Lecture / Reading

CBD 2021: No One Can Purify Another: When Yoga is Property, But God is Change

Sponsored by Contemplation by Design, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, Office for Religious & Spiritual Life

When

Sunday, October 31, 2021
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
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Where

Stanford Memorial Church

Contact via email
Contact via phone

650-723-1762

This event is open to:
Everyone

Admission
Free

Event Details:

Did you imagine you could purify another? In this sermon on abiding by change, Roopa draws a radical thru-line from the Dhammapada, a central Buddhist text, to Octavia Butler’s, Parable of the Sower. She expands upon the line (Dhammapada, The Self, Chapter 12: 166), “No one can purify another.” Roopa asks: Can we reconcile the long arc of recognition that “God is Change,”with the industrialization of yoga and contemplation? Do we need yoga to be our possession; our unchanging private property? In the liturgy, Roopa draws upon her groundbreaking research in yoga as property, in which she documents the rapid conversion of yoga into private property through Copyrights and Intellectual Property Law. Based on this data, she concludes by asking: When we present ourselves as being able to purify others, are we fighting change or abiding by change? Healing from binaries or creating binaries?

Roopa Bala Singh, PhD, JD is a founding legal scholar of Critical Yoga Studies. She is a fourth- generation attorney from the region of Kushinagar, India where the Buddha taught and died. Roopa is an Assistant Professor of Law and Civic Engagement at CSU Monterey Bay; teaching law, race, and gender. As a legal journalist intern in the U.S. Supreme Court, Roopa was asked to remove her hijab in the U.S. Supreme Court by Chief Justice Rehnquist (2002). This xenophobic act continues to shape Roopa’s commitment to race and the law. Roopa’s nationwide panel project (SAAPYA: South Asian American Perspectives on Yoga, 2013-2016) was the first public discourse site on race and cultural appropriation in yoga. Commitments to anti-racist liberation, prison law, and motherhood have been a central part of Roopa’s career in social justice. Roopa has a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, a Masters in Cinema Studies from NYU, and a Ph.D. in Justice and Social Inquiry from ASU. Roopa is writing her first book, How Yoga Became Race.

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