January 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness “Be happy and you will be good.”  Was Krishnamurti mixing up the old saying—or stating a profound truth? Julia Rogers will present a Theosophical understanding of happiness (and how it differs from pleasure). Humans, Animals, Family, Love, and Play Dr. Karen Shanor, author of Bats Sing, Mice Giggle, tells us that the grand themes of love, friendship and family really are universal, and that play is more important than we thought for both humans and animals (it shapes the brain, increases adaptability, and promotes survival). Telling some animal stories and describing recent research (including brain studies), she may change our perception of what we have considered to be “human nature.”

February 2010

The Paramitas The Paramitas (“Divine Virtues—”Golden Keys to the portals of Wisdom”) are not really a mystery, they are latent in every human heart. Julia Rogers will discuss the Hindu Paramitas, compare them with Christian and other lists of human ideal virtues, and remind us that to begin treading the Path to wisdom and compassion requires only that—that we begin.

Daily Life as Spiritual Practice The group will watch a video by Ravi Ravindra that discusses how to understand and live one’s daily life as one’s spiritual practice.  Ravi Ravindra is an internationally known Theosophical teacher.  There will be time for group discussion after the film.

Report from the Parliament of the World’s Religions, 2009 The Parliament is an international multi-faith conference, attended by delegates from all of the world’s major religions.  It is held once every five years.  In December 2009, the Parliament Melbourne, Australia.  The theme of the conference was “Hearing Each Other, Healing the Earth.”  Dr. Gwendolyn Reece attended and will give a summary of some highlights from this last meeting of the Parliament as well as a bit of history.  It might be of interest for people to know that Annie Besant, second International President of the Theosophical Society, gave a significant address at the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, 1893.

March 2010

Retrogrades  Every planet has retrograde periods where they appear to move backwards in the sky. Many of us have observed the effects of Mercury retrogrades.  Renowned astrologer, Lynn Koiner, will enlighten us about retrogrades in the different planets.

Shamanism Shaman is really a Tungus word, but it is most commonly used to refer to a particular type of spiritual specialist. Dr. Gwendolyn Reece provides an overview of what shamanism is and the role of the shaman.

Apollonius of Tyana The story of Apollonius is a little-known chapter in the early days of the Christian era.   The great mystic traveled throughout the known world of that time, teaching a simple approach to religion which made him welcome in the temples of many different faiths.  Wherever he went, he instructed people to purify their lives and to seek the essence of religion rather than the form.  Many devotees considered him divine.

April 2010

The Esoteric Doctrine of the Root Races This doctrine is one of the most misunderstood in all of the esoteric sciences. Every human being that is currently alive on this planet is of one race, however there have been races, such as the Lemurians and Atlanteans, that have gone before, and there will be human races that will follow homo sapiens.

The Path of the Boddhisattva In Mahayana Buddhism, the goal of spiritual striving is to become a Boddhisattva, one whose nature is Wisdom/Compassion.  When the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, one of the intentions of the teachers who chartered the society was to bring knowledge of the Path of the Boddhisattva to the West as both a spiritual ideal and a practical course of development.

Meditation: A Theosophical Presentation Intuition is an example of the rapport between the individual and the universal, and meditation is a method.  To begin, we must be thoroughly convinced of the creative power of thought.

Reincarnation Group Discussion Reincarnation is an idea that is found in many different religious traditions and is a commonly held belief in the United States.  Members of the Theosophical Society will discuss reincarnation from the perspective of the teachings conveyed in the Theosophical literature.

May 2010

An Introduction to Aboriginal Australian Wisdom During the recent Parliament of the World’s Religions, Dr. Gwendolyn Reece was privileged to learn a bit from some wonderful Australian Aboriginal elders.  These rich traditions are largely unknown in the U.S.  This talk is a basic introduction to give people an appreciation for the spiritual wisdom of these ancient and still living cultures.

2012 and the Mayan Calendar  Do we have to worry about 2012?  The Maya were great astronomers and artists.  This talk is based on two books that interpret the Mayan calendar, one written by a modern Mexican artist who has carefully analyzed the Mayan materials concerning 2012 and the calendar and another who is a scientist.

Culture of Perfect Concentration One of the most challenging steps in any path of spiritual development is the cultivation of concentration. A longtime student of Theosophy, will discuss the importance of perfect concentration and how to develop it.

Dharma Dharma is a word that can be translated variously as doctrine, duty, cosmic pattern, or purpose.  Dharma can also be applied to individuals, groups, nations, and larger entities. Gwendolyn Reece will discuss Dharma from a Theosophical perspective.

True, Semi and Pseudo Occultism “Occultism” is a word that is having its heyday.  Julia Rogers will describe genuine occultism as a discipline that strives to understand nature’s fundamental laws, in worlds invisible as well as visible. Pseudo-occultists who emphasize the weird and mysterious may mislead students.  Real occultism is a spiritual quest.

June – September 2010

Summer Study

The Three Fundamental Propositions of The Secret Doctrine  The Eternal Wisdom is a philosophy embracing the whole of life—heaven, earth, and humanity as living in both. Julia Rogers will present the grand principles which—once understood—throw light on every aspect of life.

October 2010

Letting Go (a Video Presentation) Former President of the Theosophical Society Dora Kunz talks with Dr.Eric Peper about aspects of the death experience from the Theosophical point of view. She discusses an individual’s experience during and after death, as well as the after-death states of consciousness. Kunz and Peper also consider ways in which one can prepare for one’s own death, and ways in which family and health professionals can help the dying.

Shamanic Healing Demonstration:  This special 2-hour program will begin promptly at 11:00 and features Caroline Kenner, who trained for more than ten years with modern shaman Sandra Ingerman. After discussing what shamanic healing is, she will show us what it does by performing healing remediations on anyone who wishes. Caroline will begin by singing the songs that get her into trance; and the session will end with her closing songs.

The Wheel of the Year The cycle of nature affect and are affected by humans. The great annual pilgrimage of the seasons is one of the most important cycles for humanity; in fact, we use it to mark our age. Gwendolyn Reece will describe the Celtic pre-Christian ecumenical year, focusing on the solstices and equinoxes, as well as the great harvest festivals.

Reflections on Life and Mortality Join a panel reflecting on age-old questions of the cycle of life,death, and rebirth. Members will discuss traditional Theosophical ideas and their own and experiences of life passages. Consideration of particular cases, capital punishment, for example, is left to individual judgment—widening the field to include questions of the human role in justice.

Focusing the Mind The goal of any path of spiritual development is the gradual opening of one’s everyday awareness to the field of ‘higher consciousness’: the spiritual and the divine. A ULT student will begin with the first step (which is one of the most challenging): learning to concentrate one’s attention. From there we can move toward the goal of perfect concentration, Dharana.

November 2010

A History of the Theosophical Movement The Theosophical Society was one of the most innovative and important organizations in the late1800s and early 1900s. Bringing ideas of global unity and respect for all religions into the international dialogue, it involved and influenced many of the world’s most notable citizens. Discussing the movement and its leaders, Vladka Shikova will show that its vibrant tradition continues today.

The Exodus Mystery The biblical account of the Exodus has great meaning for Theosophists. Samuel Barr will discuss the physical and spiritual significance of this event. He will show slides that he took while traveling throughout the Sinai Peninsula, in the Middle East, to research this topic. He will present and discuss various ancient caravan routes, as well as a metaphorical interpretation.

Are you passing “Spirituality”but failing Life? Michael Perry and Heidi Lindemann, swamis in the Kriya Yoga tradition, will talk about how the most seemingly mundane aspects of life are not obstacles to spiritual practice, but are in fact the basis for it.

December 2010

Our Younger Brothers, the Animals Do animals deceive, flirt, sing, have their own dialects, mourn their dead, create, entertain, problem-solve, and giggle when tickled? According to the latest scientific research—gathered for the first time in Bats Sing, Mice Giggle—you bet they do! Author Dr. Karen Shanor takes us on an eye-opening adventure into the inner lives of animals and shares little-known facts about the other living beings who share the planet with us.

The Seven Rays, Keys to World Peace and Personal Wholeness “The seven rays” are often used for personality analysis, but they are much more than that. A fundamental typology, they are inherent in everything in the world—in cultures and nations as well as in us. In this DVD, Dr. John Algeo explains that their proper balance is essential to social harmony and to accord between nations, as well as to our own wellbeing. The program is 64 minutes long, so we will begin very promptly at 12:00.

Hierarchies and the Doctrine of Emanations Drawing on Volume Five of G. de Purucker’s Esoteric Teachings, Gwendolyn Reece will discuss the philosophical doctrine of emanation, in which the One becomes the many, and how this relates to the concept of Divine Hierarchies.