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Winter Meditation Retreat: The Kasinas

December 4 - December 19

Winter Meditation Retreat: The Kasinas

Meditation Retreat ONLINE or in BC, Canada| Dec 4-19, 2020

Kasiṇa meditation is a concentration meditation (samatha, jhāna) intended to settle the mind and create a foundation for liberation. 

OverviewRegistration

Winter Meditation Retreat: The Kasinas

Settling the Mind, Cultivating Concentration (Jhāna)

The ten kasina are part of the forty kammatthana: objects of meditation. They are described in detail by Buddhaghosa in the meditation section of the Visuddhimagga.

Kasina meditation is a concentration meditation (variously known in different traditions as samatha, dhyana, or jhana meditations), intended to settle the mind of the practitioner and create a foundation for further practices of meditation. In the early stages of kasina meditation, a physical object is used as the object of meditation, being focused upon by the practitioner until an eidetic (after-image) image of the object forms in the practitioners mind. In more advanced levels of kasina meditation, only a mental image of the kasina is used as an object of meditation.

Experience Acariya Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei’s meditation experience in this strengthening, mind settling and concentration building retreat.

Held online, and at our home retreat centre, Clear Sky, a 21st-century model for innovative awakening, situated in the beautiful B.C. Rocky Mountains.

Online Retreat Option

Can’t fly here? Do the retreat where you are.

It might not be possible to get to Clear Sky to do this retreat. Join us from wherever you are in the world instead.

Basic requirements to do the retreat online:

  • Block out the two weeks and be focused on the retreat for this entire period, using this time and participating in the retreat as if you were at Clear Sky in person.  This includes a rigorous, full, daily meditation schedule.
  • Participate in all of the daily classes and group practices via online streaming.
  • Set up a quiet space or location where you can focus on the Meditation Retreat, and not need to engage in conversation or work with others.
  • Put away your phone, digital devices and other distractions.
  • If there are enough people in the same time zone as you, you could also make a cohort to meet to do a group practice throughout the retreat.

 

kasina fire meditation

Retreat schedule:

(Time Zone: MST, subject to change)

  • [Personal Meditation / Breakfast]
  • 9am  – 10am:  Class with Teachers
  • 10:30am – 11:30am: Group Practice lead by Sangha
  • [Personal Meditation / Lunch]
  • 3pm – 4 pm: Group Practice lead by Sangha
  • [Personal Meditation / Dinner]
  • 7:30pm – 8:30pm: Group Practice and Q & A with Teachers
  • [Personal Meditation / Sleep]

Winter Meditation Retreat: The Kasinas

Settling the Mind, Cultivating Concentration (Jhāna)

December 4-19, 2020

Why this Retreat?

This winter meditation retreat focuses on the kasinas, part of the 40 classical Buddhist meditations.

By focusing on ten kasinas as mind objects we developing concentration, calm and bliss.  As we deepen our focus, we develop and strengthen our absorption, the jhanas. This provides a platform for awakening.

There are ten kasiṇa described in the Visuddhimagga, which are also mentioned in the Pali Tipitaka:[1]

  1. earth पठवी कसिण (Pali: paṭhavī kasiṇa, Sanskrit: pṛthivī kṛtsna)
  2. water आपो कसिण (āpo kasiṇa, ap kṛtsna)
  3. fire तेजो कसिण (tejo kasiṇa, tejas kṛtsna)
  4. air, wind वायो कसिण (vāyo kasiṇa, vāyu kṛtsna)
  5. blue, green नील कसिण (nīla kasiṇa, nīla kṛtsna)
  6. yellow पीत कसिण (pīta kasiṇa, pīta kṛtsna)
  7. red लोहित कसिण (lohita kasiṇa, lohita kṛtsna)
  8. white ओदात कसिण (odāta kasiṇa, avadāta kṛtsna)
  9. enclosed space, hole, aperture आकास कसिण (ākāsa kasiṇa, ākāśa kṛtsna)
  10. consciousness विञ्ञाण कसिण (viññāṇa kasiṇa, vijñāna kṛtsna); in the Pali suttas and some other texts; bright light आलोक कसिण āloka kasiṇa according to later sources, such as Buddhaghosa‘s Visuddhimagga.

The framework we’ll use is the classical teachings on the Kasinas from Buddhaghosa’s 5th-century text Visuddhimagga (Path of Purification).

 
 

What Can I expect with this Retreat?

The Course 

  • This meditation retreat consists of many hours of consecutive practice each day. Therefore some experience, especially with insight meditation, is highly recommended.
  • NOTE: If this is your first two-week retreat, advance permission from the teachers is required.
  • 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.
  • This is a silent retreat. To deepen your meditation, we ask that participants refrain from reading, using the internet, phone or listening to music during the course.
  • Suggested reading: The Visuddhimagga, Chapters 3-5. (PDF from Access to Insight)

The Location – Clear Sky Center

  • Located in the BC rocky mountains, Clear Sky offers over 300-acres to deepen your practice and reconnect with nature. Founded by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, the centre is home to students from around the globe who are dedicated to co-creating a supportive and innovative space for awakening in our modern world.

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.

What Do Previous Retreatants Say?

This retreat was right on the mark, a perfect blend of focused inner work along with space for reflection in a trusting and comfortable setting. The teachers were wonderful, insightful, humorous, and extremely attentive to our individual needs for understanding. This unique experience cultivated a bond within the group and fostered an energy that amplified each lesson.
Ryan Gies

Manager of Software Engineering

Ancient teaching that I feel is important to understand if someone was serious about meditation practice. I appreciate the teachers, Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, unrelenting perseverance to teach about the roots and traditions of these rich practices. These practices are life changing, so it is great that we can have teachers that will explore the rich history with us, and deliver the material in a very understandable and relevant way.
Jenai Lieu

I feel so lucky to have received this precious Dharma-teaching. Your presence, your compassion and your wisdom is as infinite as its effectiveness. Thank you so much, to get us out of the mud again and again and again. You are needed in many places on this planet.
Andrea Netscher, Germany

Physical Therapist

Course Fees & Requirements

All Retreatants: A Dāna Based Retreat

This retreat is offered on the basis of dāna (generosity).

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.

You will be sent a link to offer “dana” to the teachers after registration. 

For more information on dāna click here.

For Online Retreatants: Admin Fees & Requirements

In order to bring you this retreat an home, there is an additional pay by the heart, sliding scale admin fee* of $200-$700. The admin fee is to cover the costs of running these online courses – for equipment and software to provide you the teachings online.

If you are taking this retreat online, we require that you devote your full attention to the retreat for the entire two weeks.

Requirements include:

  • Block out the two weeks and be focused on the retreat for this entire period, using this time and participating in the retreat as if you were at Clear Sky in person.  This includes a rigorous, full, daily meditation schedule. 
  • Participate in all of the daily classes and group practices via online streaming.
  • Set up a quiet space or location where you can focus on the Meditation Retreat, and not need to engage in conversation or work with others.
  • Put away your phone, digital devices and other distractions.
  • If there are enough people in the same time zone as you, you could also make a cohort to meet to do a group practice throughout the retreat.
  • Note: full details/ requirements will be sent to you after registering

 

About the administrative fee*

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. Learn more about the practice of dāna here.

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.

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.

May all our efforts be sustainable, abundant and for the benefit of all beings!

We welcome any questions. Please feel free to contact registrar@planetdharma.com.

Retreatants at Clear Sky: Lodging Fees & Covid 19 Protocols

In addition to Dana to the teachers, Clear Sky Meditation Centre provides an incredible space for your retreat.  Situated on a beautiful 310-acre property in the Rocky Mountains, the center and its karma yogis provides you nourishing daily meals and comfortable accomodation.

Please go to the retreat registration page for this retreat for details of the all inclusive fee for the two week retreat.

Covid-19 Protocols

Please note, we are taking measures to keep us all healthy during this retreat, including:

  • You must have experienced no symptoms associated with covid-19 in the past 14 days.
  • You have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
  • Physical distancing (2m) amongst all visiting retreatants will be observed during this retreat.
  • Please bring your own face mask(s) that you will feel comfortable wearing. When physical distancing is not possible during this retreat, you will be asked to wear a mask.
  • Sanitation and hand washing procedures will be explained when you come and must be followed.

Detailed Daily Schedule

Specific times may change (MST)

RETREAT DAILY SCHEDULE
6:30 – 7:30 AM Walk &/or Personal Practice
7:30 – 8:15 AM Breakfast: Prepare, eat, clean up
8:15 – 8:45 AM Walk &/or Personal Practice
9:00 – 10:00 AM Class with Teachers
10:00 – 10:30 AM Walk
10:30 – 11:30 AM Group Practice lead by Sangha
11:30 – 12:30 PM Personal Practice
12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch: Prepare, eat, clean up
1:30 – 3:00 PM Personal Practice
3:00 – 4:00 PM Group Practice lead by Sangha
4:00 – 5:30 PM Personal Practice
5:30 – 7:00 PM  Dinner: prepare, eat, clean up
7:00 – 7:30 PM Walk &/or Personal Practice
7:30 – 8:30 PM Group Practice and Q & A with Teachers
8:30 – beyond Personal Practice & bed

 

Ready to Register?

Please click on the buttons below to register for either retreat option.  If you have questions about the retreat, please phone 250-429-3929, or contact michelle@clearskycenter.org.

The 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 [Retreat] 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

Details

Start:
December 4
End:
December 19
Event Category:

Venue

Clear Sky Meditation & Study Centre
3567 Cockell Rd
Bull River, British Columbia V0B1N0 Canada
+ Google Map
Website:
https://www.clearskycenter.org/