Clear Sky Retreat Centre

Clear Sky Retreat Centre

About

Clear Sky is a center dedicated to transformative change for all beings, through an integrated, diverse path of exploration and discovery, encompassing all facets of life.

Clear Sky offers the unique and precious opportunity to engage in a community of open-minded, positive, and motivated individuals who are dedicated to finding clarity and joy in their lives.

With a commitment to a quadruple bottom line, Clear Sky continuously strives to maintain financial, social, ecological, and spiritual sustainability. We are seeking volunteers who are looking for a meaningful and challenging way to contribute while simultaneously committing to their own unfoldment!

Founded
2004
Headquarters

3567 Cockell Road
Fort Steele BC V0B1N0
Canada

Reviews

Default avatar
Brad
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Clear Sky is a brilliant place to find your edge and extend yourself further.
The people are warm and friendly. The food is healthy and delicious. The landscape is
breathtaking. The routine is fairly rigorous combining meditation and educational programs that stimulate the mind with manual work that strengthens the body. The centre is run in a holistic and sustainable way that promotes well being for people and the planet. The meditation sessions are interesting and effective and they even have a fun night once a week that may comprise of a movie or a game of pool. The Teachings are useful and are delivered in an entertaining way offering great solutions to stay grounded and find more peace, clarity and wisdom. I look forward to returning to Clear Sky in the near future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Stick with the routine when the going gets tough. The uncomfortable feelings will shift and the inevitable resolution is joyous.
Default avatar
Maryline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Hi,
If you are thinking to stay at Clear Sky, congrats! This will be a real, down to earth transformative experience. If you are a spiritual seeker that want to understand yourself better to have bigger sense of fulfilment and happiness in your life, this could be the experience that your depth is seeking. The power of this place is all the transformations that people there have made and the commitment of the community to keep high standards of communication, commitment, trust and honesty. People there have made so much work on themselves and can really help you to see clearer and transcend your own unwholesome patterns and they are committed to your growth. That made my experience at Clear Sky the most transformational of all my explorative experiences. There are a bunch of people over there that are ready to shine the light where the darkness crept in. It is not the easiest and relax exploration, I must say, but if you really want to become what you are meant to be, looking at the limiting views of yourself and others is essential and Clear Sky is providing the container for you to see, understand, acknowledge, and heal the parts of you that contribute to suffering. A life time opportunity.
The natural setting is absolutely wonderful and the food is of high quality. You will be involved in a wide range of activities and will have the opportunity to understand better what are your strengths and areas of development. I personally found what I wanted to do for my career through my process at Clear Sky.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I did not think that meditation was so awesome. I discovered that this practice is essential to sustainable living and good mental health. Today, I can see how I am such in a better state and less victim of the ups and downs of life because of my meditation practice.
Default avatar
Brendan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

There were many programs that I was looking at before attending the "Mindfulness and Beyond" program at Clear Sky, but what I resonated most with were the words "a challenge" and that this was NOT the program to do if I wanted a vacation or lots of free time. It really was like a modern day monastery and I LOVED it! We all helped cooked the meals during the week and I really felt like I was a part of the center while I was there. We not only studied Buddhism and various mindfulness techniques, we learned how to work better with others, which has greatly improved my career and relationships. I liked how we checked in everyday as a team, studied new things and reflected throughout the day. I really miss walking on the beautiful trails at the center, listening to the bird songs and I often saw elk, deer and the onsite horse. The food was local, organic and yummy! The onsite teachers ate with us almost every day and they and the team were so kind and answered any questions I had. I was impressed by their experience and sharing. I learned so much and it really did go beyond what I expected. It was "a challenge" as mentioned, but I really grew in just 3 months. Picking and eating fresh fruit in the food forest is a must! Thank you Clear Sky!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Walk the beautiful hiking trails when you have time! There are so many animals you will see like deer, elk, chipmunks and badgers. I loved the quiet as the bird songs resonate. There are sitting platforms all over the 310 acre property with amazing views. Also, make sure to walk up the mountain and check out Peter Creek.
Felix-Antoine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is so much more than farming and caring for a food forest. It is about learning to live in a mindful community and bringing buddhist meditation into everyday life.
Let's be clear though, there is some farming and at least half of each day was spent outdoors pruning, mowing, fixing irrigation, harvesting and keeping records of it all. There is also a decent size vegetable garden close to the main building.
The scenery at Clear Sky is absolutely breathtaking. It is ranch country with massive mountains all around with deer and elk often seen in large numbers.
The food is delicious and diverse. The residents are very helpful to help transition into what we could call the buddha mind set (buddhist teachings and daily meditation practice). If you are not seriously interested in questioning your asumptions, taking a closer look at your ego and changing your habits, then Clear Sky might not be your best bet. If you are though, I cannot think of a better container to go diving deeper.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready to meditate and do other daily chores (cooking, cleaning etc)
Marianne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I travelled to Canada without a plan, and spending time at Clear Sky was an adventure in so many ways. I feel the impact of the Karma Yoga to this day, and the people I was able to spend time with are still so close to my heart. It sounds corny, but I really can't recommend the opportunity highly enough. If you know what you are looking for, go. If you are not sure what you are looking for, go. Transform your life and learn in a most beautiful place with beautiful people.
More specifically, I was at Clear Sky as a Karma Yogi during the building work on Sky Roots. One of the things that was so brilliant for me, which I think is true for all Karma Yoga tasks, was that I was supported in confronting my patterns of behaviour and thoughts through the "obvious" moments, like reflecting on meditation experiences, and also in the "less obvious" ones, such as preparing meals together and eating in the community. Being outside of my comfort zone and in a community of learners was so important for me. The people I met there were and are so strong in supporting each other in their personal growth, and have a lot of fun along the way.

What was your funniest moment?
Dancing without a care in the world. (I was terrified of dancing and being present in that way.) It was so freeing.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Marianne Butler

Moved around a lot as a child, experienced different ways of doing things, but needed more "grounding" as an adult. Currently working in education following years studying in an academic background.

Why did you choose this program?

I wanted to try something completely different, outside of my previous experiences. I was attracted to the aspects of community life and work, and the opportunity to develop personally with structured support. In addition, working in a beautiful, mountainous space in Canada was very interesting to me, I wanted a wide open space where I could breath (literally and figuratively).

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I had assistance with getting to the center, was picked up from the bus stop. I was also provided with work clothes and told which ones I needed to bring/buy myself in advance. Food and accommodation was provided throughout my stay, as well as teachings, group meditation sessions and other reflection events.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make sure you have insurance! I had a small accident (I was working on a building site, and was a complete novice, so it was nothing major, but it was something that I needed to get checked over for), and the insurance provider I was with was very complicated. Spend more money there, so that if you do get sick/ hurt, you don't have to worry about it then!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Whilst I was at Clear Sky (this was in 2011, and I know they are continually adapting and tweaking the program), I would get up, meditate with the group, eat breakfast and then start my Karma Yoga for the day. As Sky Roots (an additional building on the property) was being built at the time, this meant I was working on a building site until lunch. Then the same again in the afternoon until dark (ish) and back for a shower, change, get ready for dinner and some form of group activity/meditation if I wanted to.

Weekends were spent taking trips in the local area, sometimes watching Netflix or meditating.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was not being able to find people and/or a place where I felt comfortable, I am quite shy and was worried about talking to people, starting conversations, etc., etc. I overcame it though travelling alone, being honest with myself and others about how I was feeling, and finding a place like Clear Sky, whilst accepting that I prefer to put down "roots" no matter where I am, rather than just "seeing everything". My views have changed because now I accept that it is ok to be quiet, and being open to others is not the same as being loud and brash!

What should you do when you are confronted with something you think is utterly ridiculous?

In my case, there was a fellow Karma Yogi who came to pick me up on my first day from the bus stop; she first offered to buy me a Starbucks and then told me how meditation was aiming to feel the breath at the tip of the nose.

Stick it out, look at why it makes you feel awkward, and give it time. I now love breathing meditations, because they center me and keep me grounded. Still not a massive fan of Starbucks. So it's really true: you can take it or leave it!

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Michelle Heinz

Job Title
Relationship Manager
Michelle was a co-founding member of Clear Sky, living onsite and running the centre for 8 years. Michelle loves engaging all folks to the community at Clear Sky where learning how to bring greater awareness, heart and wisdom into each moment is enriching and life-changing.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I love living and learning with groups. When you get people in retreats and practicing deeply, all the helpful planning and structures work like a well-oiled machine. This opens up and holds space for people to experience profound shifts and transformations. I have seen people come fractured and lost. I see them leave engaged, alive and strong. I have many of these memories, and they all make my heart sing.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I'm lighter, brighter and happier for one! The biggest gift is that I have a solid meditation practice which serves me daily and keeps me on my game. Professionally, skills I learnt with Clear Sky led me to a professional career which I love. I have a wealth of experience working with others in ways that empower and grow us all.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of our return students left to be an entrepreneurial catering business. Now he is a resident at Clear Sky, running a catering business and creating food products from the food forest at Clear Sky. He shared with me how he has never been around such bright, clear and wise people. He loves to contact and study with the co-founders, trainers and onsite community. He moved his life to the centre where he grows himself, business and Clear Sky. Clear Sky's kitchen and farm have never done better. Win-win!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose the Mindfulness and Beyond Program. It is like a deep 3 month retreat. The power of this length of time is that you can integrate the learnings very deeply into your life. Science tells us that it takes 30 days or more to re-wire unconscious or no longer useful habits. When you are in an environment geared specifically for depth work like this, you can co-create habits that you want. It's a life changer giving you life-skills for your career, relationship and long-term happiness.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Clear Sky is a modern day monastery. In years past, this required devoting your life to solitude. In today's world we can do this with internet, high integrity and world class teaching. Activities at Clear Sky incorporate how to bring deep care and attention into our study, meditation and daily activities- together; in the kitchen, on the farm, online and during play time too. I've never experienced anything like it anywhere else.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The desire to grow, paired with a willingness to listen and look deeply at challenges, is what I think is the key to our success. Many people today feel lonely and crave community. When we come together with shared motivations and goals, this gives us fuel and wisdom to make changes as individuals and as a team. It allows us to change and ride on the momentum of each others energy, making it easier together. It also makes learning way more fun and interesting! That alone is cause to celebrate.