Topics for Talks and Workshops

Raja Yoga in the Aquarian Age (8-hour to 14-hour workshop)
The aphorisms of Patañjali were written centuries ago in an era very different from our own. These aphorisms give important hints for controlling the mind and the emotions, but most importantly, they give us valuable information on how to create a reliable contact with our Higher Self. How can we use modern inroads into human psychology to help us meet this goal? Together, we will learn and practice some new forms of visualization and meditation we can implement in our daily life in order to attain the goals of Raja Yoga.

  1. What is the nature of the soul, the Higher Self?
  2. Practical techniques of creative visualization
  3. Developing your own spiritual practice
  4. Understanding the nature of emotions
  5. Buddi-manas vs. kāma-manas
  6. Techniques for individual and group meditation
  7. Control of thoughts and emotions

This workshop is designed for one day or a weekend. It can vary from a minimum of 8 hours in one or two days up to a maximum of 14 hours spread over two or three days.

The following talks are generally suited for a 1½ hour to 4 hour presentation. Each can be tailored to the time available and the attendance, whether all Theosophical members or a mixed audience.

Meditation Practices for the New Age (similar to the workshop above, but in the form of a talk)
Do you struggle to focus when you meditate? Are you reaching your full potential? Your spiritual practice can improve with a better understanding and execution of:

  1. Creating your sacred space
  2. Preparation for meditation
  3. Practicing non-judgment, non-reaction and non-attachment
  4. Developing the antahkarana, our connection to the Higher Self
  5. Thought control and mastering emotions
  6. Using meditation to change our habits
  7. Your personal spiritual practice

These and other important elements will be introduced to help guide you to the mastery of thought control and the mastery of emotions.

The Path of the Spiritual Warrior

  1. Discipleship in the early days of Theosophy
  2. The initiations and what they entail
  3. The prerequisites: spotless purity, dauntless courage, and strong intellect
  4. The “virtuous circle” of viveka and vairāgya
  5. The role of emotions in spiritual growth
  6. Communication between Masters and disciples
  7. The antahkarana and how it is developed

The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett. This topic is best for those who have some familiarity with Theosophy. It can be as short as a one-hour overview or as long as six hours with breaks.

  1. The history of the Mahatma Letters
  2. The relationship between India and England in 1880
  3. The background of The Theosophical Society in India
  4. Who were Alfred Percy Sinnett and Allan Octavian Hume?
  5. Some of the core teachings in the letters
  6. What can an aspiring disciple gain from studying them?
  7. Why did so many of the early pupils fail?

Our Spiritual Migration

  1. The relationship of spirit and matter
  2. Why do we suffer so much in life?
  3. What is the purpose of living on earth?
  4. How can we understand how life works?
  5. The constitution of man
  6. How do we achieve enlightenment?
  7. What is our ultimate goal?

Does life have purpose or did life simply arise as a fortuitous confluence of circumstances? Science teaches the latter but still can't explain it. Esoteric Science claims that there is a purpose to life, that there is intelligence and purpose in all things. People sometimes complain that they were not given a manual at birth to teach them how life works, but with the help of Ancient Wisdom teachings, we can figure it out.

Emotions — Friends or Foes?

  1. What is the nature of human emotions and why do they exist?
  2. The evolution of human emotions
  3. Is it important to control emotions or even eliminate them?
  4. What is the difference between kāma-manas and buddhi-manas?
  5. The power of emotions
  6. How can we practice non-reaction?
  7. The emotional aura and what it reveals

Join us as we explore the realm of human emotions, from anger to contentment, happiness to unhappiness, love to hatred, and all levels in between. For some, the roller coaster ride of emotions is exhausting, but for others it is the only thrill they know. Do emotions really serve the traveler on the Path to Enlightenment? How do we eliminate emotions, if that is our goal? Must we get rid of all emotions, or just the “bad” ones? How are emotions tied in with our personal ego? Together we will examine our emotional nature and come to a better understanding of emotions and the Spiritual Path.

Bardo — from Death to Reincarnation

  1. The cycles of Life
  2. The life review and death process
  3. The kama loka experience
  4. What happens in the case of accidents and suicides?
  5. The devachan experience
  6. What do we retain, and what is left behind?
  7. The nature of the skandhas

Theosophy claims that the real self does not perish at death but is the more permanent part of our being. It has also been stated by one of the Adepts that the key to understanding life is to understand death. Bardo, a Tibetan word meaning the period of time between death of the physical body and the next incarnation, must be understood in order to understand life. We will discuss what happens at the moment of death, and the various states of consciousness which occur afterward, leading eventually to devachan, that part of the experience which might be called a heaven world. We will also discuss whether or not there are reliable communications between those who are still alive and their departed loved ones.

Don’t Take My Karma from Me

  1. What is the Law of Harmony?
  2. Is there such a thing as “good” karma and “bad” karma?
  3. Do animals have karma?
  4. What is meant by “the sins of the father”?
  5. Group karma – Why am I responsible for someone else’s karma?
  6. Reincarnation – Are skandhas the same as karma?
  7. How do I get rid of karma?

Is there such a thing as a “karma eraser”? What about vicarious atonement? Karma affects us every moment of our lives, so it is very important to understand more completely just how it works. Learn the importance of embracing your “unlearned life lessons” as easily as you do your “good” karma.

The Power of the Eternal Now

  1. What is time, and how did our concept of time evolve?
  2. When and why were calendars invented?
  3. What is the space-time continuum physicists talk about?
  4. What are the akashic records?
  5. Is it important to remember the past?
  6. How do clairvoyants see the past and the future?
  7. How can I practice using the Power of Now?

Are you ready to look at “time” from a different perspective? Many are convinced that they would be no one if they had no memory of their past, that the core element of who they are is enveloped in memories of people and past events, yet enlightened teachers for thousands of years, including Eckhart Tolle and Krishnamurti, have taught that the past and the future do not exist except as a thought in the human brain. We will explore together the human concept of time, how it applies to our everyday life, and to our spiritual growth. Together we will learn some techniques for practicing the Power of Now.

Self-Transformation and The Science of Yoga

  1. How is self-transformation different from Self-realization?
  2. What are the three fundamental qualifications?
  3. What is the ultimate goal of meditation?
  4. What are the two prerequisites, without which no real progress can be made?
  5. What is the best time to meditate? For how long?
  6. How do I know if I’m doing it correctly?
  7. Is instant enlightenment possible?

The answers to these questions and more will be discussed as we explore I.K. Taimni’s excellent commentary on the ancient teachings of Patañjali’s yoga sutras and discover how they are applicable to life in a busy modern world. Learn what the steps are to gaining enlightenment and the full realm of possibilities for those aspirants who persevere in their quest.