History of the School


In 1960 a group of people interested in what was then called self-development were introduced to a method of meditation that came from the ancient Advaita Vedanta tradition in India. By the following year this group’s experience of practising the method encouraged them to set up the School of Meditation as an organisation that would make meditation available to all who wanted it and to provide them with life-long guidance and support. The inaugural public meeting of the School of Meditation took place in November 1961 in London.

In 1962 Dr Frances Roles, the then leader of the Study Society which followed the work of Russian philosopher P. D. Ouspensky (1878 - 1947), went to India and was introduced to the teacher Shantananda Saraswati who agreed to provide guidance on meditation based on the teachings of the Advaita Vedanta tradition. This guidance was shared with the School of Meditation, and several years later the principal of the School was also introduced to Shantananda Saraswati and received guidance directly. The guidance continued with regular visits until his death in 1997.

Since its early days the School has not only provided one-to-one guidance in meditation but also run regular group meetings for those members interested in making the practice of meditation, and the teaching behind it, into a practical means of realising the fundamental unity of human nature and the world we find ourselves in. The words passed to us from Shantananda Saraswati have proved to be wise, practical and imbued with love − providing a profound and lasting reference point for self-discovery through meditation.

With headquarters in London the School now has branches in other parts of England and affiliated organizations in Holland and Greece.