This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the General Anthroposophical Society and the "laying of the Foundation Stone" on December 25th, 1923.
To commemorate, reflect upon, and pour renewed efforts into this momentous event, we would like to propose a challenge and invitation to members and those interested in exploring anthroposophy further, of working with the Foundation Stone meditation daily during this December of 2023.
The founding of the Society in 1923, called the "Christmas Conference", was sealed with a meditative verse from Rudolf Steiner called "The Foundation Stone Meditation". This profound verse is a concise panorama of anthroposophy.
The words: verse, poem, prayer, and mantra are different words to describe what is essentially the same: a tool we can use in our spiritual practice for the purpose of going inward; for the mind: as concentration and meditation; for feeling: as art, beauty, devotion and whatever may awaken; and for will: in how our personal resolve can be strengthened in practice.
Mantra (devanāgarī: मन्त्र) is a Sanskrit word coming from the > root man- (manas, "to think" or "mind") and the suffix -> tra, ("tool" or "instrument"), meaning the "instrument of > thought".
From the Anthroposophy Wiki: ..the mantras given by Rudolf Steiner are primarily thought mantras, which can also have an effect when translated into other languages in meditation, as is also the case with the Lord's Prayer:
“The Lord's Prayer is a prayer that is not a mantram as such. It will still have its meaning after thousands and thousands of years have passed because it is a thought mantram. The effect of the Lord's Prayer was poured into the thoughts, and just as true as it is that people can digest quite well without having to ask a physiologist to tell them what the effect of the digestive process consists of, it is just as true that the person who prays the Lord's Prayer feels the effect of the Lord's Prayer, even if he does not allow it to be said to him. The effect of the Lord's Prayer is there because it lies in the power of the thoughts themselves." --GA 96
In addition to how the Foundation Stone can be used for individual practice, it goes without saying, in and of itself it is connected in a practical way with the impulse and outpouring of anthroposophy in the world.
Ideas for practice:
During our holy nights studies, which will last from 12/26 to 1/6, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences with the verse, as well as continue the practice with the group.
The Foundation Stone Meditation: https://sandiegoanthroposophy.com/foundation_stone
You can also find various translations of the Foundation Stone (including the original german), here:
Printable PDF version we have created for the branch:
There is also a printable version with some annotations for contemplation and room for you to make personal notes:
Ten lectures given in Karlsruhe
October 5-14, 1911
By Rudolf Steiner
In these lectures, Rudolf Steiner shows how the Mystery of Golgotha can be seen as the pivotal event of human history, and the Gospels as initiation documents that can help us on a path of spiritual development. He demonstrates how the religious streams of Zarathustra and Buddha helped prepare the way for the events of Palestine.
Rudolf Steiner's emphasis is on rediscovering the esoteric path to Christ and of awakening to the new revelation breaking through in our time: Christ as the Lord of Karma.
Daytime gatherings begin at 1:00 pm: Dec. 26-29, Jan. 1 & 6
Evening gatherings begin at 7:30 pm: Dec. 30, Jan. 2
Bring your Christmas caroling voices!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need directions/contact information for any of the hosts/ study days.
|Tues, December 26
|Weds, December 27
|Thurs, December 28
|Fri, December 29
|Sat, December 30
|Sun, December 31
|*Reading at home*
The Christmas Conference, GA 260 ‡
|Mon, January 1
|Tues, January 2
|Weds, January 3
|Thurs, January 4
|Fri, January 5
|Sat, January 6
|The Festivals and their Meaning †
From Jesus to Christ: This cycle is available in the Rudolf Steiner Archive https://rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA131/
† The Festivals and Their Meaning I: Christmas/Lecture VII
The Revelation of the Cosmic Christ
‡ The Christmas Conference, GA 260 https://rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA260/English/AP1990/19231224b01.html
Thursday, December 21, 7pm
At the Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Avenue, SD.
One of the most beautiful and meaningful celebrations of the Christmas festival is the study, practice and performance of one or more of the Oberufer Plays. The Shepherds Play portrays the birth of Jesus in a stable, where he is sought out by a group of shepherds.
For hundreds of years, ordinary people in the small Austrian village of Oberufer on the Danube gathered in the local tavern at Christmastime to perform plays for their neighbors. With their roots lost in medieval times, the plays gradually evolved to incorporate a unique blend of folk humor and profound reverence in their celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Towards the end of the 19th century Professor Schröer spoke to Rudolf Steiner about these plays. His enthusiasm and concern about the possible loss of such precious folkways touched Steiner, who quickly realized their beauty and proceeded to bring order to the sketchy script and the music. In 1910 the first revived performance took place in Berlin, Germany.
From then on, these plays have become part of the Christmas time tradition for many Waldorf schools all over the world. They were first translated by Cecil Harwood, from England, who tried to keep intact the medieval way of speaking— the simple beauty of expression.
Sunday, November 19, 2023, 3:00 pm
Waldorf School of San Diego
3547 Altadena Drive
San Diego, CA 92105
As we gather in the candlelight to honor our friends and loved ones with readings and poetry, eurythmy and music we will enrich our sensing of our unseen companions.
You may bring a list of those you wish to remember and read their names aloud.
Sunday, September 24, 2023, 10:30 AM
Waldorf School of San Diego High School
4135 54th Pl, San Diego, CA 92105
During this Michaelmas season we are delighted to welcome Margaret Shipman to our branch to celebrate the 100 Year Anniversary of the Foundation Stone Meditation given by Rudolf Steiner at the Christmas Conference for the Foundation of the General Anthroposophical Society in 1923. She writes:
“We take living in the age of the Consciousness Soul for granted, but in the Middle Ages humanity had not developed these modern capacities. The ‘alchemists’ worked to discover spirit within matter. They were not trying to turn lead into gold! They were seeking conscious perception into the spiritual world through the forces and processes of material substances. We will explore a little of how these processes live in the Foundation Stone Meditation and see how Rudolf Steiner weaves Christian Rosenkreutz’s amazing work into modern spiritual striving.”
Margaret has been a member of the Anthroposophical Society for over 40 years and considers the work of Rudolf Steiner to be the core of her life. In 2002 she started a national study group for anthroposophy - “Geographically Engaged Members Studygroup”, or G.E.M.S. She is also a cellist and pianist and spent 36 years repairing and making instruments of the violin family. She co-authored the book “Violin Restoration” with her mentor, Hans Weisshaar, who was in the second-ever Waldorf class and met Rudolf Steiner as a child.