The Beshara Lecture is an annual event organised by the Beshara Trust. Each year, a speaker is invited to present a paper on the ways in which a deep understanding of unity illuminates different areas of human knowledge, informing their research, practice or personal contemplation.

2017: George Pattison

Nothingness and Gratitude: Themes in Spiritual Life

George Pattison (1640 Chair of Divinity at the University of Glasgow) explores nothingness as one of the key terms of the Western mystical tradition. Mystical texts portray the self as called upon to become or to recognise that it is nothing before God, who is all in all. Yet, at the same time, Christianity, like other monotheistic faiths, calls on humans to ‘give thanks always’ (St Paul), suggesting that, in some way, we stand over against God and are free to accept or refuse the gifts God bestows upon us. Nothingness and gratitude in this way illustrate two different aspects or movements of spiritual life and the lecture explores the relationship between them with reference to major figures of the Abrahamic traditions.

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.

2014: Jane Carroll

A Heart Capable of Every Form: Atheism, Agnosticism and Belief 

(video in two parts)

Read the transcript


2016: Professor Alan Williams

Opening The Eye of the Heart in the Mirror of Religious Truth

Professor Williams (University of Manchester) shows how Rumi, of all spiritual teachers, gives perhaps the greatest emphasis to the transformative and healing power of love as a divine ‘incarnation’ in the human heart.

2012: Stephen Hirtenstein

Human Being / Being Human: Awareness, Ascension and the Attainment of True Happiness 

Stephen Hirtenstein is editor of the Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society and co-founder of Anqa Publishing. This recording is of a talk at Chisholme House in March 2013, which was slightly different to the 2012 Beshara Lecture delivered in London and Edinburgh.


2015: Nikos Yiangou

Reflections on the Impact of an Integral Perspective

2010: Jane Clark

Educating the Heart: Establishing a Spiritual Perspective in the Modern World

Jane Clark has been studying Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought for nearly thirty years and is particularly interested in the way that his ideas have spread throughout the world. She is most concerned with the universal appeal of his writings, especially as revealed in his Fusus al-hikam.

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.



During courses at the Beshara School at Chisholme House (now known as the Chisholme Institute), guest speakers delivered papers to students and members of the public. A selection of these talks are available as audio recordings below. 

Open Heart Surgery: the Operation of Love in Rumi’s Masnavi

by Professor Alan Williams

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.


The Singleness of Being Within the Context of the Work of St. Gregory of Nissa

by Edward Hallinan

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.


The Art of the Insoluble

by Colin Tudge

Ibn ‘Arabi and the Ecological Crisis: a Merciful Nemesis?

by Peter Coates

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.


Meister Eckhart

by Adam Dupré

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.


The Vision of Rumi: The Perspective of the Eye of the Heart in the Masnavi

by Professor Alan Williams

Sadr al-dīn Qunawī: His importance to us, and his relationship to Rūmī

by Jane Clark

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.


The Modern Mindfulness Movement

by Alison Yiangou

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.



J.G. Bennett: The Meaning of ‘Hu’

This was given at Beshara, Swyre Farm on 21 December 1972. Here, as the listener, you are transported into the living presence of an extraordinary man, who invites you to bear witness with him to a mystery, which is literally ‘beyond words’.

Click here for a transcript of this talk, which was published in Intimations by Beshara Publications.

This recording is © JG Bennett Foundation. Other talks by J.G. Bennett can be found at