Zen Online Course
October 25, 2021 - November 21, 2022
ZenA Four Week Online Course | Starts October 25, 2021
Zen is a rigorous practice of meditative training. By cultivating awareness and equanimity one gains insight into the nature of mind for the benefit of all beings.
Zen – An Online Course
Zen is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyana, which is often translated as ‘absorption’. Rigorous self-restraint, sitting meditation practice and insight into the nature of mind are central to Zen practice.
For some historical context, Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China, where it was known as the Chán School. It later spread east to Japan and became known as Japanese Zen.
Zen emphasises direct understanding through disciplined spiritual practice and interaction with accomplished masters. In the early traditions of Chán, there was no fixed method or formula for teaching meditation. Instead, instructions were used to point to the true nature of mind (Buddha-nature).
Have you ever been told to count your breath when meditating? Zen students are often instructed to count breaths in order to calm the mind. Over time, concentrated attention is developed and the counting is dropped.
The [Online] course went beyond my expectations, I feel I learned a lot of new things or new ways of seeing things. The teachers have an incredible way of presenting the themes in a way that makes it easy to understand. They also make the teachings fun and suggest exercises so that you can apply them in your life.
I was expecting to get pearls of wisdom and I always get far far more. The teachings always speak directly to me. It is uncanny. It is like hearing a language that I spoke in some other life-form and suddenly it rings a bell. And bell after bell. Like a universal language that we all used to speak but have forgotten, and now as if a new pathway in the brain has opened up and the signals coming in are making sense! Directly from the cosmos via Doug and Catherine Sensei.
The teachers of Planet Dharma [Online course] aim to provide opportunities to learn from age old teachings while including modern information as they are examples of continuing to learn about the fascinating, yet troubled world we live in. They help one to develop ideas how to help out society, live in society and contribute to themselves and others.
Starts October 25, 2021
*We also highly recommend you consider participating in the full Zen Meditation Retreat in December 2021 at Clear Sky Center.
MON, October 25
Details coming soon
MON, November 1
Details coming soon.
MON, November 8
Details coming soon.
MON, November 15
Details coming soon.
Study and Meditation Electives
There are weekly Master Classes (akin to online Q&A Office Hours) during this online course to support your deepening learning and practice, on the following dates at 3pm MST:
- Sun. October 31
- Sun. November 7
- Sun. November 14
You can elect to attend all three or individual dates.
Registration & Dana links for Master Classes will be accessible to you when you register for the course.
November 19-21, 2021
Elect to deepen your practice via a Flash Retreat during the last weekend of this course. The retreat provides practitioners a valuable opportunity to integrate and seal the learnings from the online course, in a format well suited for our contemporary lives.
The retreat will include instructions, online check ins, and a Master Class on Sunday, November 21st.
We encourage you to attend this weekend retreat at Clear Sky Centre, or together with your local sangha, or if those not available to you, in your home.
Registration and Dana links for the Flash Retreat will be accessible to you when you register for the course.
Sangha power – consider organizing or joining regional in-person or online sangha groups to support one another during the online courses and Flash Retreats.
Meet the Teachers
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.
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, as well as an admin fee of $100 (USD). The admin is to cover the costs of running these online courses – for equipment and software to provide you the teachings online.
For our teachings itself – 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.
It has been sheer joy to be a participant in the Foundations of Buddhist Philosophy streamed classes. They made the practice come alive for me and accessible and pertinent to my every-day life. And of course, I always enjoy Doug and Catherine’s unfailing good humour which put a lighter touch on what can sometimes be a very dry subject.
Fabulous mindfulness teachers, presenting a variety of accessible tools for unfolding, in a mutual, community inspired way. It’s great that classes can be watched in person, virtually, or within a week depending on one’s schedule. Increase the awareness, compassion, wisdom, strength, and joy in your life!
[The online classes] are a fantastic tool for me to not get completely lost in Samsara throughout the year, especially because I don’t live in Canada and cannot be with the teachers so often. I still felt very connected and supported by the Lamas and Sangha. As a result I became much more aware of my state of mind than I would ordinarily.
Save the Dates in your Digital Calendar Now
Download the course dates to your iCal or Google calendars. If download doesn’t commence, right click on the button and select ‘save link as’.