2016 Summer Studies by David Lewis

As a long-time student of Buddhadharma, I look to the training and the basic principles of spiritual inquiry that I learned at WG from PB and Anthony as the foundation for practice and insight. With that in mind, I returned to WG after many years to attend this year’s Summer Studies program on “Time and Paul Brunton”. The topic of time is crucial in Buddhadharma as well as other traditions, so I looked forward to a provocative program. I was not disappointed and in fact pleasantly unsurprised to find the WG practice of inquiry still vigorous and inspiring.

 

Setting the stage for the weekend on Thursday evening, Herb Shapiro oversaw a lively, wide-ranging discussion on time rooted in The Wisdom of the Overself. Friday morning, Dave Gallagher led a read-around and commentary weaving quotes on time from PB and Plotinus. On Thursday evening, Richard Goldman guided a close reading of K.C. Bhattacharyya’s insights into Kant’s “Transcendental Method”, a vital reference point for Western understanding of time, space and causality as mental constructs. I missed Saturday’s classes, scheduled to be: Michael and Harriet Eisman on chronobiology, dream and philosophic time; Randy Cash and Paul Horgan on time in PB, astrology and the I Ching. Sundaymorning’s session, led by Lou DeSarno and Helen Perl, dove into the deep waters of Einsteinian relativity and its philosophical implications, drawing from PB, Vic Mansfield’s clear exposition and other sources. Andrew Holmes rounded out the weekend on Sunday evening with a brief survey of the Buddhist approach via the Tibetan tradition and a reading from Sōtō Zen founder Dōgen.

The WG summer studies format is ideal for someone like me, who is not regularly attending classes, to get a concentrated dose of the WG “method” in a short time. I also appreciated renewing old friendships and look forward to future installments.