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Buddhist Contemplative Care for End of Life Speakers Series

Join Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat for a conversation on Buddhist views of death and dying. Focusing on perspectives unique to their lineage they will share about death related caregiving and to illuminate specific practices (e.g., rituals, key texts, etc.). Additionally, they will reflect on how the relatively recent adaptation of Buddhism to Canada and the West has created frictions and creative adaptations to this ancient tradition.  This speakers series, cosponsored by Emmanuel College’s Centre for Religion and Its Contexts, the Toronto Centre for Applied Buddhism and the Buddhist Education Foundation of Canada, is a pioneering effort to provide a platform for Canadian teachers from the three main traditions of Buddhism to address contemplative end-of-life care. Over the past fifty years, Canadians from many walks of life have become interested in Buddhism, including growing numbers of committed practitioners and students, as well as those whose curiosity has been piqued about how Buddhist wisdom can be applied to life challenges.  This rich spiritual and philosophical system provides unique insight into the perennial questions: What is a “good death?” How can I support myself and my loved ones during this time of profound transition? What approaches to inner work and relationships can we learn that will help bring ease and confidence to end-of-life?  Free Infographic: What Happens to Consciousness During the Death Process? What happens to consciousness during the death and dying process? Add your information below to receive the infographic. You will also get amazing dharma content from Planet Dharma, directly to your email inbox. […]

Abhidhamma Deeper Dive Study Group

Studying the Abhidhamma The Abhidhamma Pitaka is the third division of the Buddhist Tripitaka, the Three Baskets. The seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka give an extraordinarily detailed analysis of the basic natural principles that govern mental and physical processes. As human beings, our consciousness is built to awaken.  Our awakening is supported by the universe - the Abhidhamma Pitaka gives us an understanding of the mind and body in a profoundly detailed manner. This study group with Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei follows on from the four week online course, A Study of Consciousness: The Abhidhamma.  The four week course is also a pre-requisite. Recommended Reading: A Manual of Abhidhamma (pdf download) by Narada Maha Thera. The 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 […]

Discovering Your Buddha Nature: Teachings of Gampopa (Online Course)

Your essence is Buddha Nature. Discover the path to recognizing this state in yourself and all beings, as elucidated by Tibetan Buddhist Master Gampopa in his treatise, 'The Jewel Ornament of Liberation'.   Gems of Dharma Gampopa named this contradiction: we both dwell in an amazing human existence with enlightened essence, while also wandering through the worlds of struggle and suffering. What is the path through this paradox, then? In this course, we will study realities of samsara and nirvana, based on Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Gampopa was known for bringing together the monastic and yogic traditions, similar to our lineage and mandate at Clear Sky Center and Planet Dharma. In this course we will also learn that to be more than who we currently are, we need to understand more than we currently do. How do we understand cause and effect? What is the role of loving kindness and compassion?  Top image: Je Gampopa, Dagpo Rinpoche, Sonam RinchenSource: Dakini TranslationsLeft image: Je Gampopa with 1st Karmapa, Dusum Khyenpa. Source: Dakini TranslationsThe 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 […]

Buddhist Women in the 2020’s (Introduction)

While there may be frustration, grief and rage about historical gender inequity in Buddhism, we can use Buddhist methodologies to transform these conflicting emotions into greater compassion and wisdom. Join Catherine Pawasarat Sensei for this talk, hosted by Menla, on how we can adapt and shift our traditional perceptions of gender as Buddhist practitioners. Image: Thangka of Yeshe Tsogyal, fully awakened consort of Padmasambhava.  © C. PawasaratA Menla Online Talk Buddhist Women in the 2020's Stepping into greater awakening potential Gender Perceptions in the Buddhist World in the 2020's Join Catherine Pawasarat Sensei for this one hour class, a prelude to her weekend course Buddhist Women in the 2020's. As classic Buddhist teachings emerge in the global mainstream, it adapts to cultures where women enjoy relative equality with men. In such contexts many practitioners may naturally feel that women and men have the same opportunities to awaken. Historically, however, birth in a female body was considered the result of bad karma, and the lowest and youngest monks enjoyed greater formal status than the most realized nun. Western women and men are unlikely to embrace this part of Buddhist tradition.  This confluence of cultures presents a transition ripe with opportunity. While there may be frustration, grief and rage about historical gender inequity in Buddhism, we can use Buddhist methodologies to transform these conflicting emotions into greater compassion and wisdom. Catherine Pawasarat Sensei, a contemporary dharma teacher, attendant, consort, co-teacher via Planet Dharma and co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center shares her […]

Buddhist Women in the 2020’s (Online Course)

While there may be frustration, grief and rage about historical gender inequity in Buddhism, we can use Buddhist methodologies to transform these conflicting emotions into greater compassion and wisdom.  Join Catherine Pawasarat Sensei for this course, hosted by Menla, on how we can adapt and shift our traditional perceptions of gender as Buddhist practitioners. All are welcome. Image: Thangka of Yeshe Tsogyal, fully awakened consort of Padmasambhava.  © C. PawasaratA Menla Online Course Buddhist Women in the 2020's Stepping into greater awakening potentialGender Perceptions in the Buddhist World in the 2020's As classic Buddhist teachings emerge in the global mainstream, it adapts to cultures where women enjoy relative equality with men. In such contexts many practitioners may naturally feel that women and men have the same opportunities to awaken. Historically, however, birth in a female body was considered the result of bad karma, and the lowest and youngest monks enjoyed greater formal status than the most realized nun. Western women and men are unlikely to embrace this part of Buddhist tradition.  This confluence of cultures presents a transition ripe with opportunity. While there may be frustration, grief and rage about historical gender inequity in Buddhism, we can use Buddhist methodologies to transform these conflicting emotions into greater compassion and wisdom. Furthermore, we can re-examine how different Mahayana and Theravadin practices—from Tantra to celibacy—can foster healthier sexuality. We can use sex scandals and discrimination as part of our practice, to cultivate more integrated views and relations among all genders. Along the […]

Exploring the Bardo of Now – Meditation Retreat (Online)

Bardos relate to both living and dying, creating and dissolving.  In 2020, we collectively had the rug pulled out from underneath us by the COVID-19 virus. During this retreat, we will investigate the bardos and what they can teach us about life and impermanence. *Due to the ever-changing travel restrictions, globally and in Canada, this course is now offered online.  Exploring the Bardo of Now During this retreat, we will investigate the bardos and what they can teach us about ordinary life. We’ll draw on Vajrayana Buddhism, contemporary psychology and modern exploration practices to learn how to make peace with the bardos and live more fully in the present moment. Free Infographic: What Happens to Consciousness During the Death Process? Add your information below to receive the infographic. You will also get amazing dharma content from Planet Dharma, directly to your email inbox. We promise not to spam!Why Exploring the Bardo of Now? June 19-25, 2021Why a meditation retreat on the Bardos?Bardos relate to both living and dying, creating and dissolving.  Bardos can appear at any time, and may make us feel we have lost all of our stability and reference points. However, they also offer us an opportunity to explore what is dying and prepare for a new birth.  Bardo study is relevant to people of all ages, regardless how old they are or how close to dying they are. Who is this retreat ideal for?This retreat is ideal for relatively new students who are interested in exploring Buddhist principles that include both Eastern and […]

Clear Sky’s Sweet 16th Anniversary with Tantric Empowerments

In Vajrayana Buddhism, initiations, empowerments or wongkur (Tib. དབང་, wang) are considered the spring from which all blessings flow. Join us for three empowerments, during a weekend of joy to celebrate our retreat centre's 16th anniversary. Important Note: Online registrations close by August 10th In person registrations close by August 3rd   Celebration & Tantric Empowerments Celebration time! Covid-19 travel restrictions threw a wrench in our plans for Clear Sky's 15th Anniversary and ten day Tantric Deep Dive in 2020, as well as in 2021.  We've adjusted the programming so that community can come together from anywhere in the world for a three day celebration instead. It will be online, *and if health restrictions ease, possibly in person as well. To fete Doug Sensei's 72nd year, together with 16 remarkable years at Clear Sky we invite you to join us for three empowerments. These empowerments give you an energetic blessing, and access to practice mantra and visualisation of different transcendental archetypes from the Himalayan schools of Buddhism. Over the weekend, we will celebrate Clear Sky's 16th anniversary - sharing our community's stories from past and present as well as future visions..  The three wongkur empowerments will be interspersed throughout the weekend. Held at Clear Sky, a 21st-century model for innovative awakening, situated in the beautiful B.C. Rocky Mountains.     The Empowerments Offered Green Tara Amitayus Vajrapani Hayagriva Garuda These empowerments are open to the general public (live attendance).  They are special ceremonies that are best experienced in person. However, if […]

Dzogchen Meditation Retreat – Opening to the Clear Light of the Mind (Online & UK Residential)

Maitreya House Lower Maes-coed, Hereford, England

August 21-31, 2021 Beneath the confusion and distraction of our minds, the Mind itself is empty, spontaneous and compassionate.  The practice of Dzogchen helps us cut right through the confusion to this original, pure and luminous nature of Mind.   This retreat, with meditation masters Acharya Doug Duncan And Catherine Pawasarat Sensei, is for any meditator looking to go deeper to the essence of practice.   Dzogchen The Natural State  The Three Words that Strike the Vital Point is one of the principal teachings of the practice of Dzogchen, the Great Perfection.  Patrul Rinpoche’s Special Teaching of the Wise and Glorious King, with commentary, is treasured as one of the most crucial instructions in the practice of Dzogchen. It’s pith teachings give simple yet deeply profound guidance on directly recognizing the mind’s innate purity and clarity. In the confusion of our times, a myriad of teachings and techniques surround us. The direct teachings of Dzogchen offer a refreshing clarity.Opening to the Clear Light of the Mind Dzogchen Meditation Retreat   (Online/ UK Residential / At Clear Sky) 21 – 31 August 2021        **See ‘Covid-19 Retreat Modifications’ below photos: Online and UK Residential Retreat (Updated June 20, 2021)“How wonderful!  Nothing whatsoever, a glaring openness.  An openness that is penetrating; a penetrating openness that is indescribable … Direct recognition within yourself; that is the first vital point.” -- Patrul Rinpoche from The three words that strike the vital point, a root text expounding Garab Dorje’s teachings on Dzogchen – the Great Perfection. […]

Seven Rays of Healing with Medicine Buddha (Online + CS & Germany Residential)

Haus Sonnentau Am Hochmoor 16, Lautertal (Odenwald), Schannenbach

This retreat is an opportunity, for any meditator, of any level, to go deeper to the essence of healing.  Through the Seven Rays of Healing (from the Western Mysteries traditions) and sense based meditations, discover how to experience deeper foundations of vitality and health. Seven Rays of Healing Retreat How can we heal? How can we feel healthy and whole? Every wisdom tradition around the world holds that true healing comes through an understanding of the nature of reality. Part of this entails learning to discern between—and dance together with—both absolute reality and relative reality. The true challenge of a human life is to be able to live, work, love, and dance in both relative and absolute reality at the same time. One or the other takes the foreground or background as appropriate. The system of the Seven Rays of Healing helps us understand the true nature of relative reality, while bridging to absolute reality. Then we are ready to experience absolute reality, primarily through the methodology of meditation. What are the Seven Rays of Healing? The Seven Rays of Healing use the chakra system of ancient India combined with aspects of Theosophical philosophy. This system helps us understand the different ways we manifest in the world. Moreover, it helps us learn how to reorient our approach and engagement with the parts of our lives represented by the seven rays, to embody greater love, compassion and understanding. In other words, it helps us learn to realize our spiritual essence. Using meditation, creative, […]

Zen Online Course

Zen-style spiritual realization enters the land of paradoxes. Have you noticed that the ego doesn’t like paradoxes? Join us for the third online course of 2021, on Zen. Alongside four weekly classes, there will be learning and integration sessions including optional Master Classes and a Flash Retreat.