The Ways of the Heart

7th September – 13th December 2018

A 12-week online course using the Zoom seminar platform.

Course Description

“You start at a point beyond religion and go inwards from there.” So said Bulent Rauf, consultant to the Beshara Trust from 1971 to 1987.  His striking and intriguing statement is the starting point for the Beshara online course ‘The Ways of the Heart’, whose aim is to accord appropriate recognition to the one reality that underlies all religious and secular beliefs and to allow for the exploration of inner meanings.

‘The Ways of the Heart’ course is designed to facilitate the education of the deepest aspects of us. We are looking to awaken the identity that the 13th Century poet and mystic Jalāluddīn Rūmī voiced as: “I am not of the East nor of the West. My place is the placeless, my trace is the traceless,” and also when he says: “I am pure Light.”

The aim of this course of study and discussion is to open up a transformation in perspective. It is based on a series of essential themes that are relevant, contemporary and timeless. There is an aspect of ourselves that longs to escape what the scientist John G Bennett memorably called the ‘prison of consciousness’, and to find instead its own total liberation. As Rumi himself put it at the beginning of his epic Mathnawi: “Burst your bonds and be free!”

Students of this online Beshara course are invited to study in the context of the remembrance of the most important point for people who want to taste such freedom; that there is in the whole of existence only one, unique, infinite, absolute existence.

‘The Ways of the Heart’ is for those who want to reach an all-inclusive point of view by knowing themselves fully, in a way that has been hinted at as being from above the apex of a pyramid. This view encompasses both the multiple routes up from the base as well as the apex itself.

At the beginning of the six month residential courses at the Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education from which some materials used on this course are drawn, students are reminded: “We are not here to look and search for God; we are committed to seeing God’s vision of Himself.”

You can tell from this that the education of Beshara is about a way of learning that aims to bring out what is within, rather than being an accumulation of ideas or information. We say ‘of Beshara’ because this ancient word, Beshara, includes in its meaning the ‘good news’ of the availability of an education that makes clear the existence and role of the human spirit and repoints humanity to its original universality and singularity.

Self-knowledge is not something new, but is to be found afresh by each and every generation. It is waiting to be discovered in the meanings that have come down to us in the teachings of masters of wisdom throughout the ages. At its core such knowledge is timeless, but it comes to us wrapped up in many different modes of expression due to its appearance in many different times and places.

The course will explore seven themes, and the materials for each theme will be sent three days before the first seminar. Each theme, which lasts 12 days, will be comprised of two Zoom online seminars – one to begin and one to end the theme. Between the two seminars there will be a course forum for discussion and reflection on the particular theme.

Each Zoom seminar will have two facilitators to guide and support the understanding of content and its applicability to everyday life. Participants are urged to fully engage with the materials, contribute to the forum and complete a short essay, set of notes or presentation on one of the course themes.

Zoom is free to join – participants will need to download the Zoom App to participate in the course.

Course material will be shared as a PDF / Word file each week to be studied in preparation for the interactive Zoom seminars, and there will be a private Facebook group for exploring ideas as they arise.


Friday 7th September:  Theme 1 – Know Yourself
Tuesday 11th September: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
12th – 19th September: Forum discussion
Thursday 20th September: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Friday 23rd September: Theme 2 – The Place of Asking and Requesting – Aspects of Prayer and Praise
Tuesday 25th September: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
26th September – 3rd October: Forum discussion
Thursday 4th October: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Friday 5th October: Theme 3 – Coming to a Sense of Humility
Tuesday 9th October: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
10th – 17th October: Forum discussion
Thursday 18th October: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Friday 19th October: Theme 4 – The One Calling the Many
Tuesday 23rd October: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
24th – 31st October: Forum discussion
Thursday 1st November: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Friday 2nd November: Theme 5 – The Role of Service in Life
Tuesday 6th November: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
7th – 14th November: Forum discussion
Thursday 15th November: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Friday 16th November: Theme 6 – The Contraries
Tuesday 20th November: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
21st – 28th November: Forum discussion
Thursday 29th November: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Friday 30th November: Theme 7 – The Essential – A Love Affair
Tuesday 4th December: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)
5th – 12th December: Forum discussion
Thursday 13th December: Zoom seminar (20:00 – 21:00 GMT)

Booking & Fees

Course fees:

  • £60 payable prior to the course commencement
  • £40 concessions (available for the unwaged or low income)
  • Two Bursaries are also available.
  • Payment can be accepted by Paypal or bank transfer.

Please note the course is limited to 14 participants.

For further information, questions and prospectus, please contact:

John Brown at

Know Yourself

October 14 & 28, 2018
November 11 & 25, 2018
December 9, 2018
January 13 & 27, 2019
(11am – 1pm)
The Salisbury Centre, Edinburgh, UK

Exploring the Oneness of Being through oneself

Coming to Know Edwin Muir

November 10, 2018 (2–5pm)
The October Gallery, London

Contemplative study of a few poems by the 20th Century Scottish Poet Edwin Muir

Speaker: Robert-Louis Abrahamson

Akong: A Remarkable Life

November 28, 2018 (7pm)
Heart of Hawick Cinema & Theatre, Hawick, Scottish Borders

The award-winning documentary on the inspirational life of Akong Rinpoche, co-founder of the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West, at Eskdalemuir. Introduced by Executive Producer Vin Harris, and followed by a panel discussion with Q&A. Proceeds to the Akong Memorial Foundation.

Ibn ‘Arabi Study Afternoon

December 1, 2018 (2–5pm)
The October Gallery, London

An afternoon seminar studying the chapter on ‘The Wisdom of Being in the Word of David’ from Ibn ‘Arabi’s Fusus al-Hikam (The Bezels of Wisdom).

The Ways of the Heart

September – December 2018
Hosted by The Beshara Trust

A 12-week themed online course using the Zoom seminar platform.

The Chisholme Institute

Discovering Unity: One Week Retreats

Dates for 2019 to be confirmed

Chisholme Institute, Scottish Borders, UK

The Chisholme Institute

Discovering Unity: Introductory Weekends

Dates for 2019 to be confirmed

Chisholme Institute, Scottish Borders, UK

How far and how deep can you travel in just two days?

Mindfulness and Self Discovery Retreat Course

October 1 – November 25, 2018
Chisholme Institute, Scottish Borders, UK

This being human is a guest-house. Every morning a new arrival…‘  An 8-week in-depth foundation in mindfulness with 7-day retreat.

40 Day Intensive Retreat

October 15 – November 23, 2018
Chisholme Institute, Scottish Borders, UK

An in-depth retreat where everything fully supports each individual’s inner self discovery and exploration of their relationship with others and the world from a unified perspective.

Woodland Yurt Summer Retreats

June 29 – July 6, 2019
August 24 – August 31, 2019
Chisholme Institute, Scottish Borders, UK

7-day retreats without electricity, phone reception, and contact with the outside world – living in yurts in the forest.