Hybrid Karma Yoga Program

For those bettering the outer world by exploring their inner

Why Join the Hybrid Karma Yoga Program?

When you depart after retreat you vow to make some positive changes, finish the practise you are doing, continue to do that weekly, monthly or yearly challenge, and maybe change a bad habit. For the first few weeks you are all gung ho, and yet returning to a life full of distractions and competing commitments, the confusions settle back in. You forget and lose touch with the vibrancy of the awakened mind and awakening energy. 

What you really need to do is find a way to spend more time with the teachers and other sangha members actively practicing. A lot of people say they can’t because it is expensive having the teachers once a year, or they don’t have the time necessary in their schedule to do. The thing is, the Teachers are onsite, year round and we have created a package to support you to spend more time on retreat and living in community at Clear Sky. With the new resident accommodations at Clear Sky, called Oasis, and our new business model which supports personal livelihood and sustainability we are able to live and embody the principle, it’s easier with others. This means that you can combine a retreat with working remotely from Clear Sky. BONUS: you also get to participate in community living.

Support of a Teacher

You probably find that after spending time with Doug and Catherine Sensei once or twice a year that your confusions and stress drop away and you rest into empty spaciousness with them. Being in their presence, you feel nourished and get a full injection of motivation to awaken more speedily and more quickly.

Hybrid Karma Yoga Program Stay

As a student of Sensei and Catherine, this program is a good fit for you if you are …

  • eager to spend quality time onsite with the teachers’ and resident sangha community
  • wanting to work remotely from Clear Sky, our supportive spiritual container
  • wanting to combine a retreat with working remotely at Clear Sky
  • wanting to do full time karma yoga for an extended period of time
  • completing a body of your foundation work
  • tuning back into a sane wholesome spiritual life 

Benefits of the Hybrid Karma Yoga Program

  • Profound, compassionate and powerful teachings every day from the Teachers
  • Learning directly from the Teachers in seeing how they maintain equanimity every day
  • Immersion and training in a challenging and supportive growth-focused community
  • Daily meditations and support in areas of growth with built in accountability
  • The opportunity to address personal blind spots with support from the teachers and sangha 
  • Deepening your foundation work and personal practice
  • Integrating your karma yoga, meditation and work-life away from regular distractions
  • Being healthy thanks to the community, lifestyle, meals, and activities you participate in
  • Being in nature and on the land 
  • Deepening calm, more energy, and alignment of purpose
  • Being part of something bigger than yourself

It's an idyllic environment with mountains and fresh air, and daily you're exposed to poignant teachings that get to the core.”

David Basu Roy

What Can I Expect?

In the following list are examples of the activities you would be engaged in at Clear Sky, depending on your abilities and skills. We do not assign tasks by preference.  Though there may be tasks you are more suited to, part of the learning is to engage in whatever comes your way.

  • Karma Yoga in service to the teachers’
  • Karma Yoga in service to leaders of Planet Dharma and/or Clear Sky
  • Serving personal retreatants
  • Being on the meal rota
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance and outdoor physical activities
  • Land activities (eco-restoration, harvesting and food forest care)

Skills Include:

  • chainsawing
  • building
  • marketing (video production, writing, admin)

Our Founding Teachers

Clear Sky would not exist without our incredible Founding Teachers, Doug Sensei and Catherine Sensei. , who run programs under their own website Planet Dharma. When here, they generally eat lunch and dinner with us, and they engage with the community in a very real and enlivening way, modelling compassion, wisdom, and non-clinging awareness. Those of us who have chosen to live at Clear Sky year-round are their students.

As a karma yogi, you aren’t expected to accept our founding teachers as your teachers (unless you want to, of course – and in fact, many do!). Yet, those who get the most from the program, and tend to stay past the one month trial period, are those who see the value that the teachers offer, learning to engage with them in a open and healthy way.

When you arrive, you will notice that we serve and support the teachers as part of our daily duties. This may include setting their place at the dining table, serving them food, and assisting in cleaning their suite.

Since the teachers and teachings are an integral part of life at Clear Sky, anyone staying onsite is expected to attend all classes, meditations, and group activities. Classes and programs offered by the teachers (Planet Dharma) are given on the practice of dana.

Should you wish to spend time with the teachers while at Clear Sky, please refer to their teaching schedule. While they spend a large portion of the year here, they also travel for weeks at a time to teach in other parts of the world.

Studying at Clear Sky has been the most powerful and transformative experience in my life.”

Maryline Fortier

How challenging is this program?

This is the most challenging and rewarding experience you could have. At times, you’ll likely come up against your limits. Typical responses include shutting down, getting angry, or wanting to run away.

Imagine jumping into cold water – it feels simultaneously uncomfortable and incredibly alive! This program can feel the same way. 

Everyone in our community has stood on the edge and jumped in the cold water. Trust that we are fully dedicated to supporting your journey. 

During the program, you will be guided by Module Leaders, a Mentor and a Buddy. Both our founding teachers and your Mentor will help you process questions, hopes, and fears that may arise during the program. 

This experience is about being immersed in a conscious working community. Most find this very enjoyable and enriching, yet if you’re just looking to chill out at a meditation center, this program is not for you.

If you like a challenge, desire personal growth and want to discover hidden talents, then we might just be what you are looking for.


A Day in the Life of a Karma Yogi at Clear Sky

Below is a typical schedule you can expect.  It’s a full schedule, aiming to provide a supportive structure and routine balancing meditation, karma yoga, livelihood, nourishing meals and self-care time.

7 am- 7:45 

Meditation

 

7.45 – 8:45

Breakfast prep, eat and clean up

 

8:45 – 9:00

Karma Yoga Contemplation

Every morning we sit together and read a karma yoga contemplation intended to be held with you through the day and to facilitate our understanding of karma yoga. Agile MeetingAfter the morning karma yoga contemplation we check-in on logistics for that day.
 

9:00 – 12:30

Karma Yoga or Livelihood

 

12:30 – 1:30

Lunch and Clean-Up

 

1:30 – 2:30

Optional Siesta

“You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Some karma yogis also choose to take this time for additional personal practice time or to read, nap, take a walk, etc.
 

2:30 – 6 pm

Karma Yoga or Livelihood

 

6 – 7:30

Supper/Dinner and Clean-Up

 

7:30 – 8:30

Meditation or Community activity night

Some evenings we have a group meditation sit after supper.  Other evenings there are community activities such as a group evenings in the food forest, or a community fun event.
 

8:30 – Bed

Self-Care

Take time before bed to slow down and relax. What refuels you at the end of the day? What helps you to process what you’ve learned? 
 

Additional Notes:

This is the ideal schedule for participating fully in the community rhythms.  With pre-agreement with the Clear Sky team some adjustments to the schedule can be made to fit livelihood needs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Rates for the Hybrid Program are based on the number of days of karma yoga/week prorated for the length of time onsite.

  • $1600/mth for food and accommodation: 4 days/wk for  livelihood/personal work and 2 days/wk for Karma Yoga
  • $1400/mth for food and accommodation: 3 days/wk for  livelihood/personal work and 3 days/wk for Karma Yoga
  • $1200/mth for food and accommodation: 2 days/wk for  livelihood/personal work and 4 days/wk for Karma Yoga
  • $1000/mth for food and accommodation: 1 days/wk for  livelihood/personal work and 4 days/wk for Karma Yoga
  • $800/mth for food and accommodation: 6 days/wk for Karma Yoga only

 

While at Clear Sky you will learn about the ancient transformative practice of dana. Additional classes and programs offered by our founding Teachers, Doug and Catherine Sensei, are given on the premise of this practice.

Budget $75-100 week.  Expenses during your stay will include offering dana for guidance interviews and courses with the founding teachers, going off site, eating out, and exploring the beauty of the surrounding area. It is a 40-60 minute drive to Cranbrook, Fernie or Kimberley.

Have minimum savings of $CAD 2,000 for when you leave. It is important not to have financial concerns weighing you down during your stay. If your next step is not clear, and you need to find a home, job, and cover living costs in the meantime, we need to know that your stay at Clear Sky will not get you into financial hardship.

As a general pattern, we have experienced that spiritual types can lack attention to some practical financial details. For this reason, we consider it compassionate to have these requirements in place, to set you up for success before, during and after your stay.

Lastly, we go to great care to prepare for your arrival and particularly in the first month we offer a lot of energy and time to help you enter into the program and the community.  To respect our time, and to reflect the importance of the commitment to the program, we have the following policy around refunds and cancellations.

(a) we require a non-refundable $650 deposit upon registration

(b) the remaining $1300 tuition is due two weeks before your arrival.   

(c) After one month, we will do a review with you to mutually agree on continuing the program.  In the (rare) event that you do not wish to continue or we ask you to leave at the one month review (or if you change your plans or decide to leave anytime after paying the final $1300 balance) we will refund $650.  After the one month review, assuming it’s mutually agreed to continue, there are no further refunds.

Yes. There is an option to do a combination of Karma Yoga and personal livelihood while participating as a member of the CS community.

The Hybrid Karma Yoga Program requires a minimum two week stay. If you are staying for less than 2 weeks, we recommend the Clear Sky Experience program.

We typically have several intakes per year. Contact us for details.

In the following list are examples of the activities you would be engaged in at Clear Sky, depending on your abilities and skills. We do not assign tasks by preference.  Though there may be tasks you are more suited to, part of the learning is to engage in whatever comes your way.

  • Dusting and vacuuming the meditation and shrine room
  • Picking berries in the food forest
  • Helping with kitchen inventory
  • Creating a spreadsheet or document
  • Preparing a room for a new retreatant
  • Serving a silent retreatant’s meal
  • Doing laundry
  • Preparing a meal
  • Assisting with programs and events
  • Weed whacking
  • Cleaning the main house
  • Cutting grass with the tractor
  • Washing a vehicle
  • Painting
  • Updating food forest whiteboards
  • Weeding

Technical/ skilled labor based on abilities such as:

  • chainsawing
  • building, etc

If you’re not familiar with dāna, you may have come across related approaches such as “pay-from-the-heart.” Dāna is a Sanskrit term that is translated as “generosity” in English. It’s radically different from the transactional way we normally interact in the world – where we give in order to get something back, either a service or thing. Instead, with dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity.

The practice of generosity is central to spiritual unfoldment, whatever path you follow. In our own Buddhist lineage, teachings have always been taught on the basis of dāna, and we are committed to this practice and its development in the West. Dāna is also a radical and – we believe – viable economic alternative to capitalism, which our planet would really benefit from. We all know there must be something better than capitalism or its hungry cousin, consumerism. We maintain that, together, we can offer a financial model that is based in life-affirming mutual support. Please join us in co-creating this promising economic alternative.

You will see other people on site doing service for the founding teachers. We do this because the teachers represent the principle of the awakened mind, and we want to train ourselves to put this principle first, in all we do. Examples would be plating a meal for the teachers and placing it on the dining table, moving their plates away once they’ve eaten, or making them a cup of tea. All of this would be done mindfully, with care and attention to detail.

By putting the teachers first, we are also practicing putting aside our habits and preferences for the sake of our growth and unfolding. God (or enlightenment) is in the details , so we are also “upping our game” in terms of mindfulness and attention when serving the teachers.

Lastly, we are generating merit in this lifetime by serving the principle of awakening.

Applications are welcome at all times, and we can be flexible enough to fast-track entry based on mutual benefit.

For greatest chance of acceptance into the Karma Yoga program, we recommend applying six to nine months prior to the time you wish to join us.

Those with the most flexibility may receive priority placement in the program.

How much free time will I have to connect with family, friends and/or continue some personal work or studies?

Very little and this is intentional. Our program has been consciously crafted as an immersion experience so that you can dive deep and reap the benefits of a retreat. Like when you go on retreat, you are encouraged to take space from your regular activities, relationships, and habits (not that there is anything wrong with them, necessarily). This space gives you the opportunity to become more conscious about yourself and how you spend your time. You will have some evenings, after 8:30 pm and your integration day (one day a week), to attend to your personal growth and needs. This is a great example of less is more, or put another way, quality time over quantity time. As a result of our program, we find that participants learn to fast track their spiritual growth, engage in their lives more fully, and prioritize their personal time more wisely.

How can I prepare before coming?

Reading the Clear Sky and Planet Dharma websites, blogs, vlogs and watching the Youtube channel is highly recommended. You can purchase a copy of Dharma If You Dare by Doug Duncan Sensei here. After your application has been approved and you have made a deposit, you will be sent more details on your stay including a reading list.

How can I get to Clear Sky from the airport?

You can request an airport pick up from the program manager. We ask that you request this as soon as you know so that we can plan in advance for someone to welcome and collect you.

I do not have a car, how can I get around?

Often there are people on site with vehicles that you can ride-share with and offer money for gas. You will need to communicate and plan in advance in order to make this a workable option for all involved.  There are also 310 acres of beautiful nature to explore at Clear Sky itself.

Accommodation:

Where will I stay?
Over three month periods, a number of retreats and events can take place at Clear Sky. For this reason, you can expect to change rooms more than once. There may be small windows where you have your own room. At other times you can expect to share with at least one other and up to three others. During the summer months you are welcome to tent if you enjoy sleeping outdoors and watching the starry skies.

What kind of meals will you serve me?
Many folks are surprised that we serve meat every second day and that they will likely be asked to prepare and serve meat dishes during their stay. For this reason, we ask all participants to come with a mind of curiosity and non-clinging to preferences. For vegetarians and vegans, you can expect to be well fed, however there will be less options as we do cater mostly to omnivores. We are all encouraged to use our relationships with food for meditation and exploration. We source our food from our gardens, food forest, local suppliers, and eat organic as much as possible. Most people who visit rave about how nourishing the food is.

Can I have a friend or family come and stay?
We welcome guests who are genuinely interested in what we do. Since we are running a working monastery with a particular purpose and focus, we ask that you get approval from the on-site management team before inviting family and friends to visit you.

Questions?

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