Philosophy, Spirituality and Meaning
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.
EDUCATION IN VALUES
Universal spiritual principles lie at the heart of all great religious traditions, forming a metaphysical Oneness that pervades them all. However, the true teachings of the great spiritual teachers far transcends the dictates of membership in particular religious traditions. The former are all inclusive, the matter most often exclusive. The spiritual path is like any other, with potholes and detours that compliment the bliss and awakening. Discernment is one of the most important qualities needed on the spiritual journey, and yet rarely taught. To separate truth from falsehood and avoid many of the pitfalls that await the traveller, here is real world, grounded wisdom needed by all contemporary seekers. Cultivate the insight needed to live a healthy, genuine, moment to moment awareness of a spiritual life with intelligence, authenticity, and from personal experience. Embrace the vision you desperately yearn to fulfil and embark on your path to perfection and true joy.
- What is spirituality anyway?
- Feeding the hungry heart or the hungry ghost?
- Spiritually transmitted diseases, common traps of spiritual materialism and how to avoid them
- The healing crisis and 'life raft' for such times
- Unmask what keeps you stuck
- Unearth your heart's desire and life's purpose
- Balance body, mind and spirit
- Find the flow
- Fully integrate spirituality into daily life for potent transformations
- Mindfulness, peace, forgiveness, infinite compassion and actualisation of the inner light as the common path
- Live your most extraordinary life.
THE LONG SEARCH FOR MEANING
An introduction to World Religions. Interdisciplinary studies involving philosophy, psychology, sociology, literature and comparative religions.
It makes no difference whether you worship
God, Jehovah, Allah, Mohammed, Buddha, Christ, Krishna or Truth
- it is still and always one and the same God.
The difference is only the name, such as God, Gott, Dieu or Dios.
The omnipotent, the almighty is and always will be
The omnipotent, the almighty is and always will be
the same whether one is Hindu, Brahmin, Christian or whatever.
Perhaps at no other time in history has it been more important to understand religion. What specifically, do other people believe? How do these beliefs guide the way they lead their lives on a daily basis - how they dress, eat, work, pray and raise their families. How do they view those who do not share their understanding of God? For centuries, religion has divided people and caused wars. Today we have the power to realise that religion can bring us together. Heroism has been defined in several cultures and in various times as striving to accomplish a spiritual quest. People have found purpose and meaning in their lives by seeking to connect heaven with earth, and their mundane lives with something vaster than themselves. This view has a timeliness about it, in the wake of the blow that the world has received from terrorism.
How do we complete the spiritual quest? What is true heroism? We explore the origin, historical development and growth of the different religions, together with the basic principles, beliefs and practices that these traditions inculcate and emphasise, and look for answers that people around the world (followers of indigenous traditions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, Christianity, Judiasm and Islam) provide to these questions. Perhaps we can attempt to assess the possibility of a Universal Religion.
- Voices from ancient times
- There is but one God
- God has no religion
- Humankind is One
THE VEDIC VIEW OF LIFE
Where Every Breath is a Prayer
A taste of the quintessential essence of religious and philosophical thought from the Vedic vision, ranging from:
- The spirit of the Vedas, Upanishads, Gita
- Different schools of philosophy
- The meaning of dharma
- The use of rites and ceremonies
- The cultivation of cardinal virtues and standards of morality
- Samsara and the law of karma
- The forms of God
- Renunciation, knowledge and the practice of yoga
- The significance of Aum
- The problem of evil
- Theories of creation
- The meaning of maya
- The nature of the soul
GLIMPSE AFTER GLIMPSE. Essentials of Hinduism
The World of Gods and Goddesses
A space pervades a jar both inside and out,
so within and beyond this ever-changing universe,
there exists one universal spirit.
Hinduism introduces us to a sacred world through rich and magical imagery of deities, symbols and mandalas. To understand the wisdom behind this imagery brings personal meaning for us. A look at India's theology, deities, demi-gods, objects of worship, reverence and awe invites us to look deeply into what lies beyond our limited notions of what is real and what is unreal - beyond the ordinary realm of belief and doubt. We are invited to value and utilise all of our experience to free the mind and bring us to a very different way of seeing things. Course includes:
- The living image
- The act of creation
- Contemplation, worship, transcendence
- The Vedic vision
- The great Godness
- Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma
- The major incarnations of Vishnu, Rama, Krishna
- The sons of Shiva
- Attendants of the Gods; enemies of the Gods
- Fabulous creatures
- The Natural World
- The Folk Shrine
- The Evolving Cosmos - all forms of the formless.
ENTERING THE BUDDHA'S WORLD: Buddhism for Beginners
The Road to Nirvana
More than twenty-five hundred years ago, a being who had been searching for the Truth for many, many lifetimes, came to a quiet place in northern India and sat down under a tree. he continued to sit under the tree, with immense resolve, and vowed not to get up until he had found the truth.
At dusk, it is reported, he conquered all the dark forces of delusion; and early next morning, as the planet Venue broke in the dawn sky, the man was rewarded for his age-long patience, discipline and flawless concentration by achieving the final goal of human existence: enlightenment.
At that sacred moment, the earth itself shuddered as if drunk with bliss, and, as the reports tell us: “No one anywhere was angry, ill or sad; no one did evil; none was proud; the world became quite quiet, as though ut had reached full perfection.” This man became known as Buddha.
The Buddha's four noble truths educate us about suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path that leads to cessation. We begin to understand the way in which the cycle of birth and death manifests, and to look at an exit from the masquerade.
Since Buddhism promotes no God, it is essentially a psychological faith, which in our age or secular anxiety, has profound lessons to teach about selflessness and the simple life. This course explores the essentials of Buddhism, starting with
- Price Siddhartha becomes Buddha
- Exploring soul or no soul
- Karma, action and rebirth
- Samsara - keep going
- Dharma - a law that reflects the fundamental principles of existence
- Nirvana - cooling the ego
- Parables and stories
CHRISTIANITY AND YOGA
Heaven comes to Earth
Deeper than the historical Jesus is the cosmic Christ. Yogically revisit genesis, the voice of ancient days, the coming of revelation, the sermon on the mount, the Lord's prayer, the vehicle of grace through the heart, body and soul of Yoga. Befriend darkness, creativity, compassion, celebration and transformation through your heart, body and soul. Decode and revolutionise the spiritual message of the scriptures with contemporary thought.
Blessed are those whose passion is electrified by deep, abiding purpose. Let's not let surface things delude us but free us from what holds us back. Be all-embracing, surrounded by your fruit. Soften what's rigid inside and you shall receive physical vigour and strength from the universe.
- Befriending the cosmic creation story
- Thanksgiving of the Cosmos
- Of praise and cosmic hospitality
- The power of miracles
- The power of the word: sayings, aphorisms, parables
- Sacred commitment: ask, seek, knock
- Self: the axis on which the universe turns
- Good and Evil: the soul playing hide and seek
- Inner wisdom: fall and redemption
- Faces of love: womb, seed, humanity, selflessness, delight
- Sustaining the divine perspective: darkness shines
- Divine intimacy: breath, holiness, faces of light, reign of unity, between heaven and earth, soul, self and life.
THE TRADITION OF PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY
Creating Space for the Sacred
How does an ordinary person become a Buddha, an enlightened one, a fully awakened, omniscient and compassionate human being, someone who has realised the meaning of existence? Weariness and curiosity inspire us to seek out a deeper reality of the way in which all phenomena abide. This course provides entrance to the middle. Explore:
- Beyond God
- Awareness beyond Mind
- In search of nothing
- Rootless Thought
- The Many and the One
- The Buddhist conception of immanence: Beyond
- On breaking through
- Deepen your understanding: The void is full
THE SACRED PATH
Join Shantiji and students for a conversation about everyday living, immediately after our communal lunch. This level of discourse and discussion presents Shantiji's philosophical and yogic vision as a living context for building sanity in our lives and will extend your understanding beyond your practices on the mat and meditation cushion. Additionally, they will cultivate a societal vision and aspiration to help the world in these difficult times. This will be achieved based on the following:
1st Monday of the month: Healthy Life discussion
2nd Monday of the month: Lessons from 'A Course in Miracles'
3rd Monday of the month: Expanding the insight through the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta
4th Monday of the month: Spiritual cinema
The discussions are free to attend, and all are welcome.