The Phiroz Mehta Trust Summer School 2006
By William Grice
I hope the photograph I have just printed out via my Apple Mac gets to be translated as beautifully as it looks to me now, on a very hot afternoon on July 20th, when it eventually reaches you via the printed newsletter.
To the left of the Georgian building is the new dining area; to the right is the equally new building which houses the bedrooms, wherein we lived, moved, and had our being. The building comprising the focal point of the photograph seemed so much more Georgian because of the very juxtaposition of the modernity by which it is flanked. Rooms here were spacious and airy, providing an ideal setting for our meetings, and the peaceful atmosphere was most conducive to listening to recordings of Phiroz’s talks together. Some of us also found their special places for contemplation and meditation in such quiet corners as the oratory, or the church with its chapel of splendid oak carvings.
It is perhaps the grounds which were most widely used by the group, individually as well as collectively. We were certainly blessed with perfect weather for walking barefoot across the lawns, and, when Bob and Renate visited, for the group Chi Kung sessions under shady trees. This was in a spot in the left foreground of the photograph, by the half-concealed section of the ‘ha-ha’, a source of mild amusement when discovered by unwary Chi Kung practitioners. The remoteness of the setting near the Sussex Downs further enhanced the quietism, and the clear night sky, free of the obscuring light-pollution of conurbations, was a star-studded inspirational sight.
This was my first experience of Summer School on a residential basis, and I gained infinitely more from it than is possible on a day visit, as one would from diving into a swimming pool rather than sitting on the side and just dipping a toe in the water. Our thanks to Carolyn and Ron for organising the school, and to Geoffrey for his introduction to our venue.