A journey of self discovery - an introduction
For anybody truly interested in embarking on, or further developing a voyage of self discovery, we make available a range of practical methods and approaches that can help transform theoretical knowledge into real experience and bring a deeper meaning to everyday life. All these activities are based around a unique East/West understanding of the philosophy of non-dualism which declares the essential oneness of the individual with the universe.
Our Society was formed by P D Ouspensky and continued by his student Francis Roles under the guidance of the Shankaracharya, HH Shantanand Saraswati, one of the heads of the Advaita Vedanta (non-dual) tradition.
An informal and friendly weekly meeting introduces you to the philosophy of non-dualism and the Society’s activities. Non-dualism is seen as the perennial philosophy at the heart of all the worlds mystical and religious traditions. It is very simple, requiring no adjustment of faith or lifestyle and yet can have a profound and positive effect on how we view the world and ourselves. Whilst some people attend every week, others prefer the occasional visit. Either is fine. The next introductory group, on Thursday evenings, begins in September 2009.
As our central practice we offer mantra meditation from the Advaita tradition. The practice of meditation leads you to a deep inner connection and puts everyday life into perspective. A remarkable record of questions and answers carried on with the Shankaracharya for over 30 years supports our practice and understanding.
‘Turning’ is a potent method for experiencing inner stillness. Developed by followers of Rumi in the 13th Century, it was in 1963 that a Mevlevi Sheikh started a group here with the permission of the head of his Order. There are monthly guest ceremonies preceded by a meeting of the Rumi poetry and music group. You may also attend turning practices and can ‘slow turn’, a simple yet deeply effective technique that takes only a few minutes to learn. Training starts in January 2010.
The Fourth Way Journey
The Fourth Way System with its profound psychology and cosmology and basic training in attention — all expressed in accessible Western terms and language — is one way for you to establish a firm foundation in non-dualism. A two year course of study of Ouspensky’s system and its continued development in the light of modern scientific views of consciousness will begin on Monday evenings in January 2010. You may also attend a Movements class which follows on the same evening.
These Movements are a repertoire of ancient and sacred dances and esoteric movements from closed communities, temples and monasteries in the Near and Middle East and Asia. They are a means of acquiring knowledge beyond language. They have been taught at Colet House since 1931 in an uninterrupted line of transmission safeguarding the tradition and carrying it forward. The group meets in London on Monday evenings and in Bath on Sunday afternoon.
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