Beshara emerged out of the heady and experimental days of Great Britain in the 1960s. Amidst myriad attempts to expand consciousness and find freedom, truth and meaning in life, a loose-knit group of people began to meet more or less regularly to meditate, study and talk about spiritual texts, particularly those from Sufi traditions.
It was during this time that Bulent Rauf appeared, a man of remarkable clarity and insight, steeped in the spiritual traditions of his native Turkey, yet very much a man of the world. Bulent envisaged an education for these Western seekers, not tied to any one form of belief, religious or otherwise, dedicated to a direct engagement with Reality. He called it Beshara.
Over the years, Beshara centres were established and courses run in Scotland, England, Australia, America, and elsewhere. Hundreds of students have spent periods of as little as a weekend and as long as eight months engaged with mind, heart and body in the focused work which characterises a Beshara course. For many, it has become a life-long process of education, its principles assimilated into daily life as the centre point of their personal spiritual journey.
The courses offer students an in-depth study of the principles of the unity of being.
This study focuses initially on the works of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (1165-1240) a medieval mystic from Andalusia, known as the Sheikh al Akbar (the greatest teacher) in the East, and as Doctor Maximus in the west. The subsequent reading of other mystical texts enables students to recognise these same principles at the heart of all the great spiritual traditions.
In 1977 students from Beshara established the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society and in 1998 founded Anqa Publishing, both of which have succeeded in making the life and works of Ibn ‘Arabi and his school much more widely known and accepted.
In recent years, much of the new interest in Beshara has come from places like Turkey and Indonesia, Muslim majority countries where people are seeking a different approach to their religion, independent of dogma.
Since the 1960s and ’70s, globalisation and modern technology make us more aware of how we are all connected, but also more sensitive to the multiplicity of different perspectives, histories, narratives and beliefs which define us in distinction to each other. These perspectives can be seen as simply two faces of a single Reality known variously as God, Allah, Buddha Nature, or even simply The Universe. According to the good news of Beshara there can be no greater satisfaction of the heart than to come to know oneself in the light of this truth.
Today, Beshara courses, events and study groups are regularly held in various locations in different parts of the world. Beshara Publications offers a unique catalogue of timeless books about mankind’s place in the universe. Beshara magazine is published online, and this site hosts an ever-expanding collection of talks, papers, conversations and recordings, which explore the expressions of essential spiritual wisdom in many areas of life.
Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to find out more, attend a course or an event, or contact someone holding informal study meetings near you. We would be delighted to hear from you.