Past Events

Free Yoga Studies Events at Loyola Marymount University Spring 2014


Gallery Talk with Dr. Chris Chapple
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. Friday, April 18th, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Attendants joined scholar Chris Chapple on a gallery tour of Yoga: The Art of Transformation, beginning with an introductino to three large images that evoke the Hindu goddess, Jaina non-violence, and Buddhist compassion. They explored the miniature Mughal paintings of yogis, the ancient palm leaf manuscripts, scrolls that illustrate battling bands of yogis, and 19th and 20th century images of yoga romance.

Chris Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.  He began Yoga practice more than 40 years ago, entering training in classical Yoga under the guidance of Gurani Anjali in 1972.  He has translated many Sanskrit texts on Yoga, including the Yogadrstisamucaya of Haribhadra, the Yogavasistha discourse on Sevenfold Yoga, and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.  He contributed the Jaina section to the catalogue for the Yoga exhibit.  His many published books include Reconciling Yogas and Yoga and the Luminous.

Co-presented by the California Institute for Integrative Studies.                       

Free Lecture: Samkhya and Yoga on the Problem of the One and the Many in Indian Philosophy by Dr. Gerald J. Larson
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3700, Wednesday, April 9th, 8:00 p.m.

This evening featured a presentation by Gerald J. Larson, Ph.D., M.Div., Research Professor, University of California, Irvine, and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara and Indiana University Bloomington.

Free Community Offering: The Bhagavad Gita within the Great Narrative by Dr. Chris Chapple
YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Thursday, March 20th 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The Bhagavad Gita, best known for its teachings on the four Yogas of Knowledge, Action, Devotion, and Meditation, takes place as a song within a song. This series of talks explored the great epic the Mahabharata as well as the Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita.  By helping Arjuna understand his place within the larger context of family and society, Krishna brings freedom of action to the world.

Free Lecture: The Yogi and the Magician: Yoga, Science, and the Conjuring of Modernity by Dr. Patton Burchett
Theological Studies Village, University Hall 3700, Wednesday, March 19th, 8:00 p.m.

This talk examined the figure of Indian yogi as both a source of wonder and a key foil for notions of modern rationality in the discourses of both Westerners and Indians in the nineteenth and early 20th century. In particular, the lecture demonstrated the little known but significant influence of Victorian stage magicians on Western perceptions of yogis, as well as Hindu reformers' responses to these characterizations of yogis and thus yoga. The talk thus explored the crucial, but ambiguous place held by the yogi in the context of rising "modernity," especially in reference to the problems posed by his association with supernatural powers and his public performances of austerities, "juggling," and sense deceptions. We looked at 19th and 20th century images and discourses of stage magicians with the representations of yogis by Orientalist scholars and colonial officials, looking at the multiple semantic and visual fields of "magic" in order to understand the combination of awe, wonder, skepticism, and dismissal that characterized attitudes toward yoga in an age that saw the rise to dominance of discourses of science and rationality.

Patton Burchett is an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Religious Studies Program at New York University (NYU).  He received his doctorate in South Asian Religions in 2012 from Columbia University’s Department of Religion.  His work focuses primarily on Hindu devotional (bhakti) and tantric traditions in north India in the early modern period (the subject of his current book project, Bhakti Religion and Tantric Magic: Yogis, Poets, & Sufis in Mughal India), but he also has a major research interest in the relations between magic, science, and religion and his next project will examine the interaction and development of these three categories in India by tracing out how “yoga” was perceived, appropriated, and transformed in the service of “modern” projects of both rationality and enchantment, spirituality and secularism. His published work includes “The ‘Magical’ Language of Mantra,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion76.4 (2008), “Bhakti Rhetoric in the Hagiography of ‘Untouchable’ Saints: Discerning Bhakti’s Ambivalence on Caste and Brahminhood,” International Journal of Hindu Studies 13.2 (2009), and “Bitten by the Snake: Early Modern Devotional Critiques of Tantra-Mantra,” Journal of Hindu Studies (2013).

Free Community Offering: Elements in the World: The Witness and Yoga by Dr. Chris Chapple
YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Thursday, March 13th, 9:00 a.m.

Samkhya philosophy lies at the core of the religions of India.  Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism all rely upon the articulation of the reality as articulated by this ancient and timely tradition.  In this series of lectures (combined with asana and pranayama) we explored how the witness consciousness is served by the dance of material reality, and how that dance can bring one to freedom. This specific workshop, which was be taped for future streaming, addressed the following themes:

* The Art of the Contemplative Gaze
* Engagement in the Dance
* The Samkhya Karika: Philosophical Proofs for Manifest Reality
* The Samkhya Karika: Philosophical Proofs for Witness Consciousness
* Earth, Water, and Fire in the Yogavasistha
* Air, Space, and Freedom in the Yogavasistha

Each theme involved movement and was linked with asana.  

 Free Community Offering: Spiritual Accountancy and Yoga by Dr. Chris Chapple

YogaGlo (1800 Berkeley Street, Santa Monica 90404), Friday, February 28th, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

This workshop, which was taped for future streaming, focused on the Samkhya Karika and addressed the following themes:

* Introduction to the basic concept of witness consciousness (purusa) in relation to the realm of activity (prakrti)
* Bridge between worlds: the role of Buddhi
* The bridge into the ego: how the role of karma shapes identity
* From mind into the world: connecting with body and senses
* Physically, gross and subtle
* The human body, sensory and active

Each theme involved movement and was linked with asana.

Free Lecture: Exhibiting Yoga: The Art of Transformation, History, and Practice with Dr. Debra Diamond
University Hall McIntosh Center, Wednesday, February 26th, 8:00 p.m.

This evening featured a special photo illustrated talk by Dr. Debra Diamond on the Smithsonian exhibit: Yoga: The Art of Transformation. By March, the exhibit will have traveled to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and will be on view until May 25. 

Dr. Debra Diamond received her Ph.D in South Asian art history from Columbia University (2000) and has published numerous articles on Indian and contemporary Asian art. Diamond is a specialist in Indian court painting, and is currently planning exhibitions on Mughal masterpieces in the Freer and Sackler collections (2012), the visual culture of yoga (Yoga: The Art of Transformation, 2013) and the Freer Gallery’s portrait of Mumtaz Mahal (2014). In 2010, Diamond received the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize for the Gardens and Cosmos: Royal Painting of Jodhpur exhibition catalogue. 

Free Exhibit: The Circuit: From Mother India To the Roof of the World by Hunter Joslin
Hannon Library level 3, Wednesday, February 12th, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

The closing reception for The Circuit was a success. Attendants had the opportunity to meet the photographer and celebrate his work. The auction raised $3,313 and all proceeds were donated to graduate scholarships for the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies. To view more of Hunter Joslin's work, please visit

Special Event: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Ecology: Consciousness Uniting All 
St. Roberts Auditorium, Wednesday, February 5th, 3:00-4:15 p.m.

Menas C. Kafatos is the Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor of Computational Physics at Chapman University. This event discussed how the dialogue between science and spirituality is at crossroads: The old divisions, which allowed separate developments and evolution over the last several centuries in the West, are leading to impasses on many fronts. I claim that one common element which unifies everything is the underlying consciousness, the rock on which both science and religion must ultimately be built and were in fact built in the past and in many schools of thought in both the East and the West. Science, in particular, through developments in quantum theory, cosmology and brain science, is opening the door to common principles which reveal fundamental workings of consciousness. The non-local and entangled characteristics of the quantum universe are not some weird and uncommon phenomena but manifest through the fundamental principles at every level of experience. This realization may lead to an emerging observer-based science of consciousness that in its full rights will enable a meaningful dialogue with religion and lead to new fronts of development. The stakes are high. The piling challenges facing the next generations, not least of which is building a sustainable, ecologically friendly, modern society, cannot be addressed without a meaningful dialogue between science and religion and cannot lead to long lasting solutions if the old truths of perennial philosophies are being ignored.

Free Lecture: The Re-Emergence of Yoga
University Hall McIntosh Center, Monday, January 27th, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

This evening featured a presentation by David Gordon White, Ph.D., of the University of California, Santa Barbara. White is the J. F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religion.


Free Yoga Studies Events at Loyola Marymount University Fall 2013

Information Session: Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
Theological Studies Village: UHall 3700

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. 

The Master of Arts in Yoga Studies is currently accepting applications for fall 2014. In these special information sessions, attendants have the opportunity to meet with faculty members and students currently enrolled in the program. Frequently asked questions were answered on the following topics: Pre-requisites Class schedule Travel to India Scholarships Assistantships Application Deadlines 

Inaugural Celebration for the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
Loyola Marymount University, Saturday, September 28th, 1:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Festivities included: the US premier of, History of Yoga, the first ever film on yoga made in India, followed by a discussion panel; Asana and meditation classes led by esteemed local and international teachers; At Play with The Radiance Sutras, with Lorin Roche, Ph.D, and Camille Maurine; The Beatles’ Yoga: How the Fab Four’s Passage to India Enlightened the West, with Philip Goldberg, accompanied by Joey Lugassy and all-star band; Taco Trucks: Bollywood Bites, Green Truck, The Surfer Taco.

Free Yoga Studies Events at Loyola Marymount University Spring 2013

Vedānta: Its Many Manifestations Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, 2013; Loyola Marymount University, University Hall, St. Roberts Hall

This conference included sessions on the “Origins of Vedānta,” Tantra and Vedānta,” “Neo- Vedānta,” “Vedānta as a Master Template of Human Consciousness,” and “Vedānta and Yoga in into the Future.” The presenters were Jeffery D. Long, professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College; Rita Sherma, visiting professor of Hindu Studies at the University of Southern California; Sthaneshwar Timalsinha, associate professor of Religious Studies at California State University, San Diego; Paul Muller-Ortega, founder of Blue Throat Yoga; keynote speaker Karan Singh, member of India’s Parliament; Yajneshwar Shastri, emeritus professor Philosophy at Gujarat University; Makarand R. Paranjape, Ph.D., professor of English at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a nun at the Sarada Convent of the Vedānta Society of Southern California and the author of many books and articles on Vedānta; Alan Combs, the Doshi Professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies; Debashish Banerji, dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles; Philip Goldberg, founder of the Spiritual Wellness and Healing Associates in Los Angeles; and Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

The Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award Ceremony 
St. Robert's Hall, Loyola Marymount University, Saturday, June 15, 2013

Normally a separate event, the Doshi Family Bridgebuilder Award Ceremony was conducted during the Vedānta conference this past summer. The Award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions toward building bridges among peoples, cultures and disciplines. The 2013 award was given to Dr. Karan Singh, who embodies the ideals of the ward through his continued endeavors to improve international and interfaith understanding as a senior statesman, diplomat and scholar.

Ravi Shankar: A Life in Music
University Hall 1000, Tuesday, January 8th, 7:30 p.m.

Ravi Shankar (1920-2012) changed music history. We viewed the BBC documentary “Ravi Shankar in Portrait” and share remembrances.

Information Session: Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
THST Village UHall 3700, Saturday, Jan 12, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Free Lecture: Medical Benefits of Yoga by Dr. Doyle 
THST Village UHall 3700, Wednesday, February 6, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Doyle is a staff physician at US Health Works. He completed the YogaWorks Teacher Training in 2000 with Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford. He has achieved further studies in Yoga Philosophy at LMU and with Richard Freeman. He taught Yoga in LMU's Dance Department from 2008-2012 and will teach in LMU's Master of Arts in Yoga Studies starting in the fall of 2013.

Information Session: Master of Arts in Yoga Studies
THST Village UHall 3700, Saturday, Feb 9, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Free Lecture: Yoga Spirituality: Multiple Approaches by Dr. Christopher Chapple
THST Village UHall 3700, Wednesday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Christopher Key Chapple is the Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at LMU and author of several books, including Reconciling Yogas and Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali's Spiritual Path to Freedom. In 2002, he established the Yoga Philosophy Certificate Program through LMU's Center for Religion and Spirituality. Dr. Chapple is director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies.

Free Lecture: Buddhist Meditation and Yoga: Vipassana, Zen, and Vajrayana by Dr. John Thomas Casey
THST Village UHall 3700, Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. John Thomas Casey completed his graduate studies in Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the University of Hawaii in 1996 and has taught courses in World Religions, Buddhism, and Sanskrit studies at numerous colleges in Southern California since 2000, including Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, UC Irvine, and presently at Chapman University. He has taught many courses for the LMU Yoga Philosophy certificate program since its inception in 2002.


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