Zen Teachings

Learn more about Zen | Upcoming Courses

Zen-style spiritual realization enters the land of paradoxes. Have you noticed that the ego doesn’t like paradoxes?  Catch a new koan each week from September through October. And join us for a fall/winter series of public classes, a four week online course and a winter meditation retreat. Come to all or some!

Rinzai Zen: Koans

The path to Enlightenment is accepting the absurdity of life. Understanding that life is not to be understood. Koans are the gateway for training the mind to this realization.  Enjoy these Zen Koans:

References include:

The Zen Koan‘ by Isshu Miura and Ruth Fuller Sasaki and the Zen Dictionary‘ by Ernst Wood.

Zen Page Teachings

Zen Koan: Measurements

What measure measures the measurer’s measure?


Zen Page Teachings

Zen Koan: Doing Nothing

When you can do nothing, what can you do?

Zen Page Teachings

Zen Koan: From Where?

Out of nowhere, the mind comes forth.

What is the essence of Zen? Find out from this short audio clip from Office Hours, recorded on May 17, 2021.

Upcoming Zen Courses

enlighten up dharma talks

Enlighten Up!

Zen, Then: Helpful Historical Zen Stories :

October 10th:  Registration Zen Enlighten Up.

What was Zen, back then?  What can we learn about the past to enlighten our practice now?  Hear from Qapel and Sensei on Zen stories from the past at this Enlighten-Up.


Zen, Now: Contemporary Zen Practice

November 28th:  Registration Zen Enlighten Up.

Most likely, you’re not currently living in Japan in a Zen monastery, or in China practicing under the tutelage of a Chan master.  So, what does it mean to practice Zen today?  How do you know if you’re really practicing Zen?

Dharma Teachers Qapel and Sensei spent many years practicing Dharma in Japan. Hear from them about the fundamental characteristics of a Zen practice today.  


zen online course

Zen – An Online Course

October 25th – November 21: Registration

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.

The course takes place on four Monday evenings at 7:30pm MST.  Recordings are available if you cannot attend live.  

The course ends with an optional ‘flash retreat’ on the final weekend to integrate your learnings.


zen meditation retreat

Zen Meditation Retreat

December 17 –  31: Registration

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.

This special retreat is held at Clear Sky Meditation Center, in the Rocky Mountains of BC.   In person practice is recommended, however online participation may be possible from some locations due to covid-19 restrictions. 

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.

Kira MacDuffee

Working with Doug and Catherine at the 5 day hero’s journey workshop was deeply impactful and has clarified for me not only my deepest heart’s desire but what I need to face and overcome to manifest it. Doug and Catherine are extraordinary facilitators with a great depth and breadth of knowledge, wisdom and presence to share.

Kira MacDuffee
M.Ed / RCC
Dr. Duncan Cryle

Watching how everyone engaged and getting new insights and a-ha moments brought home to me that karma yoga and dharma training is a path that brings the modern spiritual explorer alive and moves them forward.

Dr. Duncan Cryle
Ph.D IBM executive, Clear Sky Accountability Officer
Karen Scott

Thank you so very very much for all the wonderful, enriching, life-changing teachings… They’ve brought so much colour, lightness and movement to my life which I get to share now with others. I am so grateful to be a part of this magnificent community and look forward to all the healing and dancing in rainbows for the benefit of all.

Karen Scott
RMT in Cranbrook BC
Evangelos Diavolitsis

Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat have always been consistently honest, accurate and candid with me. Sometimes it’s taken me years to admit my self-sabotaging blind spots. Clear radical self-honesty liberates my sticky parts. So thanks to my master teachers for freeing up all the energy knots. Especially the knots created from unconscious patterning around money, sex and power.

Evangelos Diavolitsis
Peter Ujlaki

Doug and Catherine 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.

Peter Ujlaki
Fine Art Dealer, Japan
Cara Conroy-Lau

Doug and Catherine teach the Vajrayana with great skill and means. Their ability to shift, weave and embrace each moment with different kinds 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 powerful and liberative experiences that also provide tools of great value in my day-to-day practice.

Cara Conroy-Lau