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Thursday Satsang: “Spirits, Spiritualism, Blavatsky, and Yoga” with Dr. Paul Emerson – October 31, 2019

Thursday Satsang – October 31, 2019

 “Spirits, Spiritualism, Blavatsky, and Yoga”  

with Dr. Paul Emerson  

Happy Halloween!!!

Living in the present we tend to think “things have always been this way” but at the change of seasons and the passing of life from one form into another it is perhaps useful to reflect on what has come before and how our present views have come about.  Recently, in studying the background of the Yoga Sutras,  I was struck by the statement that the text was relatively obscure from the 12th to 19th centuries.   Its renewed and current popularity is due in part to 19th century religious liberalism and its reaction to the more patriarchal religious formats of the time.   This started with the advent of American spiritualism in 1848 (a nice Halloween tie-in) which spread worldwide in the ensuing decades.  It was followed by the foundation of the Theosophical Society by Helena Petronova Blavatsky in 1875 which was both fertilized by and a reaction against the spiritualist milieu.   Certainly no stranger to controversy (and there were many) this “hippopotamus of a woman”, as she once described herself, succeeded in changing how we think of yoga, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other “wisdom of the East”-a “decolonization” of attitudes.   Many of the echoes of this are still being heard today.  Thursday’s talk will reflect a bit on these predicate movements.   

Paul Emerson is a biomedical engineer with a Ph.D. He is the authority on the physiology of breathing for The Meditation Center and has been teaching yoga for over 30 years. Paul has worked as a research scientist, has been a manager of clinical research with a major biomedical company and a university instructor. In addition, he holds eight patents in the areas of dialysis and sleep therapy. He is a scholar of ancient yoga texts. Paul was certified by the Rockford School of Yoga and began teaching in 1975. 

6:00 p.m. Hatha Yoga with Nikki Strong 

7:00 p.m. Meditation with Swami Radha Bharati 

7:30 p.m.  Presentation by Dr. Paul Emerson 

8:30 p.m. Vegan Soup and Clean-Up

9:00 p.m. Prayers and Meditation