[Image courtesy of McGill University and facultyfocus.com]
A guide to joining online (or by phone*)
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join the meetings online (or by phone, see at the bottom).
From Sunday 18th October onwards, all meetings – including Sundays – are solely online, until further notice. We will announce here when the Lodge is able to reopen.
You can join all the meetings by Skype, check the links below for more details.
SUMMARY OF ALL MEETINGS
TUESDAYS study schedule here.
Dhammapada & “The Key to Theosophy” from 7 to 8.15 pm.
WEDNESDAYS study schedule here.
“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2 from 7 to 8.15 pm.
THURSDAYS an informal Q&A Drop-in meeting for any general questions and those on the Course, details here; twice monthly from 7 to 8 pm.
SUNDAYS see programme & handouts here.
Talks and study groups from 7 to 8.30 pm.
MONTHLY “MYTHS & LEGENDS” for children & parents here, on Sunday mornings twice monthly from 11 am to noon.
QUARTERLY SEMINARS see the PDF quarterly programme linked here,
Once a quarter on Saturdays from 3 to 6.15 pm.
The meeting times are GMT.
Registering to join
All are welcome to join the London meetings, although we encourage those with local ULT centres to contact them to ask if they have online meetings, which most do now.
Please contact us a day before the meetings begin so we can exchange contacts and so you’ll have time to study the texts beforehand, they will usually be posted in the Skype chat box (you’ll see it when you’re added to the group). For most Sunday meetings there’ll be a handout on that Events page a day or more beforehand.
Tell us which of the five groups above you’d like to join; we will keep you in the group until you ask to be removed. You’ll get a call for each meeting, and if you don’t join for a few months we may remove you, but you can ask to rejoin at any time.
Hardware & set up
You can install Skype here.
You’ll need a microphone but a camera is not essential. The best microphones for quality and reliability are the inexpensive and simple ones that plug into the front or rear audio socket via a 3.5mm plug (not the USB type) eg Computer Gear Lightweight Desktop Microphone Black with 3.5mm Jack for under £4. Position it a foot or so away from your mouth (300mm) and away from any computer fan noise.
As we share screens to view documents it is better to use devices with larger screens as this will reduce eye strain, and for a better connection please try to use a hardwired connection to the internet not WiFi; for these two reasons it is preferable to avoid using phones or tablets when on the group Skype calls.
We’ll call you around 10 minutes before the meeting to give time for welcomes and introductions. Don’t call us, the Lodge has to initiate the call.
Note that Skype may not make a loud ringing sound for large groups, so keep an eye out for the call at the time! You’ll see a green “JOIN CALL” button on the main Skype screen when the calls starts.
Please do introduce yourself when you join for the first time, we are a friendly group and welcome new students; please also read the sections below about asking questions and how the meetings work.
During the meeting
After the start of the meeting and greeting it is best to turn off your camera to minimise distractions and save bandwidth. Mute your microphone when not talking as it reduces background noise, the camera and mute functions are at the bottom of the blue, live Skype screen.
Recent studies show that having the video off helps one to listen well, to improve concentration and remain centred, if one does not multi-task, nb.
At the start open the Skype chat box, you’ll see links to handouts and also comments and questions. The chat box icon is the square speech bubble on the bottom right of the blue Skype screen.
Your participation is welcome, if you have comments or questions wait for a suitable moment, speak clearly and close to your microphone, or send a message via the chat box, altho’ we may not be able to respond to all of them.
If you drop out during the meeting you should see the green “Join Call” button which will add you back in.
How the meetings work, the role of asking questions with Perseverance & Patience
ULT meetings are to study the original Theosophical teachings so we ask you to keep on topic and be mindful of this aim of the ULT’s work.
When asking questions wait for a break and address those chairing the meeting rather than individuals. Be patient with the chairpersons and other students if they do not have all the answers; the texts are our Teachers so we do best when we interrogate them together and thoughtfully.
Be mindful and stay focused; it will slowly become easier to follow the lines of thought that the texts provide. To study with calmness – and also with patience – creates a sense of purpose and unity.
A friendly but impersonal sense of non-separateness will help open one’s perceptions to the higher metaphysical truths that we try to bring to life in the meetings and afterwards by applying the ideas in daily living.
Thank you for your interest in Theosophy, we wish you many enjoyable hours of fruitful meetings.
You may also wish to read the note on the aim of the meetings below.
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* JOINING BY PHONE
The above guidance also applies when joining by phone.
To register you can be in the UK, Europe, USA and many other countries; just send an email to email@example.com or call 020 7723 0688 and please make it at least one day before the meeting.
We will telephone you from our Skype app at the same time as the Skypers, approximately 10 minutes before the meetings.
Landlines are preferred (they have better audio quality and won’t drop out) and if you have a speaker phone it will make it easier for you to listen.
Please use a phone with a mute function as any background noise affects the call quality for others.
~ ~ ~
THE AIM OF THE MEETINGS
Students are invited to regard our meeting space as a place where we come to study the original doctrines of Theosophy given by H. P. Blavatsky, William Q. Judge and others who had been trained to their high standards and understood the teachings and their methods.
We respect individual contributions but it is not the ULT’s mission to host opinions on general theo-philosophical topics, it’s simply a space where we can help each other to learn and apply the perennial Wisdom. All contributions on how to understand and apply this sublime and well-proven system are welcome, noting that at the same time we will steer away from side issues.
It is a great thing to be able to share these ideas with each other but our constant care is also needed to keep the meetings running along good lines.
This approach comes out of a respect of the long lineage of the philosophy, seeing that it is not a product of recent academic or other study but that it has a definite basis and standards that have enabled it to weather countless millennia.
With patience, mutual support and your willingness to take as well as give advice, all of this becomes inspiring, helpful, and ultimately transformative. And by the rigour of frequent study and inner contemplation on the original teachings you may find the door that leads to Theo-Sophia, Divine Wisdom.
Questions about what are the original lines of the Masters’ Trans-Himalayan Arhat School, and why they do matter, are at the core of the ULT’s approach and are an important study. An illuminating read on this is the Ancient Source text, which says in part:
THE Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system . . .
No vision of one adept was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions – so obtained as to stand as independent evidence – of other adepts, and by centuries of experiences. (The Secret Doctrine 1:272)
The full version is here, page “1” of the pamphlet; page 4 in the PDF.
[updated 23rd January 2021]
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