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Sādhana: Practices for Power
February 18 - February 20
Sādhana: Practices for Power
Weekend Retreat | New Dates: Feb 18-20, 2022
This weekend course focuses on how to properly practice vajrayana methodologies of deity yoga (mantra and visualisation). Learn how to participate in Empowerments and how to undertake sadhana practice.
This course includes a wongkur empowerment. It is offered in-person at Clear Sky Meditation Centre, as well as online from your home.
Understanding Deity Yoga Practice
In Vajrayana Buddhism, “Deity Yoga” or “Arising Yoga” is the practice of bringing together mantra and visualization to engage with various archetypes. These archetypes are represented by deities such as Vajrasattva (emotional purification), Chenrezi (compassion), Green Tara (mother nature principles), or Medicine Buddha (healing).
Initiations, empowerments, or wongkur (Tib. དབང་, wang) are considered the spring from which all blessings flow. More literally, these are ritual celebrations in which a specific teaching is transmitted from Teacher to student that enables the student to practice a new form of “Arising Yoga.” Part of this weekend online course focuses on how to properly participate in wongkur.
The other part of this course focuses on how to use a sādhana, which is a unique set of mantra and visualization instructions for each deity. Putting the wongkur and sādhana work together, this class will then focus on how to approach the foundation work of Vajrayana Buddhism, which can appear daunting to new students.
In addition to the teachings above, a very special wongkur empowerment will be given:
- Guru Rinpoche / Yeshe Tsogyal combined wongkur
Meet the Teachers
Doug Qapel Duncan
Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat are Dharma and meditation teachers who founded Clear Sky Meditation Center, BC, Canada.
Qapel (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, Qapel embraces various traditions, contemporary psychology, and science, to mentor all beings to a more awakened state.
Catherine Pawasarat Sensei has trained daily with Qapel (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 Sensei also draws on generative living and the arts. With Qapel she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies.
Time and Location
Important: The dates for this retreat have changed. Originally scheduled for Feb 4-6th, the retreat dates are now February 18-20th, 2022. Please also review new class times below.
It is possible to attend the course in these ways:
- Online Retreat
- In-Person at Clear Sky (Registrations now closed)
Each of the classes in this retreat will be held live at Clear Sky Meditation Centre. There will also be a video streamed live for online participants. The current class schedule is as follows.
- Friday Feb 18th: 7:30pm MST
- Saturday Feb 19th: 9am / 3pm / 7:30pm MST
- Sunday Feb 20th: 9am Empowerment / 3pm / 7:30pm MST
Please note that we expect participants to attend all classes live. This is a retreat so you should have your environment setup in this manner: no work, social or travel plans so that you can dive deep into the work.
We have arranged class times to be comfortable for most time zones. However we understand that some class times might occur after midnight in some regions, so please contact us if that is the case for you, and we will provide a recording so you can catch up on that particular class.
What Does the Course Cost?
This course is offered based on the unique combination of 1) dāna and 2) course fees.
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 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.
- We provide wholesome and delicious food so you don’t have to spend time cooking for yourself.
- Breath-taking and restful, the 300+ acres of natural environment at Clear Sky 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, which can be distracting.
- It’s easier with others! Retreating alongside other meditators (your co-retreatants) is supportive and energy building.
And, we work hard to support the online retreat experience.
- We have been delivering online offerings since 2014 and are always looking for new ways to optimize 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 and some recordings are available for a certain time.
- Group sits with your co-retreatants are streamed to support your practice routine.
- HD cameras and professional audio equipment provide high quality video streaming
Bite Sized Wisdom to inspire your week
These are ancient teachings that I feel are important to understand if someone is serious about meditation. I appreciate Qapel and Sensei’s unrelenting perseverance to teach about the roots and traditions of these life changing practices. They explore the rich history with us and also deliver the material in a very understandable and relevant way.
Working with Qapel and Sensei at the five day hero’s journey workshop was deeply impactful and has clarified not only my deepest heart’s desire, but what I need to overcome to manifest it. They are extraordinary facilitators with a great depth of knowledge, wisdom and presence to share.
Doing karma yoga, I watch how everyone gains new insights. These many “a-ha moments” makes it clear to me that this type of active dharma training is a path that brings the modern spiritual explorer alive and moves them forward.
Qapel and Sensei have consistently been honest, accurate and candid with me. It has sometimes taken me years to admit my self-sabotaging blind spots. Clear and radical self-honesty liberates my sticky parts. Thank you to my master teachers for helping me free up all the energy knots – especially the ones created from unconscious patterning around money, sex and power.
Qapel and Sensei 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 diverse types 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 to be powerful and liberative experiences that also provide tools of great value in my day-to-day practice.