Course Memo

The course is appropriate for MA/MDiv, and PhD and other doctoral students (with higher level of research) who have *previous background in Hindu Studies, Buddhist Studies, or Yoga Philosophy Studies.* The course will provide students with interdisciplinary approaches to the fine and performative arts as they apply to Ritual, Liturgical, and Contemplative Studies in the Hindu & Yogic traditions. This course will focus on the application of Contemplative Arts & Aesthetics of Yoga. We will learn about Rasa Theory, the psychology of emotions used across Hindu theologies of bhakti and tantra yoga. Of particular importance is the *role of women in these contemplative arts*. The course will examine the integration of the ecosystems of the more-than-human world in yogic methods such as contemplative praxis among forests & groves, riverine meditation, the complex semiotics of flowers & foliage in worship (puujaa), and via the arts of pilgrimage (yaatraa), sacramental fine arts that use organic materials (e.g. rangoli, yantra, and mandala). These performative meditations offer embodied hermeneutics for diverse spiritual paths. The research for this course will draw inspiration from the meaning inherent in diverse Yogic Arts including the systematic contemplative praxes of sacred dance, dramaturgy, hymnal devotions, melodic recitation, recounting of sacred narratives (katha), and liturgical call-and-response chants (kirtana). The course will examine the ongoing development of a yogic ecopsychology that is intrinsic to the yogic tradition from the earliest texts of the Vedas, and investigate how these modalities of yoga are currently used—both for hermeneutics and healing. We will study scholarship and current research on the physical, psychological, and emotional impact of Contemplative Arts of Yoga that immerse the practitioner in the elemental natural world. Foundationally, the course offers a robust inclusion of sacred sound, sacramental music, and fine arts as ancient "meditational" facets of a yogic Ecospirituality & Ecopsychology. Critical reflections papers, class presentations, and a final paper will be required. Please note that the class will be offered as a regular course in a synchronous remote format. [Prior background in Hindu Studies, Yoga Philosophy, or Buddhist Studies; Auditors with Faculty Permission]