Who We Are
Gaunts House is an ever evolving community made up of a permanent staff that keep the house and grounds in order, and help coordinate our on-going events.
Parallel to the staff is the Wwoofers and Volunteers Tribe, part of the Young Peoples’ Initiative; men and women from all parts of the globe who may be part of the Wwoofer program (www.wwoof.net) a scheme that links volunteers with organic farms and growers internationally.
At Gaunts there is an emphasis on self-sustainability, growing many of the vegetables incorporated into our vegetarian meals and producing our own electricity through the development of an Anaerobic Digestion system.
In addition to the staff and volunteers, at Gaunts you will find artists, writers, healers, musicians, teachers and others supporting the on-going work of the house.
What We Do
Gaunts began as a College for adults, parents and school teachers, to be able to come and find a measure of time and space for their own well-being, evolved from a little school for 3 to 14 year olds, founded on this estate in 1982. Starting with an Interfaith day, early courses and workshops were developed here in the late nineteen-eighties.
The thinking behind this huge step was that modern human beings are in the mother and father of a muddle, many feeling unable to be honest, too many with their ‘heads on back-to-front’, leading to accelerating and increasing crises throughout the world. Providing a sanctuary with no dogma attached was something we could offer. We determined to encourage people on their own paths: “After all, There Is Only One Way For All The World, it’s YOUR WAY, and only you can find and follow it.” And we have pursued a policy of supporting people in their own ‘Profound Learning’, offering courses on a broad range of creative, practical, environmental and empathetic themes, and public and private retreats.
Nowadays, much of our work is in hosting courses and workshops from UK and around the world. Way more than 100,000 people have been to stay here, and half as many again to visit. Many of the most remarkable teachers of our time continue to give of themselves here. And for two years we have been evolving a new Young Peoples Initiative to support them in their challenging future.
Our ethos echoes the Perennial Philosophy as we look to evolve and improve outdated ways of thinking, being and doing. We sense a real need to support the emergence and expansion of human consciousness in ethereal and interdependent ways, seeking to explore and establish safe and holistic ways of living to support the esssential real evolution of individuals and society alike.
30 September 1989
GAUNTS HOUSE CHARTER
To provide an environment for personal development, education, information and training, refreshment, rejuvenation and joy; where like-minded people may come together to share their vision, knowledge, talents, skills and wisdom to evolve more perfect lives individually and together towards a more perfect universal community.
The environment will encourage an awareness of, and a striving towards, that personal and all-embracing, spiritual peace, light, love, energy and bliss in and from which all truth, meaning, creation and beauty exist and flow. In this essence of life and growth are found the understandings and freedom which all people seek; and from this essence springs fulfilment, harmony, balance, content and happiness, eternally and for all.
The environment will be so created as to encourage a tacit, social sensitivity, where each person is welcome free of prejudice; where individuals and families are conspicuously associated by a sense of awareness, caring and concern, rather than by any contemporary, social yardstick, wealth, creed, nationality or background. No single religion, philosophy, party-political cant nor dogma of any kind will be adopted by the community. English shall be the first language; communication, mutual understanding shall be the first endeavour.
The environment will enjoy an open, calm, joyful, healthy and secure atmosphere such that visitors may feel inspired to seek their inner self and their own path to follow; may come to realise soul in its unity and infinity and the shades of ego and its illusions; may gain an understanding of God universal and within; may seek to perceive the true self in their fellows and in all things, the better to evolve and communicate, to give and to receive, generally and particularly; where each may grow in certainty and confidence, better able to transcend the challenges and vicissitudes of life; to live and rejoice in that stream of brilliance, vital energy and bliss that we know as love.
The environment will be aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Buildings, gardens, grounds and facilities will be well maintained. New buildings and improvements will be light, unobtrusive and well designed and will blend with the existing buildings and surroundings.
There will be no single spiritual, nor academic authoritative figure; though people may volunteer or be selected to represent, from time to time, any aspect of life, philosophy, arts, creativity, academia or administration. The ever-evolving Gaunts House community will meet together, as like-minded people, to organise and to run the life of the community as they deem appropriate within these aims. The community meetings will ensure that the spirit of these aims is maintained in everyday life; that whatever facilities and opportunities are needed are provided, as they become possible.
A smaller, self-electing Management Group will meet to take decisions on any aspect of the community, management, staff, visitors and property, that it deems appropriate or that the community meeting requests. The Management Group will have the power of instruction and veto in all things concerning the administration, direction and evolution of the community and activities and business at Gaunts House.
Resident and local members and visitors to the community will be encouraged to contribute and share spiritually, creatively, physically, financially, domestically and in whatever other ways are deemed appropriate, necessary and possible.
A school and college for young adults will seek to guide them towards an awareness of spiritual, cerebral and physical well-being; towards an open relationship with nature, common-sense and wisdom; to encourage them to evolve their own living philosophies; to value cooperation and compassion; to perceive, understand and value goodness and sorrow in themselves and in others; and to empathise with love, beauty and truth on every plane. The school and college will be run alongside the adult courses and activities and will intermingle wherever possible.
The school and college will provide a curriculum for guidance and instruction which will develop the creative, cultural, intellectual and physical potential of everyone involved, student and teacher alike, individually and together, especially by inspiration, motivation and encouragement. The development of each person spiritually will be seen as fundamental.
The curriculum will touch on every aspect of the Universe; its origins, history, present and future providing a basis for understanding, communication and development. Every natural, creative, cultural, rural and social skill, understanding and interest will be recognised as being of particular importance to the basis of one’s life values. Suitable pragmatic, scientific and evolving technologies will be selected and taught to be employed in the enhancement of life for all mankind. Students and teachers will seek to increase their general awareness, their free adaptability to life’s opportunities and their skills for living successfully for the benefit of all.
The community meetings and the Management Group will ensure the proper and efficient running of the day-to-day life of the community, producing regular balanced accounts and maintaining a positive financial situation within the general spectrum. The community will ensure that the enlightenment content of its business is not outweighed by the lure of profitability. Valuable, individual loss-making projects may be allowed when covered by prior accumulations.
This charter may be altered by the Management Group only in agreement with the Trustees and the freehold owners.
Gaunts House will provide an environment where may be found the essential elements of creative and cooperative well-being for evolution, fulfilment, freedom and bliss; where the practical elements of life follow from a well-founded, spiritual basis; where an understanding of the essential oneness of life and existence at every level may be perceived and welcomed for the benefit of mankind.