A Living School

Wait, until you take a look inside yourself -
Recognize, what is growing there.
Oh seeker,
A leaf in this garden,
Means more than all leaves
You will find in paradise!

Mevlana Jelalu'ddin Rumi

What is a “living school”?

It is a school which acts as a vehicle for the inner teachings that go back to the beginning of man’s search for truth as the purpose of life on earth. The word Sufi only appeared after the time of the prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Of course that does not mean to say that there were no real, inner teachings before that time of history!

In fact, Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, known as the Pole of Knowledge in the Sufi tradition and as perhaps the greatest sheikh who ever lived, is often called “the son of Plato”! In the same way Suhrawardi, another of the great Sufi mystics, is called “the son of Aristotle”; and Idries Shah, in his book "The Way of the Sufi", writes that “Jesus is said to stand, in a sense, at the head of the Sufis”. In other words, thde living school has always existed and will always exist under different names and titles, adapt to suit the needs of the time and the place where such schools exist. They may appear to be different, they may sound differently, with using different languages and expressions and their methods are many and varied. Look at G.I. Gurdjieff, for example; his influence has spread throughout the world, infiltrating and becoming almost a part of most of the western schools of self-enquiry and development. There are many others. We even know that the Rosicrucians, the Knights Templar and many other societies received much of their knowledge from the teachings in the Middle East and also Spain when the Masters of Wisdom, whether from the Cabbalistic, the Christian or the Moslem tradition, all came together in order to distil and make available the inner teachings for future generations. It was the time of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, born in Andalusia, and also of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, who had moved from Afghanistan to Konya in Central Anatolia. There is no real distance in Love with the knowledge of oneself!” 

(Preface to "The Inner Work I" by Reshad Feild)

What is the purpose of a living school?

Could it be any other than the students or pupils themselves?

Could you accept the fact that a school is for you, that this school may be here for you? What would this mean if we speak about a living tradition having dedicated its work and even the whole life of some of its pupils, and certainly the teacher, to the unfoldment of the One Life itself?

You may notice that there are many questions at the beginning. So this school is not about answers, it is about the quest. It is about the adventure of exploring the purpose of your life as the expression of the One Absolute Being. Read the wonderful essential text “What is the single most important point that must be understood by a person who wants to know”? It was written by Bulent Rauf, Reshad Feild’s teacher, whom he called Hamid in his first book “The Last Barrier”.

To work with a school, first of all implies to acknowledge the necessity of learning and the possibility of learning within this school. This of course brings up the topic of trustin the material and practices offered. The material on this site is carefully chosen in a long distillation process as appropriate for this particular time. A very important aspect in this is balance. To keep this balance and to prepare for real knowledge to be given and not acquired, we consider three lines of work indispensable.

The first line is what we call inner work or work on ourselves. Among other practices, this implies continuous work on the secret of the Breath (see for the basic practice of the 7-1-7 breathing and other practices used in this school). This line also implies that we honestly look at our lives and how we can serve its purpose. Furthermore, it means to dedicate some of our time to the study of texts written for this school; texts by Reshad Feild, and also texts from some of the Sufi masters. In particular, we study the Three Poles, the Pole of Love (Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi), the Pole of Knowledge (Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi) and the Pole of Power (Abdul Qadir al-Gilani) (read in depth about the meaning of The Three Poles).

Whereas the first line is concerned with our individual work, the second and the third line imply work for and with others. We also call this path the Way of Love, Service and Compassion, and give some of our time, in gratefulness, to help others who may be in need. This we call the second line of work. The third line is any work done for this school to keep this opportunity for knowledge gratefully alive, since it is said the Road of Truth is paved with the sacrifices of those who have gone before us. (Read more about the Three Lines of Work.)

In all three lines, group work is considered essential. It is a wonderful and often challenging opportunity to explore the deeper meanings within Reshad Feild’s words: “We all breathe the same air.” (See here for events and contact to regular groups)


I feel as if I have come home. Personality is not important,
making it possible to be myself and to study and learn with
others who are also searching for the Truth. 

I am able to find the echoes of their questions and passion
mirrored in my own heart. Each person is respected and
recognized as being uniquely beautiful and together, through
our yearning, we create a receptive for knowledge, which then
manifests in beauty, harmony, love and light. The teachings of
Reshad Feild offer invaluable tools and guidance towards healing
and transformation, and knowledge that we are loved. There is
always a balance of conscious work, study and prayer brought to
life through awareness of the Breath, and in remembrance of the
children and the children's children. Through the Living School,
a door has opened in my being that I pray will never again close.

What is the meaning of life? Which led me to this path.
The work with Reshad and the Living School made me experience
on a deeper level that there is more to life than what I can see or
touch. This experience shows me that this life itself is the „school“.

Meetings with people and cooperation, occurrences in everyday life
and nature have thus become mirrors for me which I can use. The
Work itself and the practices, e.g. die breathing and present moment
exercises, have become an important part on this path. All this assists
me in becoming freer and more open for the real things of life.
E. A.

First the fish has to say,
"There's something wrong
with this camel ride,
And I'm feeling
so damned thirsty."

Hafiz, free rendering
by D. Ladinsky