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Weekend Retreat: Assets Beyond Measure
June 3, 2016 - June 6, 2016
Want to have an even better life in six easy steps? Sages like the Buddha have taught us how to do it, and it’s been proven over 2500+ years of testing.
Okay, it’s not possible to do it in “six easy steps,” because the work in each step takes time and effort. But nevertheless there are just six steps! These six steps are called “Assets Beyond Measure” or “paramis” in Sanskrit.
These are qualities we grow to feel better in ourselves and to act from this positive, wholesome place in one’s relations with others.
But … isn’t happiness enough? Why would anyone want to go beyond happiness?
The short answer is that happiness is a result, not a cause. In other words, if I am in a clear, loving place, investigating and curious, while being calm and absorbed, then happiness is the most likely result.
What’s more, happiness is incredibly fickle: that is, it is impermanent and subject to disappearing. “Beyond happiness” means to look behind the feeling and find its source. The sources of happiness are these very Assets Beyond Measure!
Introducing a weekend retreat:
How to Go Beyond Happiness: Gaining Assets Beyond Measure
This is a short course to help busy people learn how to get rooted in these timeless and universal principles, amidst all the challenges of modern life.
Sounds simple, right? It is simple. Except that, because we are active people with busy lives, we feel like we can’t take the time to get grounded with these foundational assets.
This affects how we work, play and relate to each other. As the saying goes, “It’s hard to remember when you’re up to your neck in alligators that your original intention was to drain the swamp!”
This is a short course specifically designed for those of us who feel challenged around making the time. We’ll be sharing how to cultivate mindfulness in conjunction with the Assets Beyond Measure while we go about our daily lives.
This means that we learn ways to embed them in whatever time we have available. Then our work and relationships blossom, and we’re of greater service to ourselves, our communities and the planet.
This creates more, and durable, happiness … even when there are ‘gators nipping at our heels.
Note: These are universal teachings open to people of any faith, or with no particular faith.
- Learn to be more generous with ourselves and others, materially, emotionally and mentally.
- Develop a greater sense of ease around thorny emotional issues.
- Cultivate greater patience in the face of life’s ongoing challenges.
- Open more energy through less resistance rooted in fear and mistrust.
- Find greater calm and focus based on a clearer sense of one’s place in the world.
- Discover a closer connection to the wisdom inside us that arises from the development of the above outcomes.
Who we are:
We encourage everyone to find the “teacher within” that we can be. But, for almost everyone, we need to apprentice before we can master. Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat have apprenticed in the teachings of awakening for decades with their teachers, and have been teaching for almost as long.
Our explorations and teachings are guided by four principles: spiritual growth, social connectivity, economic sustainability and environmental integrity.
We teach from various wisdom traditions – including modern science, art and nature – based on broad interests and a non-judgemental approach. We’ve lived and worked overseas for many years, and a planetary outlook is important to us. So is humour!
In 2004 we opened our retreat center, Clear Sky, located in the Canadian Rockies just north of the Montana/Idaho border, easily accessible by car or plane.Clear Sky is a non-profit, charitable organization supported by open programs, membership, and other generous supporters and partners.
We knew many people desired a permanent physical location with a multi-faceted, non-denominational, approach to awakening. In essence, Clear Sky exists as a nurturing space and crucible to help people become more “awake.”
We offer world-class awareness and mindfulness training. We specialise in revealing and integrating the shadow, something that is easy to sidestep in spiritual practice. We offer direct relationships with teachers and trainers that address every aspect of our being. The goal: to awaken in this lifetime.
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How We Work:
Life is impermanent and unpredictable – everything is always in flux. Developing these Assets Beyond Measure requires that we “go beyond.” So we respond to the people present and our emerging learning by deliberately changing and moving the exercises around.
This keeps the program fresh, somewhat spontaneous and therefore a bit unpredictable. Like life. Our goal is to make “winning” these assets sustainable throughout the ups and downs of our day-to-day.
To this end, we’ll be teaching about the Assets in class, describing them in context and discussing them in group. Outside of classes, we’ll practice and develop the Assets in various contexts, including during our karma yoga activities (which most closely simulates how they might be used in daily life) and also through assigned exercises.
In case more details are helpful, here’s one example:
The first of the six Assets Beyond Measure is generosity. We’ll begin by reflecting on why generosity qualifies as an Asset Beyond Measure.
We’ll practice giving, receiving, and not giving, not receiving, during this course as experiments that allow us to perceive the varying effects, results and feelings. Here are some of the reflections that may arise:
- How do we feel when we give?
- When we don’t?
- Do you feel stronger or weaker?
- Does it make a difference if you give to someone you like, compared to someone you don’t?
- Is “giving” just about material things, or can we emotionally and mentally generous?
- Might giving sometimes be enabling or co-dependent, such as in a “purchase” of love?
- Does generosity’s near companion, compassion, inform of us when acceptance (a kind of generosity) may be unwholesome and when it isn’t?
- Is listening always generous?
- Are passivity or aggressiveness sometimes generous and sometimes not?
We’ll engage is scenarios that enact and demonstrate these various perceptions, for each of the six Assets Beyond Measure we’ll develop in this course. Better still, it will be fun.
How do I know I’ll feel comfortable?
- We work with beginners and advanced participants alike, and mold our teaching to the readiness of each student.
- Each student sets the pace and scope of their own development. We do encourage you to stretch your comfort zone so that it becomes broader, and so you enjoy maximum benefits of the course.
- The schedule is very accessible (see below for details).
- Our teachers and staff are friendly and well trained, and have supported many people to reach “beyond happiness” for something more lasting.
What’s expected from me if I come to this course?
- Come with an open and engaged attitude.
- Participate in the program as fully as you’re able.
- Foster and maintain an atmosphere of trust and acceptance in the group-learning environment.
- Refrain from reading, using the internet or listening to music during the course (except journaling and assigned reading).
- Participate in Karma Yoga service at Clear Sky (maximum of two hours daily).
- Support the teachers and teachings through the practice of dāna.
Sample Daily Schedule:
- 6:30 Wake up
- 6:45 – 7:15 Meditation
- 7:15 – 8:15 Breakfast
- 8:15 – 9:45 Talk on the theme of Assets Beyond Happiness
- 10:00 – 11:30 Exercises from the talk (on developing these assets alone and in groups)
- 11:30 – 12:30 Integration time: walk or reflection
- 12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
- 1:30 – 2:00 Rest
- 2:00 – 3:30 Karma Yoga: an opportunity to practice the Asset currently under discussion in an active working situation, so that you may be sure of being able to replicate what you’ve learned in your life back home.
- 3:30 – 5:30 Exercises: combining what we’ve learned from the class, exercises and karma yoga activity, we adjust and deepen our exploration of the Asset.
- 5:30 – 6:00 Integration time: walk or reflection
- 6:00 – 7:15 Supper and clean up
- 7:15 – 8:30 Group meditation, ending with Q & A about the day and discussion of any points or difficulties encountered
- 8:30 – 9:30 Integration time: walk, reflection or journaling.
- 9:30 – 10:00 Integrative / creative meditation
- 10:00 – Bedtime
Why Come To Clear Sky: Experience the difference:
- Know what it is to truly unwind, surrounded by pristine, tranquil nature.
- Enjoy fresh air and wholesome food, with an emphasis on organic and locally sourced.
- Experience the support of a community that exists to help you reconnect.
- Be part of a working and awakening community that practices what it teaches.
- You’ll both reinvigorate and integrate what you learn into your daily life.
- Share the learning and growth with other participants, making new friends who are also on a path of spiritual unfoldment.
- Connect to the teachings that have enlivened humanity over centuries (regardless of religion).
From Us to You:
We look forward to meeting you and sharing some of the jewels of humanity’s search for meaning. In this age of superheroes as an archetype, this course will bring you into closer contact with the true superhero motif within yourself. That superhero is awake, compassionate and loving because s(he) lives immersed in the Assets Beyond Measure you’ve developed. From this perspective, there are no battles to be fought: the enemy – hurt, anxiety, loneliness, etc. – have already been defeated.
We offer this course as a potentially grand step forward in your ongoing growth and learning – see you here.
 Karma Yoga is our practice of awakening in action. It may entail supporting the center and participants in the area of nourishment, environmental services, land management or infrastructure.
 See the section on How We Work on this page.
 The time of day will vary depending on the form of service.
- Friday, June 3rd, 7pm – 9pm
- Saturday, June 4th, 7am – 10pm
- Sunday, June 5th, 7am – 10pm
- Monday June 6th, 7am – 1pm