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Darshan: Yoga and the Art of Seeing | Online 4-Part Series

January 20, 2021 - February 3, 2021


In yoga seeing is equated with knowing. Yet this seeing is not merely to see with the eyes but involves another kind of seeing. In this seminar we explore the art of seeing. We consider the third verse of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras that suggests that the very essence of yoga is seeing. In the practice of yoga postures, we focus the gaze called drsti in order to concentrate awareness. In rituals of devotion throughout India, yoga requires being “seen” by the deity. To be seen by a force greater than ourselves is critical to yogic revelation. This involves not only being seen but seeing the power of the divine. In this class we explore darshan as instrumental to the path of yoga and how yogic seeing leads to a state of profound union.


Module 1: Seeing is Knowing – January 20
Module 2: The Sublime and the Terrible—Images of Gods and Demons – January 27
Module 3: The Eyes, Brain and Visual Field – February 3
Module 4: Psychology of Being Seen, Hiding, and the Era of Zoom – February 10


Students who take this course will:

  • Explore how image is critical for spiritual revelation
  • Read verses from the Upanisad and Yoga Sutra that describe yoga as seeing
  • Practice drsti: the eyes as a means to harness meditative awareness
  • Gain insight into Tantra as a way of seeing the divine
  • Explore yantras from the yoga traditions that enhance the power of seeing
  • Learn about Avalokitesvara, the deity with 1,000 eyes
  • Learn the subtle body connections to the third eye, the brainstem and the spine
  • Explore icons of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions that enhance the power of seeing
  • Learn the difference between vidya and avidya, seeing and not-seeing


When: Wednesdays, January 20 & 27, and February 3 & 10 | 5:00 – 7:00pm Mountain Time


January 20, 2021
February 3, 2021
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