From March 15th to 17th in 2013, an annual seminar of TS Switzerland and TS Italy took place in a quiet and beautiful Hotel, Ascona, situated in Tessin, Switzerland.
Hotel Ascona, Tessin
It has become a tradition over the years that members and sympathisers from both Switzerland and Italy gather in Ascona to investigate and to ponder deeply on Theosophical principles.
This year the overall theme of the seminar was “Evolution – Theosophical Perspectives.”
Some 60–70 people took part in the seminar, creating a warm atmosphere with a sense of serious inquiry. The idea of evolution was approached from different standpoints by many people from various countries.
Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu, Chairperson of EFTS, shared with the audience some inspiring thoughts about changing the paradigm – how a shift should take place from “I, me and mine” to the losing of self-centredness. Using practical examples, she described this process from the standpoint of purifying different planes of human nature – ethical, intellectual and spiritual – and how they correlate with the Three Objects of the TS. She pointed out how the first Object is related with the ethical side of one's life, the second Object corresponds to intellectual aspect and how the third Object is related with the spiritual aspect of one's nature, and how, without laying the foundation through the first two points, it is futile to expect any progress on the spiritual sphere.
Each morning of the seminar Lama Yeshe Losal, from Samye Ling Buddhist monastery in Scotland, gave some instructions about meditation. In his lecture he explained how Western people are often worrying too much about unnecessary things and how they have the tendency to over-think, suggesting at the same time some simple ideas: among them Shantideva's guideline: “Why be unhappy about something if it can be remedied? And what is the use of being unhappy about something if it cannot be remedied?”
Besides Trân-Thi-Kim-Diêu and Lama Yeshe Losal, some ten members from different lodges in Switzerland and Italy – among them Antonio Girardi (GS of TS Italy) and Andrea Biasca Caroni (President of the lodge in Ascona) – shared their thoughts about evolution. EFTS Executive Committee member, Krista Umbjarv also gave a short talk on the same theme.
The seminar came to a close with a distinct feeling by members and sympathisers of being glad that they had had the opportunity to participate, and that they were able to carry back, along with themselves, some inspiring thoughts on the journey home.