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The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (Online)

April 6, 2020 - May 3, 2020

Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

A Four Week Online Course | Starts April 6, 2020

What are the four foundations of mindfulness that provide a platform for insight, and ‘clear seeing’? Discover indispensable tools for crafting a powerful meditation practice.

The CourseRegistration

Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta

While we believe any undertaking can be a vehicle for awakening, there’s no substitute for the power of one’s own profound experience of truth, gained through meditation. This is why meditation is one of the four foundational practices of our teaching.

In this four-week online course, we take a deep dive to explore the Theravadin tradition of vipassana or insight meditation. We’ll focus on the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta, or discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, which has been described as the most profound discourse the Buddha ever gave on mental development.

This simple yet powerful framework will help you extend your meditation experience to everything from subatomic particles to the vastness of space, and all that’s between.

Recommended Reading

To prepare, please read the full Satipatthana Sutta before class.  You can find a link here: Satipatthana Sutta

We also recommend Namgyal Rinpoche’s short and pithy Breath of Awakening, a commentary on the Anapanasati Sutta, which is nice background for the Satipatthana Sutta.

The book is available at the Clear Sky Center shop, or through our friends at Bodhi Publishing (recommend ordering well in advance, as delivery times vary).

The [Online] course went beyond my expectations, I feel I learned a lot of new things or new ways of seeing things. The teachers have an incredible way of presenting the themes in a way that makes it easy to understand. They also make the teachings fun and suggest exercises so that you can apply them in your life.

Irene Arriaza

I was expecting to get pearls of wisdom and I always get far far more. The  teachings always speak directly to me. It is uncanny. It is like hearing a language that I spoke in some other life-form and suddenly it rings a bell. And bell after bell. Like a universal language that we all used to speak but have forgotten, and now as if a new pathway in the brain has opened up and the signals coming in are making sense! Directly from the cosmos via Doug and Catherine Sensei.

Renata Drtinova

Psychotherapist (Gestalt therapist)

The teachers of Planet Dharma [Online course] aim to provide opportunities to learn from age old teachings while including modern information as they are examples of continuing to learn about the fascinating, yet troubled world we live in. They help one to develop ideas how to help out society, live in society and contribute to themselves and others.

Daniel O'Brien

Author, Japan Series

Course Schedule

Starts April 6, 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, April 6

Class 1

Mindfulness of Kaya. Explore awareness of the body, form, and the transitions between physical sensations.

As with all forms, the body comes into being, remains present for a time, and then passes away. With this practice we can directly experience that the body (and everything else) is impermanent.

What happens when one acknowledges this impermance? Join us and find out.

MON, April 13

Class 2

Mindfulness of Vedana. The second foundation of mindfulness includes cultivating awareness of feelings or evaluations, and the transitions between them.

In this tradition, there are only three feelings: pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. No story!

What does this dramatic simplification do to our interaction with feelings? As we note a feeling arising, being present, and passing away, how then do we relate to our feelings?  

MON, April 20

Class 3

Mindfulness of Citta. As we cultivate awareness of mind or states of consciousness, we learn to watch as they arise and pass away.

What then, is mind? Does it make sense for us to link our wellbeing to our fluctuating states of mind? What choices do we have? We learn the answers through mindfulness of mind. 

MON, April 27

Class 4

Mindfulness of Dhammas. As we cultivate ever-greater awareness of phenomena, we develop awareness of the nature of consciousness (dhammas).

Are we conscious? How can we become more conscious? Is the universe conscious? How does the consciousness “I” experience relate to greater consciousness?

In this online class we explore the contemplation of dhamma for these keys to spiritual awakening. 

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. April 12
  • Sun. April 19
  • Sun. April 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.

Flash Retreat

May 1-3, 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, May. 3 at 3pm MST.

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.


Breath of Awakening by Namgyal Rinpoche. Click for details.

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: 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 is a core part of our tradition that no one is excluded from hearing the teachings due to financial constraints. We recognize that the COVID-19 situation may have affected many people’s livelihoods. If this is your situation, please contact [email protected] to discuss options for reducing or waiving the admin fee.

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.

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 second of four Online Courses in 2020.

The Diamond Realization

January 6

Satipatthana 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