In today’s talk, taken from their course Beyond the Cushion delivered in the early days of the pandemic, Doug Qapel Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei explore the idea of the modern monastery. They explain what traditional aspects of the monastic model are being carried forward and what new approaches and structures are being introduced to make the model relevant and effective in these times and beyond.

Qapel and Sensei discuss how they are working with students in community at Clear Sky Center as well as virtually to bring these approaches and structures into focus through the idea of a living lab. They touch on the topics of dharma training, karma yoga, study and other modalities to help support people’s spiritual awakening.

There are many ways to experience this modern formulation of the teachings. Planet Dharma offers a diverse range of in-person and virtual programming to meet spiritual seekers where they are. From online courses and classes to full-length meditation retreats on topics ranging from Buddhadharma to the Western Mysteries, you’ll find an offering that works for your context to speed up your spiritual unfoldment. Visit to see which experience will help you with your awakening this year.