Events Programme



Monday 5 September

Exploring Eternal Wisdom East and West


In the chair Swami Ambikananda

Venue  Brunswick Ltd. (formerly The Lincoln Centre)

Doors open 5.40pm

Lecture 6.15pm – 7.45pm

Eternal wisdom is associated with the quality of being. Eternity is orthogonal to time sequence and Eternal wisdom can manifest itself at any time in time, but it is not restricted to time. Many aspects of Eternal Wisdom are common to all spiritual traditions, especially in the mystical and experiential domain calling for the journey of evolution towards oneness with the Highest Reality.  But there are some important differences in the philosophical and theological expressions in the two main streams of spirituality—Abrahamic and Indic. For example, in the Indian traditions there is no creation myth.  Instead, there is an emanation myth.  Brahman did not create the world; IT became the world.  Everything and every creature has a particle of Brahman in their depth and the call is to evolve towards that Supreme identity when a truly exalted sage can genuinely say, ‘I am Brahman.’  In the Abrahamic traditions, such an utterance is regarded as blasphemy and heretical since no creature can be like the Creator.

Another consequence of the basic difference mentioned above is that in the Indian tradition there is a repeated emphasis on oneness of all whereas in the Abrahamic tradition the emphasis tends to be on the uniqueness of each being.

RAVI RAVINDRA is an author and Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served as professor in comparative religion, philosophy, and physics.  He was a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the founding director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge.  He has published several books, including fresh translations of and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.

Swami Ambikananda is the principal founder of The Traditional Yoga Association.

Admission free

Please bring cash if you wish to purchase books by Ravi Ravindra.


Monday 10 October

The Rainbow Body in Tibetan Dzogchen


In the chair Professor John Carey

Venue  The Royal Asiatic Society

Doors open 6.15pm

Lecture  6.45pm – 8.30pm

Dzogchen is a special doctrinal and contemplative approach found both within the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism and the indigenous Bön tradition of Tibet.

One of the unique and very striking features of this approach is the attainment of the rainbow body (Tib. ’ja’ lus), a sign of accomplishment in specific Dzogchen meditative practices, whereby the physical body shrinks and dissolves at the time of death, accompanied by rainbow lights.

This lecture will explore the meaning of the rainbow body phenomenon within the context of Dzogchen traditions of contemplative practice and will also look at the phenomenon from the perspective of comparative mysticism.

DYLAN ESLER is a scholar and translator of Tibetan Buddhist texts. He holds a PhD in Languages and Literature from the University of Louvain and an MA in Buddhist Studies from SOAS, London. He currently works at the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) of the Ruhr-University Bochum and is also affiliated with the Oriental Institute of Louvain (CIOL). His research interest focuses on early Nyingma expositions of Dzogchen and Tantra. Articles of his have appeared in the Revue d’Etudes Tibétaines, the Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Temenos Academy Review, the BuddhistRoad Paper series and Sophia: The Journal of Traditional Studies. His annotated translation of Nubchen Sangye Yeshe’s Samten Migdrön, a seminal 10th-century text on Buddhist contemplation, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.


£8 or £5 Members of the Temenos Academy/Concessions

Full-time students with student ID card FREE


Monday 17 October

Gold in the Crucible: Futuwwa, Dante, and the Alchemy of Soul-Making


In the chair Julia Cleave

Venue  Brunswick Ltd (formerly The Lincoln Centre)

Doors open 5.40pm

Lecture  6.15 – 7.45pm

‘Learn Futuwwa from your wife’, is the unexpected advice given by Bāyazīd al-Bisṭāmī to Aḥmad ibn Khiḍruya, a respected Futuwwa leader in Balkh in the ninth century, especially considering that this ancient chivalric tradition, which honours the prophet Abraham as founder, is usually associated with male courage and valour. Yet around the same time, Fatima of Nishapur was initiating the Egyptian Sufi, Dhū’l-Nūn al-Misrī, into this spiritual art after they met at Mecca. Less well-known, however, is the fusion of Futuwwa with alchemy’s feminine rebirth mysteries, which this talk will explore, including in Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī’s Mathnawī and Muḥyīddīn Ibn ʿArabī’s encounter with the chivalric Youth (fatā) at the Black Stone of the Kaaba in Mecca. Highlighted, too, will be the parallels with Dante Alighieri’s transformative journey to a ‘noble’ life in the Vita Nova, inspired by his love for Beatrice. The talk will be illustrated with alchemical imagery.

ALISON M. ROBERTS studied Ancient Egyptian and Akkadian languages at Oxford University where she received her doctorate in 1984 for her thesis on the goddess Hathor. Since then, she has written and published a quartet of books on the Divine Feminine and the roots of Hermetic alchemy in ancient Egypt (1995–2019). More recently, her love of Egyptian alchemy has taken her to Islamic mysticism, and this talk is based on two separate articles she has written: one is in two parts and due to appear in the Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabi Society (volumes 71 and 72), the other in the Italian journal Oikosophia.


£8 or £5 Members of the Temenos Academy/Concessions

Full-time students with student ID card FREE


Thursday 27 October

British Visionary Artists
David Jones’s Magic Casements


In the chair Hilary Davies

Venue  The Royal Asiatic Society

Doors open 6.15

Lecture  6.45pm – 8.30pm


£8 or £5 Members of the Temenos Academy/Concessions

Full-time students with student ID card FREE


Thursday 3 November

Universal Symbolism: The Metaphysical Centre


In the chair Christine Rhone

Venue  The Royal Asiatic Society

Doors open 6.15pm

Lecture 6.45pm – 8.30pm

Nicholas Cope writes:

Professor Keith Critchlow regularly referred to the centre of the circle as ‘the unseen or invisible God.’ My first questions to Keith regarding this were in 1982 when he became my personal tutor during my first-degree course in Fine Art/Painting. The ideas we discussed over the ensuing years, concerning the universal nature of geometry and symbolism, form the seed of my illustrated presentation. 

The metaphysical principle inherent in the symbolic relationship between the Centre (as origin) and the circumference (as manifestation) is essentially discernment between Reality (Ātma) and illusion (Māyā). The Centre is the unconditioned Principle which is both transcendent to and immanent in the circumference – the manifest world. Thus, this perennial perspective attunes us to the sacred in the natural order. The Centre is the principial point of departure of all things and the object of return, which is identity with the Supreme Self and liberation from the bonds of individual and temporal existence.

NICHOLAS COPE is an artist, geometer, and author, whose work is devoted to the Sophia Perennis as embodied in the symbolic geometry of both Traditional Art a


Wednesday 9 November

British Visionary Artists
Christopher Wood: Talent and Conflict


In the chair  Hilary Davies

Venue  The Royal Asiatic Society

Doors open 6.15pm

Lecture 6.45pm – 8.30pm

£8 or £5 Members of the Temenos Academy/Concessions
Full-time students with student ID card FREE


Wednesday 16 November

British Visionary Artists
The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Stanley Spencer as a Religious Painter


In the chair  Hilary Davies

Venue  The Royal Asiatic Society

Doors open 6.15pm

Lecture 6.45pm – 8.30pm

£8 or £5 Members of the Temenos Academy/Concessions
Full-time students with student ID card FREE


Wednesday 23 November

Cosmos, City, and Soul in Plato’s Laws


In the chair  Ian Skelly

Venue  The Royal Asiatic Society

Doors open 6.15pm

Lecture 6.45pm – 8.30pm

£8 or £5 Members of the Temenos Academy/Concessions
Full-time students with student ID card FREE


ADVANCE BOOKING for ALL events  to

An email confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of your booking. We would be grateful if you could please let us know if you are unable to attend the talk as places are limited.  Thank you!

TELEPHONE:   (01233) 813663


Please do not attend if you or a member of your household has tested positive for Covid-19/has symptoms associated with the virus/are feeling unwell.




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Endless Voyaging: Spiritual Journeying in ʿAttar and Ibn ʿArabī 



Wednesday 11 May 2022

In association with The University of Wales Trinity Saint David Harmony Programme

The Learning of the Imagination: Legend & Inspiration

A STUDY DAY with Professor John Carey, Sandra Hill and Katy Cawkwell


Thursday 5 May 2022

The Spiritual Significance of Movements in Odissi Indian Temple Dance

a talk and performance by



Wednesday 27 April 2022

Christian Wonder Tales

An evening of stories told by








[Image: Part of a larger Batik painting, The Holy City, by Thetis Blacker]






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