Introductory Course: The Wisdom Within

Since 1960, the Auckland School of Philosophy has offered courses to people wanting to change their lives for the better. The courses take a very practical approach influenced by the wisdom, teachings and traditions of both the East and West. No prior study or understanding of philosophy is required to attend.

The 9-week introductory course, The Wisdom Within, is held at a range of times and days, onsite at locations in Auckland and Hamilton, as well as online via the popular and easy medium of Zoom. Currently, in-room meetings are suspended while Covid Restrictions remain in place.

In each group session, tutors and students discuss themes from a variety of philosophies and wisdom traditions. These can be applied directly and practically to your own individual life experiences. A tried and trusted mindfulness practice is introduced and maintained throughout the course.

The Wisdom Within is followed by courses exploring major philosophical themes such as Happiness, Love, Freedom, Presence of Mind, and Meditation.

Richard Jefferies: The Present Moment

True happiness is experienced in the present moment, not in the past nor in the future...
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Helen Keller - The Powers Within

The powers that are available to a human being, the powers of thought, decision, love and will, are glorious in nature and limitless in effect. It is easy to take them for granted or to use them in a way that is binding rather than liberating. With philosophy, these powers may be controlled and directed […]
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Julian of Norwich & Revelations of Divine Love

Julian of Norwich, who lived from 1342 to 1416. She is the first writer in English who can be certainly identified as a woman. In 1378, when seriously ill and apparently dying, she received an extraordinary series of ‘showings’ or revelations from God, which she subsequently wrote down. This goes by the title ‘Revelations of […]
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Marcus Aurelius & Gratitude

Pure love can be described as that which is untainted by selfishness and which is unrestricted by any sense of limit. This is a high ideal but not necessarily easy to achieve in practice. It is therefore useful to consider one phenomenon which helps to sustain pure love. This is gratitude. The ‘Meditations’ of Marcus […]
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Purohit Swami

Purohit Swami was born in India in 1882. In 1931 he visited England and met the Irish poet W.B. Yeats. The outcome of that meeting and the friendship that ensued were the translations of the Gita and the Ten Principal Upanishads that are still much in use to-day. In this passage of his autobiography he […]
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Marsilio Ficino

Marsilio Ficino was one of the great figures of the fifteenth century renaissance. His work and ideas brought about a deep and lasting change in European society. From him and his Academy the renaissance drew a most potent intellectual and spiritual inspiration. Ficino was born in 1433. His father was doctor to Cosimo de Medici, […]
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Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) wrote an essay entitled ‘Where I Lived, and What I Lived For’ He was born in Massachusetts, America, in 1817. He was a writer and poet and a friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was the leading figure in a group of thinkers known as the Transcendentalists. At one stage in […]
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Jacques Lusseyran & the power of attention

The power of attention is one of the greatest powers that is available to us in the present moment. To illustrate this, there is a remarkable story about a Frenchman called Jacques Lusseyran. As a child he was blinded in an accident. Later he became a member of the resistance movement in the second world […]
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Vivekananda & Attention

Sri Ramakrishna had a famous disciple called Vivekananda. In an address in 1900 Vivekananda said this: One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in my life is to pay as much attention to the means of work as to its end. He was a great man from whom I learnt it, and his own […]
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Mozart and the power of a still mind

When the mind is clear and at rest and the observation is full and free, it is possible to connect with deeper powers within oneself. The clutter of ideas, impressions, likes and dislikes, which so often fills the mind, prevents this connection. When that clutter is let go of then the deeper and creative powers […]
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T.S Eliot & the still point of the turning world

In stillness the power of thought is clear, well-ordered and intelligent. Likewise in stillness the power of decision is reasonable, true and certain. To help this it is possible to cultivate tranquillity of mind. The poet T.S. Eliot used evocative language for this. He said: At the still point of the turning world. and: at […]
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Albert Einstein & the quality of simplicity

To the non-scientist the scientific world may seem to be totally incomprehensible. But to many of the great scientists the quality of simplicity is all important. Einstein for example said: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. We should not confuse the word ‘simple’ with ‘simplistic’. There are many so-called experts […]
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Viktor Frankl & the the sustaining power of love

An example of the sustaining power of love comes in a book called ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. The author, Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was a prisoner in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for three years during World War II, and the book contains a description of that time. In the context of the theme of the […]
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Leon MacLaren & the right use of the mind

The founder of this School, Leon MacLaren (1910-1994), was asked at a meeting about the right use of the mind in studying the scriptures. The right use of the mind in relation to the scriptures, or indeed for that matter to anything else, is to fall quite still, attend to what is being spoken or […]
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‘As a Man Thinketh’ by James Allen:

The aphorism, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he’, not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. As […]
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William Shakespeare - True Love

Shakespeare’s sonnets are a remarkable collection of poems and their essential theme is that of love. This particular sonnet stresses the constancy of true love: It is not fickle or changing, but is constant and true
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What is beauty?

Is there one beauty shining in a million different forms or are there millions of different beauties? Where is that beauty now? Is it not everywhere, all around us? Plato taught that there is only one beauty, beauty absolute. Whenever we see or apprehend beauty it is this single absolute beauty that is being experienced […]
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Shantananda Saraswati & Freedom

Everyone is free but thinks that they are bound. In fact all those things that bind them are the expression of their own ignorance. This is what everyone has to understand. Here is an example. A special trick is used to catch monkeys. A round earthen pot with a small mouth is buried in the […]
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Course Inspiration
The courses are inspired by the ancient Eastern concept of Advaita and also draw from a wide range of other philosophic and spiritual traditions including Christianity, Platonism, Taoism, Buddhism,…
Thought for the day
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter, compared to what lies within us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
About the School
The School of Philosophy is a registered charity that has offered courses in practical philosophy continuously for over 60 years in Auckland.

I have to say that, in all my years of questing, the school of philosophy was the catalyst that propelled me into my current experience of completion, tranquillity, appreciation, acceptance. While I left the school five years ago, its impact has transformed my life.

The Courses

Enrol in your course
Introductory Course:
The Wisdom Within
Are you looking to simplify, clarify, and enhance your own perspective and self-awareness?
Following the Introductory Course
Philosophy and Happiness
The desire for happiness is such a driving force that if we can understand the true nature of happiness, we have gone a long way to understanding ourselves and the nature of the world in which we live.
Following the philosophy and happiness Course
Philosophy and Love
We start with the proposition that love is an essential part of human nature, and an impelling force behind all actions. We explore the difference between pure and impure love.
Following the philosophy and love Course
Philosophy and Presence of Mind
This course explores the benefits of presence of mind. With emphasis on what can be put into actual practice we examine the power of thought, decision, love, and will.
Peace and calm
Following the Philosophy and Presence of Mind course
This course explores the benefits from meditating. The meditation is a very traditional form of mantra-based practice, which is ancient but also ideal for our contemporary Western lifestyle.
Following the Meditation Course
This course is designed to assist in the understanding and penetration of Advaita texts. It is a language full of beauty, both in its use of pure sounds and in the physical structure of its alphabet.
0800 610 539
268 West Tamaki Road
Wai O Taiki Bay
Auckland 1072
Mt Eden location
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