COURSE DESCRIPTIONS 

Year One: Fall Semester

Meru Institute Annual Retreat
Track: Core 101
Instructor: Yogacharya O’Brian and Meru Faculty

This four-day retreat with Yogacharya O'Brian and Meru Institute Faculty offers students an immersion in Vedic Philosophy that includes an introduction to the Four Yogas and the Bhagavad Gita. It establishes foundational knowledge and sadhana practices that supports the student through their course of study. This retreat is required for all Meru Institute students.

2015 Dates: August 27-30 (Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon)  
2015 Location: CSE World Headquarters, San Jose, CA (US)


Yoga & Meditation Practicum (I)
Course Number: Core 101.a
Daily Personal Practicum

This year-long, experiential course introduces the practice of Yoga Sadhana. Students independently practice asana, pranayama, pratyahara, meditation, yoga and ayurvedic diet and lifestyle practices on a daily basis, as instructed during the annual retreat. The correct, and spiritually productive, practice of yoga and ayurvedic principles provide the essential support for spiritually conscious, purposeful living that allows us to make a positive contribution in our service in life or seva.

2015 Dates: Daily personal practice: August 31 - December 15


Yogic Scriptures (1): Bhagavad Gita
Course Number: Core 101.b
Daily Personal Practicum

This course offers students a year-long, in-depth study of the Bhagavad Gita. Students will read the Gita in its entirety, gain an understanding of its historical and philisophical background. This course provides a structure for students to mine the riches of the Bhagavad Gita and reflect on the ways it can give meaning to a contemporary yoga, ayurveda, and community service practice and their own life.

2015 Dates: Daily personal practice: September 1 - December 15


An Introduction to Indian Philosophy with an Emphasis in Samkyha 
Course Number: Yoga 102
Instructor: Yogacharya O’Brian

This course offers an overview of the systems of Indian philosophy with a focus on Samkhya, Yoga, and Vedanta and their related scriptures, the Samkhya Karika, the Yoga Sutras, and Upanishads. Student will explore the concepts of Absolute Reality, the Soul, and liberation of consciousness, as well as learn about the dynamics of the manifestation process, the body, and the nature of the mind in a way that allows for practical application in daily life.

2015 Dates: Tuesday evenings, September 1 and 8 (6-8pm)


Introduction to Ayurveda
Course Number: Ayu 101
Instructor: Cynthia Ambika Copple 

This course introduces students to the basic concepts and principles of the 5,000 year old tradition of Ayurveda. Students gain an understanding of Ayurveda's science, history, and philosophy. They are introduced to the concepts of the five elements, doshas, and how lifestyle and habits determine health.   

2015 Dates: September 12-13 (Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 9am - 12pm)


History of Yoga in America 
Course Number: Yoga 103 
Instructor: Sundari Jensen 

This course introduces the history of yoga systems in the US and the dynamic trajectory that yoga has taken from its origin with the rishis in India to contemporary American life and consciousness. Students will learn about various lineages, including the Kriya Yoga tradition. Knowledge of yoga’s origins, the spiritual systems connected to its sister science Ayurveda, and the ways in which this knowledge currently is, and can be, applied to uplift humanity is inspiring and supportive of personal development and community ministry.

2015 Dates: Tuesday evenings, September 15-29 (6-9pm)


An Introduction Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara
Course Number: Yoga 104 
Instructor: Yogacharya O’Brian 

This course offers students an introduction to Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (enhancement of vital force), and Pratyahara (interiorization of awareness) as supports for superconscious meditation, health and well-being, and contemmplation for spiritual insight. Students will explore various components of asana in its traditional context as a support for Raja Yoga and meditative disciplines, as well as its health promoting benefits. An introduction to the subtle physiology that includes the koshas (sheaths), prana (vital force), and prana vayus (flows of prana) and practice of specific techniques of Pranayama and Pratyahara including mantra and mudra, allows students to explore the relationship between the body, senses, intelligence, mind, and the Self.  Students will be introduced to the  therapeutic applications of asana, pranayama, and pratyahara and learn how they are intimately linked.   This course includes an experiential component and will nourish the body, mind and soul.

2015 Dates: Friday, October 2 (6-8pm) and Saturday, October 3 (9am - 4pm)


Live the Eternal Way 
Course Number: Yoga 101.a
Instructor: Yogacharya O’Brian

This course is foundational for every Meru Institute student. It offers a necessary introduction to a yogic lifestyle based on yamas and niyamas found in Patanajali's Yoga Sutra. Students will learn to meditate superconsciosly following the eight limbs of yoga and live by universal spiritual principles that will enrich their life, support their ability to awaken innate divine potential, and live with purpose. The time tested skills for meditation and healthy living taught and practiced in this course provide the inspiration and direct experience for establishing a lifelong sadhana, or spiritual practice that can transform your body, your mind, and your life. 

NOTE: This course is open to the public. Meru students can offer a donation will each week.  
2015 Dates: Tuesday evenings, October 6-November 17 (7-9pm) 


Introduction to Sanskrit 
Course Number: Yoga 104.a
Instructor: Shanta and Indira Bulkin

This course introduces the student to the ancient Vedic language of Sanskrit. Students will learn to chant Sanskrit with an emphasis on learning the alphabet and beginning grammar. Knowledge of Sanskrit helps students to grasp the subtleties of Yoga, whose body of teachings were originally written in Sanskrit. Experiencing the vibrational qualities of Sanskrit with this greater understanding can be applied to one's own practice, and can also support teachers in Yoga, Ayurveda and Community Ministry to support others in harmonizing and balancing the mind.

NOTE: This course is open to the public. The fee for this class is included in Meru tuition.  
2015 Dates: Sunday Afternoon, October 18 (1-4pm)  


Dinacharya: Spiritual Self-Care in Ayurveda and Yoga for Radiant Health
Course Number: Ayu 102
Instructor: Dr. Manisha Kshirsagar and Meru Faculty

This course builds on the Intro to Ayurveda class. Students learn basic Ayurvedic practices for creating a healthy diet and lifestyle to restore balance and live with radiant vitality.  

2015 Dates: October 30 - October 31 (Fri 6-9pm; Sat 9am - 4pm) 


Introduction to Ayurvedic Nutrition and Cooking 
Course Number: Ayurveda 103
Instructor: Cynthia Ambika Copple 

This course provides practical application of Ayurvedic nutrition principles as students learn how to prepare food Ayurvedically. Students are introduces to guidelines for a healthy diet as they explore Ayurvedic approach to the energetics of food. This course offers a hands on experience of Ayurvedic principles of diet and nutrition to support health and well-being on all levels. This class involves handling, cooking, and tasting foods. 

NOTE: this course is open to the public. The course fee is included in Meru tuition.  
2015 Dates
: November 13-14 (Fri 6-9pm; Sat 9am - 4pm)


Chanting Sanskrit  
Course Number: Yoga 104.b
Instructor: Shanta and Indira Bulkin

This course builds on the introductory Sanskrit course. Students will continue to explore the energetic vibrational quality of Sanskrit and learn specific mantras, words and phrases. With their inherent rhythm and music, mantras contain vibrational influences which enhance the student's experience of awakening. The purpose of chanting is to stimulate the brain, energize the whole body, and help us feel more deeply connected to our Self, community, and the essence of Eternal Wisdom. Once we awaken to this within, we are able to support others in bringing harmony and balance to their mind and their life.

NOTE:  This course is open to the public. The fee for this class is included in Meru tuition.  
2015 Dates
: Sunday, November 15 (9am - 12pm)


Ethics & Boundaries for Teachers and Leaders
Course Number: ComMin 101
Instructor: Rev. Sundari Jensen and Rev. Pat Kirti Hall

This course provides students with straightforward framework for ethics and boundaries utilizing Yoga’s Yamas and Niyamas as its foundation. It explores potential ethical issues for yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic lifestyle teachers and leaders, an experiential process of addressing potential ethical issues, and an overview of specific ethical guidelines for teachers and leaders. The ethical structure that is explored in this course is applicable and transferrable to any area of a students life. 

2015 Dates: Tuesday evening, December 1 (6-9pm), and
                     December 4-5 (Fri 6-9pm; Sat 9am - 4pm)


Meditation Intensive: Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi 
Course Number: Yoga 101.c 
Instructor: Yogacharya O’Brian 

This course offers the underlying philosophy, instruction, and practices for superconscious meditation. Yoga is defined by Patanjali as samadhi, or superconsciousness. The distinctions of dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (superconsciousness) are explored as discrete stages in the eight limbs of the Raja Yoga system as well as their holistic triad in the experience of superconsciousness. Insights into the essential role of superconscious meditation in the direct mystical experience of Self- and God-realization as well as its ability to transform the mind and support spiritually conscious, fulfilled living are central to this course.

2015 Dates: Tuesday evenings, December 8 and 15 (6-8pm)


Cohort Study Groups  
Course Number: Yoga / Ayu / ComMin 108
Instructor: Meru Faculty

The Meru Institute cohort study group program provides an active, interactive, and dynamic setting for students to grow their knowledge and skills within a specific focused area of study, under the guidance of a cohort faculty member. Cohort study groups provide students the opportunity to experience lessons through the lens of Yoga Studies, Ayurveda Studies, or Community Ministry Studies in a way that transcends basic academic materials into life skill training. Meeting in focused small groups brings students together to build community, foster creativity, build leadership skills, and encourage greater progress. 


Elective Programs

Kirtan with Yogacharya & Gitanjali   
(Friday, October 9, 7-9pm)

Sunday Sermon Series with Yogacharya
(Sundays, October 4 - December 13)

Meditation Sit-a-thon
(Saturday, October 24)

Onsite Yoga Meditation Retreat
with Yogacharya & Swami Bodhananda
(November 19-21, Thurs pm - Sat)

CSE Open House
(Saturday, December 12)

Satsang with Yogacharya
(Sunday, December 13, 12:30 - 2:30pm)

Holy Days Meditation
(Friday, December 18, 6-9pm)

Learn to Meditate Classes
(First Sunday, 2-4pm)
(Third Monday, 7-9pm)


Note: course dates and times are subject to change