Religious Studies Experiential Workshops for Fall 2015 Semester

The Department of Religious Studies is offering 4 experiential workshops for Fall 2015 semester. These workshops are offered as part of the Religious Studies major program, but are offered to HSU students in general as a way of encountering religious life first-hand. Religious Studies maintains relationships with various religious communities in Northern California who provide opportunities to receive introductory teachings and participation in religious practices as a sort of field work experience in the study of relgion. Our workshops are varied in style, content, and traditional orientation. Members of the community are welcome to attend, and may sign up for registration and credit through Extended Education.


See the Full Color posters of workshops for Fall 2015: RS 394 classes for Fall 2015. Best viewed in Full Screen mode through Adobe Acroba, or in Presentation Mode through your web browser. This is a multipage document; be sure to advance page by page to see all the posters.

General Information.

Generally experiential workshops give you the opportunity to engage directly with religious communities by participating in rituals, discussion, community gatherings, and other sorts of activities. Participation in various forms of worship and ritual are on a purely voluntary basis, guided by principles of participant observation. Most of these weekends are conducted on weekends, and usually they will involve participation on Friday evenings, Saturday, and/or Sunday. Many of these workshops are local, but some are out of town. Local events typically are held at a site where the religious community meets (e.g., a church or synagogue), and students need only go to the location. Out of town events involve travel out of town, and students are responsible for their own transportation. Usually students make arrangements for ride sharing. There are no fees for these workshops, but donations are requested/required for out of town workshops, especially when the religious community provides food and shelter. Many workshops require attendance at an organizational meeting before the weekend, and most require a simple writing response after the event. Usually there is very little reading or homework required. The emphasis is on participation and involvement with community members, ritual life, teachings from within the community, and so forth.

List of workshops for Fall 2015 semester:


City of 10,000 Buddhas Weekend Workshop

RS 394 • CRN 41232 • 1 unit
Date: September 18-20, 2015.
Location: City of 10,000 Buddhas, Ukiah (Talmage), CA.
HSU Coordinator: William Herbrechtsmeier,

A retreat weekend at a large orthodox Chinese Buddhist monastery near Ukiah, CA, where we will explore Buddhist theory and practice with members of the community. Practices include dharma talks, group prayer/chanting, meditation, and discussion sessions.

The community is on the grounds of the former Mendocino County Hospital, which is a campus of about the same size as HSU. The Buddha Hall has magnificent images, and the grounds are replete with Buddhist icons, statues, and architectural elements. Scores of Buddhist monks and nuns are in residence. Students are segregated during the weekend according to traditional monastic practice, so that female students spend time primarily with the nuns, and males with the monks. Women students particularly find it worthwhile to study with women who are highly advanced spiritual seekers.

A very popular workshop offered for over 20 years. Students spend Friday and Saturday nights at the monastery and eat in the CTTB dining hall. Most students testify that this is a dynamic and mind opening experience.

Eastern Christianity
RS 394 • CRN 41234 • 1 unit

Date: October 3-4, 2015.
Location: St. Innocent Orthodox Church, Eureka.
Organizational Meeting: TBA.
HSU Coordinator : Katie Wilson

Immerse yourself in a sunset Vespers service. Explore the tradition of gold-bedecked icons. Listen to the psalms, sung by a priest and his wife. Learn about the biblical roots of church architecture, priestly garments, and eucharistic ritual. Enjoy the “Taste of Orthodoxy” Food & Dance Festival.

Universal Sufism Weekend
RS 394 • CRN 46965 • 1 unit

Date: October 23-25, 2015.
Organizational Meeting: TBA.
HSU Coordinator : Sara Hart,

Are you interested in the path of the mystic? Are you drawn to taste the essence of the great world religions and experience its joy through song, dance and meditation? The course will include teachings on the principles of Sufi mysticism, introduce several forms of meditation (sitting, walking and singing), share the Dances of Universal Peace and work with the Walks of the Masters, Saints and Prophets.

Zen Workshop

RS 394 • CRN 45057 • 1 unit
Date: October 23, 26-27, 2015 .
Location: Arcata Zen Group Zendo, 740 Park Avenue Arcata .
Organizational Meeting: TBA.
HSU Coordinator :Sara Hart,

The retreat will include periods of sitting meditation, walking meditation, participation in Zen forms and ceremonies, mindful eating practice at lunchtime and time for questions and answers. This workshop held in Arcata under the direction of the Arcata Zen Group.