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Buddhas in Action: Awakening in Daily Life

August 9, 2019 @ 8:00 am - August 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm MDT

Buddhas in Action: Awakening in Daily Life

A Karma Yoga Retreat | August 9-24, 2019

When we’re in the middle of modern busy-ness, the spiritual life can feel out of reach. This retreat gives you the building blocks to apply awareness, compassion, wisdom, and strength to each moment.


Buddhas in Action: Awakening in Daily Life

We all need to earn a living and deal with day-to-day pressures. We want to relate meaningfully with those around us, but we often feel unfulfilled. Work just leaves us feeling worn out and slightly empty. And sometimes the space between self and other feels like a tremendous gap.

When we’re in the middle of modern samsaric busy-ness, the spiritual life can feel out of reach. The wonderful news is that we can use contemporary spiritual practices at work and in relationship to feel fulfilled while doing so. These different parts of our life can support one another in beautiful ways, leading to great feelings of meaningfulness, balance, and connection.

This retreat gives you the building blocks to apply awareness, compassion, wisdom, and strength to each moment. The result is greater fulfillment amid daily life and meaningful connection with others and the world around you.


Why Take Buddhas in Action

The Benefits of a Karma Yoga Retreat

August 9-24, 2019

Why Study Awakening through Action?

We’ve spent the last 20 years adapting this tradition of awakening through action to our modern lives, at home, in offices, in conversations, at our desks, in meetings, in bed and in the field. This profoundly practical application can help you find greater joy, fulfillment, and calm amidst your busy daily life.

By learning the principles of karma yoga (awakening through action), you can apply awareness and wisdom to everything you do. Cultivating this practice allows you to transform your work, home and city life into a connective field of monastic or yogic practice. Your home becomes your monastery, while your co-workers become your fellow yogis and yoginis.

Our experience shows that blending study, meditation, and what we call “awakening through action”, profoundly integrates spiritual practice with day-to-day demands.

Karma yoga has made me aware of how to streamline my energy to a sustainable, smooth level of work. It has given me invaluable practice on focusing my attention on the task at hand. – Lisa Feder

Please note that this retreat and Clear Sky welcome people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs. This retreat is also open to all experience levels.

What’s Expected of Me if I Come to This Retreat?

  • An open mind and heart, and a spirit of adventure are excellent things to bring!
  • It’s human to have some apprehensions about doing something new, meeting new people, or going to a new place. Particularly when all three happen together. We try to make this as supportive as possible.
  • Changes – including positive ones – require movement, and movement requires engaged energy. We ask you to engage with us around the teachings and activities that will support your learning and unfoldment around awakening in action.
  • When exploring our growth edges, it’s natural to feel uncertain and awkward. And it’s very fruitful to transform that emotional tension into creative energy by drawing on your own inner resources – such as inquiry, going with the flow, and self-reflection, just a few of the many kinds of constructive engagement.
  • To maximize your learning, we ask that you refrain from reading, using the internet or listening to music during the course. We make an exception for journaling, course assignments and dancing during exercises or group celebration – all great resources for integration and growth
  • Lastly, our teaching and Clear Sky operate based on the ancient tradition of dāna or generosity. Please learn more about this profound practice before you register. 

Meet the Teachers

Catherine Pawasarat
Catherine Pawasarat
Doug Qapel Duncan
Doug Qapel Duncan

Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat are Dharma and meditation teachers who founded Clear Sky Meditation Center, BC, Canada.

Qapel (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, Qapel embraces various traditions, contemporary psychology, and science, to mentor all beings to a more awakened state.

Catherine Pawasarat Sensei has trained daily with Qapel (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 Sensei also draws on generative living and the arts. With Qapel she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies.

What Did Last Year’s Graduates Say?

Watching how everyone engaged and getting new insights and a-ha moments brought home to me that karma yoga and dharma training is a path that brings the modern spiritual explorer alive and moves them forward.

Dr. Duncan Cryle

Ph.D, Executive, IBM Canada

Buddhas in Action has been an outstanding retreat experience! One of the unexpected and lovely aspects is working and work-shopping while talking, and eating meals in silence.

Maureen Smith

Counsellor, MBSR Trainer, Alive Mindfully, BC

Buddhas in Action gave me the benefits of a deep meditation retreat alongside added opportunity to see and reflect on patterns as they came up in our activities. This made it all the more powerful.

Cara Conroy-Low

Acupuncturist, Cranbrook Acupuncture Clinic, BC

Course Details

Fees and Dāna

This course is run based on the ancient principle of generosity, or Dāna.  There are also fees for meals and accommodation at Clear Sky Retreat Center, where the retreat is held. Please see the registration page fore details:

Wongkur Empowerments

There will also be two special wongkur empowerments during this retreat, given by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei:

Green Tara Empowerment: August 10, 2019 – Green Tara Info

Sengema Empowerment: August 17, 2019 – Sengema Info

Pre-Requisites & Recommendations

The retreat is engaging, active and will challenge you.  We welcome new participants, however recommend you have done some preparation and are in a good space to participate fully.  

The following may be helpful criteria to decide if this retreat is a good fit for you:

  • Most importantly, you are open, curious, and willing to step outside your box to explore new approaches.
  • You have attended one or more Planet Dharma online courses, or, have read Wasteland to Pureland and viewed teachings videos and blogs on the Planet Dharma website.
  • Have an established meditation practice and are comfortable sitting in meditation for 45 minutes.
  • Have experience working, communicating and learning in challenging team or community environments.


August 9, 2019 @ 8:00 am MDT
August 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm MDT
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