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RETREAT on working with Golden and Dark Shadows

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Integrating our shadow may be the fastest way to unfold spiritually, and reduce our suffering. By its very nature, shadow work is not fun or pretty. It takes courage and fortitude. Once we decide to change, the shadow’s darkness moves towards greater and greater light in a process that is both beautiful and exciting. Join Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat at the Dharma Centre of Canada in Ontario for this powerful five day shadow retreat.


Integrating Our Challenging Shadow Aspects
Toronto meditation retreatMost people are drawn to meditation and mindfulness for the bliss experiences. These bliss experiences spur on beginning meditators to stay with the practice. But as the practice of meditation deepens, darker arisings can start to manifest. Rather than being discouraged by these experiences, it is helpful to see this as an opportunity to integrate these dark shadows into conscious awareness so that we may be free of their control.

If you’ve had these challenging arisings during your practice, you may have been tempted to quit meditating, or try a different method or a different teacher. This is understandable, as facing these dark shadows can be scary and unpleasant. However, if you can lean into these dark manifestations and hold the space openly around them, there can be great release and transformation.


Recognizing the contribution of the golden shadow – our ‘better angels’ – also helps ensure the practice stays joyful and doesn’t descend into nihilism.

The Teachers

Doug Duncan studied with the Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche from 1974 until the latter’s passing in 2003, 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.

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.

Catherine Pawasarat 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. She is a lineage holder of these teachings. She supports the spiritual underpinnings of social entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurship for spiritual practitioners with AkasaVision Consulting. With Doug she is co-founder of Clear Sky Retreat Center in the BC Rockies and runs their PlanetDharma website.

Shadow Work with Experienced Guides
Leaning into shadow work requires an experienced guide, someone who has navigated the path themselves and who can inspire confidence and offer support. Dharma teachers Doug Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat have been offering this guidance to students for more than half a century between them. Integrating the shadow is one of the 4 pillars of their approach to spiritual awakening that informs their organization, Planet Dharma.

This retreat will utilize various shadow work techniques such as dream recall (including lessons in lucid dreaming) and working with masks to explore the topic and connect with transformative experience.

Course Outcomes:
Learn about the unconscious aspects of consciousness and how they influence our behaviours, habits and life choices
Better understand how these aspects show up as both positive potential (golden shadows) and challenging forces (dark shadow).


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