In this vibrant, experiential course, Yoruba scholar, Ethnic Studies professor, workshop leader, and spiritual counselor Obafemi Origunwa, MA will introduce you to the venerable divinity, Obatala and how aligning with his divine essence can help you experience greater peace and well-being in your life. According to classical Yoruba teachings on the divinity, a life well lived encompasses four essential "Paths to Equanimity", very loosely translated as Austerity, Creativity, Happiness, and Generosity. Each is recognized as a different aspect of the orisa's essence and therefore all four together represent the most peaceful and spiritually elevated life experience. Each week, Baba Obafemi will introduce one of the paths with teachings from the ancient texts; he'll then offer practical self-exploratory exercises relating to that path; and finally, he will lead you in a series of activities to facilitate your own personal connection with the magnificent energy of Obatala, the Great Orisa.
about your instructor
Obafemi Origunwa, MA is an acclaimed scholar of Yoruba culture and the spiritual traditions of West Africa. He is an Ifa Priest, initiated by Araba Fayemi Elebuibon in the year 2003. Baba Obafemi holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish Languages and Culture from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree in Education with an emphasis in Multicultural Counseling from San Diego State University. He has taught African American Health & Healing in the Ethnic Studies department at San Francisco State University. Baba Obafemi has authored six ground-breaking books on Yoruba spirituality. He is also the founder of the Orisa Lifestyle Academy, through which he leads educational tours of Yoruba spiritual communities and offers Personal Priesthood Certification.
MODULE #1: THE PATH OF AUSTERITY
The soul rejoices for what the body has lost. Obatala's lifestyle is very frugal, to the point of austerity. He is characterized by his renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures. In the first class, we will learn how fasting from food, talking or sex cultivates equanimity.
MODULE #2: THE PATH OF CREATIVITY
Obatala is the divine sculptor of human beings, who is hailed as “A da ni b’o ti ri” (He who creates us as he wishes). In the second class, we will use pivotal episodes in Obatala's life to demonstrate how your ability to transform obstacles into opportunities reflects the power of your creativity and serves as a gateway to equanimity.
MODULE #3: THE PATH OF HAPPINESS
Have you noticed that children are constantly laughing and playing? Because laughter releases stress, children enjoy great peace of mind. Obatala is praised as "The lord of 200 laughs." In the third class, we'll explore Obatala the man and the myth, to discover how the path of happiness leads one to equanimity.
MODULE #4: THE PATH OF GENEROSITY
Obatala is the bestower of abundant blessings. He is hailed as the "Alabalase, He who possesses supreme authority." He grants every individual soul one blessing on the journey of incarnation and creates miracles for his devotees once they are born. In the fourth class, we will learn how the path of generosity cultivates equanimity.