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.

~ Beshara Lecture 2017 ~

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.

~ Beshara Lecture 2016 ~

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

Professor Alan 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.

~ Beshara Lecture 2015 ~

Is a New Consciousness Emerging?
Reflections on the Impact of an Integral Perspective

Every era embodies a perspective or worldview. In a time of profound change, what is the worldview that describes our current era? As we look back at the stages of our development in history with an ever-sharper lens and contemplate our present and our future, we ask: is a new consciousness emerging as we transition to an increasingly inclusive and holistic worldview? Nikos Yiangou reviews some of the ideas of thinkers such as Ken Wilber, Jean Gebser, Michael Murphy, Teilhard de Chardin and Sri Aurobindo, and suggests further ways of advancing integral thought by reviewing the work of one of the greatest early integral thinkers, Sufi mystic and spiritual giant, Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi, and his teachings on the Logos as a principle for emergence.

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.

~ Beshara Lecture 2014 ~

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

by Jane Carroll

(Video in two parts)

Click here for a transcript of this lecture.

~ Beshara Lecture 2012 ~

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.


~ Beshara Lecture 2010 ~

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.


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.


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.


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

by Professor Alan Williams


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