Upcoming Events

9-10 July Mindfulness and Compassion with Barbara Boxhall click here for details

Fri 2 - Sun 4 Sept The Quest for the Grail and the Holy Spirit click here for details

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

Fri 18-Sun 20 Nov Patanjali and the Yoga of Relationship 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 (to see more of Philippa playing the psaltery in the Fintry grounds, go to our facebook page).

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

Mindfulness and Compassion - 9-10 July 2016

Join Barbara Boxhall for a residential weekend at Fintry focusing on 'Mindfulness and Compassion'. Barbara writes:

This residential weekend is an opportunity to experience the life-enhancing benefits of living truly in the moment with deep self acceptance.  It offers a quality of experience that develops over time. When we allow ourselves this time, we gain insight into how we connect with life, and  learn to be with ourselves and others in a clear and compassionate way.  It will incorporate many different practices including guided seated mindful and compassion meditations, mindful movement, guided walks, time for quiet and time for informal discussion. It will provide a pause in your life, a chance to meet like-minded people and a welcome haven for rest and recuperation where you will also be gaining valuable skills for life.

Course fee:£165.00
Course Date: July 9-10th (arrival Saturday 10.30am, depart Sunday 4pm)

To book and for more details contact Barbara on 01243 785333 (mobile: 07809 655453) or email barbara@stillness.co.uk

Barbara is currently in training for a new teaching qualification to teach an eight-week course in 'Mindful Self-Compassion' after studying with Aberdeen University. She is a highly qualified teacher of Mindfulness and a counsellor of 25 years’ experience. People who came on a weekend led by Barbara said:

‘I stand by my feeling that your mindfulness retreat is the best thing I have ever done.  I feel very comfortable with the concepts and find practicing mindfulness life-enhancing.’ Linda, London

‘You have opened my eyes to a new and exciting way of living and your kindness, quiet dignity and thoughtful guidance were an inspiration and a blessing.  It was a shock to realise the lack of compassion I have had for myself until now.  And to register how loud that nagging voice had been in my head.  It is also a joy to realise that I have all the tools to find a better way of living.’ Clare, London

The Quest for the Grail & the Holy Spirit 2-4 Sept 2016

A weekend with Anne Baring exploring an alternative version of the Jesus story: What is the Holy Grail? Was it the Cup of the Last Supper or a body of sacred texts handed down the generations as a most precious record of the teaching of Jesus imparted to His closest disciples? And what is the connection between the teaching of Jesus, his wife and co-teacher Mary Magdalene, long-lost Gnostic texts, the Grail Legends and the Cathar Church of the Holy Spirit established in the Languedoc area of France during the 12th and 13th centuries and whose symbol was a sacred Cup?

Anne Baring, Jungian analyst and author will attempt to answer these questions during this residential weekend seminar, which takes place at Fintry Retreat House in the beautiful and peaceful setting of the Surrey Hills near Godalming.

Fee: £235 (full board), £185 non-residential.
For more details and to reserve a place, e-mail fintry.administrator@btconnect.com
+44 (0)1428 682621

Fintry, Brook, Godalming, Surrey GU8 5UQ

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

Patanjali and The Yoga of Relationship - 18-20 November

What is the mind and how can we relate to it? Can we study and understand it? Can we control it? How do we relate to what is outside of us, and what is within? These questions and more are all addressed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. This work is considered to be a text of the highest authority on the path of Raja Yoga, the Royal Path to Union with God.

The Sutras put forward a series of eight steps, taking our relationships from the external world to what is within and above us, and culminating in Samadhi, the state of super-consciousness. This residential weekend, led by Sarah Shaw and Frances Eley, will look at these steps and at some of the Sutras in detail. There will be plenty of opportunity for informal discussion, as well as optional asana practice.

Fee: £180 (full board), £144 non-residential. For more details or to reserve a place, e-mail fintry.administrator@btconnect.com or call 01428 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".

Druid Wisdom (14 May 2016)

Modern Druidism has a recorded history of about three hundred years, and is inspired by the little we know about the ancient Druids. But what wisdom can we find today in the teachings of the Druids, ancient and modern?

Philip Carr-Gomm, the author of a number of books on Druidry, and leader of the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids, spoke about the wisdom Druidry can provide in the contemporary world and looked at the way Druid teachings are organised into three streams, each with their own special fields of enquiry, and into various bodies of animal, plant and seasonal lore.

Click here for a recording of Philip's talk