International BePeriod Gathering in London

13-19 APRIL 2020

The International BePeriod Spring Gathering will be in London this year, and the dates have been set! Students are warmly invited and encouraged to join us. We intend to take in some of the world’s most important collections of art, several noteworthy churches, and a rich ongoing offering of cultural performances. We will visit the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert, and Tate Britain, where many of the works featured in our workshops will be available to us. We will explore England’s Gothic and Medieval expressions of Christianity at Westminster Abbey and the Church of the Knights Templar, we will attend a Shakespeare play in his own theater, and we will also take in a symphonic performance (to be determined.) Our trip will provide daily opportunity to survey traces of school, our time to be divided between site visits and relaxing walks where careful study typically gives rise to inspiring dialogue, all the while opening ourselves to the advantage of being with others who pursue the aim to Be.

Teachings from Past Schools

For those who were unable to attend, The British Museum offers the opportunity to revisit some of the main ideas gleaned from the Egyptian gathering. Their collection includes sculpture and sarcophagi from all the kingdoms of Egypt, as well as some of the best preserved papyrus renditions of The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The same museum also houses a vast collection of eastern art, where we’ll study in-person the Incarnations of Vishnu and scenes from the Life of Prince Siddhartha. The National Gallery displays many paintings featured in our workshops, such as Rembrandt self-portraits, Bruegel landscapes, and Van Eyck’s Marriage of the Arnolfini Couple (featured in this invitation). In the Victoria and Albert museum we will encounter more Oriental sculpture and miniatures, along with a fine collection of Medieval and Gothic sculpture. The Tate Britain houses mystical paintings by William Blake and the bronze Athlete Struggling with a Python.

Arnolfini Couple by Jan Van Eyck

Westminster Abbey

Churches and Temples

The Gothic school erected temples throughout England. We will revisit its aesthetic in the complex of Westminster Abbey. Although all Gothic churches are similar in style, each emphasizes certain ideas, stories, and symbols, lending them unique insight. We will explore Westminster with the aim of finding these unique attributes. The medieval Church of the Knights Templar presents another particular expression of Christianity and opens a door into the Crusades, a movement that imported esoteric knowledge into Europe from Constantinople and Jerusalem.

The Performing Arts

In one of London’s churches we will attend an organ and flute concert to be performed by Hannah and Maria. Our plan is to also attend another symphonic performance, possibly Vivalid’s The Four Seasons (a composition that echoes the twelve labors of the month). At previous BePeriod gatherings, we performed shortened versions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This time, we will take advantage of being in Shakespeare’s native land to attend in audience one of his plays, performed by professionals, after having studied it together.

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
From As You Like It

by William Shakespeare