Watch the video
Find out more about the origins and the history of the School in the 7 minute video below.
During the 1940’s and 50’s the founder of the school, Leon MacLaren, began to develop the Practical Philosophy course out of his study of economics and philosophy.
In the mid 1960’s he was introduced to Shri Shantananda Saraswati, a leading figure of the Vedantic tradition in India.
Over the next 30 years Leon MacLaren paid frequent visits to India; receiving guidance in the study and practice of philosophy from the holy tradition known as Advaita, which literally means ‘non-duality’ or ‘unity’.
Shri Shantananda Saraswati
At the first meeting, Shri Shantananda Saraswati talked about the direction of enquiry and the part he could play in it.
He said “It is not my desire which has to be carried out. The desire, which has to be helped, is that which arises in people looking for the truth, wishing to acquire the divine life, and to make efforts in that direction; and so far as I can, I will always be ready. My door is always open to anyone, known or unknown, eastern or western, irrespective of his upbringing or culture, because in fact we all come from the same stock. As long as that desire and the decision are strong, permanent and stable, the help will always be available.”
The School found this to be so: for the next 30 years he gave fully of his wisdom and guidance upon it through a series of conversations with the School’s leader at the time, Leon MacLaren.
How it works on our courses
A tutor presents material, and leads a discussion based on what arises. Being practical rather than academic, the emphasis is on personal knowledge. Students are encouraged neither to accept nor reject the ideas put forward, but to test them in practice for themselves, in the light of their own experience.
Frequently asked questions
The course is practical in the sense that it is designed to be of direct use in our everyday lives. The intention is to stimulate enquiry and through this expand the way we look at the world and ourselves.
Online or by calling 0121 330 1878.
If you register online, you will receive a confirmation email with your day of attendance. If you register by any means other than online, you will receive a receipt confirming your registration.
Yes, we have a local Birmingham venue where you can attend the course face-to-face. We also have other venues across the UK.
No, all you need is an open and enquiring mind. The course is intended for everyone, regardless of education, occupation, race, political or religious belief.
What some of our students say...
Local face-to-face evening courses available at a choice of locations.
Peace of Mind
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Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living. Meet with like minded individuals.
Offer only £10
Introductory offer – 10 week course only £10. (Normally £65) Limited spaces.
The courses have limited spaces and can get fully booked up in advance, so to save disappointment it is advisable to reserve your place on the next course well in advance.
Some of the themes included in the introductory course: