The Diamond Realization (Online)
January 6, 2020 - February 2, 2020
The Diamond RealizationA Four Week Online Course | Starts January 6, 2020
What is the diamond state of realization? The diamond or thunderbolt cuts through delusional states of mind to reveal wisdom and ultimate truth. Would you like to obtain this state? Support your own unfoldment by joining us for this online study of the Diamond Sutra, through Suchness, the commentary by the great awakened master Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche.
The Diamond Sutra
Study is one of the four pillars of a strong spiritual practice. Start your year with an opportunity to study the incredible Diamond Sutra text, the perfection of wisdom.
One of the most treasured sutras in the Mahayana canon, the Diamond Sutra is also recognized as the oldest dated and printed book in existence. The full translation of the book’s title is “The Diamond Which Cuts Through Illusion.”
“Whosoever can receive and retain this teaching, study it, recite it and spread it abroad will be clearly perceived and recognized by the Tathagata and will achieve a perfection of merit beyond measurement or calculation – a perfection of merit unlimited and inconceivable.”
– The Buddha (The Diamond Sutra, Section XV, The Incomparable Value of This Teaching)
For this online study of the Diamond Sutra, we will use Suchness, the commentary by the great awakened master Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche.
MON, JANUARY 6
The Diamond Sutra is written in the form of a dialogue about the bodhisattva path and enlightenment between the Buddha to Subhuti, one of his senior students.
In this class we explore the context of the Diamond Sutra: how was Buddhist philosophy evolving at the time the Diamond Sutra emerged, and what monumental shift in spiritual perception does it herald?
What exactly made Subhuti one of the Buddha’s “best” students? How did the Buddha explain how we could control thoughts? And how is all this relevant for our own practice today?
MON, January 13
The diamond or thunderbolt cuts through delusional states of mind to reveal wisdom and ultimate truth.
This class continues our studies of the Diamond Sutra, including such pithy topics as the nature of birth and existence; the practice of bodhisattvas; the nature of Mind Only; and how to use thought to end all thought.
MON, January 20
In this class on the Diamond Sutra and Namgyal Rinpoche’s commentary, Suchness, we review how faith empowers beings to enter the stream of awakening.
To this end, we must put aside all our efforts to build up a permanent identity, which by definition cannot exist. We look at how the Diamond Sutra heavily influenced Chinese Ch’an and Japanese Zen schools of Buddhism: Enlightenment is empty and therefore beyond concepts or expression.
Despite turning no dharmas into dharmas, bodhisattvas remain unattached to both. What is the one question between you and enlightenment?
MON, January 27
We continue our study of the Diamond Sutra, including exploring the illusory nature of self, and the pursuit of non-attachment and emptiness as ultimate reality.
How can we do this, when truth is beyond words, making the teachings inexpressible. The Diamond Sutra teaches us that all limitations are constructs of the mind.
Study and Meditation Electives
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. Jan 12
- Sun. Jan 19
- Sun. Jan 26
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.
January 31-February 2
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, Feb. 2.
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
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.
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.
For reading the Diamond Sutra, we highly recommend Namgyal Rinpoche’s book Suchness – The Diamond State Of Realization available from Bodhi Publishing.
What Does the Course Cost?
We offer this course on the basis of dāna, as well as an admin fee of $100 (USD). The admin is to cover the costs of running these online courses – for equipment and software to provide you the teachings online.
For our teachings itself – You may have come across this is 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. We suggest a range between $120 and $500 for this four week course.
It has been sheer joy to be a participant in the Foundations of Buddhist Philosophy streamed 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.
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!
[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.