Courses

Traditions of Meditation

About the Course

Meditation is integral to the experience of yoga and we might ask ourselves the question, if meditation is not included in a sadhana (practice), is it really yoga? This course explores the historical roots of how and why meditation became central to yoga. We explore the powerful notion within yoga that everything is “mind made”. By way of suspending sensory awareness, building concentration, insight and absorption, the yogi is freed from anguish, anxiety and suffering. We will emphasize how meditative awareness is anchored in the body and how meditation is like a sword that cuts through the cobwebs of delusional thinking. We will see how yoga  is essentially a practice of realization by seeing into the nature of mind. Each module includes take home meditation practices.

There is evidence in early Indian, Greek and Persian cultures that physicians and spiritual alchemists established concentration practices in order to cultivate luminous states of meditation. In this module, we explore the early references to meditation within the Vedas and use selections from the Mandukya Upanisad to map fours states of consciousness– waking, dream, sleep and “sivam” the state of tranquility.
In this week we will see how verses from the Bhagavad Gita and sutras from Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga underscore meditation as a gateway to yoga liberation. We investigate the “inner limbs” within Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras –pratyhara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi—as a means to “stopping” the mind.
In hatha yoga there are innumerable channels that conduct the flow of prana and neurological hubs along the spine that are storehouses of psychic and somatic power. This session explores the pathways of the subtle body including breath, blood, nerve and spinal shaft as means to cultivate meditative awareness and how yogic power comes about via amplification of the vital essence.
In this module we explore the insights of the wandering sage who became the Buddha. Rooted in meditation and mindfulness, the Buddha’s awakening gave birth to numerous schools of meditation. We explore the foundation of mindfulness and see how all things are transient, inter-dependent and not “me”.

Students who take this course will:

  • Explore the link of the senses to the mind, and see that sensory stimuli can either be an obstacle or  support to meditation
  • Read verses from the Upanisad that map the mind in three states: waking, sleep and dream  
  • Practice using the body as a means to harness meditative awareness
  • Gain insight into yoga meditation as process of reflection, attention and discernment
  • Study the Eightfold Path of the Buddha’s teaching
  • Practice Vipassana Meditation and Shamatha (calm abiding)
  • Explore the Four Foundations of Mindfulness within the early Buddhist teaching
  • See how in Mahayana Buddhism the very nature of the mind is empty

About Tias Little

Tias Little synthesizes more than 30 years of study in classical yoga, Sanskrit, Buddhism, anatomy, and trauma healing in his dynamic, original style of teaching. Tias was an English major at Amherst College and earned a Master’s degree in Eastern Philosophy from St. John’s College in Santa Fe in 1998. Tias co-directs Prajna Yoga, an internationally-acclaimed yoga school located in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife Surya. He is the author of three books: Meditations on a Dewdrop, Yoga of the Subtle Body, and Practice is the Path: Lessons and Reflections on the Transformative Power of Yoga.

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Unlimited Membership

  • Access to this course, plus…
  • Member Only Content
    Unlimited access to premium articles, special podcast series, and other member only content.
  • EPTV Streaming Video Service
    Access to EPTV Original Series and our video library of over 250+ hours of lectures, talks and workshops.
  • Wisdom School Courses
    Access to 60+ on-demand courses plus two new courses every month.