Our Approach to Self-Development
Our self-development approach is summarised in the two diagrams above.
On the left, the Methodology we introduce on the first session of our Introductory course. While the introduction of Concepts (such as philosophical principles) is important, this is just the beginning of the learning process. Crucial to developing Understanding is firstly Practice by the students, followed by Review within the group of what was discovered and experienced.
On the right, what we call our 'four pillars'. These are introduced gradually and eventually make up a complete system for self-development the School has used for decades.
Meet – We meet in groups where we ask questions, share observations and experiences and learn with one another. Individual study can support, but never replaces our work in the group.
Work – Understanding comes from putting principles into practice and discovering their value for ourselves; working with and for others in the School accelerates and deepens this learning. Our Mindful Working sessions, specially developed here in St Albans, provide an opportunity to practise both when the group meets and in the daily life at home and work.
Meditate – A daily practice of mantra meditation brings deeper rest and calmness, balance and equanimity in our various roles in the world and a more measured life in general. Students continuing with us generally take up meditation during their second year. Up until that point, the Awareness Exercise provides an excellent foundation practice.
Retreat – Meeting, studying, meditating and working together for a day, a weekend or a week in a tranquil setting helps broaden and deepen a student's personal development. See Study Days and Retreats.