School Leaders’ Conference
A few photos
Every 6-7 years Mr Donald Lambie, the senior tutor in London, invites the heads of Schools from around the world together for an extended time, to refresh their knowledge and practice at Waterperry House. On this occasion, the meeting was August 24 – September 7th 2019. In order to assist with the smooth running of the event, two international groups of volunteers were also there.
The School has always included physical work as an important part of the retreat programme; it’s an opportunity for practice. So there was cleaning in the mornings, a variety of work in the afternoons as well as. . . washing up!
School leader: “This is to thank you and the London School for all the work that went into the Waterperry Weeks, for what must have been extended effort over a long period of time, involving a good many people. [A friend] told us just before we arrived at Waterperry that preparations had been going on for over a year and that the leaders were bound to have a good two weeks. That, of course, was an understatement. The entire event was suffused with love. When I cast my mind back to those fourteen days, that substance still presents itself as a living reality. A golden age.”
A book of quotations about service from Mr Leon MacLaren (founder of the School) was compiled for this event. The book was a gift to all participants in this conference, produced by the School in Sydney. Study of the subject of service gave meaning to the work.
Leon MacLaren: “Universal love has certain hallmarks. The very first is this: that it unites. Where love is, there are never two, only one. One experiences this, for example, when one catches the unity in a family . . and sometimes one experience this unity, something larger than the individuals. . . “
Volunteer: “It struck me that I have had a very weak notion of the real purpose of service up to now, until I kept giving for a whole week. I gave, gave a bit more, and more after that. As a result I feel more full and ‘cleaned out’ than ever. ”
Volunteer: “Throughout the week the atmosphere of love was very evident to all and I made many friends. My experience of stillness deepened through the week and resting in it became the norm. This atmosphere of service and love was a source of great enjoyment of the beautiful ballet of the the event. . . “
Volunteer: “Being in service at Waterperry was astounding. Extraordinary. Fabulous. People were really practicing. There were the usual skirmishes in the beginning around how to do things. But there was an awareness I don’t often witness. The service team on the whole seemed able to recognize the source of small disagreements in the moment and move past them quickly. Things were efficient (and joyful!) because of that. It was a profound experience. I am so grateful for it. Thank you for allowing me to be there. I know it was a hot ticket 😉 “
Volunteer: “The organisation of the event was most impressive and it was a delight to be looked after so well. I always think the word “service” does not describe what takes place in such events. It really is a coming together of people (Leaders and Service Team) who have in their hearts a love of the innermost Self. This emotional quality was evident throughout the week that we attended and for that one is most grateful.”
Volunteer: “The Truth is the Self. This is the only truth that we are actually. I saw it with my room mates, there were five of us, from all around the world (California, South Africa, Holland, and Spain). At the beginning I only saw the surface, their characters, but very soon the truth started to manifest, and love rose, great sense of humour, taking care of each other, and the understanding. We were amazed, because a week before we didn’t know the existence of each other, and in two days, we felt as if we were the best friends, so closely we connected. It made me consider that we are all the same self, but we usually live in the surface of differences, and do not appreciate the real thing. Very important to remember it with all other human beings.”