Dharma Teachings

contemporary spiritual training with time tested roots.


mentorship with experienced guides.


as a supportive catalyst for spiritual growth.

Online Dharma during the Covid-19 Epidemic

Every cloud has a silver lining. Take the opportunity to meditate and study Dharma at this time. Luckily, you can do online study from where you are via our Online Courses, Podcast and Office Hours.

Prefer to read? Enjoy our books Dharma If You Dare or Wasteland to Pureland.

Courses & Retreats

2020, the Year of Meditation

Benefit from the support of experienced mentors and an inspiring community with meditation retreats and courses.

New Book

Wasteland to Pureland: Reflections on the Path to Awakening

by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat

Wasteland to Pureland is a contemporary guide to integrating spiritual practice with everyday life. Learn how the daily grist of work, relationships, and challenges can become our richest resources. Honest, edgy, and accessible, this book is for anyone ready to shed limiting beliefs, and wake up to the vibrant, creative nature of reality.

These teachings emerge out of decades of practice and study by master teachers Acariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat. Grounded in the belief that awakening is available to everyone, they teach us how to reunite with our gifts, and become agents of compassion and transformation, personally, interpersonally and globally.

Buy the Book

Wake Up: Four Paths to Spiritual Awakening

Take this free online course that distills life-changing practice into four core paths that you can apply to your home, work and relationships. 

On our partner Innerplicity’s fantastic online platform:

Doug & Catherine’s teachings are a rallying cry for all those who want no-holds-barred, honest guidance on the path of awakening.  I’m thoroughly inspired by the spiritual potential we all have, and sobered by the challenges we face as a species and global consciousness.  The path they lay out makes it clear that the journey is worth taking.

Cara Conroy-Low

Acupuncturist, Canada

Doug and Catherine are always burning calories to get you back on a path that can lead toward greater self-awareness. When I am with these two very clear individuals, I am humbled by their dedication to others, and understand the every-waking-moment responsibility that comes with their calling.

Peter Ujlaki

Fine Art Dealer, Japan

If you get a chance to study with Doug and Catherine, don’t miss it. Through the power of long dedication, deep meditation, and wise guidance, life can definitely be transformed.

Paul Jaffe

Retired Professor & Meditation Teacher, New York

What is the Purpose of Spiritual Practice?

Life is a fascinating journey, filled with discovery, exploration and awesome experiences. It can also be fraught with suffering and sorrow, often unnecessarily. Happiness is the original state that shines through after unnecessary suffering has been eliminated. We’re dedicated to sharing this path.


A Modern Spiritual Path

Our mandate is to support as many beings as possible to experience spiritual awakening. Our overall approach to the the spiritual path, includes four important aspects


Four Pillars for a Modern Spiritual Path

Click each tab below to read about the four important aspects of a modern spiritual path:
The universe is an amazing, interactive campus, and there is so much to learn and discover. In addition to philosophy, we use science, the arts, kinesthetics and other kinds of direct experience to develop and integrate our various interests.

A truly inspiring spiritual path includes discovery, exploration and study. It incorporates both formal study and apprenticeship-style modalities.

Formal study opportunities with Planet Dharma include online or in-person courses, meditation retreats and public classes.

Meditation is indispensable to spiritual awakening. In its various forms –such as sitting practice, prayer and contemplation – it speeds up an individual’s spiritual and personal unfoldment. It helps us integrate the various parts of the psyche. It develops great calm and concentration that lead to greater states of bliss.

Meditation also brings us vast insight and understanding, the building blocks of wisdom. We use both Eastern and Western methodologies to achieve these aims.

Our modern lives call for a spiritual practice that goes beyond the meditation cushion – to bring awareness and meditation to every action and interaction we have, 24/7, 365.  Awakening in Action, or “Karma Yoga” is a spiritual path for the 21st century and beyond.

In Karma Yoga, we watch the patterns that arise as we interact with others. We use the same principles that we’ve learned in meditation and apply it to our work, our relationships and our communities.

Shadow Integration
We all have buried aspects of our psyches that became suppressed due to our family and societal conditioning. These are what Freud called the subconscious and Jung called the shadow.  Spiritual awakening is also about making this unconscious aspect conscious.

It’s important that we are clear and honest: by its very nature, shadow work is not fun or pretty. It takes courage and fortitude to see parts of our being that are not like we wish them to be, and to dedicate one’s energy to transforming that.

We believe that integrating our shadow is fundamental and one of the fastest ways to unfold spiritually, and reduce our suffering.

Awakening is your birthright.

Current Training Schedule


Sep 04

Hero’s Journey Retreat

September 4 - September 7

Public Classes

Sun 29

Enlightened Archetypes: Energies We Need to Awaken (ONLINE)

March 28 @ 10:00 am - March 29 @ 11:30 pm MDT

Online Courses

Sun 29

Intro to AstroDharma (A Self-Study Course)

March 1, 2020 - March 21, 2021
Sun 29

Enlightened Archetypes: Energies We Need to Awaken (ONLINE)

March 28 @ 10:00 am - March 29 @ 11:30 pm MDT

Office Hours

May 31

Office Hours Online Q&A

May 31 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT
Jun 14

Office Hours Online Q&A

June 14 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT
Jun 28

Office Hours: Online Q&A

June 28 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT

Awakening Resources: Read, Watch, Listen

See all: Planet Dharma content. Like this content? Get it delivered to your inbox: Subscribe Now.

Read: Articles

Guardians Against Epidemics: Blessings from Retreat

From her month long writing retreat on the Gion Festival, Dharma Teacher Catherine Pawasarat Sensei shares her insights and blessings amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

She shares how the festival started 1,150 years ago in Japan as a ritual to overcome plague, and the importance of balance in our lives. Read more here:

What an Amazing Life: COVID-19

From the Dharma perspective, this time of COVID-19 is a wake up call. Perhaps it gives us an opportunity to rethink how we live and orientate in our world.

Click below to read Dharma Teacher Doug Duncan Sensei’s thoughts on how we can find some sanity and perspective in this time of uncertainty:

Conscious Community in the Nitty Gritty Real World: Five Tips

Do you want to live in a thriving, conscious community that values people, spiritual growth and care for the earth? Here are five tips that you can apply.

Buddha Nature: Mirror-Like Consciousness

Buddha Nature, the transcendent experience, in itself has no distinguishing qualities. “With words it cannot be described, but without words it can’t be expressed” is how Daoists shared this concept.

To experience Buddha Nature, how must you focus your energy? How can you discover something that has the quality of having no qualities?

Read about mirror like consciousness, in this new excerpt from live teachings by Doug and Catherine Sensei:

Seed, Stalk and Flower: Be Master of Your Fate

Welcome to our Meditative Moment series. Once or twice a month, we’re sharing our most recent or favourite blogs, videos and podcasts that address spiritual awakening in the modern age.

All of our content is developed with the aspiration of benefitting all beings. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love hearing from you. Simply respond to this email or say hi on Facebook (linked at the bottom).

Continue reading for our latest offering:

‘Seed, Stalk, Flower: Be the Master of Your Fate’ – One of the oldest meditations is on seed, stalk and flower. Where your attention goes, what your mind is on about, what your aspiration is, will determine what kind of flower (karma) you have.

Read about how to be master of your fate in this new blog article from Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan & Catherine Pawasarat Sensei.

Embracing Your Buddha Body: Movement Meditation

You will experience in your spiritual life some degree of physical discomfort in the process of realizing your Buddha-body. The practice of movement meditation is to become aware of, and then relax or release the tension and pain. Enjoy this month’s read!

Are You Running on Empty?

In order for you to have wisdom, one of the first things required is some space between you and your objects. We call that emptiness.

Be a Stubborn Toddler and Other Tips for Meditation

Do you struggle in meditation? Does your mind wander? Here are some tips for improving your meditation practice, including becoming like a stubborn toddler.

Human Consciousness is a Palace

You are ‘conscious’ and your human consciousness has vast potential. The spiritual journey and meditation is the key to leaving the ‘basement’ to explore the great ‘palace’ above.

Book Launch: Wasteland to Pureland – Teachings of Dharma

Teachings on Society’s Struggles and What We Can Do   The book  launch for Wasteland to Pureland, a collection of teachings and reflections from Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, is fast approaching on September 21, 2018. Here is what they had...

Watch: Videos

Meditation: Beyond Mindfulness

What is the difference between mindfulness and meditation?  While they may be related, they are not the same thing. With mindfulness, the ego still remains in place. With meditation you witness the mind that witnesses the phenomenon.

Watch this video to remember why it’s worth going much deeper with meditation, beyond mindfulness and the ego itself:

Finding Peace in a F’d Up World

Would you like to find peace in a F’d up World? 

Thankfully, there are time tested spiritual tools you can practice for transformation and wisdom. Watch this video to hear Doug and Catherine Sensei share their thoughts on why we struggle and what we can do to find true peace:

Common Foundations: Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind from Samsara to Nirvana

How do we want to wake up? We do this by meditating on the Common Foundations – Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind from Samsara to Nirvana.

Want to get more motivated on your spiritual path? Watch this video to hear Doug and Catherine Sensei describe four undeniable reasons to wake up:

The Diamond Sutra

How do we realize our true nature?  By seeing through the illusion of a separate self.  In this video, Doug Duncan shares the essence of the Diamond Sutra, (which he and Catherine Sensei will also be teaching on in January 2020).

Watch the video to discover how to find ‘naked’ awareness behind the ‘clothing’ of self identity:

The Shadow and Spiritual Awakening

Carl Jung stated the shadow to be the unknown dark side of the personality.
What does the Shadow have to do with spiritual awakening? A lot.

Find out what Dharma Teachers Doug and Catherine Sensei say about the Shadow from a meditation and Dharma perspective. Watch their re-published Enlighten-Up livestream video below:

What is Crazy Wisdom?

Chögyam Trungpa described “crazy wisdom” as an innocent state of mind that has the quality of early morning—fresh, sparkling, and completely awake.

What do Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat call Crazy Wisdom? What is its role in liberating the shadow and catapulting students into states of epiphany? Find out, by watching the newly published video below:

Becoming a Work of Art with the Pāramīs

Discover how to go beyond simple mindfulness and truly become a work of art. This month’s Enlighten-Up is a recording of a special live class that was broadcasted from Calgary.

Join Doug and Catherine Sensei to explore six aspects of consciousness that have been refined by Buddhist practitioners for more than two thousand years. These six aspects are called the Paramis (perfections) in Sanskrit, and they are the blueprint to becoming your own inner and outer work of art.

What is Awakening? The Billion Dollar Question That Defies Words.

Welcome to our Meditative Moment series. Once or twice a month, we’re sharing our most recent or favourite blogs, videos and podcasts that address spiritual awakening in the modern age.

All of our content is developed with the aspiration of benefitting all beings. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love hearing from you. Simply respond to this email or say hi on Facebook (linked at the bottom).

Continue reading for our latest offering:

‘What is Awakening?’ – That is the billion dollar question, one that defies words.

Hear about awakening from Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan & Catherine Pawasarat Sensei in this installment from their monthly Enlighten-Up video series.

Video: Monsters in the Closet

What is the ‘shadow’ and why is shining light on it so important for spiritual awakening? Find out in this candid talk on ‘monsters in the closet’, with Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei. This was recorded live on April 13th, 2019, at Enlighten-Up, their monthly facebook livestream event. Watch now:

Video: Knowledge vs Experience

If you want to get wiser, it takes knowledge as well as experience. How can we balance both? In this video, Doug & Catherine Sensei examine the value of physical and emotional experience, alongside information based knowledge.

Listen: Audio

Season 3 Trailer: Why Awaken?

Why Awaken? Today's episode explores the idea of personal vision and how it relates to spiritual unfoldment. It's part of our celebration for the upcoming release of more podcast episodes from Planet Dharma. Season 3 will begin in mid-July to celebrate Doug Sensei’s...

The spiritual life and financial well-being [37:19]

  In this podcast Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat are interviewed by Deborah Price, founder of the “The Money Coaching Institute” about their new book Wasteland to Pureland.   Together they explore topics of spirituality and economics. A big challenge for many...

Finding your growth edge [12:52]

What`s your most challenging growth edge?  What sparks you?  This lively, informal and interactive extract is from a class in our 2017 "Buddhas in Action" retreat at Clear Sky Retreat Center in B.C., Canada, with Achariya Doug Duncan, Catherine Pawasarat Sensei &...

Tips on becoming a “Buddha in action” [17:31]

In this new Planet Dharma episode, Achariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei shine light on the principle that “buddhas in action” (spiritual explorers waking up and growing through the path of selfless service) continually explore the question “What is...

Healing the Splits Within [4:50]

How do we heal the splits within? In this 5 minute podcast episode, Achariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei elaborate on this question. They share that complete or wholesome effort is when we are in the moment and not distracted by conflicting emotions or...

A vision bigger than your lifetime [10:25]

Letting the study of nature and consciousness inform your vision and career Catherine Sensei begins this episode explaining, “The natural cycles of nature are in essence the same as the natural cycles of dharma, karma and consciousness."  There's a natural wisdom and...

Perfect Generosity [4:02]

In this podcast Achariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei expand on the six perfections (Paramis) of Generosity, Discipline, Acceptance, Effort, Concentration, Insight and share “If you can perfect generosity, all the rest will follow.” When we do not apply...

Basic Trust in the Universe

The first step in spiritual awakening is becoming aware of our ego structure -- actually perceiving the particular beliefs and images that we have identified with and taken to be true -- then dissolving that, letting go of that part of one's identity. --- Doug Sensei...

The Next Step of Unfoldment

In order for you to move to your next understanding -- the next stage of unfoldment -- how you position yourself in relationship to your world has to change. --- Spiritual unfoldment talk transcript:"The important message that I want to convey tonight is: in order for...

Why Practice the Paramis? (Part 2 of 2)

Part 2: Paralyzed and Free! A quadriplegic man in the hospital for 25 years sees the spaciousness through which all manifestations can arise, including the mind. Was no longer obsessed with the arisings. --- Part two of the "Why Practice the Paramis?" podcast from...

Facebook Posts

1 day ago

Planet Dharma

Thanks everyone who participated in our last poll. We heard your feedback to include more of a "dare" element and are back for round 2!

Let us know your favourite in the comments 😀

View on Facebook