Note: We will assign you a roommate if you do not register with one.
While enlightenment in Mahayana Buddhism and Vedantic Hinduism is described as indescribable, it is evoked as experiencing the infinite universe as your very own body (Dharmakaya), while still energetically maintaining your effortless continuity of wisdom and compassion to help other beings also discover their own liberating oneness. The doorway to such enlightenment is a critical concentrative meditational search for knowledge of the ultimate ground reality, which is described as “vajra” or Brahma, meaning adamantine, unbreakable, supremely powerful, or divine, and is equated with “bliss-freedom-indivisible” or “being-awareness-bliss.”
The yoga tradition evolves through Indian spiritual history as the practical way of full body-mind realization of such exalted insight, gradually, delicately, and inexorably liberating the ordinary body-mind complex from its ego-centrist ignorance and corresponding constrictedness. In this workshop we will explore, intellectually and experientially, some of the texts and practices from the yogic technologies associated with both major nondualist traditions, with the aim of better understanding the potential and actuality of the Vajra or Brahma Body. We will refer to texts from Buddhist and Hindu traditions during the retreat.
Richard and John will teach yoga daily and Robert will join them for all lectures and question and answer sessions.
NOTE: All levels welcome!
Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. He has studied various traditions in Asia which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois. Richard's background includes studying Sufism in Iran, Zen and Vipassana Buddhist practice, Bhakti and traditional Hatha yoga in India. Starting in 1974 he also began an in-depth study of Iyengar yoga, which eventually led him to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Richard is an avid student of both Western and Eastern philosophy, as well as Sanskrit. His ability to juxtapose various viewpoints, without losing the depth and integrity of each, has helped him develop a unique, metaphorical teaching style.
John Campbell started practicing Ashtanga Yoga in India eighteen years ago with the late Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. He began teaching in 1995 with Eddie Stern at the first center in New York City devoted to this traditional practice, and was honored in 2003 to become one the few Certified teachers of Ashtanga Yoga worldwide. While a graduate student in Sanskrit, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies he became a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. His teachers include HH the Dalai Lama and Denma Lochoe Rinpoche. In 2009, he received his Ph.D. in the Religion Department at Columbia University with a dissertation on Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Tantric yoga systems. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and teaches daily classes in Ashtanga Yoga at Pure Yoga West in New York City, where he lives with his wife and their three children.
Robert Thurman is Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Columbia University, President of Tibet House U.S., a popular lecturer on Tibetan Buddhism, the translator of many philosophical treatises and sutras, and author of numerous books including the national bestseller, Inner Revolution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Real Happiness; Anger, the fifth book from a series on the Seven Deadly Sins, offered by The New York Public Library and Oxford University Press. His most recent book is titled Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World, published by Atria Books/Beyond Words.
*Current Tibet House Members receive a 10% Discount on Tuition (Discount Code= member)