Living Tantric Yoga Series
This rich, multi-part series is best offered over 2-3 sessions, but can be tailored for each audience. This series features Christopher’s latest translations and insights into the history of the Trantric tradition.
Topics covered typically include:
I. A Visual Introduction to the History and Evolution of the Tantric Tradition
II. The Lotus of the Heart: Revelations of the Early Tantric Subtle Body
III. Experiencing the Resonance of the Divine Self: the Lost Practices of Tantric Yoga
IV. Meditations on Sensual Experience: The ‘Flowering Forth of One’s Own Enlightenment’ by 10th century Sage Hraswanatha
This series includes subtle body practices drawn from un-published, first-ever translations of Tantric manuscripts that precede the Hatha Yoga Tradition.
Presentations: include visualizations of rare Tantric deities and sacred symbols for meditation
Practice: Featuring lost Tantric Yoga practices to remove the blockages to liberation in the subtle body, including visualizations and resonating sacred sounds (mantras) in the subtle body
The following is a short, sample list of classes and workshops currently being offered by Christopher. Workshops can be tailored to the needs of individual teachers/yoga schools. Please contact us with any topical requests.
History of Indian Yoga
This class provides a 3000 year overview of the development of Yoga throughout the earliest (Vedic) period (1500-500 b.c.e.) of Indian religious history concluding with the advent of Hatha Yoga in the medieval period (1200-1900 c.e.). We will explore how and why Yoga became the central means to spiritual liberation throughout the religions of the Indian sub-continent.
Introduction to Sanskrit
Sanskrit is the language of Yoga, words of power subtly attuned to the unseen harmonies of the matrix of creation. It is a living heritage of great rishis, the enlightened ones, who walked the earth thousands of years ago and taught the path of Yoga. It presents us with a compelling responsibility and a lifelong challenge, while it inspires us to remain fully engaged in exploring what’s possible for a human being. Learning Sanskrit is an opportunity to know directly for ourselves what ancient Yoga practitioners discovered long ago. This class will introduce the Sanskrit alphabet and serve as a guide to basic pronunciation of āsanas and terms that are key to Yoga philosophy and practice.
Origins of Yoga: The Upanishads
The Upanishads (“To sit close in”) date from 800 b.c.e. to 200 c.e. represent the first major philosophical development of Vedic Hinduism. The Upanishadic Sages initiated what was to become a revolution of spiritual practice–the internalization of the Vedic sacrifice in the form of intense contemplation and meditation on the unity of the soul (Atman) with the omnipresent ground of all existence (Brahman). Inner worship and spiritual practice—known as ‘Yoga’, (‘to connect or discipline oneself’)–gradually developed as the chief means of obtaining transcendental knowledge. This class will focus on the evolution of the limbs of Yoga (later to be catalogued in the Yoga Sūtra) as found in the Upanishads.
The Three Yogas of the Bhagavad Gītā
Just before the commencement of the great battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna, a personification of God, counsels Arjuna on the nature of the Self (soul) and its implicit union with the divine source of the universe. Krishna teaches that, although the body is destructible, the soul is immortal. In order to fully identify with our own immortal and omniscient nature, we must practice Yoga. He expounds upon three specific yogas that must be practiced: that of action (karma), and knowledge (jñāna), and devotion (bhakti).
The Bhagavad Gītā proposes that enlightenment comes from expanding beyond identification with ego consciousness. We are taught that Yoga can free us from attachment and lead us to an identification with the immortal Self (ātman).
“When the mind comes to rest, restrained by the practice of yoga, and when beholding the Self, by the self, he is content in the Self.”
“He who finds his happiness within, his delight within, and his light within, this yogi attains the bliss of Brahman, becoming Brahman.”
Classical Yoga: The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali
For several millenia, yoga adepts have described the moment of spiritual liberation to occur when the Soul (Purusha), forever whole and content, is discriminated from the constantly fluctuating states of mind that we experience in our daily lives. Sage Patañjali, the author of the Yoga Sūtra (2nd-4th centuries C.E.), the classical work of Rājā Yoga, explicitly teaches us how the illusory nature of mind-activity keeps us from experiencing our true Being, which is usually obscured by the constant whirling of the mind (citta-vritti).
The Essence of Tantric Śaivism
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Classes on Tantric Śaivism currently taught by Christopher:
The Kashmiri School of Spanda: The Universe as a ‘Vibration’ of Pulsating Consciousness
The Divine Vision of Abhinavagupta: The ‘Skillful Means” (Upāya) to Enlightenment
An Introduction to Tantric Yoga
The Realms (Tattvas) of Shiva’s Universal Being
The Heart of Recognition, by Kṣemarāja
The Heart of the Yoginī (Yoginī Hridayam): An Introduction to Tantric Śāktism (i.e., to the Experience of the Divine Feminine)
Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment: “The Flowering of One’s Own Enlightenment” (Svabodhodāyamañjarī) by Krama (Kaśmiri) master Hrasvanātha
Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment: “30 Verses on Delighting in Awareness” (Cittasaṃtoṣatriṃśikā) by Krama (Kaśmiri) master Nāga