The forest is made of light and shadows, where everything that flourishes knows too there are dangers and the need to face true vulnerabilities. To be of the forest demands wisdom, the power of the heart and mind to fathom what is possible and necessary. All of us will find ourselves in the forest of feelings, under the canopy that shades and protects but also encloses and shrouds us from the light. In the stories of the Forest Goddesses, drawn from Hindu mythologies and rich folklore, we learn how to navigate through our inner wilderness and manage our way through the dense pathways of a mortal life. These stories are about living in a world that challenges us just with living, life that invites us to enter all the places where dreams, for better and worse, find a place because we must. These are the stories we need for an age when so much we’ve hoped for must be renewed, revaluated, and reconsidered. These are stories of hope, empowered by honesty, candor, and effort. We need the wisdom of the forest more than ever and here we find resources and tools for making our journey forward. We will learn mantra, explore the practice of mudras, and take these teachings and ideas into our daily lives and yoga practice. No previous knowledge is expected or required. Bring an open mind and a willing heart.
Douglas Brooks is a scholar of Hinduism, south Asian languages, and the comparative study of religions. He lived in India with his teacher, Dr. Gopala Aiyar Sundaramoorthy, for many years studying and practicing Srividya, Auspicious Wisdom, and the modern traditions of goddess-centered Tantra. Currently Professor of Religion at the University of Rochester, he holds both Masters and his doctoral degrees from Harvard University.