sunday.  Finally the course ends with a Flash Retreat on June 3-4th, 2023. 

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


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


May 7, 2023 @ 9:30 am MDT
June 4, 2023 @ 11:00 am MDT
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