The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (Online)
April 6, 2020 - May 3, 2020
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.
To prepare, please read Namgyal Rinpoche’s short and pithy Breath of Awakening, a commentary on the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta or Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
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).
MON, April 6
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
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
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
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
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.
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. 2 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
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.
Breath of Awakening by Namgyal Rinpoche. Click for details.
What Does the Course Cost?
We offer this course on the basis of dāna, as well as an admin fee of $100. The admin is to cover the costs of running these online courses, including computer equipment, microphones, cameras and software.
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.