Ibn 'Arabi Study Retreat: The Secrets of Voyaging

Saturday, 8th July, 2017

How to pay: We will write to arrange payment with you once we have confirmed your place on this course. Please let us know your preferred method of payment by ticking one of the choices below.
Course fees are kept to an absolute minimum – please, if you would like, add a donation towards our scholarship fund, which supports students and visitors on low income.

“In reality, we never cease from journeying from the moment we and our origins are constituted, ad infinitum.”

The material to be studied on this course comes from Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi’s outstanding work Kitab al-Isfār ʿan natāʾij al-asfār, recently translated into English by Angela Jaffray under the title “The Secrets of Voyaging” with a valuable commentary by the translator.
For an introduction to the book, see here..

In this work Ibn ‘Arabi addresses the human spiritual quest in its most essential aspects.

In the course we shall explore some aspects of spiritual journeying such as transformation, revelation and pilgrimage. The primary aim of the study is not academic, historical or cultural but to explore and recognise these meanings in ourselves, and our orientation to Reality, by sitting at the feet of Ibn ‘Arabi, one of the greatest spiritual teachers. The medium of study is conversation, contemplation and meditation, directed by the text. Although previous acquaintance with the work of Ibn ‘Arabi is of benefit no previous experience is necessary.

The course facilitators Janet Bowers and Michael Cohen in 2015 and 2016 directed a number of study days in London on the Secrets of Voyaging under the auspices of the Beshara Trust. These days attracted an enthusiastic and dedicated group of students and engendered remarkable sentiment, conversation and the group. We now take pleasure in offering the possibility of travelling in a similar way at the Chisholme Institute.

The Course
This is a residential retreat, starting on Saturday evening (7pm) and running until after lunch on the following Saturday (2pm). The timetable will incorporate meditation, study, conversation, devotional practice and practical work in the house, kitchen or garden, all in the spirit of service.

Chisholme House is set on a beautiful estate in the moors of the Scottish Borders, an hour and a half from Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle. The main house looks out over glorious landscaped grounds, and woods of native trees encircle the estate.

Shared accommodation (double or triple bedroom) £325
Single room accommodation (when available £375)
This includes accommodation and all meals. A non-refundable deposit of £60 should be paid when booking. The balance can be paid once at Chisholme.

Subject to the agreement of the retreat facilitator and the availability of places, non-residents may be able attend this week for £180. This will include coffee, lunch and tea. Concessions may be possible, for example to anyone attending more than one week in 2017.

Note on course fees: There are no standard concessions offered. However, we try to ensure the course is accessible to those on low incomes. So if you would find the cost prohibitive please write to to enquire about reduced course fees or bursary possibilities.

50% reduced fees for participation in two or more week-long courses this year.
Courses at Chisholme are priced with understanding that they need to be in reach of those who will benefit from them while also covering costs. Despite the low suggested fee it is appreciated that for many the cost of attending more than one course in a year can be prohibitive.
To help enable you to join a second (or third!) course in a year the suggested fee for a second (and subsequent) week taken in any calendar year will be 50% of the full rate.
Reductions are available provided the full fee for the first course has been paid. The full deposit is still required to confirm a booking for second courses. Other conditions may apply.


The Chisholme kitchen provides food in keeping with the spiritual and material aims of its education. Chisholme is not vegetarian but meat is prepared with the deepest respect for its benefit and origin. Meanwhile vegetarian dishes comprise the majority of the food served and are always available as an option. We are unable to meet vegan requirements. However, special diets can be catered for where there is a medical reason. Please let us know your needs when you book your stay.

Book online at the top of the page or email
Tel +44 (0)1450 880215

Practical information about staying at Chisholme, click here..

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


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