January 8, 2022 – Zoom Meeting – Face-to-Face Meeting at the Tenley Library in Washington DC is cancelled:
What Keeps You Awake at Night? This meeting will not be recorded!
Let us share thoughts, opinions, and guidance about a topic related to Theosophical practice that you find most challenging or brings a sense of urgency into your daily activities. Due to schedule constraints, each person should limit their conversation to a maximum of 5 minutes.
Start thinking, and do no lose sleep over this request:
January 15, 2022
Ask me anything about Astrology, Tarot, and Jungian Psychology with Gwynne Mayer
Gwynne Mayer, Ph.D. has forty years of post-graduate work in the areas of Jungian analysis, Gestalt therapy, child psychology, and educational systems. She has studied astrology for over 50 years as well as the works of Carl Jung, Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, Rudolph Steiner, and G.I. Gurdjieff for over 45 years. Gwynne has lectured internationally and continues hosting study groups in all areas of interests. Learn more from her website: https://gwynnemayer.com/
- Make sure your question is clear, succinct, and articulated in one sentence.
- If you would like to ask one specific question about your chart, you can get your chart for free here: https://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?rs=3&btyp=w2gw&;
January 22, 2022
Water – Living Consciousness with Desiree Holmes Scherini, BCH, MHt, LBLt, CRMT
About 71% of the Earth’s surface is water. About 60% of the human body is water. Water is a necessary part of our everyday existence. Yet what do we really know about water? What if water has superior qualities we never knew of? This presentation will share some of the lesser-known qualities and potential powers that water holds, and some ways you can potentially connect with the power of water.
January 29, 2022
The Religion of No Religion – What Would it Be Like? with Veronica Boutte, Ph.D.
Based on the archaic and the mythic ages, tainted by modern science and the failure of organized religions as well as the desire to unify our social and political divides, we crave a return to the immanence of something greater than ourselves. What is this “Some Thing”? What does it feel like and how do we perceive it or attempt to realize it?
February 5, 2022
In Their Own Words: Wisdom From the Masters with Ed Abdill
Who are the Masters about whom we hear so much? Allowing two Masters to speak for themselves from letters they wrote to A. P. Sinnett in the late 19th Century, Ed Abdill will shatter misconceptions about them. The Masters will tell us who they are and what differentiates them from the average person. In their own words they will present some of their most important teachings, including their views on death and reincarnation, karma, science, the spiritual path, and more. Most importantly they will make it clear that the central purpose of their work is far more profound than most people can imagine.
February 12, 2022
“Teachings from the World’s Creation Stories” with Sue Prescott
Creation stories from around the world show a remarkable similarity in their myths about how we and our earth came into being. They also share comparable teachings as to the purpose of life. In many myths, life begins on the highly spiritual planes, most often in the sky, and evolves to manifestation on the physical plane. From there, as we grow and evolve, the mission is to once again make linkages with the spiritual. Join Sue Prescott as she explores a variety of creation stories ranging from indigenous cultures to traditional religion, and finally to what theosophy teaches.
February 19, 2022
Philosophy as a Form of the Mysteries with Gwendolyn Reece
Hellenic Philosophy is more than a study of nature, first causes or values based on speculative reasoning. Philosophy is also a practice—a way of life—that leads to a type of spiritual transformation that is similar to the initiatory mysteries of ancient Greece. This lecture, drawing on Hellenic philosophy and an understanding of the Mystery Traditions, considers Philosophy not just as a study but as a practice and path.
February 26, 2022
Walking the Path toward Spiritual Growth and Self-Awareness with Barbara Herbert
Each day provides a unique opportunity for spiritual growth and self-awareness, but how often do we actually take advantage of that opportunity? Instead, we frequently bemoan the difficulties of life and the sorrows that are rampant in the world. As seekers on the path of Divine Wisdom, we will focus on those aspects of daily life that can facilitate movement toward our goal.
March 5, 2022 – No Zoom Meeting – Face-to-Face Meeting at the Tenley Library in Washington DC: Roundtable Discussion: Free Will vs. Determinism (Moderator, Bill Katzenstein)
Questions of whether humans have free will, and if so to what extent; or, if free will is an illusion, with our thoughts and acts no more than reflexive responses to interactions that affect us, have been argued over the ages. Religions tend to presume that people have the capacity to make choices, and act on them within their milieu. Theosophical teachings as well hold that humans have the capability of free will. Views and reasoning underlying these positions nevertheless tend to vary widely among individuals. In this roundtable, following an introduction in which the issue will be summarized from a neutral perspective, participants will be invited to share their thoughts on the subject.
March 12, 2022
The Transformative Teachings of The Cloud of Unknowing with Juliana Cesano
An anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century, The Cloud of Unknowing draws on the mystical tradition of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Focusing on the via negativa road to discovering God as a pure entity beyond any mental conception, the text is a spiritual guide on contemplative prayer. Offering the opportunity to take part in the dialogue between a monk and a novice and the mystical dynamic process, this work invites us to abandon all God’s particular attributes and be courageous enough to surrender one’s mind and ego to the realm of unknowing.
March 19, 2022
“Ask me Anything” with National Speaker David Bruce
David Bruce, National Secretary at the Theosophical Society in Wheaton, a second generation Theosophist, national speaker and author of the book “Serving A Higher Purpose: Theosophy for A Meaningful Life” will be our guest for an impromptu Q&A session, also referred to online as “Ask Me Anything” (AMA). Participants are requested to bring questions about Theosophy, Spirituality, Science, or Social Issues reflecting current trends or ancient wisdom. Please note:
Make sure your question is clear, succinct, and articulated in one sentence.
March 26, 2022
The Tarot Experiencewith Gwynne Mayer
The study of the Tarot is a very unique experience; a combination of archetypes, alchemy, astrological data, numerological information, and connections to the mythology of all cultures. Learning to work with the Tarot will enable you to work with your spiritual intuition. The questions you ask yourself daily can also help enhance your inner knowledge by the use of the Tarot cards drawn for that day. We will see how this is done, helping us grow into our higher centers and intuiting our inner work. Know thyself and join us in our Tarot Experience.
April 2, 2022
Roundtable Discussion about the article (12 pages) The Crown of Asphodels
“The Crown of Asphodels” is an essay on the dawning of the soul by Helen Bourchier in 1904. Within its pages are outlined the human experience of spiritual growth. All who are interested are welcome to come and discuss. The article can be found at the bottom of this page.
April 9, 2022 – Face-to-Face Meeting at the Tenley Library in Washington D.C. and hybrid meeting
Meditative Art with Desiree Holmes Scherini, BCH, MHt, LBLt, CRMT
Many people involved in projects that they feel deeply involved in talk of the feeling of being lost in time. This is particularly true of artists or those engaged in creative endeavors. This presentation will share the value of using art as a vehicle for meditation, insights, information, and inner exploration. Both creating art and meditating on art will be discussed.
April 16, 2022 – Closed for Easter
April 23, 2022
The Four Pillars of Integral Theory with Veronica Boutte, Ph.D.
Following Jean Gebser’s (1905-1973) legacy and the contribution of Ken Wilber, let us have a brief look at the field of integral theory and the benefits it offers towards the great mutation in consciousness that humankind starts to experience.
In preparation you might want to to review the video of Jeremy Johnson’s talk about Jean Gebser that was presented on January 23rd, 2021: https://youtu.be/0m1U8g7wbCk
April 30, 2022
Stoicism with Gwendolyn Reece
One of the great schools of ancient Hellenic and Roman philosophy, our use of the term “stoic” is deeply misleading. In addition to making significant speculative contributions that are part of the wisdom traditions, Stoic philosophy provides many effective spiritual practices. Join Gwendolyn Reece as she explores Stoicism with an eye to how these ancient teachings can be practically useful to a Theosophical Life.
May 7th, 2022
Roundtable Discussion: Three Keys” by Helena Roerich
All are welcome to join in the discussion of a short article dedicated to past, present, and future disciples called “The Three Keys.” Before the discussion, a member of the DC Lodge will present a brief history of its author Helena Roerich, a Russian Theosophist. This succinct & practical letter can be found here: Three Key_ Helena I Roerich
May 14, 2022
Symbols of Psychological and Spiritual Growth with Sue Prescott
Everything in our world is coded in symbolism. A human being itself is a symbol as shown on the signs of a restroom door. Symbols guide us in our lives and influence our behavior and emotions toward personal growth and development. Psychology has many symbols that signify a human being’s progress and evolution, such as one’s IQ or Emotional Intelligence. It also has symbols that mirror aspects of spirituality. For example, the range of one’s group of friends or family is expressed by the circle, which is an ancient symbol of spirituality signifying the Oneness of Life.
May 21, 2022
A Contemporary Veil: The Work of Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odysseywith Stephen Braun
This 1968 masterpiece of cinema and ancient wisdom remains timeless and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. We will explore what brought these two luminaries together to produce such a stunning and cohesive theosophical collaboration including their pioneering ways of veiling ancient wisdom using contemporary media technologies. We will also examine some of the pitfalls and challenges we face as Theosophists when producing work along similar lines.
May 28, 2022 – Closed due to Memorial Day Weekend
The Summer Program will start on June 4th, and we will discuss “The Upanishads”. More information will be posted in mid-May. Meetings will be held on 6/4, 6/18, 7/9, 7/23, 8/6, 8/20, 9/10, 9/17, and 9/24.
June 11,2022 Annual Business Meetings and Elections – No Zoom Meeting
Our summer meetings this year will be dedicated to the contemplation of eight Upanishads, part of the great epic of the Hindu scriptures following the Vedas, that are foundational to the teachings of Theosophy.
Ours should be a thoughtful, organic, and poetic exercise. We will have a different reader for each session, pause as needed, and share our feelings.
Session dates and content:
June 4: the Mandukya Upanishad (The Medium of Awareness)
June 18: the Mundaka Upanishad (Two Modes of Knowing)
July 9: the Aitareya Upanishad (The Microcosm of Man)
July 23: the Prashna Upanishad (The Breath of Life)
August 6: the Katha Upanishad (Death as a Teacher)
August 20: the Isha Upanishad (The Inner Ruler)
September 10: The Svetashvatara Upanishad (The Faces of God)
September 24: the Atma Upanishad (The World Within)
About the text
The best translation recommended by our moderator Veronica Boutte is from Eknath Easwaran, renowned Hindu scholar and translator of most Hindu religious texts. It was first published in 1987 by Nilgiri Press. She suggests you purchase the 1993 edition but any edition will work.
October 1, 2022
Roundtable discussion about two articles from the Esoteric Instructions No. 1., “Warning” and “Know Thyself” by Helena Blavatsky.
Renowned Theosophical scholar Michael Gomes, who will be our guest on October 8th, prepared in 2015 a new edition of the Esoteric Instructions — a series of teachings originally written by H.P. Blavatsky for the use of the members of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society. The two articles are from this new edition. Please read them beforehand and join us for a discussion. If you are interested you can find out more about the new edition of “Esoteric Instructions” in this article: https://www.theosophical.org/publications/quest-magazine/5120-esoteric-instructions
The document “Esoteric Instructions No. 1” can be found at the bottom of this page.
October 8, 2022
“Ask me Anything” with Michael Gomes
Michael Gomes is one of the world’s most distinguished scholars of Theosophy. A historian and author, he is also director of the Emily Sellon Memorial Library in New York. He is one of today’s most respected writers on esoteric movements, well known to both students of esoteric literature and to scholars of religion. His works include an abridged and annotated version of H.P. Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine (reviewed in Quest, Summer 2010) and an edition of The Secret Doctrine Commentaries: The Unpublished 1889 Instructions (reviewed in Quest, Spring 2011). After the publication of his book The Dawning of the Theosophical Movement he was awarded the Herman Ausubel Prize for historical achievement by Columbia University in 1989. He joined the Theosophical Society in 1968 at the age of 17. This is the link to an interview Richard Smoley conducted with Michael Gomes:
Make sure your question is clear and succinct, and articulated in one sentence.
October 15, 2022 – No meeting due to a private memorial service
October 22, 2022
“Radical Compassion” with Susan Johnson
Please join us for a presentation in which, based on Shantideva’s “A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life”, the speaker explores the possibilities of living one’s life in a state of grace by recognizing that everythingthat presents itself in our life is created by how we’ve handled things in the past. Thus, we see that our future is entirely dependent on how we are responding now. Such insight may provide us a state of freedom from desire, freedom from resistance, from judgement and disappointment, lending us the opportunity to live from an inner peace and happiness with all that is, as it is. Suffering is everybody’s spiritual teacher, but it depends on the complete identification with form. Thus the question: “Can we live a life that is free of suffering no matter what happens?”
(Susan Johnson will explore this topic in detail in a workshop at the Krotona institute of Theosophy from November 28th – December 2nd, 2022.)
October 29, 2022
“Explorations in a Non-dual sensibility” with Ed Moskowitz
A small number of people on earth at this time augment the everyday view of the nature of themselves, the world and life with a non-dual sensibility. This talk will explore what it means to have a non-dual sensibility and perhaps give you a taste of it.
November 5, 2022 – Face-to-face meeting at the Cleveland Park Library in Washington D.C. starting at 11:00 am. No discussion of The Secret Doctrine and no recording.
All attendees are invited to share for 5-7 minutes something about a Theosophical topic that’s important/relevant to him/her. If there is time, we will also discuss the articles “O Hidden Life” and/or “Just Say No” which can both be found at the bottom of the page.
November 12, 2022
“Dreams” with Dr. Gwynne Mayer
One of the main reasons we think dreams are of such value is that they represent the unconscious as well as the soul essence and seem to be, along with meditation, the only access to higher spiritual messages that come to us. It becomes very important to learn how these messages are delivered at a personality level so that the personality can learn about the purpose of the ‘soul’ in this incarnation. The presenter, Gwynne Mayer, has spent over 50 years studying her own dreams and being trained in Jungian and Gestalt principles of following dream work. She writes extensively about dream work on her website: https://gwynnemayer.com/category/dreamwork/.
November 19, 2022
“Strength to Love”: The Enduring Friendship of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh with Cristin
Among Dr. King’s most compelling visions is that of a Beloved Community – a community in which our individual well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others. Dr. King knew that the end goal of nonviolent social change is not only the enforcement of human or civil rights but a transcendent harmony and unity that ties all of humanity. As a Christian, Dr. King drew upon his own religious background for inspiration, but less known are his deep explorations into the teachings of Gandhi and Mahayana Buddhism and his friendship with Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
November 26, 2022 – Closed for Thanksgiving
December 3, 2022
The Practical Teachings of Gurdjieff with Jeff Tripodi
George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was an early 20th Century mystic, philosopher and spiritual teacher. The system of teachings that he developed have come to be known as “The Fourth Way”. In this presentation, the presenter will provide a brief biography of Gurdjieff, as well as a description of his basic ideas regarding the human condition. The bulk of the presentation will discuss Fourth Way practices, which are collectively known as the Work. These are practices that can be incorporated into any inner or spiritual work, regardless of tradition.
December 10, 2022
“Ask me Anything” with Dr. Doss McDavid
Dr. Doss McDavid was born San Antonio, Texas and received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSCSA) in 1976. His area of study was Medical Physics with an emphasis on diagnostic radiology.
As an undergraduate, he became acquainted with Rosicrucianism and Theosophy. He has been an active worker in the San Antonio Branch and the Texas Federation of the Theosophical Society for over thirty-five years. He served two terms on the Board of Directors of the American Section. He has developed study courses and educational materials for theosophists and students of mysticism and has traveled extensively giving lectures and seminars to theosophical and other philosophical groups. He taught at the University till his retirement in 2012 when was appointed Professor Emeritus”.
He has written the book “Introduction to Esoteric Principles” (https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/selfstudy/EsotericPriniciples.pdf ) and at the bottom of the page you can find the article “Evolution and The Secret Doctrine” originally published in Theosophical Research Journal, Vol. 1: Number 3, September 1984 by Dr. McDavid.
Make sure your question is clear and succinct, and articulated in one sentence.
December 17, 2022
Roundtable discussion about “10 Proposition about Magic by Helena Blavatsky”.
Helena Blavatsky wrote in the second volume of Isis Unveiled that the reader must keep in mind the fundamental propositions of the Oriental philosophy to comprehend the principles of natural law. Please join us to discuss those principles which are summarized in the document at the bottom of this page.
Please read the ten “Propositions about Magic” beforehand und join us for this discussion.
December 24th and 31st – Closed for the Holiday Season