Dharma in the Stars
June 16 - June 18
Dharma in the StarsOnline or In-Person | June 16-18, 2023
“It’s written in the stars”. Join Catherine Sensei for a fascinating weekend of AstroDharma study. Discover how your astrological natal chart is a kind of soul map for this lifetime. This map can help give us clarity for our unique bodhisattva path.
Dharma in the Stars: AstroDharma Study
In this course, Catherine Sensei shares her pioneering teachings on AstroDharma – the combination of Astrology and Dharma. This weekend of study focuses on the fundamentals of astrodharma, with the aim to give you the building blocks for what is a vast and lifelong study.
Astrology is part of our Western spiritual teachings and forms a great complement for the studies on the Tarot and Kabbalah in 2023 and 2024. Astrology is also a western tradition, filled with archetypes that as modern people we are already familiar with. So, even if you are new to astrology, you may discover you already know more than you think you do.
In this course, we want you to feel comfortably oriented around an astrological natal chart. We will show you how to find your chart and we will look at participant chargs together over the weekend. You are also encouraged to bring burning questions from your life right now – so we can study how this is reflected astrologically.
We will also learn how ot use astrodharma to transform challenges and discover new strenghts or hidden resources in our lives. Come all, look within, look to the stars!
A Western Mystical Journey through 2022, 2023 and 2024
Qapel’s first retreat with his Teacher Namgyal Rinpoche was on the ‘Movement of the Mandala’, an embodied initiation into the Tarot’s archetypes. Together with Catherine Sensei, he would like to pass on an in-depth transmission of the Western spiritual teachings over the next three years.
- The Tree of Life weekend course, this August 2022 is an introduction to the essence of the Kabbalah, Tarot and Western mystical teachings.
- The Hero’s Journey retreat is an interactive Western style work on shadow integration, offered in Germany in September 2022.
- The primary four week online Kabbalah study course starts May 2023. It will be an online deeper dive and study group into the archetypes of the universal spiritual journey, represented in the Tarot.
- The Dharma in the Stars AstroDharma course provides foundations for astrological study – of Western archetypes and also one’s soup map in this lifetime.
- The Movement of the Mandala retreat will be an experiential transmission of the Western Mysteries. It is the third and culminating teaching of this series and will be held in 2024. It will be an in-person only retreat. Participating in the February 2023 Tarot course is pre-requisite to attend.
In this video, Qapel and Sensei share about the next three years of teachings on the Western Mysteries.
Namgyal Rinpoche, then Ananda Bodhi Bhikkhu in 1969 at the Dharma Centre of Canada.
In fact, the Western Mysteries was the path by which our lineage’s founder, Namgyal Rinpoche, awakened. Rinpoche was a Master of the western spiritual tradition before becoming a Buddhist monk.
Meet the Teacher
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei is a contemporary Dharma teacher, attendant, consort, co-teacher via Planet Dharma and co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center.
She 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.
Time and Location
Dharma in the Stars will be led by Catherine Pawasarat Sensei at Clear Sky Meditation Center in Eastern BC.
An online option is also available for those not in Western Canada, to make participation possible from anywhere in the world.
What Does the Course Cost?
This course is offered based on the unique combination of 1) dāna and 2) course fees – these will be announced very soon.
You may have come across this elsewhere in the form of “pay from the heart”. Dāna is a Sanskrit term meaning “generosity”. With dāna, we give as a mutual exchange of generosity. 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.
The dharma has been built on generosity. No-one is excluded for lack of funds but it is also extremely beneficial to give as much as you are able
Typically people give in a range of $120-$500 USD for a course.
As we’re committed to ensuring everyone has access to the Dharma, please feel comfortable to give less if you are not financially secure. Another form of giving dāna is to offer service, and if you are interested in providing support in a non-financial way, we invite you to contact us.
Conversely, if you are financially secure, we invite you to generate merit by providing more financial support to the Triple Gem. Contributions like these make the difference in supporting our teachers, teachings, and center.
Learn more about the practice of dāna here.
In a traditional model of in-person teachings, a retreat center or urban meditation center invites teachers to visit. In these cases the centers have infrastructure and organization costs to cover, which might be covered by an admin fee. For the teaching itself, dāna to the teachers is offered in a bowl. This honors both the sustainability of the teachers, and of the supporting center.
We’ve tried to recreate this approach online. The teachers’ time and the teaching themselves are offered on the basis of dāna, separate to the admin fee. With our dāna offering we are making a direct gift of generosity to the teachers to support their teachings and livelihood.
The admin fee* goes to support the infrastructure and organization necessary to support them to teach. As anyone with an online business will know, it can be surprising the costs of setting up a good infrastructure to support effective teaching and connection online. The admin fee changes based on date of registration.
*We also do not wish to exclude anyone from the Teachings, so if you are not currently in a financial position to afford the admin fee, please contact the course Registrar via [email protected] so we can support you to attend.
Below are a few of the work and benefits that your admin fee payment is supporting:
- high speed internet (to allow interviews and classes on-line)
- online class systems (Zoom)
- registration / admin systems (Eventbrite, Basecamp)
- communication systems to keep everyone informed, share connection details, teachings and other resources (Mailchimp)
- online storage (for example, Dropbox, to allow us to let students watch recordings, and to store and share selected teachings in other forms such as podcasts and video later, and Amazon cloud)
- quality sound, video and editing equipment (both for live teachings and to provide good enough quality for later sharing as podcasts and video). We are regularly updating our equipment to improve your user experience.
- online calendar booking system to allow students to book interviews
- website hosting and maintenance for sharing upcoming courses, teachings, blogs and other resources.
We welcome any questions. May all our efforts be sustainable, abundant and for the benefit of all beings!
Listen Now: Climbing the Western (Mysteries) Side of the Mountain
In this interview, Qapel talks about the part the Western Mysteries played in his own path and how his teacher, Namgyal Rinpoche, employed these teachings. He also discusses the similarities and differences between the Western and Eastern esoteric teachings, and how practitioners can leverage the Western mystical tradition as a path unto itself or as a way to complement Eastern practices.
If you have questions about the retreat, please contact the Clear Sky Retreat Manager. Maureen Smith – 250-429-3929 (phone) [email protected] (email).
Why Retreat In-Person?
- You can’t beat live interaction with the course Teachers. Being in the same space with clear beings ‘tunes’ you to more wholesome states.
- We create a welcoming environment and follow a supportive retreat schedule, based on decades of hosting successful retreats worldwide.
- Wholesome and delicious food is provided so you don’t have to spend time cooking for yourself.
- Breath-taking and restful, natural environment puts your body and mind at ease and resets your nervous system.
- Retreating at our center gets you out of your usual home environment and routines – they can be distracting.
- Retreating with others (your co-retreatants) is incredibly supportive and energy building.
And, we work hard to support the online retreat experience.
- We have been delivering online offerings since 2014 and are always looking for new ways to optimize your experience.
- You will be provided with recommendations for making your retreat supportive and generative at home, where there are usually many distractions.
- Classes are live-streamed and some recordings are available for a certain time.
- Group sits with your co-retreatants are streamed to support your practice routine.
- HD cameras and professional audio equipment provide high quality video streaming
What Do Previous Retreatants Say?
These are ancient teachings that I feel are important to understand if someone is serious about meditation. I appreciate Qapel and Sensei’s unrelenting perseverance to teach about the roots and traditions of these life changing practices. They explore the rich history with us and also deliver the material in a very understandable and relevant way.
Working with Qapel and Sensei at the five day hero’s journey workshop was deeply impactful and has clarified not only my deepest heart’s desire, but what I need to overcome to manifest it. They are extraordinary facilitators with a great depth of knowledge, wisdom and presence to share.
Doing karma yoga, I watch how everyone gains new insights. These many “a-ha moments” makes it clear to me that this type of active dharma training is a path that brings the modern spiritual explorer alive and moves them forward.
Qapel and Sensei have consistently been honest, accurate and candid with me. It has sometimes taken me years to admit my self-sabotaging blind spots. Clear and radical self-honesty liberates my sticky parts. Thank you to my master teachers for helping me free up all the energy knots – especially the ones created from unconscious patterning around money, sex and power.
Qapel and Sensei 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.
Doug and Catherine teach the Vajrayana with great skill and means. Their ability to shift, weave and embrace each moment with diverse types of students is amazing. One of the jewels they teach and transmit is deity practice, or arising yoga. I have experienced many of their wongkur initiations and find them to be powerful and liberative experiences that also provide tools of great value in my day-to-day practice.