Human Regeneration:
Our Response to a World in Crisis

Sept 30 – Oct 4
TS Members Intensive

Betty Bland, Elena Dovalsantos Barbara Hebert,
Douglas Keene, Maria Parisen, and Pablo Sender

(On Site and Zoom)
Friday 7:30 – 9 pm
Saturday 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm, Sunday 10 am – noon
Monday 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm, Tuesday 10 am – noon

Our world is facing a variety of challenges that include a pandemic, climate change, wars, and social and political unrest. How can the Theosophical Society and its members help in these difficult times? HP Blavatsky stated that “the kingdom of peace and love, of mutual help and charity and food for all” cannot be conquered by violence or by “cold, reasoning, diplomatic policy.” These problems can only be solved by bringing about a change in the hearts and minds of people. In this interactive seminar, the mentors of the Partners in Theosophy Program will guide an exploration into the nature of the change needed today and the role of the Theosophical Society as a vehicle of transformation of human consciousness.

Open only to Theosophical Society members. Full series only, no single sessions.

Pre-registration is required. No tuition fee. Donations are welcome.

Betty Bland served as national president of the Theosophical Society in America and served on the Board of the Theosophical Order of Service for over 25 years. She has presented workshops and lectures on the spiritual life both in the United States and abroad. Her writings and seminars explore the practical application of theosophical principles to everyday life situations.

Elena Dovalsantos, PhD, MBA, has been a member of the Theosophical Society since 1971 and hails from a family of three generations of theosophists. She served as president of the TS in the Ojai Valley in California and the Beacon Theosophical group in San Diego, CA. She lives and volunteers at the Krotona Institute of Theosophy, serves on its Board of Directors, and is a national and international speaker for the Theosophical Society.

Barbara Hebert, PhD, president of the Theosophical Society in America, is a third–generation theosophist who has held local and regional positions throughout her 40-year TS membership. As an adjunct professor at Southeastern Louisiana University in the health and human services department, she also served as executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center–Hope House and maintained a private mental health practice. She now presents internationally for the Society and writes regularly for Quest magazine, the American Section’s journal, and for the international journal, The Theosophist.

Douglas Keene, MD, vice-president of the Theosophical Society in America, has been a member since 1980, first joining in San Antonio, TX while in medical school. He has served several years on the TSA Board of Directors initially as Eastern Director. A member of the inaugural class of the Partners in Theosophy program, Doug has presented at a number of lodges in the eastern US, as well as the Ojai Valley TS lodge and at the Summer National Convention. A practicing doctor for over 33 years, he is currently the medical director at an extended care facility and lives with his wife Risa in New Hampshire.

Maria Parisen, director of Krotona School of Theosophy, also serves on the Institute’s Board of Directors. A TS member since 1969, during her many years volunteering with the Detroit TS she also served on the governing Boards of the TS in America and the Theosophical Order of Service. Maria has presented programs and retreats internationally and compiled the Quest anthology, Angels and Mortals: Their Co-Creative Powers.

Pablo Sender, PhD, has been a member of the Theosophical Society since 1996. He has lived and worked at the international headquarters of the TS in Adyar, India, at the national center of the TS in America, and is currently residing in the Krotona Institute of Theosophy in Ojai, California. He has presented programs and retreats in India, Europe, Oceania, and the three Americas. He writes for many Theosophical journals and is the author of The Evolution of the Higher Consciousness. www.pablosender.com

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Discovering the Sacred in Film

(On Site)
October 6, 13, 20, 27
Catherine Ann Jones

Thursday evenings 6:30 – 8:30 pm PDT

Sacred is defined as “worthy of religious veneration.” What can we view today as sacred and what can be said to be sacred in our daily lives? Film is without question the medium of our times. Producer David Putnam (Chariots of Fire, The Mission) once said, “If movies could be what they might be, there’d be no need to go to church.” Four films will be screened, one each week, not for entertainment alone, but as a catalyst to explore a sense of the sacred and its meanings for our lives. Catherine Ann will provide a brief introduction at each screening and facilitate an open dialogue after.

  • Oct 6     Mindwalk (Adapted from Fritjof Capra’s The Tao of Physics) starring Liv Ullmann.
  • Oct 13  Winter Spring Summer Fall (Korea) – A Buddhist monk and his disciple encounter the outer world.
  • Oct 20   The Gods Must Be Crazy (Australia) – an aboriginal perceives God in a coke bottle.
  • Oct 27  Enchanted April (UK) a stellar British cast depicts the story of four  women fleeing a dismal London winter to a villa in Italy in a life-changing adventure.

Single session $15, Series $50

Catherine Ann Jones holds a graduate degree in Depth Psychology and Archetypal Mythology from Pacifica Graduate Institute where she has also taught.  After playing major roles in over 50 plays on and off Broadway, she became disappointed by the lack of good roles for women and wrote a play, On the Edge, about Virginia Woolf and her struggle with madness in a world gone mad, Hitler, and WWII.  The play won a National Endowment for the Arts Award. Eleven of her plays, including Calamity Jane (both play and musical), The Women of Cedar Creek, and Freud’s Oracle, have won multiple awards and are produced both in and out of New York. Her films include The Christmas Wife (Jason Robards and Julie Harris),  Unlikely Angel (Dolly Parton), and the popular TV series, Touched by an Angel. A Fulbright Research Scholar to India studying shamanism, she has taught at The New School University, University of Southern California, and the Esalen and Omega Institutes.  Her books, The Way of Story: the Craft & Soul of Writing, Heal Your Self with Writing, What Story Are You Living, Freud’s Oracle, Fables: Stories from Childhood, Buddha and the Dancing Girl: A Creative Life, and East & West:  Stories of India (2022) are used in many schools, including New York University writing programs.  Based in Ojai, CA, she leads The Way of Story and Heal Yourself with Writing workshops throughout the U.S. Europe, Middle East and Asia. Over 56,000 have subscribed to her six online courses. Her plays, blog, interviews, workshop schedule, keynote talks online courses, personal and writing consultations, are at www.wayofstory.com

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The Spiritual in 20th Century Art:
A Continuing Lineage

Oct 9 – 10
Carolyn Wayland
(On Site)
Sunday and Monday 9 am – noon PDT

The continuum of contemporary art has its origins in a spiritual and theosophical view. Some artists at the beginning of the 20th century wanted to connect with the invisible universe of spiritual energies in their painting. They knew there was more to life than what seems real and more to painting than representation. Abstract art began, and has a compelling history in the 20th century, as some of its better-known painters were focused on the spiritual dimension of existence and a universe with meaning beyond the material, scientific and mundane.  We will discuss 20th century artists who were influenced by theosophical ideas, explore the creative process as a spiritual practice, and use theosophical concepts to work directly with art materials. All levels of art experience are welcome. Bring a journal/sketchbook and favorite writing/drawing materials. Other materials are provided.

Single session $15 Series $25

Carolyn Wayland’s abstract paintings are connected to the esoteric side of life and a meditative approach to painting.  Her inspiration stems from many years of study as a Theosophical Society member. She has spent the majority of her life on the west coast teaching art in public schools and painting.  Currently, Carolyn lives in Sonoma County, California. She has a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Art Education from the University of Oregon.  www.carolynwayland.com

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Nurturing the Mystical Heart:
Divine Intimacy Beyond Traditions

Oct 14 – 16 (Weekend Retreat)
Juliana Cesano
(On Site and Zoom)

Friday 7:30 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm, Sunday 10 am – noon  PDT

Beyond definitions, philosophical perspectives, and belief systems, humanity shares the common experience of longing. Distant or near, subtle or loud, we feel a sense of incompleteness and a deep need for something more, which we know cannot be met by the world.  Longing causes one to seek, and those who seek wholeheartedly, find.  Inspired by the experiences of spiritual seekers across traditions, this retreat is an invitation to become receptive to the answers that come from within, to the indwelling Presence “that deigns to be our constant guest” calling us to listen and remember. We will explore the part our spiritual heart plays in this loving search for truth and the requirements to hear it. Through spiritual reading, contemplative practices, and reflection, you will be encouraged to find your own unique way to rest in divine intimacy and align your life with what you long for.

Single session $15 Weekend $50

Juliana Cesano is a third-generation Theosophist who has been actively involved in the Society’s work for over 25 years. She has worked at the international headquarters in Chennai, India, and since 2007 has served at Olcott, the Theosophical Society in America’s national headquarters. Along with a busy family life, Juliana manages Olcott’s Quest Bookshop, guides a weekly meditation session online, and is an international speaker.

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Pythagorean Harmonics:
Sacred Number and the Golden Verses

Oct 22
Kirk Gradin
(On Site and Zoom)
Saturday 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm PDT

According to HP Blavatsky, the gnosis or system of knowledge, called philosophia, or the “love of wisdom” by Pythagoras, was brought to the west from Indian sanctuaries and was none other than that of Theosophia—Divine Wisdom or God- knowledge, the “truth of nature without the veil of the senses.” From what little is known of his school, it affirmed that the metaphysical mysteries of life could be progressively approached though moral and mental discipline aligned with sacred number and archetypal geometry. This in part helps to explain the profound and continuing impact of Pythagorean ideas upon Western science, philosophy and mysticism, as well the arts. This seminar will explore what is known about his life and teaching, its impact upon the classical and renaissance traditions of art and architecture, and its prophetic message for our time.

Single session $15 Full day $25

Kirk Gradin is an architect with his own practice established in Santa Barbara in 1995 and has been a student of Theosophy since the late 70’s. He is a frequent public presenter of Theosophical themes including their symbolic expression in the visual and built arts of diverse cultures, and has written numerous articles for VIDYA as well as other printed publications. In 2018 Kirk co-founded Studio Vach, dedicated to producing a series of podcasts and videos on core introductory themes of Theosophia.

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Living the Insights Offered by J Krishnamurti

Michael Mendizza
(On Site and Zoom)
Nov 4 – 6
Friday 7:30 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – noon and 2 – 4 pm PDT
Sunday 10 am – noon PST

Without understanding what the so-called teachings are, their fundamental intention, we remain like travelers in a foreign land without a map.  The focus is not to interpret what has been offered, but to examine, explore and discover what the teachings are.  We will explore the challenges in approaching, understanding, and bringing Krishnamurti’s insights to life.

Nov 4  Friday 7:30 – 9 pm; Krishnamurti Simplified
Nov 5  Saturday  10 am – noon; Only One Enlightenment
Nov 5  Saturday 2 – 4 pm; We Come with a Begging Bowl
Nov 6  Sunday 10 am – noon;  Living the Teachings

Single Session $15 Weekend $50

See Michael Mendizza’s Continuing Sessions Nov 9 and 16 on Zoom.

Michael Mendizza For the past 45 years, Michael Mendizza has traveled with and interviewed J  Krishnamurti, filmed talks in Ojai, Brockwood Park, and India, and collaborated with Evelyne Blau in the production of three feature documentaries. He filmed over 100 interviews with people like David Bohm, who lived and worked with Krishnamurti for decades. Michael is a former trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America.  He designed and created the traveling exhibit, The Mind of J Krishnamurti and authored three books: Flowering; Always Awakening: Buddha’s Realization  Krishnamurti’s Insight, with Samdhong Rinpoche; and Unconditionally Free: The Life and Insights of J Krishnamurti, arguably the most inclusive publication on the man, his mind and insights.  Other books include Magical Parent-Magical Child, with Joseph Chilton Pearce, on optimum states of learning and performance; Playful Wisdom, on attuned-bonding during a child’s first two years; and The Life and Insights of Joseph Chilton Pearce:  Astonishing Capacities and Self-Inflicted Limitations.  Michael is an entrepreneur and founder of Touch the Future.  ttfuture.org

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500 Years:
Essential Themes with
1st Generation Highlight

Nov 9 and 16
Michael Mendizza
(Zoom)
Wednesday mornings 10 am – noon PST

Beginning months before Krishnamurti passed, KFA Trustee, Evelyn Blau and Michael began recording oral histories with over 100 individuals around the world who were close to Krishnamurti. Recently completed are sixteen thirty-minute programs featuring essential themes from Krishnamurti’s collected insights and highlights from this personal interview archive.  Each of these interviews represents decades of years of personal contact with Krishnamurti, 500 years of personal passion and experience.   We will view segments from this collection, then explore the implications of both K’s insights and the observations shared.

Nov 9 and 16: Single session $15   Both sessions $25
Full series Nov 4 – 16 $70 (weekend + two Wednesday mornings)

Michael Mendizza For the past 45 years, Michael Mendizza has traveled with and interviewed J  Krishnamurti, filmed talks in Ojai, Brockwood Park, and India, and collaborated with Evelyne Blau in the production of three feature documentaries. He filmed over 100 interviews with people like David Bohm, who lived and worked with Krishnamurti for decades. Michael is a former trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America.  He designed and created the traveling exhibit, The Mind of J Krishnamurti and authored three books: Flowering; Always Awakening: Buddha’s Realization  Krishnamurti’s Insight, with Samdhong Rinpoche; and Unconditionally Free: The Life and Insights of J Krishnamurti, arguably the most inclusive publication on the man, his mind and insights.  Other books include Magical Parent-Magical Child, with Joseph Chilton Pearce, on optimum states of learning and performance; Playful Wisdom, on attuned-bonding during a child’s first two years; and The Life and Insights of Joseph Chilton Pearce:  Astonishing Capacities and Self-Inflicted Limitations.  Michael is an entrepreneur and founder of Touch the Future.  ttfuture.org

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The Heart as a Particle Accelerator

Nov 19
Alex Bianchi
(TBA On Site and/or Zoom)
Saturday 10 am – noon PST

A particle accelerator is a special machine that speeds up charged particles and channels them into a beam.  When used in research, the beam hits the target and scientists gather information about atoms, molecules and the laws of physics. Likewise with us, if we wish to be scientists of our mind-heart complex, it’s important to probe deeply within the heart and at its core we discover the indestructible bindu, the holy of holiest of our nature.  A fascinating journey into the precious human birth.

Single session $15   Full day $25 (includes Leiderman program)

Alessandro (Alex) Bianchi, born in Italy and a student of Theosophy at ULT Los Angeles for the past 30 years, is active in translating the works of Helena Blavatsky, William Q Judge and Robert Crosbie in multiple languages and in building bridges with different traditions, especially Advaita Vedanta and Tibetan Buddhism.

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The Weighing of the Heart

Nov 19
Martin Leiderman

(On Site and Zoom)
Saturday 2 – 4 pm PST

In The Egyptian Book of the Dead, we find the soul pondering upon and contemplating a judgment scene where its heart – repository of all his or her deeds and thoughts done during life – is being weighed or balanced against one feather (the feather being a symbol of Universal Law, Justice, and Dharma or Duty).  In this seminar, illustrated with slides, we will study this mystical moment and its implication for our life.  We will refer to the teachings of Eastern and Western traditions such as Theosophy, Plato, Alchemy, Esoteric Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism and pre-Columbian mythology.

Single session $15 Full day $25 (includes Bianchi program)

Martin Leiderman is an industrial engineer, born in Venezuela and resident in Los Angeles, who retired in 2019 after 37 years with an avionics company.  A Life Member of the Theosophical Society in America, he is a national and international lecturer for the Society in English and Spanish.  He has facilitated studies at Blavatsky House – the Hague, ITC Naarden, in Spain, Mexico, and Costa Rica, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Krotona Institute.  Along with his wife, Susan, Martin has hosted the West LA Theosophical Study Group at their home for over 20 years.

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Radical Forgiveness:  Radical Compassion

Nov 28 – Dec 2
Susan Johnson
(On Site and Zoom)
Monday – Friday 10 am – noon PST

Loosely based on Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, this workshop will explore the possibility of living one’s life in a state of grace by accepting every moment with patience and tolerance. When we recognize that everything that presents itself in our life is conditioned by the past, we see our future is entirely dependent on how we are responding now. Such insight may provide us a state of freedom from desire, resistance, judgment, and disappointment, lending us the opportunity to live from inner peace and happiness with all that is, as it is.

Suffering is everybody’s spiritual teacher, but it depends on the complete identification with form. Can we live a life that is free from suffering no matter what happens?  We will navigate a way to joy and happiness through patience and understanding with the help of Shantideva’s brilliant arguments, excerpts from the Tao Te Ching, Peter Russell, Tara Brach, Colin Tipping, Mabel Collins, Annie Besant and Geoffrey Hodson. Group discussions, short guided meditations, and gentle qi-gong exercises for quieting, focusing and harmonizing body and spirit will also be incorporated.
Single session $15   Series $70

Susan Johnson has been a member of the Theosophical Society since 1986 and facilitates the Santa Cruz Theosophical Study Center in California. She is the Krotona Institute of Theosophy’s new resident library manager. Susan is also a licensed acupuncturist who teaches a Taoist form of Traditional Chinese Medicine worldwide. She is most at home in nature and loves music, plants, animals, Japanese brush-painting, Feng-Shui and the study of comparative religion, especially from a Non-Dual perspective.

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Mindfulness: Construyendo un puente entre lo ordinario y lo trascendental

Dec 2 – 4 (Spanish Weekend)

Fernando deTorrijos

(On Site and Zoom)
Viernes 7:30 – 9:00 pm; sábado 10 am – mediodía y 2 – 4 pm;
Domingo 10 am – Mediodía, hora del Pacífico

Este seminario de fin de semana lo dedicaremos a explorar cómo mindfulness y el discernimiento son herramientas esenciales en el proceso de despertar. La mente observadora o alerta es el primer paso hacia la unión entre lo consciente y lo inconsciente. Empieza por lograr que la parte consciente de nuestra mente se haga sensible a lo inconsciente ubicado en la frontera de la consciencia; también anima al inconsciente a proyectarse más y más en lo consciente. Cuando la interacción de los dos aspectos de la mente queda bien establecida, ambos se benefician; la mente consciente incrementa su profundidad y amplitud de miras; la inconsciente en oportunidades de auto expresión constructiva y creativa.

Una sesión: $15; Serie: $50.

Fernando A. de Torrijos ha sido un estudiante durante toda su vida de las sagradas tradiciones contemplativas de la humanidad y miembro de la Sociedad Teosófica desde 1978. Desde 1995 hasta 2003 trabajó en el Centro de Medicina de la Universidad de Massachusetts, División de Terapia Preventiva y de Conducta, como director del proyecto, maestro, y especialista intercultural de reducción del estrés basado en la atención/observación, sirviendo a la población más vulnerable del centro de Massachusetts. Desde 1998 ha estado conduciendo este tipo de intervenciones y otras intervenciones de entrenamiento intensivo basadas en la atención plena para profesionales de salud y educadores en los EEUU, América del Sur y Central, Méjico, Costa Rica, República Dominicana, Puerto Rico y España. Él ha traducido al español y ha grabado la mayoría de los materiales educativos basados en la atención plena, y en 2004 creó su propia página de web para apoyar la expansión de estos programas a través del mundo de habla hispana. <rebapinternacional.com< a=””></rebapinternacional.com<>

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