Dance of Consciousness

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Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 quarters

Taught by

physics, plant physiology
literature, dance, performance, cultural studies

This is program of exploration and discovery.  Come prepared to involve your body and mind in a dynamic understanding of consciousness.

What is consciousness?   Our inquiry will hold open this question within an intentional learning community for six months as we explore dance as metaphor and practice for how mystics as well as artists and scientists experience the movement of consciousness.

If you really want to inquire about your experience of the movement of consciousness, this program is an invitation to explore its embodiment in relationship to Indian wisdom tradition.  Specifically, we’ll practice Odissi dance as well as study our dreams and beliefs as manifestations of the dance of consciousness. Our work will include lectures, book seminars, films, workshops, and introspective journaling in order to explore the multidimensional movements of consciousness. We'll consider texts such as Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics that bridge ideas from East and West, mysticism and science, psychology of dreams, and quantum physics. Capra, after inquiring into his experience while sitting by the ocean, wrote: “I ’saw’ cascades of energy coming down from outer space, in which particles were created and destroyed in rhythmic pulses; I ‘saw’ the atoms of the elements and those of my body participating in this cosmic dance of energy; I felt its rhythm and I ‘heard’ its sound, and at that moment I knew that this was the Dance of Shiva, the Lord of Dancers worshiped by the Hindus."

Students should expect to document their work of 50 hours per week during each quarter.  During the winter quarter, instead of dance we will continue our studies of dreams (including lucid dreams) and the nature of physical and mental reality and the role of beliefs in shaping our experience.  Students will have an opportunity to interact with the author of the lucid dreaming text as well as a weekend retreat on Taoist philosophy and Tai Chi.  A portion of the winter quarter credits will be in research and include a short presentation to the class on a topic of your choice. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

consciousness studies cultural studies dance philosophy of science psychology

Preparatory For

consciousness studies, dance, psychology, cultural studies, and philosophy


Fall Open Winter Signature

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Tuesday, September 26 at 11am (Com 323)

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning


$20 in winter for registration fees.


2017-09-12This program now accepts students of all class levels
2017-07-27Description updated.