October 05, 2006

The practice of collective yoga

Auroville: Spirituality, Community, and Multiculturalism in South India
Spring 2005 (3 units), Auroville, India, January 5-19 Instructors: Jorge N. Ferrer, Ph.D. and Mariana Caplan, Ph.D. Emails: , Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter-April 2005 ● Volume 2, Issue 2 ● Page 11 California Institute of Integral Studies
Integral Spiritual Practice
Integral yoga and spirituality are usually presented as new forms of spiritual praxis. What’s the difference between "traditional spiritual practice" and "integral spiritual practice"? What are the implications of integral spiritual practice for the somatic, vital, and emotional worlds of the individual? What about the split between sexuality and spirituality? Are there different approaches to integral spiritual practice? How do they differ from each other? This module will present three approaches to integral spiritual practice (i.e., Integral Yoga, Integral Transformative Practice, and Holistic Integration) to invite contrasts and stimulate a deeper reflection into the meaning of integral spirituality.
• Chaudhuri, Haridas, "The Aim of Integral Yoga."
• Sri Aurobindo, "The Integral Yoga and Other Systems of Yoga and Philosophy."
• Mukherjee, Jugal K., "Sadhana of the Vital." "Sadhana of the Body: Physical Transformation in Integral Yoga."
• Sri Aurobindo, "Sex." "Yoga and the Conquest of Sex."
• Leonard, George & Michael Murphy, "A Householder’s Path."
• Wilber, Ken, "Integral Transformative Practice: In this World or Out of It?"
• Ferrer, Jorge, "Integral Transformative Practice: A Participatory Perspective."
Spiritual Authority
Sri Aurobindo emphasized the importance of both the "inner Guide" and the "external teacher" (guru) in the practice of Integral Yoga, and he and The Mother are widely regarded as "avatars" (incarnations of the Divine) at Auroville. What is the specific role of spiritual teachers in classic and contemporary integral spirituality? Where does spiritual authority resides in integral practice? After a brief clarification of the avatar notion, this module will introduce Sri Aurobindo’s views on the value of spiritual teachers and examine several other contemporary understandings of spiritual authority.
• Parrinder, Geoffrey, "Analysis of Avatar’s Doctrines."
• Sri Aurobindo, "The Four Aims." (In The Essential Aurobindo)
• Sri Aurobindo, "The Avatar and the Vibhuti." "The Guru." "Leaders of Evolution."
Note: Permissions to use this material must be obtained directly from the author. Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter-April 2005 ● Volume 2, Issue 2 ● Page 8
• Caplan, Mariana, "The Need for a Teacher." "The ‘Inner Guru’ and Other Spiritual Truisms."
• Heron, John, "Spiritual Inquiry and Projected Authority." "Spiritual Inquiry and the Authority Within."
• Welwood, John, "Spiritual Authority, Genuine and Counterfeit."
Community and Spiritual Transformation
Sri Aurobindo’s integral approach seeks to transform not only the individual but also the entire earthly nature through the practice of collective yoga, of which Auroville is a living laboratory. What is collective yoga? What is the role of community in integral spirituality? Is there any difference between a collective and a community? And between a commune and an intentional community? This module examines the value of community and collaborative spiritual practice in the context of both Auroville and contemporary integral spirituality.
• Metcalf, Bill, "Introduction" to Shared Visions, Shared Lives.
• Leonard, George & Michael Murphy, "The Magic of Community."
• Shin, Larry D., "Auroville: Visionary Images and Social Consequences in a South Indian Utopian Community."
• The Mother, "Questions and Answers: 3 July 1957." [On Collective Yoga]
• Mohanty, Bindu, "A Collective Yoga." "Human Unity." "Integral Yoga in Auroville."
• Vrinte, Joseph, "Auroville: The City of Human Unity."
• Various authors, "Auroville: The Spiritual Dimension." (In The Auroville Adventure)

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