Asian Philosophy
Philosophy 22  Asian Philosophy

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.

ahimsa   non-violence

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.



some class pics

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Last Update:  01/21/11



Note #1
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.

Note #2
The only reading material you need for this course is a specially prepared Course Packet, available here:

Note #3
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.

           Hi Donna,

Yes, spring break is a bad time for a presentation!  Let's do the following Thursday, April 21st.  Also, I've attached a picture to this email.  Let me know if it works.

According to Kabalistic astrology it's much better for me to do it after my birthday (April 14th) than before.  Sun period as opposed to Saturn period.

Adarsh Khalsa                                                         Jaswinder Singh

Note #4
Good News! 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

Clover Park
2600 Ocean Park Blvd Santa Monica, California 90405

* Ocean Park & 25th - five minutes from SMC!
* 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.

More info at



Siva Mahadev

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 and reverence.


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 Sattva, 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 enlightened mind. The snake around Shiva's neck denotes the opening of Kundalini energy, while the animal skin symbolizes his mastery over lust.



The revered Krishnamacharya, "father of modern yoga," was the teacher of my teacher. Here he is in Half Spinal Twist Pose, known in Sanskrit, as Ardha Matsyendrasana.


Devout Hindus and Yogis maintain a vegetarian diet.


It is likely your religion embraces a vegetarian diet, as well!

Here is a link my
Jewish students will appreciate:

I am often asked about Kosher meat. 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 Christian 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 part): YouTube - TheBuddhaPBS's Channel#p/c/80D4D04105993B1B/0/

Award winning comprehensive site on Hinduism:

Hindu scriptures translated into English:

A Comprehensive site dedicated to Buddhism:

Mahayana Buddhist sutras translated into English:

Resources and info for the homosexual community interested in Buddhism and meditation: