Ignite Your Spiritual Life May, 2020 - An Online Course

Schedule

Since this course is about establishing a consistent meditation practice (the inner) and getting your life (the outer) more in line with your spiritual aspirations, we’ve made each session a balance of this inner and outer work.

We start with a guided meditation or mindfulness practice to support a deepening daily reflective practice, and then give fresh practical tips for integrating it into your daily life.

Turning to the outer, each session then focuses on one key principle for creating what we call a “spiritual container.” The container is the outer supportive conditions you can set up in your life to support your inner practice, reconnect with your heart, and help you break through old patterns that are holding you back. (See our How it Works page for more information on the 5 key principles of a spiritual container)

Each session is lively and interactive, including breakout sessions for discussion in groups, sharing via the chat function, and time for Q&A. We offer home “play” exercises (we prefer this to home “work” as the exercises are designed to be exploratory and fun!) for trying outside of the weekly sessions to explore and integrate the topics.

Week 1: Creating a supportive space for your growth
Three supports for being more mindful and present in daily life.
The missing element. Understand what a spiritual container is, why it’s often forgotten, and why it’s so important to achieving your goals.
Contacting that “aaahh” feeling that a well-created space can instantly create
Six key aspects for creating a space to support your growth.

Week 2 : Transforming habit and making friends with structure
Fresh awareness - tools for getting out of auto-pilot mode.
Loosening and transforming unhelpful habits.
Consciously choosing structures and routines so that you’re free to explore.
Harnessing the power of ritual.

Week 3: Quieting the monkey mind
Calming internal dialog and chatter.
Cleaning up draining conversations and speech patterns.
The power of forgiveness.
Establishing healthy and generative communication

Week 4: Part 1: Cleaning up big areas of your life frees up energy
Identifying big areas in your life that drain your energy.
Beginning to ease the common drain and tension around money.
Exploring your vision and purpose.

Week 5: Part 2: Cleaning up big areas of your life frees up energy
Working with distractions and overload.
Getting off the “hamster wheel”.
Developing a healthy relationship with time.
Learning to “do nothing” - the importance of making space to play.

Week 6: The power of community
Meditations to strengthen kindness and compassion.
Embracing healthy relationships.
The power of community to support your growth.
Bringing it all together - how a strong spiritual container is a launchpad for your growth.

About This Event

Ignite Your Spiritual Life – An Online Course

Strengthen a meditation practice with our online course, May 9 - June 20, 2020.

 (Six classes and one half-day online retreat on June 6) Saturdays 10am-11:30am Mountain Time 

(Click here to see your timezone)

Reclaiming the vital lost art of the spiritual container

to re-ignite your spiritual life

If you’re like many people, you may know how to keep you calm and centered – like with a regular meditation practice, yet you have a hard time bringing it in your daily life.

Living in turbulent times, when it seems nobody is immune from the growing levels of fear, depression, and anxiety in the world, we can easily feel overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Even with a regular meditation habit you may still feel pulled off-center through the day as your precious energy gets leaked away.

Yet, it IS possible! Even on the busiest days, to be centered and engaged. You can learn simple tools to set up your life in a way that supports and protects your energy, while re-igniting your spiritual life.

How can you do this? By learning about the art of the spiritual container, and recrafting your daily life to be hold you as if you’re in the protective space of a retreat.

Sounds impossible?

Well, like you, we’re not monks or nuns – not in this lifetime, at least. This is a very practical course about how we can really thrive and grow in a busy world. We're not promoting how to withdraw, or fit in hours of formal meditation.

Retreats can be magical

If you haven’t been in retreat before, take a moment and open your heart to welcome in the beauty of the experience.

Imagine being in a space where you’re calm and bright enough to notice the simple beauty of life around you. A space where, no matter what, you’ve got energy and enough equanimity to keep things in perspective.

Tasks feel joyful and alive, instead of mundane and repetitive. You move between jobs with ease, seeing things just as they are and responding to what’s needed instead of reacting to what’s happening.

You can see yourself being more compassionate, friendly, and open to others. You watch when confusion or negative thoughts creep in for yourself or others, and then let them pass by without being moved by them.

Do you recognize anything there? Those moments when your monkey-mind seems to quieten and the world just seems right? It can be a morning walk in nature with a dear one, a stroll on the beach, or a slow Sunday at home.

Your life can be closer to this than you may think – whether you’re at work, at home, studying or traveling around, you can bring the beauty of retreat into your day.

You won’t be able to do that, however, without acknowledging what’s been missing.

So, what’s missing? Attention to the outer supports you need

What just isn’t working in our daily lives? Why when we try to find calm, presence, and joy do we still sometimes feel disheartened, stuck, or lost?

Well, in fact it’s no surprise. Especially in turbulent times, the daily demands of living do stay very much in charge – unless we step in and tweak our lives to better support us.

If the inner work you’re doing isn’t nourishing you, then you’re probably missing the importance of the outer supports you need – especially if you’re one of those people who leans towards taking care of others, more than you take care of yourself.

When you set up these outer supports, you’ll have a better container in which to generate a sense of calm, focus, and joy.

Outer supports: The Five Principles of a spiritual container

After years of running a retreat centre, and applying what we learn to our own lives, we’ve rediscovered five ancient principles that help create the right outer conditions we’re talking about:

Honoring your space

Using structure and routine as your friends

Using conversations to shape the spaces where we meet

Freeing up energy by cleaning up big areas of your life

Embracing that it’s easier with others

These are the factors that have made Clear Sky work so well. A retreat centre that wakes people up and supports their practice. Yes, these same principles transform and support our daily lives, too.

That’s why we created this course. We’ll share with you the many learnings we’ve discovered from creating Clear Sky – a physical and virtual centre for awakening – in the form of these five simple and empowering principles, that have been time-tested over centuries.

As well as the core content on each of these principles, each webinar includes meditations and exercises to try in your daily life, and ends with question-and-answer sessions.

REGISTER NOW

Why take this course? Ignite Your Spiritual Life will help you:

establish a consistent meditation practice

tweak your life to be more in line with your spiritual aspirations

shift from being reactive and stressed by daily events

break through old patterns that seemed like they’d never shift

reconnect with your true heart and others on a deeper level

make a difference in the world- feeling more grounded and confident

clarify where to direct your energy

Try the quiz!

See how you’re doing in terms of the Five Principles, and get simple tips for using them to free up energy. Click the image to open up a new page and take the quiz.

A Video Introduction to the Course:

Learn more about the five principles in this 40-minute, edited recording from a live webinar, on March 29, 2017.

 

Testimonials

I am so impressed and happy with Karen and Duncan. You have done a fabulous job with this course, and have provided a role model example of working together. I loved hearing your real life stories, things that you have struggled with in life- this added another level of reality to it that was applicable to my reality too.

Course Participant, Spring 2017

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Costs

We offer this course on the basis of dāna.  If you’re not familiar with dāna, you may have come across related approaches such as “pay from the heart.” Dāna is a Sanskrit term that translates as generosity in English. It’s radically different from the transactional way we normally interact in the world – where we give to get something back, either a service or thing. Instead, 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.

You’ll see equivalent live courses offered for between $120 and $360 CAD.  Over six, 90-minute classes, this represents an average of $20-$60 per class. We highly recommend taking time to check in with your heart on an amount that feels good. Find the amount you feel balances and honors your aspiration for this course, the energy we are giving to deliver the course, and what is sustainable for you.

In this pay from the heart exercise, you might also consider what you pay for different things as a matter of course: a night out with friends, a session with a chiropractor or acupuncturist, or an hour with a life coach, for example.

As for our part in this pay from the heart reflection : since we have expenses hosting the classes and we are investing significant amounts of our own time and experience in creating and teaching the course, we are setting the minimum amount at $120 CAD.

Why do you use dāna?

The practice of generosity is central to spiritual unfoldment, whatever path you follow. In our own Buddhist lineage, teachings have always been given on the basis of dāna, and we are committed to this practice and its development in the West. Dāna is also a radical and – we believe – viable economic alternative to capitalism, which our planet would really benefit from. We all know there must be something better than capitalism or its hungry cousin, consumerism. We maintain that, together, we can offer a financial model that is based in life-affirming mutual support. Please join us in co-creating this promising economic alternative.

I think this course is a beautiful, utterly grounded and relevant way of making the spiritual life very real and integrated with how we are living every day of our lives. I also think that this course lays an important foundation for a meditation practice that can actually go somewhere as well as allowing a practice that may already be strong to better feed the other parts of our lives for a really well-rounded and truly fulfilling life. Ruth Levin - Movement Educator & Solopreneur - Spring 2018

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.

meditation online course retreat

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Duncan Cryle   January 13, 2020

      Incredible and supportive experience in the BC Rockies

    This was my second personal meditation retreat at Clear Sky Center. It's a beautiful location in the BC Rockies, and one of my highlights was quiet walks around the 310 acre property. The views were spectacular and I enjoyed frequently seeing browsing deer. The cabin had everything I needed, and it felt very supportive having meals provided to me by the center. As a long-term meditator I appreciated how clearly everything has been set up specifically and mindfully to support a meditation retreat, so that I could simply relax into the space.

  • Dean Nicholson   January 11, 2020

      Learn How to Sustain a Spiritual Practice with a Great Teacher

    I have had the wonderful opportunity to take the Ignite Your Spiritual Life course offered by Duncan Cryle and Karen McAllister. Duncan's infectious smile and good humour, and his deep insights into the benefits and challenges of maintaining a spiritual practice in the midst of a busy life, make studying with him a real opportunity for growth.

  • Dean Nicholson   January 11, 2020

      Learn How to Sustain a Spiritual Practice with a Great Teacher

    I have had the wonderful opportunity to take the Ignite Your Spiritual Life course offered by Duncan Cryle and Karen McAllister. Duncan's infectious smile and good humour, and his deep insights into the benefits and challenges of maintaining a spiritual practice in the midst of a busy life, make studying with him a real opportunity for growth.

  • Dan O'Brien   January 11, 2020

      Teacher at Clear Sky Meditation and Study Foundation

    I have known Duncan professionally for many years. As an associate teacher at Clear Sky Center, he brings a learned and professional approach to organizing, prioritizing, and utilizing systems that has helped the center thrive. To his co-teaching of the "Ignite Your Spiritual Life" course, in which I have participated, he brings laughter and practical approaches to students in a nuts and bolts way that is readily applicable to their individual circumstances. He supports beings with a light-hearted and thoughtful approach to growth and development in a sincere and compassionate manner.

  • Dan O'Brien   January 11, 2020

      Teacher at Clear Sky Meditation and Study Foundation

    I have known Karen professionally for twenty years. As the Chair of the Board and Associate teacher at Clear Sky Center, she brings a clear headed approach to organizing and utilizing systems that has helped the center thrive. To her co-teaching of the "Ignite Your Spiritual Life" course, in which I have participated, she brings insightful and practical learning to students in a nuts and bolts way that is applicable to their circumstances. She supports beings with an energetic and enthusiastic approach to growth and development in a sincere and thoughtful manner.

  • Maryline Fortier   January 05, 2020

      Compassionate teacher!

    My learnings with Karen helped me find direct answers and/or guidance towards more clarity. She is good at clarifying where you are at and supporting you to see clearer the avenues available for increased awareness and peace.

  • 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.

  • Michelle Heinz   November 28, 2019

      A way with words

    Duncan excels at bringing profound teachings into relatable language and meeting people where they are.

  • Michelle Heinz   November 28, 2019

      Eclectic and Compassionate!

    Karen brings deep training and joy into her teaching with a wide and compassionate heart.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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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:

Having our beautiful baby boy 3 months ago gave me a new perspective and outlook moving forward. Liana
 

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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