Aug 28 - Sep 6, 2010

The Vibration of Consciousness: A Retreat-Seminar with the Spanda Karika

Dr. Bettina Bäumer

The Spanda Karika, or Verses on Universal Vibration, is one of the essential texts of Kashmiri Shaivism. Introduced by Vasugupta (c. 800 AD), the Spanda system is usually described as 'vibration/movement of consciousness'. The central tenet of this system is 'everything is Spanda', both the objective exterior reality and the subjective world. Nothing exists without movement, yet the ultimate movement takes place not in space or time, but inside the Supreme Consciousness. So, it is a cycle of internalization and externalization of consciousness itself, relating to the most elevated plane in creation (Siva-Sakti Tattva).

Teacher: Dr. Bettina Bäumer is a direct disciple of the last Acarya of Kashmir Saivism, Swami Lakshman Joo (1907-1991). She has led courses and retreats worldwide on this profound system of philosophy and meditation. Dr. Bäumer has authored, translated and edited books on Indian philosophy, art, aesthetics and spirituality, with special focus on texts of Kashmir Saivism. Living and working in Varanasi, she is currently Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.

The retreat will combine text study with meditation, periods of silence and meditative walks in nature.

Tentative daily program:

    - 2 sessions text study
    - 4-5 hours meditation
    - recitation of Stotras of the Kashmiri Saiva tradition
    - sharing


    - some experience with meditation
    - knowledge of Sanskrit is helpful in understanding the text, but not a necessary requirement

    This text can be practiced independently from belonging to any particular religious tradition.

Recommended literature:

    - Spanda Karika, The Divine Creative Pulsation - Sanskrit text and transl. by Jaideva Singh, (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi)
    - The Stanzas on Vibration - transl. by Mark Dyczkowski (SUNY Press or Indica, Varanasi)
    - The Doctrine of Vibration - Mark Dyczkowski, (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi)

Cost: no fees prescribed, but a donation towards the travel fare and other expenses of the teacher and the organisers.