Pārami: Practices for Freedom
January 14, 2022 - January 16, 2022
Pārami: Practices for Freedom
Weekend Retreat | Jan 14-16 2022
How do you act in the world with compassion, clarity and kindness? Discover the ‘Pārami’ or ‘Pāramitas’, ancient qualities or ‘perfections’ that open the gateway of freedom in one’s being. This weekend course and retreat is offered in-person at Clear Sky Meditation Center, as well as online from your home.
Why Study the Pārami?
The Pārami are Practices for Freedom
We all have habits. Habits are comfortable! We do them every day, usually on auto-pilot. The difficulty with habits is that we’re not present. True freedom and well-being come from the degree to which we are present in each moment. By practicing the Pārami, or the ‘Perfections’, we experience new ways of engaging with the present moment that bring greater awareness and clarity. This interrupts our habits, which tend to be self-focused and unconscious.
When practiced in earnest, and with curiosity, we learn to apply the perfections in more and more situations. Over time, our experience of them deepens and we grow into richer states of freedom year by year. The pārami serve us well for our entire lifetime, and beyond.
In this course we will study the Six Pārami of Mahayana Buddhism.
There are countless translations of the Paramis, and they can be practiced in any order:
- Generosity (Dāna)
- Ethics (Śīla)
- Patience (Kṣānti)
- Effort (Vīrya)
- Concentration (Dhyāna)
- Wisdom and Insight (Prajñā)
This weekend retreat is available online as well as in-person. Video recordings will be available for one week after each class.
Meet the Teacher
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei is a contemporary Dharma teacher, attendant, consort, co-teacher via Planet Dharma and co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center.
She 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.
Time and Location
Each of the classes in this retreat will be video streamed live. The current class schedule is as follows.
- Friday Jan 14th: 7pm MST
- Saturday Jan 15th: 8am MST, 2pm MST, 7pm MST
- Sunday Jan 16th: 8am MST, 2pm MSt
The recordings will be available during the weekend to help with time zone differences.
It is possible to attend the course in these ways:
- Online Retreat
- In-Person Retreat at Clear Sky
What Does the Course Cost?
This course is offered based on the unique combination of 1) dāna and 2) a $100 USD administrative fee. Click on the links below to learn more. Accommodation and meal fees are separate if retreating at Clear Sky Centre.
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 but 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.
Conversely, 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, it can be surprising the costs of setting up a good infrastructure to support effective teaching and connection online.
*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!
Why Retreat In-Person?
Retreating in person at a retreat center is the best way to retreat – why?
- You can’t beat live interaction with the course Teachers. Being in the same space with clear beings ‘tunes’ you to more wholesome states.
- We create a welcoming environment and follow a supportive retreat schedule, based on decades of hosting successful retreats worldwide.
- Wholesome and delicious food is provided so you don’t have to spend time cooking for yourself.
- Breath-taking and restful, natural environment puts your body and mind at ease and resets your nervous system.
- Retreating at our center gets you out of your usual home environment and routines – they can be distracting.
- Retreating with others (your co-retreatants) is incredibly supportive and energy building.
And, we work hard to support the online retreat experience.
- We have been delivering online offerings since 2014, always optimizing your experience.
- You will be provided with recommendations for making your retreat supportive and generative at home, where there are usually many distractions.
- Classes are live-streamed with recordings available for a certain time.
- Group sits with your co-retreatants are streamed to support your practice routine.
- HD cameras providing high quality streamed video.
- Professional audio equipment providing you better sound.
Bite Sized Wisdom to inspire your week
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.
Watching how everyone engaged and getting new insights and a-ha moments brought home to me that karma yoga and dharma training is a path that brings the modern spiritual explorer alive and moves them forward.
Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat have always been consistently honest, accurate and candid with me. Sometimes it’s taken me years to admit my self-sabotaging blind spots. Clear radical self-honesty liberates my sticky parts. So thanks to my master teachers for freeing up all the energy knots. Especially the knots created from unconscious patterning around money, sex and power.
Doug and Catherine are always burning calories to get you back on a path that can lead toward greater self-awareness. 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.
Doug and Catherine teach the Vajrayana with great skill and means. Their ability to shift, weave and embrace each moment with different kinds of students is amazing. One of the jewels they teach and transmit is deity practice, or arising yoga. I have experienced many of their wongkur initiations and find them powerful and liberative experiences that also provide tools of great value in my day-to-day practice.