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William K. Mahony

About Bill


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William K. Mahony, PhD, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religion at Davidson College, where he teaches courses on the religions of India, centering particularly on the contemplative and devotional sensibilities and practices associated with those traditions. The recipient of a number of teaching awards and research fellowships, Bill travels to India frequently and has lived in contemplative settings for extended periods of time.

Bill works internationally with the yoga community in leading workshops and retreats on the cultivation and refinement of the spiritual life. He is known for his warm, lively and compassionate teaching style that is accessible to contemporary yoga students at all levels.

In these workshops and retreats, Bill integrates his knowledge of Indian philosophy gained through his discerning and informed scholarly study with insights refined through over four decades of his own yogic practice.  He shares with participants what he himself experiences to be expansive and transforming wisdom held in texts he studies, and he guides participants in ways they can fruitfully apply these perspectives in their own lives. Bill’s teaching style is oriented toward sustained group discussion and includes periods of meditation.

Bill’s most recent book, Exquisite Love: Reflections on the Spiritual Life based on Nārada’s Bhakti Sūtra, based on a Sanskrit text from the tenth and eleventh centuries, is on the experience, cultivation and refinement of increasingly higher levels of spiritual love in our contemporary lives. The second edition is published by Sarvabhāva Press. For more information, visit the books page or order the second edition on Amazon.

His other publications include The Artful Universe: An Introduction to the Vedic Religious Imagination, published by the State University of New York Press, which is on visionary and contemplative intuitions into the sacred in some of India’s foundational religious sensibilities. For more information, visit the books page or order the book on Amazon.

Earning academic degrees from Williams College, Yale University and the University of Chicago, Bill served as one of the editors and a major contributor to the first edition of the 16-volume Encyclopedia of Religion. Among his many articles and chapters in edited books, a representative title would be his “In the Beginning Love Entered that One: Divine Love from a Perspective Informed by Vedic Hindu Thought” in Divine Love: Perspectives from the World’s Religious Traditions, published by Templeton Press.

As the first President of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute, Bill has participated in the preservation of many invaluable yet  endangered Sanskrit manuscript texts, particularly those associated with Vedic and Tantric traditions. Members of the world’s academic and spiritual communities can now and into the future turn to these texts as a treasured resource as they seek to deepen their scholarly understanding, refine their spiritual practice and cultivate their own spiritual wisdom informed by these texts.

Whether you are new to the study of yoga philosophy or have pursued this interest and undertaken this practice for some time, Bill warmly invites you to join him and others in these workshop and retreat settings, when all participants together explore and immerse themselves in ways of a life-affirming yogic life.

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