ORGANIZERS AND DEAN
The program is organized by LIRSIS. LIRSIS is a small association in the process of being created at the moment.
LIRSIS has two meanings. Formally LIRSIS means Lijiang Region School for International Students. It is as such that it works and acts in China. However, the name could be read in other ways such as “˜Lijiang Region School for Insight Search’ or “˜Insight & Search’. This ambivalence should be taken into account.
The ideas of LIRSIS, as far as they are relevant to this program, are presented in the introduction to this information.
The Dean of the program and starter of LIRSIS is J. M. Anton, also known in Asian countries as Ant’eng and Antar, former lecturer on comparative mysticism at European universities for many years in the 1990s. As the founder of LIRSIS, his own ideas and goals in relation with the program are those expressed in the introduction above.
GENERAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAM
The purposes of the program are:
1. providing a basic but solid and precise knowledge about the central approaches of a selection, made with attention to both historical importance, deepness and variety, of the mystical and spiritual traditions of humanity, both Eastern and Western, Ancient and Modern; it also aims to provide a general introduction in all main remaining ones; building on which, at higher, future levels, in depth knowledge on some more special traditions, topics, personalities and texts should be provided;
2. creating a forum of discussion about what these traditions tell us, how to integrate it and use it in our understanding, feeling and living, in regard to us and in our relation to other beings, and pondering by means of discussion and exchange new ways of spiritual and personal development that are based on what has been transmitted to us in these traditions, but when possible surpassing them and suiting the man of our age;
3. pondering in practical, rather private terms, with each participant what he personally can do with his life and his or her concrete problems, and what the way of development best suited for him/her is, etc., following the message of these traditions and our consideration of new ways and perspectives starting from it.
In reason of these three goals, the program consists in fact in three parallel components, as detailed below (see “Contents of the program”).
As complementary purpose, we wish that the participants enjoy a peaceful and friendly time in their life in some exceptionally wonderful natural settings in the peripheral systems of the Chinese Himalaya, and enjoy touring in these and other areas as well.
TERMS AND STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM
The program consists of two terms a year and comprises 10 weeks of seminars, courses and formative activities, with 2 weeks of traveling in between. During these journeys some seminars and other activities will also be held, but no regular courses. Ideally the first term should start the 1st of April and last until the end of June. The second term should start the 1st of August and last until the end of October. But far from being fast these starting dates may vary from year to year, as well as depending on practicalities or on convenience for the applicants. It may also happen that a term is organized starting at any given time according to the wishes of a sufficient number of applicants. Therefore, interested people are requested to inquire about the exact starting dates in the period they have available.
Each week consists in:
– 2 conferences of 2 hours each followed by 30 minutes of collective or private discussion if the participants so wish.
– 2 similar seminars in smaller groups of 2 and a half hours each with a break in between of a duration to be decided. Taking one of them only, but not both, will be compulsory.
– Personal, private attention to each student as far as he wishes of a maximum time of one hour each week by the leader and main lecturer of the program.
By an hour, as in academic milieus, it is understood 45-50 minutes.
Usually the group will be divided in two for the attendance to the main, compulsory seminars, so that any given student needs to attend only one each week.
In the future, exponents or followers of mystical traditions of the world will be invited, as well as different external specialists, practitioners, artists etc., and generally any person who may somehow help us with what he has to say. They may hold other seminars of their own. During the first terms, however, it is impossible to say now if this will be possible or not.