Ruth Westoby will present the core text of Classical Yoga, the Pātañjalayogaśāstra and then discuss the principle teachings of Buddhism. Compiled around 350CE, the Yogasūtra builds on the metaphysics of Sāṃkhya and presents many practices for stilling the movements of the mind and achieving a meditative state of introversion, samādhi or aloneness, kaivalya. The Pātañjalayogaśāstra has been acclaimed the most iconic text on yoga.
Buddhist teachings are closely woven into the fabric of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra. The section of this session on Buddhism will present an overview of the history and doctrines of Buddhism focusing on Early Buddhism and Mahāyāna Buddhism. We will explore the intimate relationship between yoga and Buddhism, reflecting on the popularity of mindfulness practices and their integration in the modern yoga scene.
The lecture will be accompanied with rich visual images. Primary sources, key concepts and further reading suggestions will be given. The best text to accompany these sessions is James Mallinson and Mark Singleton’s Roots of Yoga, published by Penguin in 2017.