Ibn ‘Arabi Study Retreat: The Ground of Beneficence
August 26 – September 2, 2017
Meaning and relevance in the ‘Twenty-Nine Pages’ and the chapter on Loqman from the ‘Fusus al Hikam’ led by Peter Coates at the Chisholme Institute, Scottish Borders, UK
Ibn ‘Arabi wrote “Retreat brings knowledge of the world”.
This course, in the spirit of active and intentional retreat aims to open a space for real knowledge to emerge through focused study, spiritual practice, meditation, work and private contemplation. All of these dimensions are held in equal regard as each is a direct way to be of service to Reality, to our fellow human beings and to the world.
The first three to four days will be spent revisiting the Twenty-Nine Pages in which we will seek to uncover its relevance and meaning. This will be followed by two to three days reading the short chapter on the prophet Loqman from the Fusus al Hikam in the light of the metaphysics of Beneficence.
The ‘Fusus al-Hikam’, or ‘Bezels of Wisdom’, is a major work by Ibn ‘Arabi dating from the 13th century. Its theme is the infinite wisdom that is at once unique in itself and many faceted in its representation of the line of prophets from Adam to Mohammed. It is simultaneously an explanation of the profoundest meaning of human existence and the possibility of its realisation.
This course is somewhat of an experimental development combining what some would see as a more-than-metaphysical perspective with the ‘Wisdom of Beneficence’.
Read Peter Coates’ short review of the Twenty-Nine Pages on the Beshara Publications website.
Timetable & Location
This is a residential retreat at the Chisholme Institute, starting at 7pm on Saturday, 26th August and running until 2pm on Saturday, 2nd September. The timetable will comprise meditation, study, conversation, devotional practice and practical work in the house, kitchen or garden, all in the spirit of service.
The location is in the grounds of Chisholme House, a beautiful estate in the moors of the Scottish Borders, an hour and a half from Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle.
The Chisholme Institute is a school dedicated to exploring the essential unity of all existence, the true nature of the self, and how our understanding of this informs how we are in the world.
Peter Coates is author of Ibn ‘Arabi and Modern Thought: The History of Taking Metaphysics Seriously. He graduated from the University of Lancaster and researched at Keble College, University of Oxford. He was Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Dept of Psychology, at The University of Lincoln. Peter has been connected with the dissemination of Ibn ‘Arabi’s universal perspective for many years. He has given talks on Ibn ‘Arabi and Plato, Ibn ‘Arabi and Kierkegaard, and Ibn ‘Arabi and William James. He has also written on Ibn ‘Arabi and the Ecological Crisis. He served as a Director of the Chisholme Institute for many years and helped supervise the six-month winter retreats at Chisholme. He has travelled, by invitation, to Australia, America, Morocco and a number of UK destinations giving talks and facilitating courses.
About Ibn 'Arabi
Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (1165–1240)
Known as the greatest mystical genius of the Arabs, Ibn ‘Arabi was born in Murcia in south-eastern Spain, at a time of the last great flowering of Andalucian culture under Islamic rule. From the earliest age he showed evidence of an extraordinary visionary capacity, and while still a teenager, had a seminal vision of the three major prophets of the West, Jesus, Moses and Muhammad. He traveled widely in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia Minor, eventually settling in Damascus for the last 20 years of his life. He wrote a series of inspired works, some 300 in number ranging from short treatises and mystical odes to the 37-volume encyclopaedia Meccan Revelations (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya) and his spiritual masterpiece on the prophetic wisdoms, Fusus al-Hikam.
Ibn ‘Arabi’s reach was immense and his influence vast during his lifetime and beyond. His works inspired the great civilizations of the Mughals in India, the Ottomans in Turkey, the civilisations of Indonesia and China right down to the present day. He occupies a status equivalent to Shakespeare in the realm of English language, but Ibn ‘Arabi’s wealth of meanings extends from the interior unknown essential reality to the most explicit outward expression without ever compromising the principle of unity.
With recent translations into European languages a new era of influence is noticeably and interestingly beginning to unfold. The Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society was founded in 1977 to promote a greater understanding of the work of Ibn ‘Arabi and his followers. It is an international association with its headquarters in Oxford, England and a branch in Berkeley, California.
Booking & Fees
Shared double or triple bedroom: £325
Single room (when available): £375
*Accommodation and all meals are included.
**A non-refundable deposit of £60 is required in advance; the balance is payable on arrival.
The Chisholme Institute tries to ensure that people are not excluded for financial reasons and may be able to offer a reduced fee to those who need it.
Course / Event location
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September 15th – 22nd, 2018
A week dedicated to studying largely unpublished material by Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi. This includes an outline of a cosmological framework for understanding the place of the human being in the universe, and consequently, our correct attitude towards other living beings.
September 12, 2018 (6.30pm)
A talk by Jane Clark exploring some of the practical implications of Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabī’s teaching, and asking how can we integrate these into our lives in the 21st century?
September 19–23, 2018
Scottish Borders, UK
A five-day study tour in the North of England led by Katherine Tiernan, author of ‘Place of Repose; a tale of St Cuthbert’s last journey’.
October 6th – 7th, 2018
The Abbey, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, UK.
A residential weekend studying one of the major works of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi. Facilitated by the co-translator Cecilia Twinch.