OCHS Academic Director creates online Tantra Course
OCHS Academic Director, Prof. Gavin Flood, author of The Tantric Body, a standard text on Tantra, has created a course on Tantra for the OCHS Continuing EducationDepartment.
The most misrepresented of all Hindu traditions, Tantra has come to be represented as all sex and secret ritual. And while these are an important facet of the traditions there is much more to it.
Tantric ideas have shaped core Hindu practices such as temple building, worship, mantra, yoga, ayurveda, meditation, and guru-disciple relationships. It is said by some to be the very fabric of the Hindu world-view.
Prof. Flood has written a new text for this course, recorded the lecture videos, and will be tutoring online for the first two terms at least.
The course begins on Sunday 25 April and enrolments are open at https://ochsonline.org/product/tantra/
Interview Between Dr Raj Balkaran and Daniel Simpson
As part of his wide-ranging and informative podcast series, New Books in Hindu Studies, Dr Raj Balkaran interview Daniel Simpson on his new book, The Truth of Yoga. Raj and Daniel are two of our best (and best-liked) tutors so this is of special interest to the OCHS and its students. You can access it here.
In a former life, Daniel was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and in his book here he uses his prodigious skills at making big stories digestible to some of Hinduism’s biggest stories.
They also talk about the wonders of online learning in the age of covid; different learning and teaching styles; exploring and reconciling the tensions between practice and theory; and (a key OCHS goal) taking the deep thought of the world’s best scholars and making them accessible.
They also talk about our upcoming New Directions in Yoga Studies weekend school at which Daniel will be speaking and which Raj has curated and will be hosting.
Rethinking Tantra: Online Weekend School, 19–20 September
The most misrepresented of all Hindu traditions, Tantra is a complex interweaving of teachings and practices that pervades Vaiṣnava, Śaiva, Śākta, and Smarta traditions. Its roots can be traced back to Vedic times and its influence has spread to Jainism, Buddhism, and beyond.
While sex and secret ritual are an element of some practices, Tantra is much more than that. Tantric ideas have shaped core Hindu practices such as temple building, worship, mantra, yoga, ayurveda, meditation, and guru-disciple relationships. It is a part of everyday life.
This weekend will demystify Tantra and show that it is more than just esoteric teachings for the few, but is in fact the very fabric of the Hindu world-view.
Day One: Saturday 19 September
Day Two: Sunday 20 September
Three-day Sanskrit School in Oxford, 25–27 January 2019
Whether you are brand new to studying Sanskrit or have some experience – interested in learning proper pronunciation, reading the devanāgarī script, delving into meaning and grammar, or in deepening your yoga practice – this workshop is appropriate for all levels. Through chanting and discussion of yoga-related texts, as well as focused study of writing, pronunciation, translation and the history of Sanskrit and its literature, we will explore this rich, meditative language together in all of its many dimensions.
Oxford Day School: Yoga - From Ancient to Modern
Our Continuing Education Department is holding its next Day School at Corpus Christi College on Saturday 24 November. The theme is Yoga – From Ancient to Modern.
Yoga has gained great popularity in the modern world, but the history and meaning of yoga remain a mystery. In this Day School we examine the development of yoga through ancient texts and modern practice. History and text tell us a lot about where yoga comes from and attempts to use it to achieve liberation, immortality, union with God, and even health.
It’s taught by: Dr Nicholas Sutton, Director of our Continuing Education Department; Gitte Poulsen, Yogi and Manager of the OCHS Kathmandu office; and Anuradha Dooney, one of our most popular teachers.
OCHS launches online Sanskrit course
In 2015 we asked our students what course they would most like us to develop? The overwhelming favourite – with about 75% of the vote – was Sanskrit.
Three years later, the OCHS is launching its newest course Introduction to Sanskrit, which is now open for enrolment for a 22 April start.
Introduction to Sanskrit is based on part of Zoë Slatoff’s book, Yogavataranam: The Translation of Yoga. This course – suitable for beginners and improvers – focusses on pronunciation, reading and writing the alphabet, and some basic grammar.
The course is tutored and developed by Zoë Slatoff – one of our online tutors. Zoë has a Masters in Asian Languages and Culture from Columbia and is working on a PhD about the Aparokṣānubhūti – an Advaita Vedāntic text on yoga philosophy, attributed to Ādi Śaṅkarācārya – at Lancaster University. Zoë is the Sanskrit editor for Pushpam Magazine, Nāmarūpa, and Robert Svoboda’s book Vāstu. She teaches daily Mysore classes as well as Sanskrit and yoga philosophy in New York.
London Day School on 25 March
The OCHS Continuing Education Department is offering a day-school, Three Short Upanishads, in London on 25 March. Tutored by Dr Jessica Frazier, Dr Rembert Lutjeharms, and Anuradha Dooney, it aims to to be intensive yet accessible.
This day school is a study of three of the shortest of the major Upanishads: the Kena, the Ishavasya and the Mandukya. Despite the brevity of these works, they are fundamental to the doctrines of Hindu Dharma and are foundational works for Hindu religious teachings.
Because these Upanishads are so short we can undertake a close study in a relatively short time, with reference to the commentary of Shankaracharya and others.
The day-school takes place from 10am to 6pm at The Rembrandt Hotel, 11 Thurloe Place, Knightsbridge.
OCHS courses return to London
After a break of three years, the OCHS Continuing Education courses return to London.
Understanding Hinduism, a seven session course will take place in Central London from 2 May and Harrow from 13 May.
The courses are co-tutored by Dr Nick Sutton and Anuradha Dooney and cover the following sessions.