LEARNING TO LOVE MORE - An experiential, experimental study course in task-based ethics and creative activism

The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression... we move towards freedom, to liberate ourselves and others
— bell hooks

course description

Learning To Love More is a 12-month experiential study course that focuses on expanding a contemporary understanding of the yamas and niyamas, which are the relational and personal practices described as the ten living principles for those on the path of yoga. The intention of this course is to pragmatically and effectively practice theories that so many of us are grappling with right now – like nonviolence in a violent and destructive culture, honesty in polarized ideological landscapes, and unity within globalization. The yamas and niyamas are: non-violence, non-lying, non-stealing, sexual responsibility, non-grasping, cleanliness, contentment, discipline, self-study, and surrender.

The bulk of the course material will be delivered to participants by email in the form of monthly readings and assignment prompts for creative explorations, mindfulness practices, social engagement and activism. Suggested reading and media content will also be included. Registered participants will have the option to interact with one another online in a Google group and Facebook page. There will be 4 live online meetings throughout the year (dates listed below) and 4 meetups in the Portland area throughout the 12 months of the course. There is no requirement for participation other than registration and participants are encouraged to engage the material and content in ways that are reasonable and generative for their lives and schedules.

I will be compiling a book at the end of the year with artwork, writing and excerpts from the group. All content you create belongs to you and I will ask for permission before using anything. More details about the book and submission process will be available in the summer of 2017.


Details

Term dates: September 22, 2016 – October 1, 2017

  • Live meetings in Portland, OR dates TBD

  • Online meet-ups (optional): Sundays at 10AM Pacific Time
    December 11th, 2016
    March 12th, 2017
    June 18th, 2017
    September 17th, 2017
        *Online dates meetings are subject to change

Cost: Sliding scale by donation $10-$200. A one-time registration donation is necessary to enroll. You are free to donate multiple times. If this cost is prohibitive to you and you wish to join please contact me.

Donate and register here

Location: This course is conducted primarily online and in our personal lives and communities.

I am not tracking attendance or participation. You have absolute freedom to engage this course and its materials and processes in whichever ways are most appropriate for you at any given time. Please do not feel that you are obligated to give me or anyone any explanation for your choices. I deeply appreciate your support and efforts in all ways and I look forward to sharing space with you.

Grades: There are no grades.

If you are currently enrolled in an academic institution it may be possible for you to participate in this course for elective or independent study credit. I am happy to provide information and materials to your institution towards those ends. Please be aware however that I am unable to offer more than a pre-drafted letter and course information to your institution.

Workload: This course offers many opportunities and avenues for study and creation. How you decide to work with the material is up to you. The materials I send you will continue to be available to you indefinitely and my hope is that the relationships formed between participants will continue as well. The only deadlines are the ones you make for yourself.

You are invited, but not obligated, to share your experiences, reflections, artwork, and inspirations on the group forum page and Facebook group.

Feedback and communication with me: I will offer opportunities for participants to give me feedback throughout the course in the form of surveys and group questions. I welcome your emails and messages and I will definitely read them. Please be informed that due to the high number of participants I will not be able to correspond in depth with individuals. I always appreciate your feedback and reflections regardless of my response time.

 


Calendar

Monthly email packets will be sent within the first week of the month and will include suggested reading, creative explorations and mindfulness prompts

September 22: Official start date. Registered participants will be sent login info, technical requirements and the first mindfulness prompt.
October: Relationship, community and creativity - Introduction
November: Ahimsa/ Non-violence
December: Saucha/ Cleanliness
January: Satya/ Non-lying
February: Santosha/ Contentment
March: Asteya/ Non-stealing
April: Tapas/ Personal discipline
May: Brahmacharya/ Responsible sexuality and creativity
June: Svadhyaya/ Self-study
July: Aparigraha/ Non-grasping
August: Isvara Pranidhana/ Devotion
September: Relationship, community and creativity - Conclusion