Devotion is a phenomenon more universal than any particular tradition, for devotion can be as varied as love itself. In the dharmic traditions, the term for devotion is bhakti. As Bhakti Yoga, it is a form of practice characterized by devotion to a deity. The more popular forms of bhakti are Vaishnava, Shaiva and Shakta in character (devoted to Krishna, Shiva, or forms of the Goddess, respectively). In all of these traditions, bhakti is both a form of religious and contemplative practice since love for a particular form of God/Goddess is widely accepted as one of the most effective ways to focus the mind.
In this free online conference, we will discover both traditional and non-traditional forms of bhakti. We will explore the ways in which devotion transforms our world, from the inside out. Just as falling in love has the power to shape and renew one’s worldview, becoming a Bhakta transmutes our vision and refines our heart. Love for the divine further empowers the devotee to transcend aspects of mundane existence, as it challenges common and selfish expressions of love. By dedicating our practice to a principle or deity that transcends the ephemeral, we can begin to taste the fullness of embodied love and its liberating possibilities.
This conference, as with all programming at Embodied Philosophy, will seek to strike a balance between scholarship and practice. Each participant has been invited to share embodied bhakti-informed practices as well as scholarship and research relevant to Bhaktas and the various Bhakti traditions.
We will learn about:
The history of Vaishnava Bhakti
The teachings of the Bhagavad Gītā
How to live the life of the heart
The yogic practices of devotion
The character of Hanuman, the personification of devotion from the Ramayana
How Bhakti yoga differs from other forms of yoga
Why serving the divine will save the world
The relationship between the Bhakta (or practitioner) and Bhakti
The relationship between the human and the divine in Vaishnava Bhakti
Stories from the Indian tradition that are central to Bhakti
The 9 Practices of Vaidhī Bhakti
I am so pleased to be included as a presenter in this free online event coming up Oct 4 to 6, 2019.
Sign up here!