The School and its History

The School of Practical Philosophy in California is a center of spiritual and practical knowledge and enquiry. Our aim is to help individuals lead a fuller, richer and more useful life and to evolve the spiritual aspect of their being in accordance with natural laws.

The courses treat philosophy as a personal and practical attitude to life and its opportunities, enabling us to develop a more profound understanding of ourselves. We offer a systematic curriculum, which is experiential and not academic, and is inspired by the universal teachings of great thinkers from both the East and West.


The school was originally founded in London in 1937 and now has over seventy affiliate centers worldwide.

The School of Practical Philosophy in California is affiliated to the School of Practical Philosophy in New York, and a member of a global family of schools dedicated to the study of profound principles for a deeper experience of life.

Our primary aim is to provide a systematic curriculum and practical guidance for anyone who wishes to embark on the journey toward self-realization, awareness and contentment.


The school’s curriculum is inspired by the great universal teachings of the East and West, in particular: Advaita Vedanta (the philosophy of non-duality), the works of Plato and his Florentine follower Marsilio Ficino, American transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakespeare, Rumi and all thinkers who speak of an underlying unity and joy in all things.

US Centers

The School of Practical Philosophy opened its first United States center in 1964 in New York City. Today there are also branches in Boston, Rochester, New Jersey, Albany, Arizona, California and Florida.

Course of Study

Practical Philosophy courses are offered three times a year in all of our centers. For those students who choose to continue their study beyond the first three terms, a simple system of meditation is offered to promote inner peace and stillness of mind.

To come to know our true being, we must first come out of being what we are not.
– Shantananda Saraswati

Practical Philosophy courses are offered throughout the year. Please view our timetable for more information.