We invited all students to respond to two questions:

  1. What were you looking for when you first attended the Introductory Course?
  2. What have you found so far?

Read a selection of comments from current students:

  • I cannot say exactly what I was looking for when I first attended the introductory course in 2002. Over ten years later however, I can say that my attendance at the SOP has been life changing in the most positive way imaginable. The practical knowledge I have gained through attending my weekly group, practicing what we learn when I am away from the group, and meditating daily, has transformed the way I interact with all people and in all circumstances. I am calmer, happier, and more excited about life because I understand more about what is truly important in this life.
  • A greater understanding of the mind motivated us to try the course, and what I’ve found so far is sound wisdom and reason to deal with life’s complexities and generally being a calmer happier person.
  • When I first came to philosophy my motive was to engage in some interesting discussions on subjects a bit larger than those that occupy the usual social conversations! It certainly offered that, but much much more too. Right from the start an emphasis was put on directly experiencing something simple but profound. You could call this ‘presence’. Presence of mind, presence of being. I would say that through the philosophy groups, the material we study, and from practices like meditation my life has been transformed. I have developed patience, faith, freedom from mental distress of all kinds, and an inner peace that has enabled me to face what ever life throws up with a kind of steadiness of being that I once would not have thought possible.
  • I had always been looking for “something” but wasn’t quite sure what. The School’s approach seemed to balance my need for both reason and faith.
  • What I was looking for was an interesting course to keep my mind active and to have some diversion from the usual work related round-about. Friends had told us quite some time before that they had attended one term and that they had really enjoyed it. I was enthusiastic after the first night and suggested to [my wife] that she take the other evening. We haven’t looked back since and simply live and enjoy the good life.
  • Wisdom, good company, a framework for life that pretty much works for me.
  • I wasn’t sure what to expect when my wife dragged me along to philosophy for the first time. I imagined that it would be very theoretical and full of “ideas” to fill an already busy mind. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was the total opposite – being practical and about clearing the mind of unnecessary clutter. Five years on and I still look forward to every class!
  • I wanted to learn about alternative views regarding spirituality, other than the Western christian religions I had grown up around. I also wanted to better understand the purpose of my life and to gain a greater sense of meaning and peace. I have certainly had opportunity to learn about other ways of viewing and experiencing spirituality and have learned that although religions may claim to be the ‘right’ or ‘best’ way, all religions have the same basic principals and messages, just expressed in different ways. I have learned tools for accessing greater meaning and stillness and an avenue for growing this through my life.
  • I was part of the school of philosophy for eight years. I came from a background of catholicism, and after a series of tragedies which left me searching, I abandoned my traditional religious affiliations and branched out to explore what other alternatives were out there. From the moment I arrived at the school, I felt as if I had come home. The extreme belief expectations of my previous religion were met with logic, reason, self exploration and satisfying answers. I have to say that, in all my years of questing, the school of philosophy was the catalyst that propelled me into my current experience of completion, tranquility, appreciation, acceptance. While I left the school five years ago, its impact has transformed my life, and as long as I keep up the practices of meditation, pausing, being in the moment and acceptance, life seems to unfold on a very happy keel. In fact, it has taken on a rather interesting twist, if I stay in touch, things I could never have anticipated happen; I am sure that is the experience of others who are committed to living a life other than the ordinary. Stay alert, let what the divine wants unfold.

If you would like to make a comment, please email us.