Becoming a Work of Art: Dharma Foundations Retreat

About This Event

Becoming a Work of Art – Dharma Foundations Retreat

During this retreat, we will study six aspects of consciousness that we may cultivate to become our own inner and outer works of art. These six aspects are called the paramis in Sanskrit, and have been taught in the buddhadharma for more than two thousand years.

Why Become a Work of Art?

Would you rather create one work of art or become a work of art? Our Teacher Namgyal Rinpoche said that it is “better to be a work of art than make a work of art”.  In a culture that values external achievements, we often forget the hidden gem inside us. This gem creates bliss, wisdom, and radiance, and it is fiercely worth growing.

Let your internal works of art flourish during our foundational three-day retreat.

Why Study the Paramis, the Perfections

Is the Buddhist body of practice or philosophical canon somewhat new to you? If so, this course will provide you with fundamental resources around which to develop a practice for the rest of your life.

Every meditative practice in our tradition, at some point, comes back to the Paramis, also known as the six perfections. These form a flawless path that carries us straight to spiritual enlightenment. It’s simple, beautiful, and powerful. Join us for this three-day weekend to get you squarely and joyfully on this path.

What’s Expected of Me if I Come to This Retreat?

An open mind and heart, and a spirit of adventure are excellent things to bring!

It’s human to have some apprehensions about doing something new, meeting new people, or going to a new place. Particularly when all three happen together. We try to make this as supportive as possible.

When exploring our growth edges, it’s natural to feel uncertain and awkward. And it’s very fruitful to transform that emotional tension into creative energy by drawing on your own inner resources – such as inquiry, going with the flow, and self-reflection, just a few of the many kinds of constructive engagement.

To maximize your learning, we ask that you refrain from reading, using the internet or listening to music during the course. We make an exception for journaling, course assignments and group celebration.

Lastly, our teaching and Clear Sky operate based on the ancient tradition of dāna or generosity. Please learn more about this profound practice before you register. 

The retreat themes, materials and practices are always relevant to daily life - the teachers really know how to bridge classical teachings to modern life. Leaving the Center I always feel energized, with a clear sense of direction. Todd Stewart

Venue Highlights

We invite all traditions to come here to deepen their spiritual explorations.

What’s so good about Clear Sky as a space to do retreats?
- It carries the energy of a place dedicated to spiritual work
- We welcome diverse spiritual practices
- We can take online bookings and registrations for your retreat
- With fantastic food and a natural environment, you’ll feel nourished on all levels

Accommodations

Accommodations are shared in our main facility, the Sanctuary. You will share with one, two or three others. Private accommodation is available in our eco-friendly cabins of which we have three.

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Towels
  • Free Parking

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

Many folks are surprised that we serve meat every second day and that they will likely be asked to prepare and serve meat dishes during their stay. For this reason, we ask all participants to come with a mind of curiosity and non-clinging to preferences. For vegetarians and vegans, you can expect to be well fed, however there will be less options as we do cater mostly to omnivores. We are all encouraged to use our relationships with food for meditation and exploration. We source our food from our gardens, food forest, local suppliers, and eat organic as much as possible. Most people who visit rave about how nourishing the food is.

Directions

FLYING
Pick-ups – We can pick you up from the Canadian Rockies International Airport (Cranbrook, YXC), which has regular flights from Vancouver and Calgary. It is a 45-minute drive to Clear Sky from the airport.

CAR RENTALS
You can rent a car at the local airport, or in nearby Cranbrook. Renting a vehicle in Calgary – Driving from Calgary may be cheaper than flying, depending on your length of stay and how many of you there are. It is a beautiful 4.5-hour drive. Contact us if you are coming for a program and would like to find rideshare partners.

DRIVING
Get driving directions from your location with google maps. Our address is 3567 Cockell Road, Fort Steele, BC, V0B 1N0.
Clear Sky is close to the US border, and about four hours from Calgary. We are ten minutes from the BC-93 S Highway and twenty minutes from Fort Steele, along the Wardner-Fort Steele Road.

Some navigation systems may not bring you to our driveway:
Coming from BC-93 S Highway on the Wardner-Fort Steele Road – look for Bull River Road on your right, about five minutes past the fish hatchery, which will be on your left.

Coming from Fort Steele – after about twenty minutes, look for power lines overhead, where the road will bend to the right. Bull River Road is right after this right bend, on your left. (If you see the fish hatchery on your right, you’ve gone too far).

Drive down Bull River Road for about three minutes, then turn left into Cockell Road. You’ll see our driveway on the left, at the end of Cockell Road.

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Michele Cherot   December 11, 2019

      Time well spent at Clear Sky

    Every time I arrive at Clear Sky the stillness and quiet results in a deep exhale. The teachers, Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat provide Buddhist teachings that resonate with my life experiences. The residents’ support combined with the natural beauty of the location result in reflection and healing. Every time I leave Clear Sky I come away with new perspectives that generate increased understanding of my true purpose and therefore my personal growth. Michele Cherot

  • Cara Conroy-Low   December 08, 2019

      World Class meditation work happens here

    I started going to retreats at Clear Sky about 12 years ago. The teachers here are world class, the retreats are profound, coming from a strong Buddhist / Western Mysteries based lineage. I really enjoy the property - its 310 acres, under beautiful Bull Mountain. The air is fresh, the landscape is stunning and there's wildlife everywhere (deer, elk, big horn sheep, cougar, bear, birds, badgers). I feel protected and at home on the land, very supported. All in all, Clear Sky is a community of strong spiritual practitioners working together to make themselves and the world a better place. My experiences here have transformed my life. :)

  • Karen Scott   November 29, 2019

      Spectacular Supportive and Real

    My retreat experiences here have been numerous. And I plan to return again and again to receive study and practice the Wisdom Teachings. It really is a spectacular place with such natural peace and beauty. The culture is supportive to unfolding and going deep and the teachers are great guides. A very supportive Center that I recommend if you’re looking for something real.

  • Brendan Ries   November 28, 2019

      A Priceless Journey

    Clear Sky is an amazing destination for a priceless retreat. I had the opportunity to do a 1-month silent retreat in cabin Vega and it`s definitely one of the best experiences I`ve had as of yet in my life. As a retreatant, I was really taken care of by the on-site team during my stay and they made sure that all of my eating and dietary needs were met. They even prepared coffee just the way I liked! The food was always delicious and delivered on time to my silent eating space. I really liked the idea of just using a notebook if there were any needs or questions I had, it surprised me that they always answered the same day. WOW! It`s also pretty amazing to also be in retreat and be able to set-up interviews to ask questions about anything that arose at various times during the retreat with teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat, masters in the art of meditation and mindfulness. As someone who loves nature, everyday hikes on the various trails exploring the pristine 310-acre space and conversing with the deer, elk, birds, badgers and other animals and abundant fauna with appreciation was revelatory and connecting. In the first 5 days I saw 5 bald-eagles, just outside on the tree of my cabin, and I had never seen ONE in my life. AWEsome! And the land, space and precious opportunity of silence kept giving back. Be generous to yourself and RECEIVE the beauties of the practice and inner freedom that a personal retreat can bring. I`ll be going back, but hopefully for a 3-month retreat next time.

  • Ruth Levin   November 27, 2019

      Deep Healing

    My experience doing a two-week solo retreat at Clear Sky Center was of very deep healing. Logistics were totally smooth, speedily and professionally taken care of and supportive to my experience. The cabin was comfortable and the setting breathtaking. The guidance of resident teachers was expertly done.

  • Geoffrey Haynes   November 26, 2019

      A place to grow

    I have been at Clear Sky for a number of retreats and other events. The learning there happens at many levels, and never stops - whether it's meditating in a cabin, eating at the dinner table or helping out on the farm. I always feel better (clearer) after spending a few days there, even if I am not aware of the process at the time. The staff is always supportive, and is ready to help you grow. Be prepared for an intense experience that includes interacting with a tight-knit community - this isn't a place for just having a getaway. You'll get out of it what you're willing to put into it. I should also add the food is excellent, and the small meditation cabins are very comfortable.

  • Cheryl Bate   November 25, 2019

      Deepening the practise

    Clear Sky Retreat Center and the approach to meditation taught there have been enormous helps to me. Elsewhere, insight meditation such as MBSR have also been wonderful but I had simply hit a wall. The range of depth teaching at Clear Sky has allowed my meditation practise to go to a whole other level. Thank you to the teachers and community of Clear Sky.

  • Michelle Heinz   November 25, 2019

      Sharp shooter with a big heart

    Incredible ability to cut through to the heart of the matter and leave you in a state of grace!

  • Michelle Heinz   November 25, 2019

      Compassionate, wise and funny!

    Catherine Sensei cares very deeply about what will help each student, the community and the teachings to thrive. She teaches with wisdom, humour and leaves no rock unturned.

  • Maureen Smith   November 25, 2019

      Best retreating opportunities

    I was on a month long retreat in one of Clear Sky's cabins in May 2019 and it was a fantastic experience. I felt supported physically by the meditation, the food, the environment, and the sleeping and eating spaces. I was in retreat beside someone else in the cabin next to me and I didn't feel any intrusion into my space. I highly recommend Clear Sky personal retreat programs for you if you are a beginner meditator or an experienced one. The space, the staff, and the supportive circumstances all combined to allow me to go deeply into the practice that I had gone there for.

  • Elizabeth E MacLean   November 25, 2019

      Best place on earth

    I've done several retreats at Clear Sky and couldn't recommend it enough. It is run by a group of dedicated practitioners that 'walk the walk' and make you feel welcomed and cared for. The accommodations facilitate deep retreat work, the food is organic, local and delicious and the natural beauty of their location is stunning.

  • Bat Fung   November 25, 2019

      A centre for the real seekers to awakening

    I have been doing at least one retreat per year at Clear Sky Centre over the last 10+ years. The centre is built to support people, i.e. meditators, retreatants, and centre's residents included, to awaken. The centre takes a no nonsense approach. There wasn't a single retreat I partook I didn't come out with more joy, deeper understanding and stronger connection with the people and the truth.

  • Tony Chavet   November 24, 2019

      My favourite meditation center

    Clear Sky is a beautiful meditation center where I love to go regularly. I find it necessary to go there and refresh and heal each year.

  • Maryline Fortier   April 05, 2019

      Blissful stay!

    Spending time at Clear Sky is so rejuvenating. I think what makes a huge difference when I compare it to other centers is that the members of the staff are mindful and have a meditation practice. That brings a good vibe to the space and experience in general. Thank you for this week-end.

  • Irene Arriaza   August 20, 2018

      Peaceful and quiet

    Clear Sky provides a peaceful and quite environment in the middle of nature. A great location for those who want to attend a retreat or just feel the need to get away to reflect or meditate.

  • Irene Arriaza   August 20, 2018

      Wisdom

    Sensei Doug Duncan is a wealth of wisdom and compassion that comes through in his teachings and actions. He has a funny and entertaining way of explaining things that otherwise could be very confusing or tedious. His experience and knowledge are indisputable and constantly evident.

  • Irene Arriaza   August 20, 2018

      Inspiring

    I first met Sensei Catherine when she was a student. Watching her become a teacher and flourish has been a great source of inspiration. She has a very clear and practical way of explaining things and her kindness and generosity are evident in every moment. It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to learn from her.

  • Maryline Fortier   May 31, 2018

      Beautiful heart and soul!

    I have the amazing opportunity to consider Catherine Pawasarat has one main spiritual mentor in my life. She really wants the best for has many people has possible and is really walking the path. I always get a great deal of love and courage when I can spend time with her. She is very inspiring and one kind of soul that is committed to our growth. A person that brings you up, that sees the best version of yourself and will do whatever she can for you to also see and embody it.

  • Maryline Fortier   May 31, 2018

      An awakening master!

    Doug Sensei has been my spiritual teacher for 5 years. I'm consistantly impressed with his clear vision and guidance. Spending time with him changed my life for the best. He is a real spiritual flamme, full of compassion and loving kindness. Embodied awakening, that is Doug Duncan.

  • Maryline Fortier   May 31, 2018

      Real conscious community

    Clear Sky Center is a real gem to learn about conscious community living. It is where I found through meaning and purpose, through the practice of Karma Yoga (meditation in action). A bunch of dedicated people, wanting to make the best out of this lifetime and helping each other to wake up to more love, awareness and mindfulness.

  • Richard Nathaniel   April 15, 2018

      A kind and wise teacher

    When Catherine Sensei explains things in her classes, it is wise and always makes sense. Her advice and teachings are invaluable in navigating and getting through, at times, an unforgiving world. She is a very warm and kind-hearted person and is dedicated 100% to helping all beings and eliminating suffering. If you are looking growth, guidance, and support on your spiritual path, you cannot go wrong studying with Catherine Sensei.

  • Richard Nathaniel   April 15, 2018

      A teacher fully committed to your spiritual awakening

    I have known Doug Sensei for three years, and I remember when I first talked with him, I sensed his wisdom and knew he was a person I can trust. I appreciate his love and support on my spiritual path, especially with my personal challenges with living in a foreign country that is considerably different from my home country. I appreciate his direct and honest way of helping me. He is 100% committed to the truth and your spiritual awakening. If you have the opportunity to spend time with Doug Sensei, I highly recommend it.

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

My inspiration is to find some very much needed solace away from the stress of raising 4 children, working (as a dietitian) and trying to get my private nutrition counseling practice launched. I am a registered yoga instructor and have practiced for over 10 yrs, and have always dreamed of taking a yoga retreat just for my own inner well being. Linda
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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