The School of Philosophy in Scotland, including 40 students from the branches in Ayr, Edinburgh and Glasgow spent a weekend of study at Nanpantan Hall, near Loughborough in Leicestershire. The weather was warm and sunny and the attitude of the students was just as bright.
Comfortable group accommodation
Nanpantan Hall has been substantially upgraded in the last two years and offers self-service accommodation to hotel standard with many rooms having en-suite. During the day students enthusiastically prepared food, setting tables, clearing up and worked in the extensive gardens which everyone so admired, with one student having the blisters to prove his efforts. The Victorian House is set among manicured lawns, extensive woodlands and a walled garden with flowers and vegetables.
Forming and deepening friendships
The students took full advantage of all the facilities, the fine weather and the good company, particularly the latter. The weekend offered an opportunity for students from all three Scottish branches to meet with many new friendships being formed and deepened.
Meditation & discussion
Both days started with meditation followed by work periods then study and group dialectic discussion. As usual following a short reading, discussion would be slow to start then followed by some excellent contributions and like “Question Time” had to be drawn to an end.
Country walks at lambing time
One highlight for a small group who were out walking in the countryside was watching a lamb, no more than a few days old, run out of its field and onto the path, approach one of the students and then caress the head caretaker’s dog. The scene brought to mind the innocence of the young before life’s trials and tribulations cover up the unity of nature. It was a truly wonderful scene.
The general consensus seems to be one of looking forward to next year – whilst living in the present of course!
by David Griffin