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One Month Residential Retreat: Mahamudra and The Path of Purification

December 18, 2015 - January 16, 2016

Winter meditation retreat canada
Winter meditation retreat canada
Photo © Greg Molkentein

Join Dharma Teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for their popular winter retreat at Clear Sky Centre in Eastern BC. This year’s retreat will be four weeks in duration, and will cover Mahamudra and the Path of Purification.

We highly recommend you attend the entire one month retreat. There will also be the option to attend 2 weeks if one month is not possible. This retreat fills up fast, in which case preference will be given to those retreatants attending for the full month.

Retreat Details

-Mahamudra: Dec 19 – Jan 1, 2015
-The Path of Purification: Jan 2 – Jan 16, 2016
-Mahakala Wongkur: Jan 2, 4pm.

Mahamudra

(Fri., Dec. 18, 2015 – Fri., Jan. 1, 2016)

Have you noticed that life is in constant motion? In fact, the whole universe is one continuous movement of everlasting change.

“Maha” means “great,” while “mudra” means “seal” or “mark,” as well as “movement.” Mahamudra practice is watching the moving mind or consciousness in all its aspects – including sensation, feeling and thoughts – going through its changes.

And it’s important to note that the still mind also exists, as the consciousness that watches these changes; Mahamudra practice observes that as well.

What are the difference and similarities between the moving and still mind? How do they relate? How can the mind said to be moving and still at the same time?

Come join us for our Mahamudra retreat to explore the mind in motion and the mind at rest.

Is there a mind that can observe both the stillness and the movement? If so, what is it like in all its manifestations? How and why does it change? Stay at rest?

We may feel that we have good days and bad days, “up” moods when we’re happy and dark moods when the world or other people aren’t doing what we’d like. On completing this retreat and returning to our daily lives, we will be much less ruffled and disturbed and buffeted by the events of our daily life. We’ll have discovered that what we are going through are simply weather changes – the weather of the mind.

 Course Outcomes

Bull Mountain Retreat BC
Photo © C. Conroy-Low

• Learn how to develop and grow our understanding of Mahamudra.
• Learn to contact and understand the nature of the mind that is unaffected by troubling thoughts and emotions.
• Develop a greater sense of calm and focus.
• Increase the amount of bliss available to us.
• Recognize, identify and build on the strengths and positives already in our lives.
• Access more energy and focus to accomplish our aims and meet our aspirations.
• Enjoy a greater sense of freedom, spontaneous joy and clarity in our daily life.

Expectations and Inspirations

To succeed with this practice, participants will:
•   Show up early for classes and participate in all scheduled teachings, group meditations and other activities scheduled during the course.
•   Foster and maintain an atmosphere of trust and acceptance in the community of practice that has gathered for this course.
•   To stay focused on the retreat outcomes, refrain from reading materials not related to this course, while using note-taking and journal writing as a means of recording reflections.
•   Engage mindfully in daily scheduled Karma Yoga (“Path of Service”) practices at Clear Sky, as part of one’s spiritual practices during retreat.

Optional reading:

The Mahamudra: Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance.*

By the Ninth Karmapa.

If you’d like to read this book to support your retreat experience, we recommend you bring it to the course and read it during the course.

*The above book hyperlink is to an older edition of the book that Doug and Catherine Sensei are using.  Feel free to buy the newer edition, however page references will be different.

Dāna

This retreat is offered by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat on the basis of dāna, or generosity practice. Learn more about dāna.

The Path of Purification

(Fri., 1 Jan – Sun., 17 Jan 2016)

Building on the Mahamudra retreat, the Path of Purification empowers us to maintain our newfound insights when the mind gets more involved with all the different moving parts – including sensations, feelings, states of mind and other people – that we encounter in our daily lives. We’ll begin the retreat with an energizing Mahakala wong kur and sadhana practice.

The fifth-century text Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification) is a foundational text examining Buddhist meditation techniques and doctrine, designed to lead to enlightenment.

And in order to get there from here, we train ourselves to secure the mind/body continuum in wholesome states while we are living and working in the world. To this end, we first need to develop this ability in our contemplative practice.

This is one of the primary functions of meditation: the world and our day-to-day lives simply move too quickly to be able to establish wholesome states there initially. Meditative or contemplative training forms the basis or platform, from which we launch our wholesome states into our daily lives.

The spiritual path has three phases: purification, illumination and beatification. After the purification has been undertaken, illumination and beatification naturally follow. In this sense, the major work of the spiritual path is purification. The illumination of enlightenment and the supreme happiness or blessed state (called “beatification” in centuries gone by) are the inevitable harvest of the rich psychic composting and seeding undertaken with purification.

Spiritual community & teachers
© D. Steinbock

This retreat (we prefer to call it an ‘advance’) provides tools and methodology to help us maintain a clear mind and an open heart out there in the busy, complicated and often confusing world.

Retreatants are cordially invited to a soiree after the retreat end, at Sensei and Cata’s on Sunday, 17 January. We recommend it as a way for retreatants to transition back into daily life and socialization, and as a testing ground for maintaining our wholesome retreat states in active situations. We also recommend it for having a good time.

Course Outcomes

• Learn the Buddhist philosophical basis for “ethical behavior.”
• Learn how to integrate ethics, meditation and knowledge for improved quality of life and creative productivity.
• Experience a range of meditation techniques to broaden our experience and understanding of the Path of Purification.
• Discover the difference between knowledge and information, and what transforms these into wisdom.
• Complete a body of purification practices.
• Personally experience the connection between purification and illumination, which inevitably leads to a beautiful state of wellbeing.

Expectations and Inspirations

To succeed with this practice, participants will:
•   Show up early for classes and participate in all scheduled teachings, group meditations and other activities scheduled during the course.
•   Foster and maintain an atmosphere of trust and acceptance in the community of practice that has gathered for this course.
•To stay focused on the retreat outcomes, refrain from reading materials not related to this course, while using note-taking and journal writing as a means of recording reflections.
• Engage mindfully in daily scheduled Karma Yoga (“Path of Service”) practices at Clear Sky, as part of one’s spiritual practices during retreat.

Optional reading:
The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga.
By Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa, translated by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli.

If you’d like to read this book to support your retreat experience, we recommend you bring it to the course and read it during the course.

HardcopyThe Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga

Free downloads: The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga

Dāna

This retreat is offered by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat on the basis of dāna, or generosity practice. Learn more about dāna.

Testimonials

 

Doug Sensei and Catherine Sensei demonstrate and challenge us to recognize that nowhere is the Awakened mind not present or available to us. They model and challenge us to be ruthlessly self-honest, practical and to work together to build and shape healthy communities and relationships in all that we do.
Michelle Heinz
Executive Director / Clear Sky Retreat Centre
It is one thing to hear or read the Dharma and understand it intellectually. This workshop went so much further than that, as I found myself receiving realizations of the teachings on a visceral basis, going far beyond simply understanding.
Bob Abramms
As a result of studying with Doug and Catherine, I’m more awake: I have more clarity, compassion, and calm. These characteristics have made me a better dharma student, dharma teacher, parent, friend, colleague, manager and leader.
Lynn Hauka
Management Consultant
Doug, Catherine & the community around them are phenomenal teachers, supports and guides. I've never seen any therapy and meditation teaching that goes to such depth, one on one and in community, anywhere else.
Cara Conroy-Low
Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine / Seed Stalk Flower
Working with Doug and Catherine at the 5 day hero’s journey workshop was deeply impactful and has clarified for me not only my deepest heart’s desire but what I need to face and overcome to manifest it. Doug and Catherine are extraordinary facilitators with a great depth and breadth of knowledge, wisdom and presence to share.
Kira MacDuffee
M.Ed / RCC
Doug and Catherine's ability to translate the heart of the Buddhist teachings into wisdom that is relevant and applicable in today's world mean that their teachings go far beyond theory to have real impact on lives. The crucial balance of care, support, insight and challenge they have offered me has been instrumental for a greater experience of love, connection and aliveness in my life. My deepest heart thanks go out to them for all that they have done for me and all beings.
Ruth Levin
Choreographer & Dance Teacher
When I am with these two very clear individuals, I am humbled by their dedication to others, and understand the every-waking-moment responsibility that comes with their calling.
Peter Ujlaki
Art Dealer, Japan
Doug Sensei and Catherine Pawasarat have woven together a finely-textured tapestry of Buddhist Philosophy that has made the basics of the practice come alive for me and accessible and pertinent to my every-day life.
Ronda Clanfield
Resources Specialist, CBC National TV News (retired)
I came to Clear Sky after years of wandering on the path of self-transcendence; I was trying to do it by myself and it just wasn’t working. Dharma Teachers Doug & Catherine immediately saw my self-imposed limits and provided me with clear, direct instructions on how to really accelerate growth. After putting my personal preferences aside and deciding to work with awakened teachers I have become far more focused and clearer than I could ever have been on my own.
Matt O'Rourke
Hydro-Engineer
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. The journey has opened access to undiscovered strengths in myself and I could not be more thankful.
Ryan Gies
Manager of Software Engineering
Teachers suggest, guide and train - the student's responsibility is to get involved and be willing to dance.  I accepted that opportunity to dance, the opportunity of a lifetime, and with such excellent dance partners (Doug and Catherine) I have thrived in my unfolding.
Maureen Smith
Counsellor, MBSR Teacher / Alive Mindfully
The first time I met Catherine and Sensei at Clear Sky Centre for a one week silent meditation retreat, at the end I burst into tears. I found home. Dharma Trips around the world with those two cutting edge masters have also allowed me to see the world from a whole new prespective.
Maya Lewandowsky
Cata and Doug Sensei teach their own brand of profoundly sensible Dharma.
Richard Arnfield
President / Spectrum Glazes
Thank you again for all the teachings! They have impacted my life in such a positive way that it is unexplainable with words 🙂
Irene Arriaza
Precious and few are the teachers that have the charisma and skillful means to genuinely awaken us to the depth of our own TRUE NATURE!
Wendy Stauffer
Owner / Villa Sumaya
Doug & Catherine are continuously pushing the envelope of experience, often with irreverent humour in challenging others to do the same & doing so with heart for Dharma that isn't afraid to think outside the box.
Martin Blackwell
Operations Manager, Clear Sky Center
Sensei and Catherine's teachings have helped me create a spaciousness in my being to find generosity, abundance, and energy with my self and my potential. I am immensely grateful to them for their patience and love and personal connection to my growth and unfoldment.
Linda Hochstetler
Doug and Catherine Sensei are living examples of the dharma teachings. For me, their teachings give me a place to begin to apply the dharma in my own life. I trust in their one-pointed focus on whatever it takes to speed their students unrealized potential.
Laura Montgomery
Counsellor and Mom of two
Doug and Catherine Sensei demonstrate how every encounter in our lives is not only a litmus test that shows if we are acting with compassion or not, they hand us the polish for the silver that we can use to rub away the tarnish of our egocentric mode of perception to reveal the inherent sparkle of a compassionate heart and mind.
Richard Sadowsky
Translator, Japanese to English
If you get a chance to study with Doug-sensei and Catherine, don't miss it. Through the power of long dedication, deep meditation, and wise guidance, life can definitely be transformed.
Paul Jaffe
Retired Professor & Meditation Teacher
Doug and Catherine Sensei have a complimentary teaching style that empowers me to take on life's numerous challenges. Thanks to their guidance, I understand the role of fiery masculine energy and how to integrate it with softer more receptive earth feminine energy. They are Yin and Yang in human form. I could not ask for a more complete or effective spiritual teaching.
Evangelos Diavolitsis
Movement Facilitator and Money Coach / Meditation Moves
The first time I met Doug & Catherine Sensei was at the Clear Sky Center, BC as a Karma Yogi (volunteer). Despite being new to the teachings, despite my past, despite my attitude they welcomed me and created space for me to connect with everyone. I know they see Buddha Nature in everything and welcome it with a warm heart.
Maryline Fortier
Business Student

Visit the Clear Sky website for bookings & registration:

Register for Meditation Retreat

Details

Start:
December 18, 2015
End:
January 16, 2016
Event Category:
Website:
http://www.clearskycenter.org/group-retreats/meditation-retreats/164-year-end-2015

Organizer

Clear Sky Meditation Centre
Phone:
250-429-3929
Website:
www.clearskycenter.org

Venue

Clear Sky Retreat Centre
Bull River Valley
Cranbrook,BCV0B1N0Canada
+ Google Map
Website:
http://www.clearskycenter.org/group-retreats/schedule#/event/235/weekend-retreat-how-to-go-beyond-happiness