The purpose of this conference is to critically examine the mental and physical techniques performed by ascetics or mystics belonging to different religions, cultural areas, and historical periods. Concomitantly the conference seeks to discuss the spiritual experiences that are allegedly associated with these practices.
Varied techniques will be scrutinized, for example, Kabbalistic meditation and visualization methods, Heychastic prayer and breath control, Sufi dhikr, or Buddhist and Tantric dhyana and visualization practices. Account will be taken of the physical postures and activities (breathing techniques, movements and postures, dance, music, etc.) which often accompany the practices.
A Balinese shadow play will be performed at the Dimitri Teatro in the village Verscio in association with the conference. The puppeteer is a consecrated priest in his community.