A Brief Course Description
This course will explore the
intersecting areas of philosophy and religion in the eastern cultures of
India, China, and Japan, highlighting Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism, Taoism and
Confucianism. In this class, you will be exposed to a variety of
elements inherent in those traditions, including music and art, as well
as practices, like meditation, yogic breathing and chanting.
The mantra, the
vibration, the divine consciousness and all that exists.
The Indian Prince became the first
patriarch of Zen after bringing Buddhism to China in 526 CE (AD).
According to legend, he meditated in front of his cave for nine years,
allowing the sun to burn his shape into the rock which is still a
tourist attraction near the Shaolin temple.
back to homepage
All pertinent information,
such as the course syllabus and assignment info, has now been moved to
eCompanion, and thus is only accessible to current students.
The only reading material
you need for this course is a specially prepared Course Packet, available here:
We have guests this semester!
Joining us this spring, 2011, will be Adarsh Khalsa from Yoga West--original
home of Yogi Bhajan--leading us in Celestial Communications; and Jaswinder Singh,
a meditation teacher representing Shiva Goraksha Babaji's Kundalini Kriya
Yog, as given by Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath.
I will again be offering two of my own Yoga classes (as noted below), which
may count among the other extra credit choices, as listed on eCompanion.
1. April 8th from 9:30-10:30 am
2600 Ocean Park Blvd Santa Monica, California 90405
* Ocean Park & 25th - five minutes
* There will be a sign-in sheet - no pics necessary for EC.
* Park on 25th - or side streets - and find us at the end of the park
baseball field, near the airport runway.
The great yogi, Shiva, symbol of
inner awakening, and Lord of destruction, is seated in
meditative pose, overseeing the
development of the universe. From
his matted hair springs the sacred
Ganges, which, far from being just a
mere river, is thought of by Hindus
as a precious maternal source of
life, and is worshipped as a
supremely divine place of worship
Some of the holy wanderers, or sadhus, who
follow Shiva, assume a similar
appearance by covering themselves in
ashes, taking a vow of renunciation, and
growing their hair into dreadlocks.
Shiva with his
wife, Parvati, and son, Ganesha. He is holding the sacred
trident, which represents the three forces of nature,
known collectively, as the Gunas, and individually as
Rajas and Tamas. These are
associated respectively, with the
properties of balance, passion and inertia. They govern not
only our physical selves, but all of nature and as indicated in the Bhagavad Gita,
must be transcended in our pursuit
of a balanced life.
Toward the bottom of the painting is
a Lingam, an abstract symbol of
Shiva, and a cluster of lotus
flowers, representing the
snake around Shiva's neck denotes
the opening of Kundalini energy,
while the animal skin symbolizes his
mastery over lust.
Krishnamacharya, "father of modern
yoga," was the teacher of my
teacher. Here he is in Half Spinal
Twist Pose, known in Sanskrit, as
Devout Hindus and Yogis maintain a
It is likely your religion
embraces a vegetarian diet, as well!
Here is a link my
I am often asked about Kosher meat.
Jewishveg.com is a thorough site that
addresses that question and more. Specifically, you can watch the exposť "If
This Is Kosher..." narrated by the award winning Jewish-American author,
Jonathan Safran Foer. While the site has special relevance for Jews,
those of all persuasions will appreciate its meticulous coverage of all issues
related to animals and factory farming. A highly recommended website.
Here is a link my
students will appreciate:
Since I have included a
website that explores the global effects of factory farming from a Jewish
perspective, I am also including a fantastic website which addresses the
issue from a Christian one. This is an equally well-done website that looks
at factory farming's effects on the environment and explains the conflicting
ideas people have regarding the place of meat-eating in the human diet,
among many other worthwhile topics.
My top 3 recommendations for novels about Chinese culture:
Pearl Buck, The Good Earth.
Lu Chi Fa, Double Luck.
Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
Other Relevant Links:
For those interested in exploring more info
and or reading original
writings related to this class, I have found the following websites useful:
PBS Documentary on Youtube (starts with the first
YouTube - TheBuddhaPBS's
Award winning comprehensive site on
Hindu scriptures translated into English:
A Comprehensive site dedicated to Buddhism:
Mahayana Buddhist sutras translated
Resources and info for the homosexual
community interested in Buddhism and meditation: