Multiple Realities: Bardos & Beyond (4 Week Online Course)
January 14, 2024 - February 4, 2024
Multiple Realities: The Bardos & BeyondOnline Course | Four Weeks
January 14 – February 4, 2024
We struggle because we are habitually locked in fixed views of self, other and the world. Studying the various ‘bardos’ or multiple realities of experience helps loosen the limiting blinders of our ego’s perceptions. By expanding our conceptions and perceptions, we can get unstuck from fixed views, rigidity and conventionality. Greater joy, freedom and awe ensues! Join us for this first online course of 2024.
Perhaps you are interested in altered states. Or you have heard about the bardos of death and dying described in Tibetan buddhism. In this course, we will explore the six traditional bardos and also go to the core of that teaching – something less talked about – how every moment is a bardo or transition.
The six traditional bardos described in Vajrayana teachings are:
- Waking consciousness
These six bardos are also a window into seeing the nature of bardos within all moments, transitions and iterruptions of life – drastically altering our limited ego perceptions and concepts. We will also study language – particularly how we map our realities of self through language and how we get locked into predictable patterns.
Through this study and practice, by seeing the stuckness of our thinking and perceptions, we begin to loosen our tight sense of who we are. Greater freedom, compassion and clarity results.
Bardos is about realms.
Altered state realms.
Bardos: Getting Clearer on Self and Non-Self
The human ego says “I am me” and thinks of itself as living in a continuum of this ‘me-ness’. But if we look closer, we will discover that this perception is not accurate. Instead, we will see there is actually a continuum of experience and altered states, one that the ego habitually and mistakenly claims as its own.
Course Learning Goals
- To investigate the bardos and what they can teach us about ordinary life, death and impermanence.
- To expand our perception of the many bardos of life, and how to live more fully in the present moment.
- Training to leave behind fixed partial views and develop a more complete “viewing” of what actually is.
- To dismantle, question and analyze the sense of ‘self’ and how it is created through language.
- To develop a deeper understanding of the many realms and so-called ‘altered states’ accessible to our human consciousness.
Recommended Bardos Learning:
PODCAST: Consciousness Continues: Navigating Death, Rebirth and the Bardos
The following recording is a talk that Doug ‘Qapel’ Duncan gave on the topic of death, dying and the bardos. In the talk, he explores how we really experience a death in every moment, and describes in detail the steps in the death process and how consciousness finds its way to its next rebirth.
VIDEO: Vajrayana Buddhism and the Life, Death and Rebirth Bardos
Listen to Doug Qapel Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei speak on Vajrayana Buddhism and the bardos of life, death and rebirth. This talk was hosted by Emmanuel College of Victoria University at the University of Toronto, on February 6th 2021.
January 14 – February 4, 2024
Class Times (Mountain Time)
- Sunday January 14 – 9:30-11am
- Sunday January 21 – 9:30-11am
- Sunday January 28 – 9:30-11am
- Saturday & Sunday February 3-4th – 9:30-11am and 2:30-3:30pm
The formal and participatory teachings for this course will occur on Sundays with a Saturday-Sunday flash retreat on the fourth weekend. Class times are estimates and may change slightly.
We encourage you to connect with sangha outside of class times to discuss and deepen your learning of the material.
Flash Retreat Weekend: February 2-4
To deepen and integrate your experience, the final (fourth) weekend during the course will also be a Flash Retreat (Feb 3-4). This can be done at home, or with us at Clear Sky Meditation Centre, in Eastern British Columbia. We highly recommend clearing your schedule over the weekend to focus on the retreat. Formal group sessions will be held at these approximate times:
- Flash Retreat morning group workshop: 9:30-10:30am
- Flash Retreat afternoon group workshop: 2:30-3:30pm
Meet the Teachers
Qapel 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 streamed live at 9:30-11am MST. We ask participants to attend live whenever possible. The recording of each class will be available for one week after each class. We encourage you to connect with sangha outside of class times to discuss and deepen your learning of the material.
The course culminates with a Flash Retreat on February 2-4, 2024, with formal workshop times held at 9:30-10:30am and 2:30-3:30pm Mountain Time on Saturday and Sunday.
What Does the Course Cost?
This course is offered based on the unique combination of:
1) dāna, and
2) a $80-120 USD administrative fee:
- Register by December 17 2023: $80
- Register by December 31 2023: $100
- Register less than two weeks prior: $120
Click on the tabs below to learn more:
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. However, 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.
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, the costs of setting up good infrastructure to support effective teaching and connection online can be surprising.
Our admin fee changes based on the date of registration.
Register four + weeks prior: $80
Register two to four weeks prior: $100
Register less than two weeks prior: $120
*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!
This kind of Dharma is much needed, practical and insightful. It is something we need in our modern society where everyone is trying to get ahead of others. Learning with Qapel and Sensei helps me see clearly, lead genuinely and be more willing to step into the unknown, to serve others and to learn.
Qapel and Sensei teach in a light but profound way – taking us on a brilliant journey of understanding with guile and humour.
Male and female perspectives help balance with differing approaches. Explaining a complex but genius system that holds all life understanding from religion, science, psychotherapy and wisdom traditions is not easy. I think Ken Wilber would have enjoyed it.