Offerings > Rupa Yoga


In the Yogic traditions of India various practices of awareness cultivation have been developed to accommodate the individual and experiential differences among human beings. Some people naturally feel more drawn to what are known as Bhakti practices, such as chanting and devotional rituals. Others may be drawn to the more intellectual path of Jnana(knowledge) practices, where one follows rigorous logical pathways toward ultimate understanding.

Generally these are the two main pathways traditionally offered that one can follow toward spiritual development. However their is a lesser known path, that of Rupa Yoga. Rupa (‘Form’ in Sanskrit) refers to our direct experience of objects and the world. It is an exploration into the nature of Seeing, Hearing, Feeling, Smelling and Tasting, with an emphasis on the first two or three depending on the practitioner. Though not a formal tradition in and of itself, it is known well by Artists, Musicians, Poets, Chefs and Craftsmen and most often passed down through direct apprenticeship or from parent to child. It is not just the skills acquired in these pursuits but rather the direct perception of the nature of one’s awareness that one cultivates through each particular skill-set. For example; a musician cultivates the ear of the musician by making it more sensitive to the nuances found in music.

By taking the time to investigate experience directly, one can develop greater depth of the actual nature of the Artist. Who is the artist/person that creates a painting? Are they merely a sum of conditioning that this one individual has accumulated through their life? Is there a quality or condition that makes one artist good and another great?

Through awareness cultivation exercises one can begin to explore the subtle aspects of Consciousness itself, directly engaging with the creative impulse. Using drawing or painting to investigate the experience of seeing, or music to investigate the experience of hearing, we can begin to enter depths of Self awareness often ignored in our modern western culture, cultivating a potentially lifelong exploration into the nature of experience itself.

The practices of observational drawing and mindful perceiving are used in this path as forms of meditation that help us establish the truth of our direct experience as opposed to what is more common, our beliefs, thoughts and stories about our experience.
We look at the direct experience of our perception and see what it is actually made of, its Reality!

Classes usually consist of a short meditation or contemplation, followed by an experiential drawing exercise that encourages us to go deeper with our observations and investigate our own creative source within, followed by discussion and sharing.

I offer private one on one sessions either in person or online through Zoom.

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