Doug Duncan studied with the Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche from 1974 until the latter’s passing in 2003. Doug received lay ordination from Namgyal Rinpoche in 1978, and is a lineage holder in that teaching.
He also received teachings from the 16th Karmapa and other Tibetan Rinpoches, as well as from the Ven. Sayadaw U Thila Wunta, and from a Master of the Western Mystery School. In addition, Doug has undertaken numerous three-month solitary meditation retreats.
Doug has been leading retreats, teaching and training in universal practices of spiritual unfoldment since 1985, helping thousands of students in numerous countries liberate themselves from suffering. His teaching also draws on contemporary psychology and science.
Growing up in Saskatchewan was a pretty “flat” experience, so Doug caught the travel bug early. As a small child he wandered, such that the local police often had to bring him home. This desire to see the world and understand it more fully has led him ever since
Catherine Pawasarat began her spiritual practices in earnest in her early 20s, when she struggled to make sense of and overcome personal suffering and international environmental and social justice challenges. She became a student of metaphysics, Western spiritual traditions, and the ayahuasca sacraments in the 1990s, and has trained daily with Acariya Doug Duncan since 1998 in an intensive spiritual apprenticeship that is rare in the modern West.
With Doug she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies and PlanetDharma, and a lineage holder for these teachings. She supports the spiritual underpinnings of social entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurship for spiritual practitioners with AkasaVision Consulting. She worked as an advocacy photojournalist and studied traditional Japanese arts (including koto, shamisen, kyogen) in Kyoto for 20 years, culminating in her landmark work at GionFestival.org.
Since the early 2000s Catherine has provided dharma training and taught the path of awakening to hundreds of students, together with Doug and on her own. In addition to Buddhist philosophy and its applications to daily life, Catherine also draws on generative living (a.k.a. sustainability) and the arts.
We encourage everyone to find the “teacher within” that we can be. But, for almost everyone, we need to apprentice before we can master. Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat apprenticed in the teachings of awakening for decades with their teachers. Between them they have been teaching for more than 30 years.
Their explorations and teachings are guided by four principles: spiritual growth, social connectivity, economic sustainability and environmental integrity.
Doug & Catherine teach from various wisdom traditions – including buddhadharma, Western Mysteries, modern science, art and nature – based on broad interests and a non-judgemental approach. We’ve lived and worked overseas for many years, and a planetary outlook is important to us. So is humour!
You can read more about Doug and Catherine’s lineage: Namgyal Rinpoche & Sayadaw U Thila Wunta.
To find out more about Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawarsarat, their work, background and philosophy – and Clearsky, the retreat centre where they live and teach in Canada you can visit https://www.planetdharma.com