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Tree of Life: The Essence of Kabbalah and Tarot
August 12, 2022 - August 14, 2022
Tree of Life: The Essence of Kabbalah & TarotOnline or In-Person | August 12-14, 2022
Join us for an introduction to the ‘Tree of Life’, a map of reality from Western Mysticism and the Kabbalah tradition. Discover how the Kabbalah and tarot are designed to cultivate dormant aspects in ourselves so we may reach our highest potential.
Online registration is open until August 5th. (In-Person registration is now closed.)
What is the Tree of Life?
We’re all familiar with Eastern spiritual traditions, but did you know the West also has a legitimate path for spiritual awakening?
In modern times, Tarot is often mistaken as ‘woo woo’ fortune telling, yet it has roots in a profound path for spiritual awakening for hundreds of years – namely the Kabbalah and Western Mysteries. In fact, the Western Mysteries was the path by which our lineage’s founder, Namgyal Rinpoche, awakened. Rinpoche was a Master of the western spiritual tradition before becoming a Buddhist monk.
A Western Mystical Journey through 2022, 2023 and 2024
Qapel's first retreat with his Teacher Namgyal Rinpoche was on the 'Movement of the Mandala', an embodied initiation into the Tarot's archetypes. Together with Catherine Sensei, he would like to pass on an in-depth transmission of the Western spiritual teachings over the next three years.
- This Tree of Life weekend course, this August 2022 is an introduction to the essence of the Kabbalah, Tarot and Western mystical teachings.
- The Hero's Journey retreat is an interactive Western style work on shadow integration, offered in Germany in September 2022.
- The primary four week online Kabbalah study course starts May 2023. It will be an online deeper dive and study group into the archetypes of the universal spiritual journey, represented in the Tarot.
- The Movement of the Mandala retreat will be an experiential transmission of the Western Mysteries. It is the third and culminating teaching of this series and will be held in 2024. It will be an in-person only retreat. Participating in the February 2023 Tarot course is pre-requisite to attend.
In this video, Qapel and Sensei share about the next three years of teachings on the Western Mysteries.
Namgyal Rinpoche, then Ananda Bodhi Bhikkhu in 1969 at the Dharma Centre of Canada.
In fact, the Western Mysteries was the path by which our lineage's founder, Namgyal Rinpoche, awakened. Rinpoche was a Master of the western spiritual tradition before becoming a Buddhist monk.
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
It is possible to attend the course in these ways:
- Online Retreat from a supportive environment of your choosing. (Registration closes August 5th, 2022)
- In-Person Retreat at Clear Sky Centre. (Registration closes July 29th, 2022)
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 August 12th: 7pm MDT
- Saturday August 13th: 8am MDT, 2pm MDT, 7pm MDT
- Sunday August 14th: 8am MDT, 2pm MDT, 7pm MDT
Participants are expected to attend classes live. 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 if this is the case for you, please let us know when you register. Then we can 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. The admin fee changes based on date of registration. Register four + weeks prior: $80 | Register two to four weeks prior: $100 | Register less than two weeks prior: $120.
*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!
Listen Now: Climbing the Western (Mysteries) Side of the Mountain
In this interview, Qapel talks about the part the Western Mysteries played in his own path and how his teacher, Namgyal Rinpoche, employed these teachings. He also discusses the similarities and differences between the Western and Eastern esoteric teachings, and how practitioners can leverage the Western mystical tradition as a path unto itself or as a way to complement Eastern practices.
If you have questions about the retreat, please contact the Clear Sky Retreat Manager. Maureen Smith – 250-429-3929 (phone) [email protected] (email).
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 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
What Do Previous Retreatants Say?
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.