Embodied Rituals

Embodied Rituals

We conclude with a practical session combining chanting, meditation, writing, and setting intentions for how to apply what we have learned in our lives. We will also reflect on the meaning of ritual and how it relates to taking action.

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Shades of Grey

Working in groups, we will discuss some case studies. These examples will explore what is dharmic in different nuanced situations, encouraging us to consider if there is ever one way to act that is unequivocally “right”.

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Modern Contexts

How might dharma be put into practice in everyday life? Facing challenges this year, we have constantly been asked to re-evaluate our actions, both individually and collectively, and to consider their implications for ourselves and for others.

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Political Dimensions

The Mahābhārata’s ethical teachings were shaped by a war. Today, we are searching for truth in the midst of “Fake News.” Without drama there would be no dharma, but how do we find calm in the midst of such chaos, and what is a dharmic response?

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Why Dharma Matters

Dharma is the very essence of Indian teachings and without it the vast array of spiritual practices are little more than window-dressing. We will explore the implications with the author of many of the OCHS’s online courses.

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Ethical Tensions

There are multiple visions of virtue in the Mahābhārata. None of them are absolute and some contradict others. There are three general categories: social obligations, moral principles, and ascetic spirituality. How are they reconciled, both in theory and practice?

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Roots of Action

In Sanskrit, everything begins as an action: nouns are derived from verbal roots. Dharma comes from dhṛ, which means “to hold, bear, support.” This is also the root of dhāraṇā, “concentration,” which we will put into practice with Vedic chanting and meditation.

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Designs for Life

Traditionally, humans are said to have four goals in life – the puruṣārthas of duty, prosperity, love, and liberation (dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa). The Mahābhārata asks which of these goals should take priority. Is spiritual freedom compatible with all of them? 

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