THE PATH OF EXQUISITE LOVE – A 12 WEEK CLASS IN THE ART AND PRACTICE OF DIVINE LOVE INTRODUCTRY CLASS THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 7:30 pm The text for the class will be “Narada Bhakti Sutra,” one of the classics of the Hindu tradition on the path of Devotion. We will use the translation and commentary of H.H. Swami Chinmayananda. "Love is a link that connects, a force that attracts, a fascination that seizes and a clasp that grasps. Therefore, when one establishes himself in the relationship of devotion with the Divine, he steps up into a realm of his own, having his own enchantments and personal experiences." Swami Chinamayananda's commentary on Narada Bhakti Sutra dances with the nuances of an ecstatic and enduring relationship with the Lord of one's heart that becomes the bedrock of a devotee's life. This Divine Love is all consuming, yet purging and freeing in its impact. The devotee trusts the Lord like a friend, cherishes Him like a child and is faithful to Him like a wife. Where then is the need or the place for any other worldly relationship? Joy or sorrow ... it is the Lord alone for him. He will play, pray, fight and frolic only with the Lord in his heart's shrine. Go for it! Get engulfed by an affair that lasts lifetimes, riding on waves of beatific beauty!
TRIPURA RAHASYA - THE MYSTERY OF THE DIVINE FEMININE SATURDAY MORNINGS 10:00am - 11:30am Tripura Rahasya is one of the greatest texts in the Adwaita Vedanta, the core teaching of gnyana yoga. It was one of the favorites of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the great 20th century Tamil saint. It is from the tantric tradition and is a wonderful collection of stories illustrating the highest non-dual philosophy. In keeping with many tantric texts, it describes Ultimate Reality in terms of the Divine Feminine. It is unusual in that most of the central figures that attain Enlightenment are women. Each of the stories presents a basic philosophical idea of this tradition and includes concrete meditation practices for the serious student of Vedanta. The text is ascribed to the sage Dattatreya, one of India’s oldest sage/avatars and the reputed author of the Dattatreya Upanishad found in the Atharva Veda. He figures in the great epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana. This will be an ongoing class open to all on a donation basis. However, it is not a “drop in” group. Students should be willing to make a commitment to regular ongoing attendance so as to keep up with the subtle, but progressive movement of thought through the text. We will discuss the Adwaita Philosophy in this scripture and get practical instruction as to how to apply these principles in daily life. A commitment to regular daily meditation is a requirement of the class.
VIVEKACHOODAMANI - THE CREST JEWEL OF DISCRIMINATION MONDAY EVENINGS 7:30 - 9:00PM An ongoing in depth study of this classic Adwaita text by Adi Shankara, the great 8th century Hindu saint. This class is for serious students who want to make a long term commitment to their spiritual practice. The text is linear - it takes the student from the very beginning of the Path and leads step by step to the heights of Self Realization. Class space is limited. Please call Jim at 510-220-8453 if you are interested in joining.
BHAGAVAD GITA SUNDAY EVENINGS 6:30 – 8:00 PM This class will explore the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, one of the core scriptures of Yoga. The Gita is a conversation between Prince Arjuna and his teacher Krishna on philosophical concepts that are important to the present day. The text addresses some of the core human questions that we all have, such as “Who am I?” “What is my purpose?” “Why am I here?” and “How can I best contribute to my community and the world?” This class will introduce you to the history, story and key concepts within the Gita chapter by chapter. We will read the text, taking inspiration from specific verses and connecting them with specific struggles we face in everyday life. The format of this class will include textual reading, group discussion, chanting in Sanskrit and meditation. Drop-ins are welcome.
I AM THAT - TALKS WITH SRI NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ TUESDAY MORNINGS 10:30AM - 12:00PM An ongoing study of this modern classic that preserves Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's dialogs with the followers who came to him from around the world seeking guidance in destroying false identities. I Am That is a legacy from a unique teacher who helps the reader to a clearer understanding of himself as he comes to Maharaj with the age-old question, "Who am I?"