Yoga Vacation Program
June 16 — 18, 2025

Light and Darkness in the World of Mystical Traditions

Nathan Katz, Steven Heine, and Vasudha Narayanan

Light and darkness images are part of most every mystical system. Enlightenment is a key Buddhist idea, as is the Kabbalah’s teaching about the Revealed and the Hidden light, Hinduism’s Bhgavad Gita describes G-d as “the Light of lights, beyond all darkness, and the Clear Light of Tibetan Buddhism has become closely associated with contemporary thinking about death and dying. This seminar will feature three distinguished scholars who will guide us through Zen, Hindu, Kabbalistic and Tibetan approximations of the Light and its counterpart, Darkness.

Offered as 3 satsangs and 2 workshops (subject to change).

The presentations associated with this Yoga Vacation Program begin with an 8pm satsang on the first day of the program and conclude with an 8pm satsang on the last day of the program.  Click here to read more about the Yoga Vacation Program details and view the ashram schedule for yoga classes and meals during your stay. We suggest you arrive at least one day prior to the start of your program for the optimal experience.


Nathan Katz, PhD, is Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, at Florida International University. He served as the Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies, Director of Jewish Studies, Director of Program in the Study of Spirituality, and Founding Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He is the author of 15 books, including award-winning Who Are the Jews of India? and memoir, Spiritual Journey Home: Eastern Mysticism to the Western Wall. He was awarded four Fulbright grants and is considered the leading scholar of India’s Jewish communities. He has studied, taught, and lived in South Asia for eight years and leads Jewish-interest tours of India.

Steven Heine is professor of Religious Studies and History and the founding director of the Asian Studies Program at Florida International University. A recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun Award from the Japanese government for a lifetime of service in promoting cultural exchanges, Heine is an authority on Buddhist traditions in East Asian, particularly the history and thought of Zen. He has published three dozen books and over a hundred articles and has lectured frequently at universities as well as various Zen centers.

Vasudha Narayanan is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida and director of the Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions at the University of Florida. Educated at the Universities of Madras and Bombay in India and at Harvard University, she is author or editor of several books including The Vernacular Veda, Hinduism, and The Life of Hinduism and has received grants and fellowships from several institutions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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