Waterperry Retreat Programme 2024/25

Regular price From £130.00 to £210.00

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The programme is designed for those who are attending a retreat with the School for the first time, as well those who have enjoyed these events before.

All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure people’s health and wellbeing.

The cost for the midweek events will be £210 and for the Sanskrit weekend event £130. Charges are payable in advance and a place is only confirmed after payment.

The days will begin each morning at 6.30am with meditation/quiet time. There will be study and group discussions.

Meals provided at the retreats will be vegetarian. Participants will be asked to look after some catering and cleaning, although this will be kept to a minimum.

We offer single and twin bed room accommodation.  Most of the twin rooms are en suite, but not the single rooms. We will provide the single rooms on request on a first come first served basis.

Please bring a duvet cover, sheet, pillowcase and bath towel. If this is not possible, there will be a charge of £17 for these items. In the evening smart/casual wear is usual to give a sense of occasion.

People will be accepted onto retreats on a first come first served basis, so early booking is recommended. If unforeseen circumstances prevent your attendance, the fee is non-refundable within 2 weeks of the retreat, but may be transferred to another retreat (once). For cancellations more than two weeks before the retreat, an administration fee of £20 will be taken off the full refund. 

If you have any questions, or for Meditation Retreat registration, please contact the office by email or phone 020 7034 4000. 

Marsilio Ficino

What is truth?

Whatever it is, we are all looking for it. We all want to abide by it. And in a world full of adversity, we would all like to know what it is.

To this end, we shall be studying what the Renaissance philosopher, Marsilio Ficino, has to say about it.

This will all take place in the house and beautiful grounds of Waterperry, near Oxford. We study in the mornings, leaving the afternoons to enjoy the setting before evenings of presentations and entertainment.

The retreat will be led by Arthur Farndell and Nicholas de Mattos. Arthur has enjoyed more than half a century of translating the words of Marsilio Ficino and presenting his teaching in person and on social media. Nicholas has taught Latin and Greek for 41 years and has found reading, translating and presenting Ficino to be a continual inspiration in his own wider esoteric search.

‘(I appreciated) the warmth, kindness and inclusivity of everyone on my first visit to Waterperry’

‘Course material, presentation and content were excellent’ 


‘Lead me from untruth to truth…’
This is a key mantra from the Sanskrit tradition. It 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.

"I loved the chanting, I feel it has taken me to new depths of understanding."

"It was arranged so that complete beginners as well as those with previous experience of Sanskrit could access the study. With grammatical analysis and regular chanting, the profound meanings of the mantra began to unfold for us."


Sacred Geometry

There are several aspects to the study and enjoyment of sacred geometry. The first is simply learning how to use a compass to complete a pattern. The formation of this pattern relies on basic principles and laws held in the underlying structures of nature which are all around us. A simple example of this is the hexagonal design which bees call home. The measures, proportions and symmetry reveal more than initially meets the eye. In fact the pursuit of geometry opens the door to seeing the relationships within creation.

Perhaps this helps to explain why Plato said:
“For surely measure and symmetry always turn out to be beauty and excellence.”

Finally, the opportunity to work together with quiet attention allows for an unmistakable energy to gather which brings the mind to rest.

Materials will be provided and equipment will be available. Anyone already in possession of a good compass and a sturdy ruler are welcome to bring them. 

“Inspiring teacher and teaching made the whole subject accessible and utterly magic”


“I found peace, and I found a stillness that I haven’t had for a long time. So I could be in that moment, and that moment just stretched on forever.”


From Plato to Amartya Sen, philosophers, economists and thinkers have wondered about justice – what it is and how it applies in practice.

This retreat will study what some of the greatest minds have had to say about justice, especially economic justice, and consider how it is relevant to 21st Century economics and life. Come and join in the great search for the principles of a just and equitable world. Study materials will be provided.

Retreat Leader, Ian Mason, is a barrister (non-practising) who has participated in the United Nations Harmony with Nature project and has long experience studying and teaching Practical Philosophy and Economics with Justice in the School. 

Bhagavad Gita

The Self abides in the hearts of all

In chapter 10 of the Bhagavad Gītā Krishna describes how the one true Self manifests in and through the whole creation, including in each of us.

Realisation that all of our apparent mental and emotional states arise from the one, universal Self will establish the firm conviction in right knowledge.

Krishna says of this there is no doubt.

Come join us on this retreat when we will study, reflect on and discuss verses from Chapter 10.

The retreat will be led by Stephen Silver, a long time student and tutor in the School who has a deep and abiding love for the Gītā.

“I really enjoyed all the discussions, insights and the space to explore the Gita and the messages, as well as the opportunity to meet such lovely, and also fascinating, people from the school.”


In a letter attributed to Plato he wrote: "The evils of the human race shall not cease until either the sort of people who engage in philosophy, rightly and truly, come to power in political affairs, or those who exercise power in cites, by some divine portion, actually engage in philosophy."  Inspired by this realisation, Plato wrote The Republic, one of his most far-reaching dialogues.

The focus of our study will be the four qualities: wisdom, courage, soundmindedness, and justice as manifest in the individual and in the city and the nature of the philosopher. Reading Plato is not a passive exercise, by asking questions and joining in discussions we too may engage in philosophy.

The retreat will be lead by Margot Camp. "After university I spent 20 years in Greece excavating, teaching and running a museum (not all at the same time). When I moved to England, I taught Classical Civilisation and Classical Greek at A Level. After retiring, I discovered Plato, reading on my own and with others,  and that has been and continues to be an enriching experience."

"Thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Plato residential.  It was a relaxed and convivial atmosphere and made Plato accessible to all regardless of previous experience."


(This retreat is only available to those who have been introduced to meditation by the School)

The Advaita, non-dual, tradition of meditation helps give experience of the real Self of us all. The sage Shankara describes this:
“I am the further shore of the stormy seas of worldly existence.”
“I am reached by the path of peace.”
“ I am love. I am joy and freedom.”

Waterperry House is an ideal setting to meditate together for a few days and experience the happiness of this Self.
Help and encouragement will be available to all who come.

For Meditation Retreat registration, please contact the office by email or phone 020 7034 4000. 

“ These were beautiful days in many ways.”
“I enjoyed the meditation retreat – my first residential. It has been an enriching experience to spend time in beautiful surroundings with like-minded people who work and study together in such harmony.”