Reflections on the Trust Summer School 2014
By Tom Dolan
Time passes so quickly it seems. Where does another year go? Before I turned around, our Summer School for 2014 came and went. It was our second year at Claridge House and as usual our stay was pleasant, with helpful staff, a varied and healthy menu, along with its well-cultivated gardens and quiet atmosphere. To see old friends again, catch up on each other’s news, old and new, is also one of the Summer School’s highlights. Quite a few friends were missed and thought about often during the week.
Our schedule followed the normal routine of morning silence that led into breakfast and our gatherings for one of Phiroz’s many talks. The talk this year followed a Summer School from 1977 I believe. His many points always brought us back to the silence and mystery of Transcendence, not as that which is far from us, but closer than our own heartbeats.
As I was returning home yesterday, sad from the warm goodbyes, yet looking forward to a return home to the familiar and routine, I felt that the silence that had been cultivated during our week slowly but surely slip away amidst the noise and movement of Victoria Station and Gatwick Airport. Then I realized that the silence is not something we can lose or misplace like an old set of keys. We simply cease paying attention to it and its ever-present presence. This mystery meets us half way according to Phiroz, as long as we give it the quiet stillness it deserves.
To quote one of Phiroz’s many wonderful statements:
Mere words are impotent. When the mind is utterly pure, empty, transparent, it is itself the truth, the living fact to which the words or thoughts are only pointers. This is liberation. It is simple, even as a perfect song beautifully sung is simple.
The Star and the Bubble, Buddhahood, 1972
Thank you again dear friends for your many kindnesses and I hope to see you all again soon.