Welcome to the Borders
Gurdjieff Group

A Gurdjieff Group for Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, East Wales, South Wales, and Worcestershire. Based on the practical application of Gurdjieff's ideas.

About us

Welcome to The Borders Gurdjieff Group. We meet regularly for a variety of Gurdjieff based activities in South Wales, Hay on Wye and Hereford.

 

We are a group with a long history but a contemporary approach. Our broad aim is to bring a sense of presence and self-awareness into our lives. The Group meets regularly to work together alongside practical exercises applied in everyday life.

 

For more information on the Gurdjieff teaching and the Borders Group, please scroll through the following sections.

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

Gurdjieff

George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (circa 1866–1949) was an Armenian born between the Black and the Caspian seas. From accounts of those who met him, some of whom we ourselves have known, he was a man of extraordinary wisdom and vision.

 

In his youth he travelled widely in Central Asia gathering knowledge from different spiritual traditions. His aim was to formulate a teaching that could be applied in everyday life in the ‘West’. This was in the early 20th century when such teachings were not readily available in western culture.

 

In the 1920s Gurdjieff set up a school in France with his followers, which grew into a worldwide network of groups. Alongside those that came with him from Russia, he attracted people from all walks of life including leading minds of the time in psychology, science, literature, theatre and music.

 

Many of his students in turn became teachers themselves, such as Jeanne de Salzmann, P D Ouspensky, J G Bennett, Maurice Nicoll and many others.

 

Gurdjieff worked unstintingly on himself, and those fortunate enough to meet him found a man of inspiration, courage and compassion. His wisdom, warmth of spirit and playfulness still resonate strongly in groups the world over.

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

The Teaching

The teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff opens a window to a wider exploration of life, its meaning and our own self-transformation. It is often referred to as 'The Work'. The system as a whole has been called 'The Path with Heart' or 'The Fourth Way'.

 

Gurdjieff stated that humankind is mostly 'asleep', reacting automatically to the stimuli of life with little control over these reactions. He taught methods to help us to 'wake up' and live more consciously – more in the 'now'. Gradually, with practice of these methods, he said we could learn to 'react' less and 'act' more.

 

As with many spiritual paths, this teaching offers tools to help us gain self-awareness and through that, the possibility of self-transformation. The tools are given to us, but the work is ours to undertake. Beneath this broad brushstroke lie specific ideas which are too numerous to be explored here, but one example is the idea that we are made up of different Centres of intelligence – primarily the Physical or Moving Centre, the Emotional Centre and the Thinking or Intellectual Centre. As such Gurdjieff called us 'Three-Brained Beings'. Many spiritual paths concentrate on one of these, but the Gurdjieff path seeks balance by working on all Centres – hence the name, the 'Fourth Way'.

 

The teaching therefore includes physical elements: work on practical physical tasks and practice of the 'Movements'. Some of these movements are sacred dances gathered from ancient traditions and others were formulated by Gurdjieff himself. They are performed to live piano music, composed by Gurdjieff and his pianist Thomas de Hartmann.

 

The teaching also embraces cosmological elements, offering us a relationship with other scales of existence, whether larger or smaller, opening new vistas of meaning to our lives on the Earth.

 

For more on the ideas of the Gurdjieff teaching, see the Publications section.

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

21st Century

In the modern world many of us live a comfortable existence, with a wealth of entertainment on offer. We busy ourselves with day to day life, yet often something in us feels dissatisfied and restless. Some seek peace, others wish to be a 'better' person, to live without tension or fears. But what is it that brings these fears and tensions into our lives?

 

The Truth

What rises up in me when I am brought to account, when my boss criticises me, when my partner discovers my bad behaviour? Several reactions are common – justification, lying, anger or transferring the 'blame'. Perhaps I am so defensive because I am afraid to acknowledge these aspects of myself.

 

Yet if we know and accept the truth of ourselves, no defence is necessary. Fear dissipates. We are freed from the fray of these battles – with ourselves, and with others. This way lies the promised peace. But we must practice with sincerity, and for this we need good tools.

 

The Tools for the Journey

The Gurdjieff path offers the tools to help us see the truth of ourselves and the world around us. Not only that, it offers a Way compatible with modern life, practised whilst going about our daily lives – at home, at work, alone or in company. What is possible for us is beyond our imagining, but as we apply ourselves to inner work, to increasing our self-awareness or 'Waking up' as Gurdjieff put it, we get glimpses of these possibilities and our world 'lightens'. These moments may be brief, but can change the whole tenor of our lives.

 

Gurdjieff said we cannot undertake this journey alone and need a group where we help each other. The Borders Gurdjieff Group is just such a group, and if you feel this path may be for you, please feel free to ring and have a chat, or email us to find out more.

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

The Journey

The Forest and The Mountain

We dwell in a forest, unable to see beyond the trees. Some of us find clearings, build huts, raise families and live contentedly, desiring no other way of life. Some are restless and spend their lives endlessly searching for larger clearings or new paths through the forest. Some pretend to be guides, claiming they know the best and safest paths, or, falsely, that they know a path that leads out of the forest.

 

Many imagine the forest to be the only reality. Some believe there to be land beyond the forest, yet have no wish to find out if this is so, while a few, seeing the forest as a prison, search for a way of escape. Should they persevere in their search, they may, if they are fortunate, meet someone who really does know a path out of the forest and is willing to be their guide. Wisely, they do not immediately commit themselves to the journey, but follow the guide and the path warily and with care, testing the ground and noting their surroundings every foot of the way. If they are diligent and overcome many difficulties, they may reach the edge of the forest to see before them a high and daunting mountain. The path they are following leads up the side of the mountain.

 

Some immediately lose heart and return to the security of the forest, while the others, determined to continue the journey, begin assembling everything they will need for the climb, knowing that once they have set out there will be no opportunity of returning for anything they may have forgotten. As the climbers ascend the mountain, nothing changes apart from their viewpoint, but they can see further and they begin to see everything differently. The forest, which was once their entire world, is now seen to be part of a much more extensive landscape. The higher they climb, the greater the change in their view, but only upon reaching the peak of the mountain will they be able to see in all directions.

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

Lineage

Gurdjieff groups are not prone to publicity and it may come as a surprise that a large network of groups are spread across the world. George Jeffery, our founder, started Gurdjieff groups in the 1970s and quickly attracted young people in large numbers. He brought a light and contemporary touch to the Work alongside a deep sincerity and dedication. His groups worked closely with those of Rina Hands who was with Gurdjieff in Paris.

 

Both Rina and George have since died, but we feel that George’s approach has a lot to offer those grappling with life in the 21st Century whilst maintaining a close adherence to the teaching of Gurdjieff himself. George was also close friends with several Tibetan Rimpoches, who recognised in him a sincere fellow seeker.

 

Practice is not built up according to theory. Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

Publications

A comprehensive introduction to the Gurdjieff Teaching can be found in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Bridge to Reality

George Jeffery
ISBN 1-905200-55-2

 

There are many other publications to choose from, most of which are available for purchase via the Internet. As a start we would suggest the following:

views from the real world

G.I. Gurdjieff

The reality of being

Jeanne de Salzmann

Heart without measure

Ravi Ravindra

In search of the miraculous
and The Fourth Way

P.D. Ouspensky

The Commentaries

Maurice Nicoll

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

Contact

The Borders Gurdjieff Group meets for Work sessions at various locations in the West including Gower, Hereford and Hay-on-Wye.

 

The Group also offers access to weekly and weekend Movements Classes and various activities in association with other groups.

 

If these web pages strike a chord and you feel that this path may be for you, please feel free to make contact with us. Equally, if you have already been in a Gurdjieff group and are looking for something in West UK, do give us a call.

 

Email us using the link at the bottom of the page, or contact Anita on 07833 128758.

Photography: © 2018 Chinch Gryniewicz. All photographs are copyrighted and must not be copied or used without prior permission.

© 2018 Borders Gurdjieff Group

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up according to theory. Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment –
that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up according to theory.
Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up according to theory. Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

Welcome to
the Borders
Gurdjieff Group

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up according to theory. Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior
spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up
according to theory. Theory
is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always
and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up according to theory. Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Take the understanding of the East and the knowledge of the West – and then seek.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Without struggle, no progress and no result. Every breaking of habit produces a change in the machine.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

All energy spent on conscious work is an investment – that spent mechanically, is lost forever.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Everything in the universe has a place in a scale.

G.I. Gurdjieff

 

Venture forth with warrior spirit and explore.

George Jeffery

 

Practice is not built up according to theory. Theory is derived from practice.

P.D. Ouspensky

 

Remember yourself always and everywhere.

G.I. Gurdjieff