Sundays 10 - 11:30 AM
Starting August 5, 2018
Yoga is a complete system, as it is designed to balance body, energy and mind, it offers tools for coping in a balanced, stress-free way with life, it shows us ways of understanding ourselves deeply, and it helps us find our center. With a little effort and regular practice, one receives many benefits.
This 8-session course includes both practice of yogic techniques and an introduction to meditation practice. Each class consists of one and a half hours of yoga Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), relaxation, and meditation theory and practice, guidance in establishing and deepening one's personal yoga and meditation practice, as well as introduction to various aspects of yoga philosophy and their application in our daily lives.
Whoever you are and whatever is your life-style, incorporating some yoga practice into your daily life can do wonders!
Wednesdays Evenings, Starting August 29, 2018
Yoga asanas and pranayama - for balancing body, energy and mind, stress reduction, increased awareness, and a wonderful preparation for meditation. All levels. Beginners welcome.
This will be a mixed level class, covering the basics of yoga Asana and Pranayama practice and relaxation techniques, as well as guidance for establishing and refining one's personal practice. Beginners and more exeperienced yoga students are welcome. 8-sessions.
Sundays 8:30 - 9:45 AM
The ancient Rishis or seers, having delved into the depths of their being, closely analyzed all of the layers of the human existence. In this process of self-inquiry, they discovered that in essence we are but pure consciousness, and various factors and conditionings cloud our vision and hide this truth. They laid out practices for clarifying our vision so we too can have this first-hand knowledge. Yogic disciplines have been prescribed as preparatory practices, for purifying the heart and balancing the mind. For unveiling the deeper truths, Vedanta has been prescribed.
The original and most authoritative teachings of Vedanta are in the Upanishads, which are the latter part of the Vedas, the most ancient spiritual texts known to humanity. The Upanishads reveal the unity of the individual being and the universal presence, declaring that they are one and the same consciousness. Due to lack of inner clarity and the unsteady nature of the mind, we aren't aware of this basic fact and identify ourselves with situations and various notions. These in turn sow the seed for ups and downs, pain, suffering and disappointment, and according to yogis, the continuous cycle of births and deaths.
Vedanta claims that one of the most misunderstood words in our language is "I". We take its meaning for granted without any analysis. Many other phenomena are thoroughly analyzed by us, such as atoms, stars, politics, etc., but we don't inquire into the inquirer itself. Different Vedantic methodologies are prescribed for discerning who it is experiencing the world through this body-mind-sense complex. Vedanta offers a three-step system for gaining this understanding - Shravanam or listening to the Upanishadic teachings from an experienced teacher, Mananam or reflecting on them to help clarify our doubts, and Nididhyasanam or meditating upon these truths.
There is no fee for the Vedanta classes. Donations are welcome.
Study of Tattva Bodha, Starting June 17, 2018
We will be studying the text Tattva Bodha over the next few months. This is an introductory text, many attribute it to Adi Guru Shankaracharya, which gives a structured overview of Vedanta philosophy and introduces the important concepts needed for understanding the Vedantic vision. It is one of the major the prepartory texts studied in many schools of Vedanta, hence we are taking it up as a preparation for more advanced texts
Mundaka Upanishad, Starting September 2018
The Mundaka, one of the major Upanishads, is found in the Atharvana Veda and is the first Upanishad taught in many schools of Vedanta. It is a comparatively simple Upanishad which conveys the Vedantic vision in a comprehensive manner. The Mundaka analyzes both the Samashthi or macrocosm and Vyashthi or microcosm. It highlights the differences between worldly knowledge - that of objects and phenomena, and Atma Jnana - Knowledge of Self or consciousness itself. As in most scriptures, the Mundaka presents the teachings as being taught by an experienced teacher to a sincere student.
In Vedantic study, the scripture acts like a mirror aiding the refined intellect understand its source or true nature. Bhagavad Gita, chapter 4 verse 38, states "Nahi Jnanena Sadrsham Pavitram Iha Vidyate" - there is nothing purifying as knowledge itself. No means other than Self-knowledge, the discovery of one's true identity, can free a person from the disturbances from the world and within one's own mind.
This class will cover the text of the Upanishad itself, along with translation and commentary, and will be based on Adi Guru Sankaracharya's Bashya, the most traditional commentary, as well as commentaries by my teachers.
Seeing the Truth Within All Experiences
Sunday January 21, 2018
7:45 AM - 4:00 PM
Retreat days are a wonderful opportunity for retreating from our daily activities and lives and immersing ourselves in reflective practices. The programs are designed to refresh body and mind and lend inspiration to our spirit. During the program we engage in various aspects of yoga and Vedantic theory and practices - asana, pranayama, relaxation, mantra chanting, positive thinking, meditation and Self-inquiry, the latter being the subtlest and most important, the others prepare the spiritual aspirant for inquiry. In each retreat day, a chosen theme is focused on in order to delve deeper into our understanding of the topic, immerse ourselves in its practice, and gain insight into its application in daily life.
The focus of this retreat day will be on Dattatreya's vision of seeing the truth within all experiences. As everything in the world is interconnected, comes from and returns to the same source, and is pervaded by the same universal truths, lessons of life and the spirit can be learned from anyone, anything, and in all situations. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Avadhoota (mendicant) Dattatreya illustrates this fact by telling what he learnt from his 24 Gurus. Amongst them are the wind, the earth, the sun, an elephant, a python, and a child. These illustrations help open our mind and eyes to comprehend the world in a different manner, which can aid in our spiritual quest for clarity and contentment.
Program for the day:
7:45 AM Meditation, Chanting, Introduction
10:00 AM Yoga Class
12:00 PM Vegetarian Lunch
1:00 PM Dattatreya's Vision - Discourse
2:15 PM Meditation
3:00 PM Dattatreya's Vision - Discourse
4:00 PM Conclusion
- Please pre-register by email
- The program is on a donation basis
Na Hi Jnaanena Sadrsham Pavitram Iha Vidyate
There is nothing as purifying in this world as knowledge
- - Bhagavad Gita 4, 38
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