Workshops for Teachers &/or Students | Schools & Colleges
Unlearning with Kabir
Kabir and other Bhakti and Sufi poets often challenge conventional notions of learning. They emphasise feeling, and experience in the body, rather than abstract intellect, as the path to true knowledge as well as to deeper and truer relationships with oneself and with others. The wisdom of feeling, and of the body, are not to be confused with sentimentality or lack of intellect, but they point to a deeper awareness and intelligence. What can we learn from the mystics about this deeper kind of ‘learning’? This session explores these ideas through the sharing of poetry and songs from the oral traditions, through live singing of folk songs by Vipul.
Kabir and other Bhakti and Sufi poets fiercely challenged notions of power, orthodoxy and identity in their own times. How do their questions apply to our times and more so to our own selves? While delving into the ideas expressed in their poems, we would also ask what can we learn from them about ‘learning’ itself?
What is the site of knowledge? Is it purely the mind? What is the ‘taste’ of knowledge? Is it struggle or delight? What is the nature of knowledge? Is it abstract? Or experiential? Or both?
This workshop explores such questions through the sharing of poetry, songs from the oral traditions, reflective exercises, live singing, interviews, video clips and exercises.
Workshops for Everybody
Jagrat Rehna Re | A Call of Awakening
A Workshop on Kabir Often Kabir urges us to stay ‘jaagrat’ (awake) and ‘hoshiyaar’ (alert), implying that we spend our lives in a kind of sleep. What is this sleep of unconsciousness? What is the call to awaken? This day-long workshop explores this and other core ideas in Kabir’s poetry through songs, poetry, conversations and reflective exercises. The workshop focuses on key themes that appear in Kabir’s poetry which related to the idea of awakening, such as wisdom in the body, death, simplicity and awareness, in an atmosphere of exploration and exchange. Subsequently, participants are invited to learn a folk song of Kabir, in order to experience the power of song in the body. No prior experience of singing or training in music is necessary.
Dhai Akshar Prem Ka | The Letters of Love
A workshop on Kabir A day-long workshop exploring the core ideas in Kabir’s poetry through songs, poetry, conversations and reflective exercises, including inviting participants to immerse in the folk form of Kabir through learning to sing a song.
The morning session focuses on key themes that appear in Kabir’s poetry, including love, death, impermanence, Word/sound, body, and dying to live. Songs and poems around these themes are shared and participants have an opportunity to immerse and exchange. In the afternoon session participants are invited to learn a folk song of Kabir, in order to sing it together and experience the power of the song in the body, collectively, exploring the meanings of the song in multiple ways. No prior experience of singing is necessary.
Notions of Identity
Exploring Definitions, Ideas and Practices
The identity workshop has been designed to examine our notions of identity and how they affect our lives at a minute, everyday level. The consciousness “I am” does not allow us to escape the question, “Who am I?” However, our responses to this question are largely implicit and automatic. The purpose of this workshop is to make conscious what might have become automatic or unconscious.
To understand the processes behind the construction of identities is in some sense to understand how we are currently functioning in our lives. Unconscious or unexamined identities make us do the things we do, think the way we think, feel the way we feel, and enter into conflicts in ways that are reflected in our world.
What is the need for identity? What are the conventional identities we work with? How is an identity created or constructed? How can we usefully problematise old structures of identity? What is the nature of observation and being? These are some of the questions the workshop will attempt to address. The modules will explore identity-related issues such as:
Sleep and Dreams
The workshop seeks to bring out the notionality of identity and how it is constructed as a moment to moment practice; as well as to provide a safe space for exploration without fear or prior agenda. We shall use aspects of linguistics, sociology, psychology and metaphysics, and proceed empirically, to come to a deeper understanding of the issue, in all its psychosocial, spiritual and mundane ramifications.