CHISHOLME AND SHERBORNE: THE INTRODUCTION OF STRUCTURED, RESIDENTIAL COURSES
Isobel Jeffery-Street [+]
Once Bulent Rauf was constantly in residence at the Beshara Centre at Swyre Farm as its consultant (from the winter of 1972/73), it began to become apparent to him that the esoteric education offered at the centre required a more formal structure. Up until that time, when the teachings of Ibn ‘Arabi began to become central study material at the school through his introduction of The Twenty-Nine Pages and the Wisdom of the Prophets,1 a wide range of spiritual and religious themes had previously been offered for study there. But once he had established the focus of study on Ibn ‘Arabi, many less interested students dropped away. This was when Bulent Rauf devised the rst long residential course, which still follows a similar structure today to that which he inaugurated in 1975. That core intensive course was built around the four spiritual disciplines that were already central to the work of residents at Swyre Farm—work, study, mediation and devotional practice. This chapter discusses the structure and detail of the new intensive courses, beginning with the acquisition of two new sites for the courses.