To the best of my knowledge, there is not any really comparable non-denominational, non-sectarian centre for integrated spiritual studies open to students of all backgrounds...
Professor James W. Morris, Dept. of Theology, Boston College, USA
Self-knowledge is a process of uncovering, realising, and awakening to what is innate in all of us.
This journey is for anyone who questions their reality, their place and purpose in this life. Since no one can teach another person their inner reality the responsibility for self discovery remains firmly with each one of us.
The guiding principle of the education is the essential Unity of all Existence.
This is a perspective which lies at the heart of all great wisdom traditions and religions. Study draws on these, but it is for us to discover what these traditions convey. The materials studied in depth at the School include wisdom texts from the Sufi, Christian, Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu traditions, with particular focus on works by Ibn'Arabi and Rumi. The nearest that the school comes to religion is to recognise the truth of Ibn ‘Arabi’s words from eight centuries ago: “I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's mounts take, that is my religion and my faith.”
The four elements which together constitute the education here are outlined below:
Carefully selected texts from the major wisdom traditions are presented for consideration. Their common thread is that they can help unlock and deepen our journey of self discovery. Study involves not only the readings but an exploration of the responses and insights we experience as students.
Meditation and the cultivation of awareness and receptivity is an important aspect of the daily programme; time is set aside both for guided mindfulness meditations and silent meditation. Read more
Reflective activities are balanced with practical work in the kitchen, house and estate. Work is an opportunity to put the themes explored in study into practice. It is also an opportunity to learn new skills and connect with the bountiful land Chisholme is supported by. Work can be contemplative, devotional and a form of study in itself.
Photo © Maria Young
Devotional practices help us cultivate the quality of the heart. They help establish constancy in our awareness and the refinement of our sensibilities. Whatever form its object takes, religious or secular, visible or invisible, devotion is a way to build a relationship with our deepest sense of being. At Chisholme we work to refine this universal human impulse of love so that it can become focused on the origin of love itself. Read more
The universities of the future will do one thing we do not do today.
They will teach the art of self-discovery.
There is nothing more fundamental in education.
Ben Okri, A Time for New Dreams
I'm struggling to find the words to describe how amazing and life changing the Woodland Retreat has been for me. Quite possibly the most seminal week of my life with lots of fun, laughter, friendship, beauty and good food thrown in.
Go. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to go do it...
(S.L. course participant 2017)
Thu 23rd March 2023
Mon 27th March 2023 14:00
Further conversation and enquiry
Tue 11th April 2023
Tue 18th April 2023 16:30
A series of regular garden afternoons and garden weeks are proposed this year.
Sat 22nd April 2023
Sun 23rd April 2023 16:30
A weekend exploring Beginner's Mind
Fri 28th April 2023
Thu 4th May 2023 14:30
A six-day residential course