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May 2022

Welcome to our May newsletter with more exciting online events, beginning with a chance to speak with Bernardo Kastrup, author of More Than Allegory: on religious myth, truth and belief. This will be an informal session: Bernardo will speak impromptu and discuss ideas with participants around his area of interest. Those who have read his book will welcome the opportunity to explore Bernardo’s thought. Please note that as this is an interactive session, it will not be recorded. This is followed by a two-session course with Andrew Baker entitled Francesco Giorgi & The Harmony of the World about the little-known Franciscan friar and author of De harmonia mundi, whose work was discussed in Frances Yates’ The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. The Thomas Traherne Reading Group also meets on Sunday 22nd May.
June brings four enticing sessions with new and returning speakers: first Ravi Ravindra, Emeritus Professor at Dalhousie University and author of numerous books including a translation of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras and comparisons between Indian and Christian mysticism. Then poet James Harpur explores the figure of St Columba, founder of the monastery at Iona, in the poetic or mythic imagination. Later in the month Dragana Van de moortel-Ilić reflects on the iconography associated with the Nativity of Christ and the Dormition of Mary, Mother of God - two key frescoes frequently depicted on the walls of Christian Orthodox churches. Finally Rev. Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg offers a session on Christ as the Bread of Life.
We are hoping to hold another Take A Breath Open Day on Sunday 12th June, when there will be the option of attending the launch in the afternoon of Edi Bilimoria's latest work Unfolding Consciousness. The book launch will be taking place at Fintry but also on Zoom. Watch the website Events page for more information as it becomes available.
The Fintry Trust Library will be open 14.00-16.00 Wednesday 4th May.

More than Allegory
with Bernardo Kastrup
Friday 6th May, 18.00-19.15
Details and Booking

Francesco Giorgi & The Harmony of the World 
with Andrew Baker 
2 sessions 10th & 17th  May, 18.00-19.30
Details and Booking

Thomas Traherne Reading Group
Sunday 22nd May, 16.00-17.30
Details and Booking

The Journey of Inner Transformation
with Ravi Ravindra
Wednesday 1st June, 19.30-21.00
Details and Booking

St Columba and the Poetic Imagination
with James Harpur
Thursday 9th June, 19.00-20.15
Details and Booking

Orthodox Iconography – Nativity and Dormition
with Dragana Van de moortel-Ilić
Tuesday 14th June, 19.00-20.15
Details and Booking

Christ as the Bread of Life
with Reverend Marie-Elsa Roche Bragg
Saturday 18th June, 18.00-19.15
Details and Booking
To book these and future events visit

A Busy April

April was a very engaged month for the Trust, with lots of people being involved one way or another.  On Zoom Mark Vernon completed his much-appreciated 3-week course on Dante, and Jean-Paul and Sally Jeanrenaud led guided meditation sessions keeping in mind Ukraine and other troubled areas of the world. Also present at that meeting was Emily Wilson, a humanitarian aid worker based in Greece, giving illuminating insights into her work. Earlier that same day the Thomas Traherne Reading Group met to discuss D.T. Suzuki speaking about Traherne in his 1954 Living in the Light of Eternity lecture. This month the Trust Librarian Derek Parker added the latest online exhibition to the website covering books by Suzuki held in the Fintry Trust Library.

Meanwhile at Fintry itself Julie and Eleanor Parker led a Silence & Well-Being Retreat, followed by a Take a Breath Open Day attended by 19 people. The Open Day offered visitors the chance to enjoy the peace and tranquility of Fintry with an introduction to the work of the Trust, a tour of the house and grounds and optional sessions on sound healing and on visualisation. Denise Todd, Honorary Secretary of The Arts & Crafts Movement in Surrey also attended prior to bringing her group for a talk on Fintry with tour and tea on Wednesday 27th July.

The gardens are looking immaculate right now. Following lockdown we are getting back into the rhythm of retreats and our gardeners David and Jason Mattingley are growing more fruit and vegetables for the kitchen, as well as creating a new herb garden. Housekeeper Emma Hackett has also used the quieter time to work her aesthetic magic to transform most of the bedrooms.

Calendar Note: Lieh-tzu, Taoist philosopher (25th May)

Lieh-tzu (Liezi 列子), presumed author of the book bearing that name, was traditionally thought to have lived in the 4th or 5th century B.C., but modern scholarship suggests that the Lieh-tzu (or True Book of the Expanding Emptiness) dates from around the 3rd century A.D.  Along with the Tao-te ching (Daodejing) and the Chuang-tzu (Zhuangzi), the Lieh-tzu is considered one of the three Taoist Classics. It is distinguished by its many stories, which are vivid, lively and often humorous.

While the Chuang-tzu, written hundreds of years earlier, includes parts which mention Lieh-tzu, what little we can attribute to the Taoist author-philosopher Lieh-tzu comes from the Lieh-tzu itself (portions of which, however, are derived from Chuang Tzu and other works or are of questionable authorship). It indicates that he lived unnoticed for forty years on a game preserve before relocating when a famine occurred, after which he travelled through various parts of China, giving advice and instruction.  He had a number of disciples, who remained with him in his later life. 

In the Lieh-tzu, to live in accord with the Way (the Tao), is to live in accord with nature, to act spontaneously, to cease making distinctions, to refrain from imposing one’s will, and to return to stillness.

‘Can one succeed in possessing the Way?’

‘Your own body is not your possession.  How can you possess the Way?’
‘It is the shape lent to you by heaven and earth.  Your life is not your possession; it is harmony between your forces, granted for a time by heaven and earth…You are the breath of heaven and earth which goes to and fro; how can you ever possess it?’  (Lieh-tzu, Chapter 1)
-    RKC

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Festival Calendar May

Integral Wisdom: New course offering 'Myth, Mind and Magic'now LIVE

This month the Fintry Trust has been pleased to welcome learners to Myth, Mind and Magic, an engaging new course offering on its new online learning platform 'Integral Wisdom'.

Integral Wisdom courses are complementary to the existing offerings by the Fintry Trust and draw upon the world’s wisdom traditions to explore timeless Ideas and Ideals and their relevance in today’s world. The platform is open to seekers from all walks of life and will offer a series of courses, engaging talks, guided meditations and self-assessments uploaded throughout the year and beyond, which you can watch in your own time.

We invite you to explore the perennial questions now in Myth, Mind and Magic, a new course led by writer Murray Morison, which explores the meanings of some of the world's most ancient myths. 

You can access the first module of this course for 60 days just £1. To learn more and sign up please visit

We also welcome you to follow Integral Wisdom online at:
Twitter: @Integral_Wisdom
Instagram: @IntegralWisdom

The Fintry Studio - available for hire

Our subscribers might be interested to know that on our website there is a listing of upcoming retreats and Studio events organised by independent hirers, being held at Fintry. The listings page is here

The Building Body Intelligence classes currently listed are being held in our newly-built and well-resourced Studio. To find out more or to book please contact the organiser directly.

More Information

For details of the programme of events, please contact the Administrator by email.

To enquire about hiring Fintry for a residential retreat, or to book the studio for a regular class, please enquire by email.

Any contributions/suggestions/questions regarding the content of this newsletter, please contact the Manager.

And if you've missed a newsletter, find them all on the News page of our website.
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