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Mastering the Sixteen Stages of Insight (Meditation Retreat)

August 7 - August 21

Mastering the Sixteen Stages of Insight

Meditation Retreat in BC, Canada| August 7-21, 2020

*Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, this retreat has been rescheduled from April to August.

“Within this fathom long body, I show you the arising and passing away of the universe.” -Shakyamuni Buddha


Mastering the Sixteen Stages of Insight

Through the Practice of the Foundations of Mindfulness

Life is repetitious––we do many things over and over again, often in the same habitual way. The path of insight is about vipassana, literally meaning “looking again and again.”

In insight meditation, we look again and again at the arisings within the mind in order to uncover the patterns within. Our minds and bodies are our most precise tools as well as our laboratories.

By liberating unconscious patterns, we liberate karma from neurotic repetition. We make way for more wholesome karma–becoming a manifestation of compassion, loving-kindness, empathetic joy and equanimity in the world. 

Experience Acariya Doug Duncan Sensei’s mastery of insight in this powerful and rare two-week insight meditation retreat. 

Held at our home retreat centre, Clear Sky, a 21st-century model for innovative awakening, situated in the beautiful B.C. Rocky Mountains.

Mastering the Sixteen Stages of Insight

Through the Practice of the Foundations of Mindfulness

August 7-21, 2020

Why this Retreat?

This classic meditation retreat supports mastery of the sixteen stages of insight through the practice of the seven paths of purification.

Through vipassana or insight practice we cultivate mindfulness and awareness, with the ultimate aim of final liberation of the mind from greed, hatred and delusion. When we purify our minds and bodies of these defilements, our original pure nature––awakening itself––is what remains.

The framework we’ll use is the classical seven stages of purification from Buddhaghosa’s 5th-century text Visuddhimagga (Path of Purification). Through these seven highly embodied, experiential stages, we develop various phases of insight knowledge, leading up to ultimate liberation. 

Through bare insight or direct observation, we perceive our own physical and mental processes as impermanent, subject to suffering, and without an inherent independent self. 

This retreat’s daily intensive meditation practice is essential to support the intellectual learning in classes. Body contemplation will be central to this practice. As our practice deepens, insight knowledges unfold in order as a natural outcome.  


What Can I expect with this Retreat?

The Course 

  • This meditation retreat consists of many hours of consecutive practice each day. Therefore some experience, especially with insight meditation, is highly recommended.
  • NOTE: If this is your first two-week retreat, advance permission from the teachers is required.
  • An open mind and heart, and a spirit of adventure are excellent things to bring!
  • It’s human to have some apprehensions about doing something new, meeting new people, or going to a new place. Particularly when all three happen together. We try to make this as supportive as possible.
  • This is a silent retreat. To deepen your meditation, we ask that participants refrain from reading, using the internet, phone or listening to music during the course.
  • Exceptions are three texts we’ll be using during this course.

The Location – Clear Sky Center

  • Located in the BC rocky mountains, Clear Sky offers over 300-acres to deepen your practice and reconnect with nature. Founded by Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, the centre is home to students from around the globe who are dedicated to co-creating a supportive and innovative space for awakening in our modern world.
  • Daily Schedule
  • How to get there, what to bring and other FAQ about Clear Sky
  • Our teachings and Clear Sky operate based on the ancient tradition of dāna or generosity. As generosity is the basis upon which all spiritual practice flourishes, we recommend that you learn more about this profound practice before you register.

Required Reading

The text for this retreat is Namgyal Rinpoche’s Breath of Awakening, a commentary on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.  We recommend you read this short pithy text before the retreat.

Optional reading:

This is a silent retreat, with the exception that you may read and use any and all of these precious texts. They’re available in the Clear Sky shop or by clicking on the hyperlinks above. If ordering on your own, we recommend you do so well in advance, as delivery times vary.

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.

What Do Previous Retreatants Say?

Through the power of long dedication, deep meditation, and wise guidance, life can definitely be transformed. If you get a chance to study with Doug-sensei and Catherine, don’t miss it. This kind of spiritual guidance and down to earth work have deeply shifted many people’s lives and led to deep awakenings.

Paul Jaffe

Retired Professor & Meditation Teacher

Doug and Catherine Sensei are living examples of the dharma teachings.  In their presence, they have the ability to put me at ease and their teachings (somewhat mysteriously) become alive and intimate. I trust in their one-pointed focus on whatever it takes to speed their students unrealized potential.

Laura Montgomery

Counsellor & Mum of Two

It is one thing to hear or read the Dharma and understand it intellectually. This retreat 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 Abraamms

Founder, ODT Maps

Course Details & Registration

Fees and Dāna

This course is offered by Doug and Catherine Sensei through the ancient principle of generosity, or Dāna.

Clear Sky retreat center where this course is held, has additional fees to cover your meals and accommodation. (See Registration Page below)

Arrival/Departure: The retreat starts on Friday April 10 (please arrive by 4pm) and ends on Friday April 24.

In order to give enough time to rest from travel before the retreat starts, we recommend that domestic travellers arrive one day early, and long distance international travellers arrive two days early.

After the retreat we also suggest staying for at least another day for integration.

Booking a flight? Airport pickups can be booked when you register for the retreat. On the rare chance that this retreat is cancelled, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. 


August 7
August 21
Event Category:


Clear Sky Meditation & Study Centre
3567 Cockell Rd
Bull River, British Columbia V0B1N0 Canada
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