This year’s Ficino retreat at Waterperry House will give us a unique opportunity to hear and experience a great teacher’s rich words on accessing the fullness of being, revel in each other’s company, and delight in the magnificence of the celebrated Gardens. Whether or not this is your first visit, you will be welcomed wholeheartedly and made to feel at home.
Marsilio Ficino is the man who gave us Plato and made a resounding contribution to the Renaissance of the fifteenth century. The icing on the cake of our retreat will be a celebration of his birthday!
Growth, Fairness and the Way We Live Now
An interactive workshop and dialogue
This event is dedicated to the establishment of justice and equity for the welfare of humanity in the modern world.
YOU CAN HELP
Everyone knows that economic growth is the accepted measure of economic success. Everyone also knows that unlimited economic growth is exhausting the planet we live on.
It is easy to say that the way we live now is characterised by consumerism, concern about living standards, helpless dismay about climate change and ecological harm, and obsession with economic growth. But what do you think? What is your experience and observation? Is all this growth really necessary, or as harmful as it sometimes appears? How is it measured and what are its consequences? Here is a chance to be well informed about the issues around economic growth and how just and equitable solutions can be found to today’s economic challenges. The draft programme allows for short presentations, discussion and feedback as well as keynote contributions. Economics is philosophy in action. Come and take part.
Download the Programme
Course leader, Ian Mason is a barrister and former head of economics in the School. He has contributed to the United Nations dialogue on Harmony with Nature and written and spoken extensively about Economics with Justice, Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence.
Listen to Ian Mason speaking about Growth and De-growth.
Additional facilitators: Chris Wood, Chris Todhunter, Richard Glover, Anthony Jones.
Confirmed guest contributor: Seb Munden former CEO of Unilever UK & Ireland, and now Chair of WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme.
Watch Seb speak on the circular economy
You can register your interest and be kept up to date with additions to the programme. Complete the form to stay updated.
The Gāyatrī Mantra is full of spiritual significance and is a doorway to the divine. This weekend with retreat leaders Warwick and Elena Jessup is offered as an introduction to Sanskrit with study of this most sacred mantra. Expect chanting and calligraphy, profound study and contemplation, mythology, good food and great company. Those having no prior experience of Sanskrit are very welcome, as well as those with some experience.
According to Galileo,” The grand book of the universe was written in the language of mathematics, its characters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which it is impossible to understand a single word of it.”
This retreat will be contemplative, creative and colourful. There will be ample time to construct both simple and more complex geometric patterns before finishing them off with an accent of colour. This process will provide an opportunity to connect with the hidden harmony and beauty of the patterns as well as being an exercise to focus the mind and bring it to rest. According to Plato, geometry is a subject that draws the soul towards truth and produces a philosophical mind. Come along and see what happens in practice.
Those who have never swung a circle with a compass are welcome as are those with compass experience. All materials and equipment will be provided but anyone already in possession of a good compass and a sturdy ruler are welcome to bring their own equipment.
Barbara Ryan has been practising geometry for several years, having been introduced to the practice and study of it by Tom Bree and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. She has taught classes to both children and adults.
The Waterperry Frescos and Creative Writing
Spanning three floors of the Artist’s Hall, the frescos in Waterperry House illustrate tales from some of the world’s great spiritual traditions. Through a series of creative writing workshops we will reflect on these powerful artworks, reimagining their meaning through our own experience, and our own stories.
There will be a chance to hear about the frescos, their conception, the architecture, and its meaning, along with opportunities to write in a supportive space, and to share our writings in creative company.
No previous experience of writing is necessary. You will be guided through the creative process, and the writing itself can take many forms. The Artist’s Hall is a place of profound inspiration, suffused with artistry and the power of story. This is an opportunity to bring that inspiration to our own reflection, creativity, and writings.
The event will be led by the architect Richard Ibbett who worked on the Artist’s Hall, and the writer Robin Mukherjee.
18 ways to be yourself
The Bhagavad Gita, the Song of the Lord, is a record of Krishna’s teaching to Arjuna. It is composed of 18 chapters. Each chapter is a described as a Yoga, a path leading to unity. Why are different paths? Because different paths are useful at different points in our lives . We will look at these different chapters with an aim of understanding their relevance for us.
Retreat leader Stephen Silver has an abiding love for the Gita and has run similar events for many years, which have been inspiring and uplifting.
Both astrology students and astrologers will meet together for two days of immersion into the world of Jyotish or Vedic Astrology in the beautiful and enlivening surroundings of Waterperry Gardens. Beginners are welcome. In our world today astrologers and astronomers study the heavens but seem to disagree on almost everything. There is really only one science here with one body of law. We can rediscover how this is so and learn about ourselves through our astrology charts. Retreat leader Gordon Brennan is an internationally well-known expert in this field.
In 399 BCE Socrates was tried, found guilty, and put to death. Plato, who gave up political life and devoted the rest of his life to philosophy, wrote The Apology, some years after the death of Socrates. Socrates, in his defence speech, addresses the Athenians repeatedly, as if trying to wake them from a sleep and urges them on to a better way of life. We, all generations, are Athenians and Plato’s message, spoken by Socrates, is universal and timeless. We will read and study the dialogue in groups; both first-time readers and the more experienced will find that there is much to be discovered and much that is mysterious in this text.
(This retreat is only available to those who have been introduced to meditation by the School)
In Chapter 6 of Bhagavad Gita Krishna speaks to Arjuna about the practice of Meditation and tells him he should find a comfortable place and sit upright, “without any aspirations and without any sense of ownership.” This is such a helpful attitude to take when we practise meditation. If we relinquish any “sense of ownership” over what happens next, we begin to trust the Mantra and experience a sense of freedom and total ease of being. This freedom is like sky-space; it stays the same untouched by what passes through it.
Avail yourself of an opportunity to practise meditating in freedom and simplicity. Join us at Waterperry House on the evening of Monday 24th June 2024 finishing the morning of Thursday 27th.
This event will be led by Therese Glover.
For Meditation Retreat registration, please contact the office by email or phone 020 7034 4000.