Collective Yoga and the Legacy of Sri Aurobindo
August 11−14, 2022
Hosted by the Sri Aurobindo Association of America
An online conference via Zoom
2022 is the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth. To honor the momentous occasion, the Sri Aurobindo Association of America will host this year’s All USA Meeting (AUM), an annual conference for those dedicated to Integral Yoga in the U.S. and beyond. The conference will be held from August 11−14 as a virtual gathering via Zoom.
Registration is now open!
AUM 2022 has two program tracks: the main three-day program (Thursday, Friday, Sunday) and a special workshop on Saturday. If you want to attend both program tracks, you need to register for both:
- Main AUM registration: https://AUM2022mainprogram.eventbrite.com
- Saturday workshop registration: https://AUM2022collectiveyogaworkshop.eventbrite.com
Registration deadline for the Saturday workshop is Saturday August 13, 8 a.m. PDT, as we would like participants to be present for the entire workshop. However, there is suggested preparatory reading to complete before the workshop begins at 11 a.m. PDT.
The AUM 2022 program will be conducted entirely over Zoom and fill four partial days from August 11-14. Please note that the timings shift from day to day.
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: Downloadable, printable PDF
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: Web page
Zoom links and conference materials are being sent to participants upon registration.
There is no registration fee, since the online format will obviate the need for travel, meals, and accommodations, though donations to the Sri Aurobindo Association are welcome and appreciated.
Please read through the following documents before you come to AUM, as much of our focus, especially that of the Saturday workshop, will be on the potential of collective practice. We hope these documents will inspire and inform.
- Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Collective Yoga
- Introduction to the AUM 2022 Workshop on Collective Yoga
- Collective Workshop Program
AUM 2022 will examine the spiritual significance of Sri Aurobindo in today’s world, with a special focus on approaches to collective yoga and mindful collective action. Presentations and discussions will address questions such as the following:
- How can we collaborate in the practice of Integral Yoga?
- How in our individual and concerted approaches to the Divine can we unite inner truth with outer action?
- How can we be receptive to the Divine while working together?
- How can we experience the delight of multiplicity while aspiring to realize the oneness behind?
The World Crisis and the Need and Way to Exceed the Human
Dr. Debashish Banerji is Haridas Chaudhuri Professor of Indian Philosophy and Culture and the Doshi Professor of Asian Art at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
This talk will draw attention to the crisis of world civilization that faces us today and trace this back to the choices that have led to the modern age, whose contemporary manifestation has been called the Anthropocene. Justifying this contemporary name, we could call this trajectory leading to our times one of universal anthropology, defining and establishing the universal human. We will discuss the phases and problematics of the universal human, its fulfillment and its poise on the precipice of extinction, its alternatives and the conditions of its self-overcoming. Finally, we will consider if Sri Aurobindo can help us with this passage and what are the pitfalls to consider in adapting his teaching in this hour of deep world crisis. The talk will end with a consideration of what collective means in this context and make a distinction between collectives of belonging and collectives of becoming.
A Practical Approach to Leveraging Powers within to Build Organizations of the Future
Dr. Pravir Malik is author of 17 books related to a whole-systems approach to integrating individual, organizational, economic social, environmental, and evolutionary dimensions.
The force of manifestation seeks receptive forms and personalities to build the future. To the degree that there is the overcoming of constraining habits and the organic opening to powers within, and to the degree that these are then allowed to shape practical enterprise, the foundation for the future becomes more secure. By drawing on practical experiments applied at leading organizations in fields such as emotional intelligence, complexity science, and cosmology of light, some lessons in building future organizations will be shared in this talk. Correlation will also be drawn to the Powers of the Mother.
Sri Aurobindo: Beyond Boundaries
Rand Hicks is president of the Integral Knowledge Study Center in Pensacola, Florida, which offers seminars and workshops covering a wide variety of themes relating to spiritual life.
The birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo is a signpost that empowers us towards change. The 15th of August motions us, though, to move beyond memorializing or isolated meditation into world-affirming action. The Integral Yoga invites us into a soul-finding gnostic service that prepares both self and world for greater change. Big words, but they suggest a psychic flame in every heart, a group soul collaborating with nature, an endless prospect of light growing into bliss. An omnipresent divinity concretely recognized, realized, present, living, and concrete. All this if we step beyond division and live from the best in our being. Sri Aurobindo’s birthday relaunches that happy quest
Workshop & Discussion Facilitators
COSMOS, a Living Laboratory: How a cooperative embodiment of Integral Yoga could contribute to the creative evolution of our becoming-in-the-world
Marco V Morelli is poet, founder, and co-creator of Cosmos Co-op, which hosts Metapsychosis Journal, Untimely Books, and the Infinite Conversations forum.
This talk and Q&A proposes to improvise upon the vision of cosmic collaboration between nature and spirit described so elegantly by Sri Aurobindo in philosophical, spiritual, and poetic terms. It will describe a community alchemy in progress since 2015 whereby a group of diversely sourced integral practitioners is consciously endeavoring to innovate a model of creative community and cultural production that weaves the “spiritual DNA” of Sri Aurobindo into a luminous tapestry, including other visionary poets, writers, artists, and teachers in a constellation of divine influence on the digital/local (hybrid) cooperative platform called Cosmos.
Establishing a Field of Consciousness
Sri Aurobindo Association (SAA): Lynda Lester, Mateo Needham, and Jonathan Kay are board members of SAA, a nonprofit organization that publishes the journal Collaboration, maintains the collaboration.org website, supports the AUM Integral Yoga conference, hosts Auroconf and other Integral Yoga mailing lists, and hosts an Integral Yoga YouTube channel.
For decades now, the participants of the Sri Aurobindo Association have been preparing for wider involvement by focusing on what we call “our inner work together.” We are a working organization with the expressed aspiration that our outer activities be directed by our collective inner practice. We treat the organization as an organism, a living breathing being, manifesting from energies past, present, and future, that needs care and indeed cares in return. Our hope is that by sharing our experiences at AUM we might offer processes and inspirations that will be applicable to the small-group breakouts of this workshop as well as to future efforts.
Circle Work as a Tool for Collective Sadhana
Shree Hindman is founder and director of the Mother’s Center in Boulder, Colorado, which offers circle work, group meditation, private retreat space, and support for the birthing journey.
Circles are as old as time and have been used in every culture. It is the wise way to exchange and participate in a tribe, a movement, a business, an organization, any group of people. With no established leader or traditional hierarchy, circles hold space for each member to be seen and heard. Circles ask that each person show up authentically in a space shaped by mutual agreement. Circles ask for a depth of sharing that brings forth resonance in the group. Our yoga creates a ripe opportunity for us to build conscious collective using circle because its methodology is the very essence of Sri Aurobindo’s work: the psychic being, both individual and shared, is the vessel in which the ascending and descending forces bring forward the gifts of transformation. The collective reality needs tools, methods, and mechanisms for receiving and anchoring the next steps, the next evolute of our journey together. We hope you will be inspired to join us and bring your offering to this very special circle where we share in the emergence of a new social fabric—one able to channel higher manifestations of consciousness and direction in our world today.
Creating a Receptive Space for An Experience of Human Unity
Dr. Susan Curtiss is a transpersonal clinical psychologist, a founding member of the reconstituted Boston Sri Aurobindo Center, and secretary of the Sri Aurobindo Association of America.
Rev. Rick Thomas is a minister, holistic therapist and Reiki master, horticulturist, creator of Spaulding Hospital’s first mind/body program for chronic pain, founder of Hamlet House collaborative education center for building community, and lecturer at Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House.
The Boston Foundations and Practice Group has met weekly for two years gathering together people who are well-versed in the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and those who are not. Our intention has been to present the fundamentals of Integral Yoga and to provide a safe and trusted space to explore our individual practice of this sadhana in ways that go beyond a mental appreciation of it. Our process develops and nurtures our inner heart and soul nature and we actively focus on creating a receptive silence for the spontaneous emergence of the interplay of our collective aspiration and the Divine response to it. We will present the structure and process we use and the way we have incorporated circle work as a foundation for our sharing. In this way we are collaborating to create an experience of human unity in preparation for the true collectivity that is the ultimate aim of our sadhana.
Musicians Jonathan Kay (saxophone, esraj, shakuhachi) and Andrew Kay (saxophone, Himalayan singing bowls) are performers of contemplative music based on a confluence of Indian raga music with improvised jazz and contemporary forms of expression.
Jonathan and Andrew will provide short musical meditations throughout the conference to gently invoke a collective spiritual atmosphere.
Sangeetha Sriram and her husband Rajeev Natarajan will offer Vedic chanting to help participants awaken to the inner fire and experience the Divine Self within.
Sangeetha and Rajeev have been students of Yoga in Sri Krishnamacharya / Sri Desikachar tradition for the past ten years, and their approach to yoga deeply aligns with Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. They have been living in Auroville for the past five years with their 13-year old daughter. Rajeev engages with Indian mythology–based process work with organization space. Sangeetha, besides practicing and teaching Vedic chanting, engages with various social-change initiatives in and around Auroville.
We hope you will join us August 11−14 for AUM 2022 to celebrate Sri Aurobindo’s legacy and explore the rewards and challenges of collective yoga. Stay tuned for updates as the program develops. Program presentations and panel discussions will be recorded for later viewing.