Consider the possibility of a school of self-knowledge, set aside for the exclusive understanding, in every sense of Reality:
not by means of a religion,
nor by a particular way among ways
nor through a teacher,
nor by means of any particular faculty, such as the intellect or imagination – without any of these,
nor by the denial of any of these,
but only through the knowing, loving and affirmation of what is,
by Itself and for Itself alone.
This possibility is the Beshara School

Peter Young, Principal at Chisholme 1987–2015

About Chisholme

The Chisholme Institute was established in 1979 on a beautiful 18th Century Scottish estate 60 miles south of Edinburgh. Since then, its focus has been to provide education in the art of self-discovery to students from all over the world and to promote an increased awareness of the real value of our connection to the world and each other.

The courses and retreats at Chisholme address body, mind and spirit in a balanced and integrated way, through programmes of study, meditation, work and devotional practice. Every aspect and activity, from the baking of bread to the planting of trees, is seen to be part of the education offered here.

Chisholme offers a range of courses throughout the year and welcomes volunteers to come and work in the house, grounds and beautiful walled organic gardens.

Visitors are always welcome for both short visits and longer stays.

I have experienced a loving intelligence right from the way the food is prepared through to the way people are with each other, incredible evidence of walking the talk and talking the walk.
Scilla Elworthy


Photo © Aliya Ryan

Purpose and Objects

The Chisholme Institute is a Scottish Registered Charity whose focus is to provide a residential retreat and study facility, offering non-denominational courses in spiritual education which are available to all. Its core principles are:  

  • To develop and improve an understanding that all life is interdependent, as can be seen in the ecological, economic, cultural and spiritual spheres.
  • To encourage and be involved in study, research and work to increase public awareness of the unity of existence.
  • To publish and share knowledge gained from studies, research and work. To establish courses to develop a wider understanding of the unity of existence.
  • To encourage and be involved in work in: ecological conservation, the development of good husbandry and resource management, conservation of our heritage of buildings, artefacts and craft skills, and spiritual practices.

Meet the Institute's Board of Directors
Read some of the history of the estate and the school



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Sat 18th May 2024 09:00 to
Sat 25th May 2024 14:00

Volunteer in the Kitchen Garden


Fri 24th May 2024 19:00 to
Mon 27th May 2024 14:00

An introduction


Sat 15th June 2024 09:00 to
Sat 22nd June 2024 14:00

More planting and harvesting


Fri 21st June 2024 19:00 to
Sat 29th June 2024 14:00

Woodland Retreat


Sat 13th July 2024 19:00 to
Sat 20th July 2024 19:00

Summer harvesting


Fri 26th July 2024 19:00 to
Sat 3rd August 2024 14:00

An introduction


Preparations for this year


A visual taste and some music from the September 2023 Gathering at Chisholme