The Way of Tea: A Window on Another World
Sep
16
9:30 AM09:30

The Way of Tea: A Window on Another World

There are few Asian customs so incomprehensibly strange to Americans as the Japanese Tea Ceremony. How can whole hours on end be spent doing so little, and to so little effect? Yet tea ceremony represents the very heart of traditional Japanese culture, a way of finding peace amidst chaos, of healing all things in a broken world. In this brief course—briefer by half than a single tea service—we shall seek in tea ceremony a universal symbol of the spiritual life. Through words and images, we shall gaze into a thatched tea hut as a window on the heartbreakingly beautiful world of the soul.

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Henry David Thoreau: A Fresh Look at Walden
Sep
18
9:30 AM09:30

Henry David Thoreau: A Fresh Look at Walden

Henry Thoreau was a mystery to his countrymen from the beginning. He remains a mystery to us today. Yet we never tire of Thoreau, and he is more widely known, timelier and more controversial today than he has ever been. Who was the self-proclaimed hermit of Walden? What do we really know of him? In this course, we shall attempt to disentangle ourselves from all the adoration, slander and misconception to ask the one question most worth answering: What can we learn from Henry David Thoreau? Registration required

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The Joy of Powerlessness
Sep
19
9:30 AM09:30

The Joy of Powerlessness

  • The College of William & Mary (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

For seven years, Diana Lorence and her husband lived in an unelectrified, twelve-by-twelve-foot house they built themselves, hidden away in the woods without power of any kind, in a world lit only by fire. Most of us assume that electricity is an unmixed good, expanding our humanity in every direction. But what can we learn for our everyday lives from an example of living with no electricity at all? Are there way we may all know a little of the joy of powerlessness?

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Introducing Mr. Henry Thoreau
Sep
25
11:00 AM11:00

Introducing Mr. Henry Thoreau

Please join Diana Lorence at the beautiful Williamsburg Landing for this special presentation and celebration of Henry Thoreau’s two hundred and second birthday. There will be pictures and words and questions and answers as we examine together the life of the patron saint of American simplicity.

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Life in the Woods: An American Passion
Oct
2
9:30 AM09:30

Life in the Woods: An American Passion

From the beginning, the woods have haunted the American imagination. The woods mean self-reliance to us, they mean independence. The woods mean renewal. The woods mean solitude and silence and peace. The woods represent a way back to our origins in nature and spirit as individuals and as a people. “In the woods we return to reason and faith,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, and there we seek them still. Please join us for this philosophical and artistic look into the American woods of our imagination.

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Ansel Adams Through a New Lens
Oct
11
9:30 AM09:30

Ansel Adams Through a New Lens

Now a century after Ansel Adams took his first photograph, we almost cannot see nature except through his eyes. Yet those photographs showed the world a nature it had never seen before: a revolutionary, brilliant refocusing on the Wilderness, the Whole Wilderness, and Nothing but the Wilderness. It was a radical act of the human imagination, to which we are all heirs today. In this course of striking masterworks and commentary, we shall seek to regain that radical vision, to see afresh through the lens of our greatest photographic artist.

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Autumn Board Meeting: The Seed of Home
Oct
25
12:00 PM12:00

Autumn Board Meeting: The Seed of Home

In this autumn meeting of the board of directors of the Innermost House Foundation, we will explore the meaning of hospitality and our mission of seeking a deeper home for human nature. This season's meeting will be held at the beautiful Mont La Salle monastery in the redwood forests overlooking Napa Valley, California. By invitation.

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The Joy of Downsizing
Nov
5
9:30 AM09:30

The Joy of Downsizing

Some are born to downsize, some rise to it, and some have downsizing thrust upon them. In this course we will examine the motives and means of downsizing today, concentrating on the one method that yields enduring happiness: living only with what you love.
Registration required.

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The City of God: A Philosophical Garden Tour
Nov
6
9:30 AM09:30

The City of God: A Philosophical Garden Tour

This hour-long walking tour of the town and gardens along Palace Street in Colonial Williamsburg examines the city through the philosopher's eyes. Do gardens have meaning? Is architecture more than shelter and decoration? Is there a difference in Williamsburg and what difference does it make to us? Registration and Colonial Williamsburg visitor/neighbor pass required.

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John Muir and the Ideal of Wilderness
Nov
11
9:30 AM09:30

John Muir and the Ideal of Wilderness

When we think of wilderness in America today, we think of John Muir. When we see beauty in wilderness, even holiness in it, we are seeing through John Muir’s eyes. No one figure in American history urges us so powerfully with his words and example to restore ourselves with a walk in the wild. It is said that Muir rediscovered America. But did he discover the wilderness we know, or did he create it? Please join us for this exploration with words and pictures into our nation’s wild soul.

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From Williamsburg to Walden
Nov
13
9:30 AM09:30

From Williamsburg to Walden

  • The College of William & Mary (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Two very small, very early American towns stand out from all others in the cultural impact they have exerted on American life: Williamsburg, Virginia and Concord, Massachusetts. Both founded in the 1630s, both centers of revolutionary life, both one tenth the size of a Philadelphia, Boston or New York, they would give birth to new forms of public and private life that would revolutionize America. This course will examine the special character of these two microcosms of Americanness, and seek the meaning of the cultural migration from Williamsburg to Walden.

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Transcendental Douglass
Jul
12
2:15 PM14:15

Transcendental Douglass

You are Invited to join us at the Thoreau Society's Annual Gathering in historic Concord, Massachusetts, as Dr. John Stauffer of Harvard University presents this discussion of Frederick Douglass as the most photographed American of the 19th century. For information about tickets and the rest of the program, please visit the Thoreau Society website.

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Ansel Adams and the End of History
Jul
12
2:15 PM14:15

Ansel Adams and the End of History

You are Invited to join us at the beautiful Colonial Inn in historic Concord, Massachusetts, as Michael Lorence presents this discussion of Ansel Adams and the spiritual destiny of the American experiment at the Thoreau Society's Annual Gathering of scholars and enthusiasts. For information about tickets and the rest of the program, please visit the Thoreau Society website.

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Life On Fire: The Technology of Walden
Jul
11
1:00 PM13:00

Life On Fire: The Technology of Walden

You are Invited to join us at the Thoreau Society's Annual Gathering in historic Concord, Massachusetts, as Diana Lorence discusses fire as the fundamental technology of Walden, informing all other aspects of material and intellectual culture. For information about tickets and the rest of the program, please visit the Thoreau Society website.

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The Joy of Small House Living
Jun
5
6:30 PM18:30

The Joy of Small House Living

You are invited to join us in beautiful Lafayette, California for this free evening of stories, pictures, questions and answers as Diana Lorence of Innermost House presents "The Joy of Small House Livnig." This event is generously sponsored by the Lafayette Community Library and Learning Center, with special thanks to Vickie Sciacca and Amy Pipkin.

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Eminently Suitable
May
14
9:30 AM09:30

Eminently Suitable

Please join us for “Eminently Suitable: the Surprising Story of the Suit as Work of Classical Art and Key to Modern Culture.” We will examine the modern suit of clothes as embodying a new relation to high culture, arising in the early 19th century as a revival of the classical virtues of Greece and Rome, and succeeding to become our most widely represented and cosmopolitan work of art.
Registration required.

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The Joy of Downsizing
May
9
9:30 AM09:30

The Joy of Downsizing

Some are born to downsize, some rise to it, and some have downsizing thrust upon them. In this course we will examine the motives and means of downsizing today, concentrating on the one method that yields enduring happiness: living only with what you love.
Registration required.

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"The Wisest American" and the Wisdom Tradition
May
7
9:30 AM09:30

"The Wisest American" and the Wisdom Tradition

Through the formative century of American letters, Ralph Waldo Emerson was "the wisest American.” This course will seek to recover the wisdom of the "Sage of Concord" as a means of bringing America's larger wisdom tradition into focus, from the founding period to the closing of the western frontier.
Registration required.

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The Ideal of a Gentle(man)
May
2
9:30 AM09:30

The Ideal of a Gentle(man)

In this course, “The Ideal of a Gentle(man): A Mirror Held Up to Paradise,” we will examine a persistent archetype in the history of human culture: the ideal of the Gentleman. Once nearly inseparable from civilization itself, in recent times that ideal has been displaced by other desired qualities like talent, wealth and celebrity. What did it once mean to be a “true gentleman”? What does it mean today, if anything?

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The City of God: A Philosophical Garden Tour
May
1
9:30 AM09:30

The City of God: A Philosophical Garden Tour

This hour-long walking tour of the town and gardens along Palace Street in Colonial Williamsburg examines the city through the philosopher's eyes. Do gardens have meaning? Is architecture more than shelter and decoration? Is there a difference in Williamsburg and what difference does it make to us? Registration and Colonial Williamsburg visitor/neighbor pass required.

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Spring Meeting of the Board of Directors
Apr
26
to Apr 27

Spring Meeting of the Board of Directors

In this spring board meeting of the Innermost House Foundation, we will explore the progress and prospects of our three principal educational projects represented by committees on The Mythic Landscape, Archetypes of Craft, and the Ideals of the Mind. This season's meeting will be held in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, founded in 1632. By invitation.

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Simplicity and Happiness: The West
Nov
8
9:30 AM09:30

Simplicity and Happiness: The West

The search for a simpler life has a long and distinguished history in America, from its colonial beginnings to the present day.  This final meeting of a three-week course will examine the practical possibilities of a simpler and happier life through the lens of the Far West, John Muir and Ansel Adams.
Registration required.

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Simplicity and Happiness: Walden
Nov
1
9:30 AM09:30

Simplicity and Happiness: Walden

  • The College of William & Mary, Andrews Hall, Room 101 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The search for a simpler life has a long and distinguished history in America, from its colonial beginnings to the present day.  This second meeting of a three-week course will examine the practical possibilities of a simpler and happier life through the lens of Walden, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau. Registration required.

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The Academical Village and the Westward Gaze
Oct
28
10:00 AM10:00

The Academical Village and the Westward Gaze

Please join us for this day in historic Charlottesville, Virginia, exploring the waxing triumphs, the silent tragedies and the westward promise of the early years of the Republic. We will visit the Lawn of the University of Virginia and Monticello, both works of Thomas Jefferson.
Reservations full, with our apologies.

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The Origins of a Transcendental Idea
Oct
27
10:00 AM10:00

The Origins of a Transcendental Idea

Please join us for this day in the Historic Triangle of Tidewater, Virginia, exploring the conditions of the transcendental idea of America as they lie rooted in the soil and the story of our past. This is an opportunity to see an America you have never seen before.
Reservations full, with our apologies.

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Autumn Board Meeting and Banquet
Oct
26
1:00 PM13:00

Autumn Board Meeting and Banquet

In this autumn board meeting and banquet of the Innermost House Foundation, we will explore the meaning of "plain living and high thinking" as it has formed our culture and continues to shape our highest expectations today. This autumn's meeting will be held in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, founded in 1632. It will be followed by a weekend of tours to Jamestown, Yorktown and Monticello. By invitation.

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Simplicity and Happiness: Williamsburg
Oct
25
9:30 AM09:30

Simplicity and Happiness: Williamsburg

  • The College of William & Mary, Andrews Hall, Room 101 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The search for a simpler life has a long and distinguished history in America, from its colonial beginnings to the present day.  This first meeting of a three-week course will examine the practical possibilities of a simpler and happier life through the lens of Thomas Jefferson and historic Virginia.
Registration required.

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A Talk On Tiny Houses and Happiness
Oct
15
2:00 PM14:00

A Talk On Tiny Houses and Happiness

  • Pasadena Public Library, DRW Auditorium (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

You are invited to join us in historic Pasadena, California for this free afternoon of stories, pictures and conversation as Diana Lorence presents "Innermost House and the Ideal of Simplicity: a Talk on Tiny Houses and Happiness." This event is generously sponsored by the Pasadena Public Library, with special thanks to Ms. Christine Reeder. 

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Seven Years in the Woods: A True Story
Oct
14
10:30 AM10:30

Seven Years in the Woods: A True Story

  • Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

You are invited to join us in beautiful Costa Mesa, California for this free morning of stories, pictures and conversation as Diana Lorence presents "Seven Years in the Woods: A True Story of Tiny Houses, Simplicity and Happiness." This event is generously sponsored by the Costa Mesa Public Library, with special thanks to Ms. Nancy Pe'a. 

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Innermost House and the Ideal of Simplicity
Oct
13
10:00 AM10:00

Innermost House and the Ideal of Simplicity

You are invited to join us in beautiful Cypress, California for this free morning of stories, pictures and conversation as Diana Lorence presents "Innermost House and the Ideal of Simplicity: a Talk on Tiny Houses and Happiness." This event is generously sponsored by the Cypress Public Library, with special thanks to Mr. Stanley Wang and Ms. Cyrise Smith.

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What is the Nature of Mind?
Aug
22
7:00 PM19:00

What is the Nature of Mind?

  • Hopland Mendocino County, California (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Please join us for a conversation led by Michael Lorence as we explore the nature of Mind in our modern lives. This special event is generously sponsored by Mr. Lee Parker and Ms. Diane Daubeneck, in cooperation with the Innermost House Foundation, at their beautiful Redtail Ranch in the woodland hills of Mendocino County, California. Private event.

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Does Transcendentalism Have a Future?
Jul
12
10:15 AM10:15

Does Transcendentalism Have a Future?

You are Invited to join us at the beautiful Colonial Inn in historic Concord, Massachusetts, as Michael Lorence presents "Does Transcendentalism Have a Tolerable Future?" as part of the Thoreau Society's Annual Gathering of scholars and enthusiasts. For information about tickets and the rest of the program, please visit the Thoreau Society website.

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A Movable Feast
Apr
27
1:00 PM13:00

A Movable Feast

In this spring board meeting and banquet of the Innermost House Foundation, we will explore the ways in which high conversation is the "movable feast" at the heart of human culture. Our host this season is Brother George Van Grieken at beautiful Mont La Salle in the redwoods overlooking Napa Valley, where the Innermost House Foundation was conceived ten years ago. By invitation.

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What is Home to the Soul?
Apr
25
7:30 PM19:30

What is Home to the Soul?

Please join us for a conversation led by Michael Lorence as we explore the nature of home in our modern lives. This special event is sponsored by Mr. Clint Wilson and the Innermost House Foundation in beautiful Kenwood at the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country. 
Reservations full, with our apologies.
 

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Tiny Houses, Huts, and Innermost House
Apr
16
2:00 PM14:00

Tiny Houses, Huts, and Innermost House

You are invited to join us in historic Williamsburg, Virginia for an afternoon of conversation, questions and answers as we explore the foundations of the tiny house movement in the archetype of the "Primitive Hut" as exemplified by Innermost House.  This event is generously sponsored by the William & Mary Department of Art and Art History, with special thanks to Professor Ed Pease, Architect.

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