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Riding the Dragon: Spiritual Awakening in Modern Life

June 3, 2019 @ 8:00 am - June 30, 2019 @ 5:00 pm MDT

Riding the Dragon: Spiritual Awakening in Modern Life

A Four Week Online Course | Starts June 3, 2019

How do we integrate our spiritual practice with the demands of modern life? As more of us embrace contemporary spiritual paths, we are co-creating ways to make it viable, attractive and powerful.

The CourseSchedule

Riding the Dragon: Spiritual Awakening in Modern Life

As more and more of us embrace modern spiritual paths, we are co-creating ways to make it viable, attractive and powerful. How do we integrate our spiritual practice with the demands of modern life? To help ease the learning curve for others, we share our wisdom from founding both a virtual and a working monastery. We address the common challenges we see many contemporary spiritual practitioners face. More to the point, we share successful strategies for upcycling these challenges as fuel for the awakening fire.

Course Schedule

Starts June 3, 2019.


Awakening Through Creativity

The awakening mind rests in spaciousness or sunyata, where all thoughts, feelings, actions, and states of being from past, present and future exist simultaneously. All of creation is birthed from this state of spaciousness. To “find” a solution, to receive inspiration to craft something beautiful, to introduce an invention that makes our lives better, or to develop a better future for the planet, we simply need to connect with sunyata to create the space and connection for these to emerge through us. Expand your view of what “creativity” is, and develop your ability to connect with this awakening practice.


Secrets From Ourselves:

When we think of “secrets” we usually think of something we do or don’t share with others, or what they do or don’t keep from us. Some of us like a feeling of transparency, while some of us get a thrill from keeping little secrets. This usually involves conscious choice. The real secrets are the things we haven’t yet acknowledged to ourselves. The thing is, if it’s secret for ourselves, it’s secret from others too––we just don’t know it. We could say the self is like an iceberg, with 90% below water! Compare this with a fully awakened being, who has brought every dark corner of the psyche into the light of transcendence, and has no secrets left. What is left, then? Loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Plus bliss and wisdom. This online class shares how to get there from here.

Why the “Secret” Teachings Are Secret

Tibetan Buddhism holds that teachings are “self-secret” in that we can only understand them when we are ready to do so. In spiritual communities we can be confused what integral theory refers to as states and stages. “States” are internal kinds of consciousness that come and go, while “stages” represent levels of growth and development that have been hard-won, integrated into our daily lives, and are thus permanent. At more developed stages, we can understand and integrate deeper, previously “secret” teachings. How can we use our wholesome states as a resource to further develop our stages? And how can we have the discernment to perceive different stages so we can speak, act and live most skillfully? This topic is central to Vajrayana teachings and can be mistakenly perceived as controversial; this class will help us develop the understanding, serenity and competence needed to incorporate it into our practice.

Western Tantra

The Sanskrit word “tantra” translates to “weaving” or “tapestry” in English. This begs the question: weave what? In this class we go off-road to expand the traditional perception of tantra to include archetypes from other traditions, to show the unifying mind behind these creations. This connective energy is meant to lead one out of the struggles of clinging and attachment. In this class we share how non-clinging and greater freedom are the results. We’ll draw on creative visualization to access the intuitive wisdom of the right brain and increase right-left brain cohesion.
FRI, JUNE 28 – sun, June 30

Flash Retreat

This Flash Retreat provides practitioners with a valuable opportunity to integrate and seal the learnings from the Riding the Dragon online course, in a format well suited for our contemporary lives. We encourage you to attend this weekend retreat at Clear Sky, or together with you local sangha, or if those not available to you, in your home. Planet Dharma provides themes, meditations and guidelines to support Flash Retreat participants in the Year of Pureland program (Diamond, Ruby & Sapphire levels).

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.

Course Details

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.

What Does the Course Cost?

We offer this course on the basis of dāna. 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.

This Course is the second of three Online Courses in 2019.

The Pearl Without Price

Starts January 21

Riding the Dragon

Starts June 3

Crazy Wisdom

Starts Sept 9


June 3, 2019 @ 8:00 am MDT
June 30, 2019 @ 5:00 pm MDT
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