About the Study Society
Who we are and what we offer
The Study Society is both a physical and virtual place where you can find rest and refreshment amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We share practical ways to help further inner peace, happiness and spiritual growth.
Our charity organises weekly classes, member gatherings, discussion groups, and events to help connect people with deep levels of stillness, truth and love. Please have a look at our range of on-line offers to see what is currently available.
The Study Society is headquartered at Colet House in London and has affiliate groups around the world. Colet House is available for room hire to external organisations and those who share The Study Society’s values of inclusion, equity, and kindness.
The teachings of the Study Society originated with the Russian philosopher and spiritual teacher P.D. Ouspensky who bought Colet House, just before the Second World War.
Ouspensky’s successor Dr. Francis Roles registered The Study Society as a member based organisation in 1951. Dr. Roles introduced non-dual philosophy and mantra meditation to Society members though a direct connection with His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati (1913-1997), a leader of the ancient Advaita (which means ‘not two’) Vedanta tradition in India.
In 1963 another expression of non-dual philosophy was introduced to Dr. Roles through a unique relationship with Mr. Resuhi, a senior Sheikh of the Mevlevi Dervish order in Turkey. Mevlevi Turning (whirling dervishes) was inspired over 700 years ago by the poet Jalaluddin Rumi. The Turning has been taught and practiced at Colet House for over 50 years.
Today we blend sacred traditions with modern teachings and expressions of non-duality which can be sourced across multiple cultures. As Rupert Spira, a Direct Path teacher, long-term member and friend of The Study Society says:
“non-duality requires no affiliation to any particular religious or spiritual tradition. All that is required is an interest in the essential nature of experience, and in the longing for love, peace and happiness around which most of our lives revolve.”
“Before you can begin to be what you are, you have to come out of what you are not. You are not those worn out opinions, those turning thoughts, those changing feelings, that separate ego. Well then what are you? You will find, when you have come out of what you are not, that the birds in the trees are singing to you: ‘I am That….’ The water in the stream is bubbling to you: I am That….’The sun and the moon are shining beacons to you: I am That….’And you are everything in the world and everything in the world is in you…”
– H.H. Shantanand Saraswati