Upcoming Events

Sat 1 Oct The Poet in You click here for details

Fri 14 Oct Herbs and Herbal Remedies click here for details

Sat 15 Oct Hindu Wisdom with Frances Eley click here for details

Fri 28 Oct Sacred Geometry click here for details

Fri 18-Sun 20 Nov The Platonic Myths click here for details

More details on the current newsletter

For comments, feedback, podcasts and photographs of events that have already taken place, click 'Older Posts' at the foot of this first page.

Here is a link to the recent Druid Wisdom talk by Philip Carr-Gomm, with introductory music by Philippa Anne Reed. You can see more of Philippa playing the psaltery in the Fintry grounds here.

All events are held at Fintry Retreat House, Church Lane, Brook, Godalming, Surrey GU8 5UQ, unless otherwise stated. Take a look at who we are: Fintry photo album

The Poet in You - 1 Oct 2016


We are pleased that Jay Ramsay will be returning to Fintry this autumn to give another day workshop on 'The Poet in You'. This day will help participants to find new possibilities of expression through the written word, working with original exercises to extend receptivity and imagination.

Jay Ramsay works to bring spiritual consciousness into contemporary British poetry, and over his career he has created a unique synthesis between poetry and personal development. For descriptions of Jay’s popular workshops see www.jayramsay.co.uk. 

Last year's workshop at Fintry was very popular, and you can read some of the enthusiastic comments at this link: http://fintrywebsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-poet-in-you-3-oct-2015.html

One participant wrote:
'I’m so glad I went! I’m not particularly into poetry, although I value it and find it amazing when someone helps me with the inner meaning which I sense but can’t quite identify. But Jay’s day wasn’t only about understanding poetry’s inner message, but by a series of simple non-threatening exercises, finding the creative spirit in us. There were no boundaries - just to let go of any preconceptions of ourselves and allow whatever came forth to flow. Either visually with words – poetically or in prose – simply write or draw what we experienced. In doing this I learned so much about myself – how to let go, and allow the poet in me to flow. Truly a day of discovery! I would recommend Jay’s course to anyone. If he comes again don’t miss it!'

The day costs £50, including lunch. Booking is essential; for details and to reserve a place, contact fintry.administrator@btconnect.com or +44 (0)1428 682621.

Herbs and Herbal Remedies - 14 Oct 2016

Understand more about the natural world around you and how you can use plants for your own benefit. Connect with the ancestors as herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years. Learn about some specific herbs and remedies, with a focus on preparing for winter ailments.

Topics will include gathering, preserving, safety, kitchen medicine, first aid, historical context, herbal terminology. Learn about infusions, decoctions, glycerites and salves. There will be a practical element to the course where you will make some natural remedies that you can take home with you. This course is suitable for anyone interested in herbs or natural health.

Tutor: Karin Haile (karin.haile@btinternet.com)
Karin is a member of the AMH (www.associationofmasterherbalists.co.uk), one of the recognized herbal associations in Britain. She has been a herbal practitioner and is also an experienced teacher having worked in adult education and colleges. She has given RHS evening herb talks at Loseley Park, Guildford. She has also helped to instigate and organise herbal conferences which have included world renowned herbalists.

This one-day course costs £65. Refreshments for morning and afternoon will be provided but please bring your own lunch.
To book a place email: karin.haile@btinternet.com or Tel: 07587876360

Hindu Wisdom - 15 Oct 2016

 This day explores Sanatana Dharma or the eternal relationship of the Soul with the Divine, through key verses from the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu Scripture; considering elements such as the relationship between the jiva (soul) and Ishvara (God), the threefold nature of the Divine as Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan, the three gunas of material nature, karma and mukti (liberation).
It also looks at the different paths of yoga (relationship with God), with particular focus on the elements of Bhakti Yoga (yoga of Devotion), which incorporate mantra meditation, devotional song (kirtan), offering and taking prasadam (sanctified food), arati (offering of the elements) and worship of the murti (Divine Image), considering the spiritual applications of all the above.
The day will consist of presentation with images and texts, but also some practical engagement with mantra meditation and the option to attend arati at lunchtime.

Speaker: Frances Eley is a lecturer in Classics and Archaeology for the Open University, with particular research interests in ancient Mystery Religions.

click here for details

Sacred Geometry - 28 October 2016

An afternoon workshop with Tom Bree, 28 October 14.00-17.00.

Tom Bree is a geometer-artist, teacher and writer. He specialises in geometry as a practical art as well as a vehicle for contemplating spiritual and philosophical ideas. These two aspects of geometry are united within the teaching, whereby the participants could be said to be drawing philosophy as well as contemplating reality through pattern making. The afternoon will start with an introductory slideshow, followed by a practical drawing session dealing with geometry as a sacred art and symbolic system.

Tom completed his M. A. at Prince's School of Traditional Arts in 2003 where he studied Geometry under Professor Keith Critchlow. He has since been teaching geometry and lecturing for various institutes, and organisations such as the Prince's School of Traditional Arts and the Temenos Academy, the Prince's Teaching Institute, the Chalice Well Trust, the Educational Renaissance Trust, Art in Action and the Diocese of Bath & Wells. He also teaches privately as well as running his own self-organised teaching projects. Tom has been researching the underlying geometric design of medieval Gothic cathedrals for several years and is currently writing a book on the subject.

Entrance £12.00 to include refreshments, and all equipment and paper supplied.

Bookings and enquiries: Tel. 01428 682621 or email fintry.administrator@btconnect.com
Please note that for this event advanced booking is essential

The Platonic Myths 18-20 November


Of the heavens above the heaven
no earthly poet can sing...


Myth has an essential part to play in the dialogues of Plato, most often in relation to the nature and destiny of the soul. This residential study weekend, led by Julie Parker, will explore some of the key myths and consider what they reveal about Plato's world-view.

This residential weekend takes place at Fintry Retreat House in the beautiful and peaceful setting of the Surrey Hills near Godalming. It will also be an opportunity to enjoy the Fintry Trust Library, and to sample some of the Platonic works it contains.

Fee: £180 (full board), £144 non-residential.

For more details and to reserve a place, e-mail fintry.administrator@btconnect.com
+44 (0)1428 682621

Silence and Well-Being Days


At Fintry we hold regular Silence and Well-Being Days designed to provide a space and a time in which to seek the timeless within - ultimately the source of all well-being.  You are invited to discover Fintry for yourself, while enjoying the peace and quiet of the house and gardens. The Library will also be open on these days.

For details of forthcoming Silence and Well-Being dates, please ring 01428 682621.

Times: 10.00 am - 3.30 pm  £10 including all drinks (please bring packed lunch).

It is also now possible to book exclusive use of our Quiet Room for the day or half-day.

Plotinus and the Path to Liberation

Plotinus and the Path to Liberation was published on 1st December 2013.  Plotinus has been ranked alongside Plato and Aristotle as one of the three great masters of classical Western philosophy.  Of the three, he is the least well-known, but his influence upon the development of human thought and aspiration is much more far-reaching than his limited fame would suggest. His thought represented the culmination of nearly a thousand years of Greek philosophy, while at the same time it was a powerful guide and inspiration to later Western philosophy and to the Christian religion...

The Letters of Ficino (Volume 9 and 10)

Elizabeth Medler, Editor of New Vision (www.thehamblintrust.org.uk), reviews the latest translation of Ficino's letters published by The School of Economic Science:- 'These wonderful volumes of letters are translated from the Latin by members of the School of Economic Science and comprise not only the letters themselves but explanatory notes, appendices and interesting biographical notes. Each is prefaced by a helpful introduction by Arthur Farndell. Arthur is one of those engaged in the immense task of translating all twelve books of letters of the renaissance scholar and man of wisdom, Marsilio Ficino, from Latin into English. The School are to be congratulated on venturing upon such a mammoth project requiring not only great sensitivity of understanding of Ficino’s ideas, but translation skills to match. The result is breathtaking.

As you might imagine, I somewhat hesitated when I dipped my pen into the ink to write this review; Ficino was, after all, one of the most influential thinkers of the Italian Renaissance and said by some to be its ‘fountainhead’. What did he do? Well, with the help of the Medici family, he brought about a revival of the important work of Plato and the neoplatonists, translating all Plato’s works into Latin. He was also appointed by Cosimo Medici to be head of a newly introduced Platonic Academy in Florence.

To those who think Plato too highbrow to read, please think again! He is as much a teacher for us today as he is for any century. His wisdom is timeless and very practical. Here are approximately thirty Dialogues. Why not pick up one today and start reading!

Ficino would gently encourage us to read Plato and those following him. These letters are not only a joy to read, they are deeply nourishing. Like Plato’s Dialogues, they make me stand up straight and listen. Ficino’s letters are witty, subtle, full of intelligence and wisdom. His words are joyful and have a poetry and intimacy that I cannot resist. If you try reading them out loud, as I did, you discover that they have a rhythm and a haunting melody all of their own. Very soon, you will find yourself admiring the rich beauty of this man. Even though we may not understand all the allegories and wonderful astrological references, again and again one is drawn back.

There are fifty letters in Volume 9 and thirty nine in Volume 10. Each is a gem that repays careful attention. To pick out but two letters, very briefly, from Vol.9: Letter 18, commends us to Psalm 145 and the benefits of singing it three times a day; Letter 33 gives a wonderful exposition on the theme of worship… ’We are seeking God for certain when, loving him above all, in whatever way he may be known, we devotedly trace him out through all his works and testimonies as though they were his footprints, in order that we may worship him more truly when he is found. A search of this kind is one which is reckoned to free the soul firstly of all its storms and afterwards of its clouds.’

Letters 21, 29, 30 and Appendix D in Vol 10, deal with the nature of our daemons (each soul’s guiding spirit or guardian angel). Please note, daimons have nothing to do with demons!

Through these volumes, one really sees the extent and richness of Ficino's correspondence with many like-minded souls. Indeed in letter 28 he divides his friends into groups, starting with patrons like the great Cosimo and Lorenzo, then Friends through close association and others who have sometimes listened to him teaching. Letter 34 gives some marvellous insights into Plato's Republic and the three lives of the soul: divine, human and bestial.

Marsilio writes to his patron: ‘All my books have been coming to you for a long time now. They are my children, whom I fathered in my youth or when I was a little more mature; and those whom I am fathering even in my old-age still come to you regularly.’ And so, Marsilio laboured throughout his life to know the Truth.

The beehive motif on the frontispiece is apt indeed. If you want to sip nectar, where better to go!'

Past Events

Below this point are all the past events, some with podcasts and/or photographs, and the list continues  under "Older Posts".  Any donations would be gratefully received (see lefthand margin).  Feedback can be given by clicking "Comment".