European School of Theosophy 2016
In 2016, the European School of Theosophy was organised at an excellent family-run hotel in Salzburg, Austria. This was my first time at a European School of Theosophy. I came to Theosophy through my wife, who was a member of the English Section and had worked at the Headquarter of the TS in England. She dearly hoped that she would meet some of her colleagues and friends at the school, but it was not to be! However, we met quite a number of members from various European Countries and I was moved how quickly contact was made and how friendly and outgoing everyone was. At the dinner table we had a very jovial and interesting time and were able to learn more about each other.
The programme was very varied and of great interest to me. It deepened my understanding of Theosophy. In particular I found the idea of a lecture and study session afterwards very effective. Through the discussions and inputs of the attendees in the study session the lecture expanded and so for me reached greater depths and understanding, particularly relating to my further study of Yoga. I thoroughly enjoyed attending the School and hope to be able to attend the next one in Naarden. GG Bavaria.
This year the European School was held at an excellent family hotel in Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of the famous composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The hotel was situated at the outskirts of the town, so one could easily go for a little walk in nature between the sessions of the school programme. The five day programme, which started with an evening devoted to classical Indian music, had ten lectures, seven study sessions and a movie of Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute”.
The South Indian classical music from the Karaikudi tradition founded by Brhaddhvani, was performed by a pupil of Dr. Subramaniam on a traditional string instrument, called the Vina. The artist also gave a talk about how this instrument was played in ancient times, when the Brahmin priests and mystics were singing the Veda’s. The different subjects treated by the six teachers of the school were:
“The Road that Leads to the Heart of the Universe”, “Spirituality and Comics”, “Reflections on our Morality: The Ancient Art of Good Life”, “The Magic Flute Unveiled”, “H. P. Blavatsky on Karma, Reincarnation and The Doctrine of the Heart”, “H. P. B. The example of a true Philanthropist”, and “Healing by Tapping, An Eastern Form of Medicine”. The lectures and study sessions were of good quality and the exchanges of views often were lively and entertaining. The items of study chosen were about the most difficult theosophical concepts contained in the Secret Doctrine and other writings by H. P. Blavatsky.
Total number of participants was 22 with 10 different nationalities. During the first days there was a kind of segregation along language lines at the restaurant, but in the second part of the school the group had become so dynamic, that all languages mixed. A very rich experience indeed. The organizers have to be congratulated on the success of the school, which has been able to continue the tradition of high quality theosophical teaching with a strong musical inclination. Sunday afternoon was free and one could take the bus into town to see the beautiful city of Salzburg with the birth house of Mozart and other interesting sights. JJ Belgium.
European School of Theosophy
Every year the European School of Theosophy is a highlight in the autumnal season, when the leaves change their colour, the harvest is brought in, a time of reflection and gratefulness of what we were given spiritually and physically. The beautiful surroundings of the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre reflected this atmosphere beautifully. Thanks again to everybody involved in the organization and presentations of the European School, all your effort is very much appreciated! (PM London)
It was wonderful to have Pablo and Michelle Sender give us lectures and to lead the study sessions. They were an inspiration and have given me much to reflect on the subject of the Great Sacrifice. I certainly felt that I had been nourished both by their teaching and by the responses and reflections that came from the other students. The two lectures by David shown on DVD went some way to making up for the fact that he could not be with us, and they were both very inspiring and were a good choice to fit in with the programme.
The Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre is an excellent venue with magnificent grounds and en suite rooms which are furnished to a good standard; the food is delicious and offers a suitable variety of options and tastes; there are a very good selection of beverages too. A large and spacious garden lounge which opens out from the dining area afforded us the opportunity to converse and enjoy each other’s company in between the lectures and study sessions etc. I would definitely be willing to return there again with the European School, and would find it difficult to imagine a more suitable venue in the UK to hold such an event. It was a privilege to have attended the European School 2015. (TK London)
I have been fortunate enough to attend yet another European School of Theosophy. This year it was held in October at the Woodbrooke Quaker House in Birmingham. This was a wonderful setting surrounded by glorious trees which glinted in the autumn sunshine. We were in Cadbury Land, living where the owner once stayed.
The theme this year was ‘The Great Sacrifice’. Our lectures and discussions were mainly by Pablo and Michelle Sender. Each lecture dealt with the subject in depth relating to Theosophical texts. This is quite an intense week but rich in Theosophy and food for the soul. Pablo and Michelle gave a thorough insight into this theme of sacrifice with practical application of it.
I found this yet another uplifting, enriching, thought provoking time of fellowship with other Theosophists (usually from around Europe) who have studied Theosophical literature in depth. The group are warm and friendly – like a big family. Lunch and tea breaks were opportunities to converse with like-minded people. This is a yearly event which I now do not miss. I know next year’s event is to be in Salzburg, Austria. (CG Edinburgh).
European School High Seas Recommended. ‘The Great Sacrifice’, took those who attended into the complex oceanic studies around the heart of the teachings of Theosophy – the giving up of self for Self. Various maps, and even some “here be monsters” where thoroughly examined. As with all theosophical studies, what seems to be preparation is actually an experiential voyage into ever deeper waters. Indeed each speaker spoke from the buoyed centre of their experience as Theosophers, learning the ropes, practicing being anchored in the resounding verbum of Self as exemplified through the scintillating depths of the teachings. So if you are kept all jagrata by vexed questions like… Is no monad an island?
And mulling it over in the wee hours coming up with… Maybe, one of those mysterious elusive islands of myth that merge and emerge, included and occluded by turn… or perhaps like the Polynesians we paddle well in unison and draw the distant shores to our very selves fixed position… maybe, just maybe the European School is for you to consult the charts and learn theosophical navigation. Everyone gets a dunking (baptism), weather eyes are peeled; especially for storms brewing and white whales, some of which were spotted spouting indignation in the distance from lack of pursuit! Dare to join the crew? In keeping with the theme of Great Sacrifice all Jonah’s not excluded! (DM Isle of Man).