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Beyond the Cushion: Awakening our Highest Potential (Online)

June 1 - June 28

Beyond the Cushion: Awakening our Highest Potential

A Four Week Online Course | Starts June 1, 2020

What’s needed in our modern globalized society are spiritual awakening practices that embrace both who you are and the culture in which you live. Discover five “awakening in action” principles for modern spiritual explorers. Together these help you wake up to a more alive and free version of yourself. You 2.0, if you will. 

The CourseRegistration

Beyond the Cushion

If you’re like most people who care about the planet and growing your self-awareness, you may have tried many practices – yoga, counselling, books, courses, meditation. If, after all these sincere efforts, your daily life still isn’t working as well as you’d like, there are reasons for this.

In this online course, we focus on various teaching and training methods that support you to make changes in outdated views, limiting habits and conflicted emotions. We emphasize practice both as individuals and in community. Changing all this takes courage and work and revolutionizes your personal status quo.

The results? More joy, more creativity, more compassion, more freedom, and a greater sense of true wealth.

Course Schedule

Starts June 1, 2020

PLEASE NOTE to deepen and integrate your experience, we are offering three optional weekly Master Classes during the course and an at-home Flash Retreat at the end. See below for more details.  

MON, June 1

Class One

We start our journey exploring both the yogic and monastic paths to awakening – and how these are evolving to what we call the “planetary vehicle”. We need authentic and practical ways of doing the spiritual work in our daily life – at home, at work, and in our relationships. We get into most of our struggles interacting with others – so we begin by exploring communication that is clear and honest, loving and compassionate.

MON, June 8

Class Two

For much of our days we don’t have the luxury to be sitting in meditation. Incorporating active practice into the rest of our day is as important as a daily sitting meditation. Active spiritual practice helps interrupt the painful patterns in your life and infuse yourself with peace and freedom without having to throw away all of your activities.

This week we’ll also explore the importance of training with experienced guides. Regular and consistent interaction with experienced practitioners fosters greater mindfulness in your engagement with both day-to-day activities and community building. This is called “dharma training,” or “the tuning fork principle:” increasing your awareness and effectiveness through mentorship.

MON, June 15

Class Three

Challenge yourself to breakthrough! Undertaking regular and doable challenges in mindful ways opens your heart and mind to a greater sense of success. So many of our habits keep us in the same loops. The challenges rewire your brain and loosens many of your less helpful habits. Freedom is the result.

MON, June 22

Class Four

Community is fundamental to growth. Unfolding into freedom, peace and love is not a solo event. We all need each other! Generative and sustainable community engagement is an essential element to a healthy and integrated spiritual path. When you support other practitioners, you feel a wonderful sense of being able to contribute, and gain insights into yourself that you couldn’t see alone.

Study and Meditation Electives

Master Classes

Three Sundays

There are weekly Master Classes (akin to online Q&A Office Hours) during this online course to support your deepening learning and practice, on the following dates at 3pm MST:

  • Sun. June 7
  • Sun. June 14
  • Sun. June 21

You can elect to attend all three or individual dates.

Registration & Dana links for Master Classes will be accessible to you when you register for the course.

Flash Retreat

June 26-28, 2020

Elect to deepen your practice via a Flash Retreat during the last weekend of this course.  The retreat provides practitioners a valuable opportunity to integrate and seal the learnings from the online course, in a format well suited for our contemporary lives.

The retreat will include instructions, online check ins, and a Master Class on Sunday, June 28.

We encourage you to attend this weekend retreat at Clear Sky Centre, or together with your local sangha, or if those not available to you, in your home.

Registration and Dana links for the Flash Retreat will be accessible to you when you register for the course.

Sangha power – consider organizing or joining regional in-person or online sangha groups to support one another during the online courses and Flash Retreats. 


Meet the Teachers

Catherine Pawasarat
Catherine Pawasarat
Doug Duncan
Doug Duncan
Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat are Dharma and meditation teachers who founded Clear Sky Meditation Centre, 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, humourous 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 7:30pm MST. The recording will be available for one week after each class.

Study and Meditation Opportunities in addition to the classes include Master Classes on three Sundays at 3pm MST, and a Flash Retreat on June 26-28.

What Does the Course Cost?

We offer this course on the basis of dāna (generosity) plus  an admin fee of $100 (USD).  The admin fee is to cover the costs of running these online courses – for equipment and software to provide you the teachings online.

The teacher’s time and the teaching content itself is offered on the basis of dāna.  Dāna is a Sanskrit term meaning “generosity”, and is the traditional way in which Buddhist teachings are offered.  With dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity. You may have come across this in the form of “pay from the heart”. 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. We suggest a range between $120 and $500 for this four-week course. For more information on dāna click here.

Note: this registration is for all four online classes in this series.  Additionally there are three elective Sunday master classes you can opt to join, as well as a weekend flash retreat at the end of the four weeks.  Registration & Dana links for these will be accessible to you when you have registered for the main course.

It has been sheer joy to be a participant in the Foundations of Buddhist Philosophy online classes. They made the practice come alive for me and accessible and pertinent to my every-day life. And of course, I always enjoy Doug and Catherine’s unfailing good humour which put a lighter touch on what can sometimes be a very dry subject.

Ronda Arnfield

Resources Specialist, CBC National TV News (retired)

Fabulous mindfulness teachers, presenting a variety of accessible tools for unfolding, in a mutual, community inspired way. It’s great that classes can be watched in person, virtually, or within a week depending on one’s schedule. Increase the awareness, compassion, wisdom, strength, and joy in your life!

Brendan Ries

Life Coach, Teacher and Artist, Conscious Money

[The online classes] are a fantastic tool for me to not get completely lost in Samsara throughout the year, especially because I don’t live in Canada and cannot be with the teachers so often. I still felt very connected and supported by the Lamas and Sangha. As a result I became much more aware of my state of mind than I would ordinarily. 

Andrea Netscher

Physiotherapist, Germany

This Course is the third of four Online Courses in 2020.

The Diamond Realization

January 6

Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta: Four Foundations of Mindfulness

April 6

Beyond the Cushion: Awakening our Highest Potential

June 1

Eye of the Storm: Navigating the Modern World

October 12


June 1
June 28
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