s Programme of Events held at the International Hermeneutic Society, Tan-y-Garth Hall, Pontfadog, Denbighshire


A wide variety of planned events are held at Tan y Garth Hall.

Study Event:

Residential weekends, single day and 2 hour events comprised of intensive work at all levels across a wide range of themes. One or more of the Society’s most experienced members and associates, all of whom are expert within the given subject hosts the courses. Questions and answers are encouraged and adequate time is provided for this purpose.

Retreat Weekends:

These weekends provide an opportunity to step out from our usual pattern of living with its high stress levels and to experience a complete change from our everyday surroundings. Numbers are limited to allow single occupancy of a bedroom.

Working Events:

Comprised of single days or weekends where volunteers undertake essential maintenance of the Hall and grounds. There is no charge for working events.

If you would like to volunteer with us either at a working event or in any other way please download & complete our skills questionaire and return it to info@hermeneutic.co.uk

Monday Evening Meeting

Now starts at 7.30 not 8.00

A group meets fortnightly on a Monday evening at Tan y Garth Hall, starting at 7.30 pm. They look mainly at the teachings of Eugene Halliday but also work with meditation, art, drama and movement. The group has been running for over 20 years under the guidance of Dave Phillipps. All are welcome but please check with the Hall before coming to see when the next meeting is being held.

A Newsletter is published 3 times a year for members of the Society.

Current Programme of Events 2017

Click here to download a Poster of our Programme of Events

Click here to download the current Programme of Events Summary

Click here to download the current Programme of Events Full details

Event Date Run By Title
SATURDAY EVENT Saturday 18th February 10am-5pm Val McLeod Yoga Day info
SATURDAY EVENTSaturday 4th March 10am-5pm Derek MurrayMythology in Film - the hero’s journey, includes Film screening info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND10th-12th MarchBill CommerfordInner Qigong info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND24th-26th March Rebbecca Rice Relax and Retreat info
SATURDAY EVENT Saturday 1st April Alan RobertsAn Introduction to Hermeneutics 1. Words info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND 7th-9th April Pam and Gordon SmithAwaken your healing potential info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND Saturday 22th - Sunday 23rd April Volunteers
No Charge
Working Weekend/Skills Sharing (shared catering) info
SATURDAY EVENTSaturday 29th AprilCarol Richard Art and its Significance info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND12th -14th MayBill Commerford Movement Shiatsu & Inner Qigong info
SATURDAY EVENT Saturday 20th May Dr Peter Westbrook An Introduction to Consciousness Studies info
SATURDAY EVENT Saturday 3rd June Alan Roberts Sacred Drama info
SATURDAY EVENT Saturday 17th June Victor Marino The Conquest of Anxiety: What does Neuro Linguistic Programming Offer? info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND 23rd -25th June Pam and Gordon Smith Stress Less info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND 7th-9th July Tashi Mannox A Meditative Approach to Creativity info
SATURDAY EVENT Saturday 22th July Leeon Wong Balance info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND 28th-30th July Pam and Gordon Smith Time and Eternity info
RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND 29th September-1st October Bill Commerford Shiatsu Techniques for Complimentary Therapists info

Saturday 18th February


Iyengar Yoga Day

Val McLeod

Val McLeod image

Strengthen upper body using your own body weight–release the restrictions of winter and open the heart with stimulating asana (postures) and deeply calming Pranayama (breathing awareness)

Suitable for all abilities.

For information contact Val on 07814008590; yogawirral@gmail.com

Val McLeod is an experienced Iyengar Yoga tutor (precision, safety, and sequencing).

A contributor with, Les Bolland, (USA) in workshops combining Yoga, Swingolf, Macrobiotic cooking and Shiatsu massage, Val has a warm personality, ensuring every participant is welcomed and supported!

Saturday 4th March


Mythology and the Hero’s Journey in Contemporary Cinema

Derek Murray.

Since before recorded history began we have been telling ourselves stories as a means of preserving culture and passing on wisdom from generation to generation. Some of the most profound stories come down to us in the form of myths embedded into popular culture. With reference to the work of Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler and including an analysis of “The Matrix”, this event will explore the Hero’s Journey mono-myth in contemporary popular cinema.

Derek Murray is a professional filmmaker with experience of both the UK and Hollywood film industries who currently works as a senior lecturer in film and television production at Edge Hill University Ormskirk.

Friday 10th – Sunday 12th March


Introduction to Inner Qigong

Bill Commerford

Bill Commerford Image

Inner Qigong is a set of simple exercises using breathing and integrated movement techniques in order to retrain our awareness of what connects us, so that we can move more smoothly and efficiently from our core without stress.

Inner Qigong is suited to all ages, levels of fitness and mobility. No previous experience is necessary, although those with experience of breathing and movement, whether in dance, tai chi gong and yoga etc., will understand the essentials of moving from the core with ease.

Evolved from Central Channel Qigong, dating back over a thousand years, Inner Qigong works very effectively with Movement Shiatsu to assist clients who want to work more actively on their health and well-being beyond treatment sessions.

For more information visit www.shiatsutherapy.net

Bill has over twenty years experience as a Shiatsu therapist, working with clients in mental and sexual health projects, substance/alcohol dependency programmes, NHS and community based projects and treatment on-site at festivals, and with staff in London based companies. Bill also treats children, young and older people with learning difficulties and mobility issues.

Bill teaches at: The British School of Shiatsu-Do (www.britishschoolofshiatsu.co.uk); Ki Kai Shiatsu School at Morley College (www.kikaishiatsuschool.co.uk); The School for Experiential Education (SEED) (www.seed.org), where he teaches post graduate Movement Shiatsu and Inner Qigong courses (www.innerqigong.com).

Bill is also a MBACP (Accred). Integrative Counsellor & Psychotherapist. He sees clients in London & the West Country (www.thresholdcentre.co.uk).

For further information, visit: www.shiatsutherapy.net or email: bill@shiatsutherapy.net

Friday 24th – Sunday 26th March


Relax and Retreat

Rebbecca Rice

Further information will be provided soon.

Saturday 1st April


An Introduction to Hermeneutics. Part 1: Words

Alan Roberts

Alan Roberts Image

Eugene Halliday considered that an active engagement with our vocabulary, the range of words that we use in all situations, was extremely important in understanding both the world and the other folk in it, and perhaps more importantly our own thought processes because they govern even how we talk to and structure ourselves. In that sense they are the bedrock of any work we do on our selves. He points out how words are formal packets of energy that link and relate other forms, such as ideas in the mind and shapes in the world. If we are unaware of these linkages, or have misunderstood what they actually mean, then we are similarly unaware or have misunderstood aspects, perhaps important aspects, of our ideas, those of others, and also actual relationships out in the world. He does this in many talks but here he starts with the sounds and drawings of the letters themselves, allowing us to see the sonic geometry of the visual and aural meanings that we construct words out of. Words, their roots and linkages, and their meanings and impact on our thinking was to him the essential aspect of all philosophy, and more importantly absolutely necessary for any discussion in any subject whatsoever. The dictionary was our most important research tool, which could be meaningfully brought to bear on any aspect we choose to work on. We shall read through the talk and discuss, argue and kick around all the ideas that it brings up, until it, or we fall exhausted to the floor.

Come and join us, it is a wonderful lecture and a valuable cornerstone to all your studies. Transcripts will be available.

Friday 7th – Sunday 9th April


Awaken Your Healing Potential

Pam and Gordon Smith

Pam & Gordon Smith Image

This is an interpretation with a practical approach to understanding the nature of 'Prajna', the intuitive wisdom or gnosis that underlies reality, which when understood can help promote healing and guidance through life.

Includes: lectures, practical sessions, the journey within.

Pam and Gordon Smith are a husband and wife partnership who have been teaching Yoga since 1960. Between them they founded and ran Faith House 22 years. Both Pam and Gordon took early Yoga qualifications with the All India Board of Yoga run by Wilfred Clark. They have taught Yoga at home and abroad and have written a book on “Meditation: A Treasury of Technique”, which sold internationally. They have written many articles, including in 1984 a 12 month series “Posture Possibilities” for the magazine “Yoga Today”. In 1987 they helped found the Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship and played a part in writing the successful CYF Correspondence Course. Eugene Halliday has been the main inspiration and guide in both their lives and this is reflected in weekend events Pam and Gordon regularly run at Tan y Garth.

Website: nirvana-essence.co.uk

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rdApril


Working Weekend/Skills Sharing (shared catering)

In addition to assisting with practical work like grounds maintenance and work inside the hall this weekend will also be an opportunity for those who are willing to “bring to the table” and share any relevant talents and expertise which are needed for the general running of the IHS and Tan y Garth Hall. Please refer to the ‘Skills Sharing’ questionnaire and list as a guide to the sort of help needed - A copy of which is on the IHS website and which you may have also received with this programme.

This is a shared catering weekend where basic food will be provided.

Participants will need to bring their own sheets and towels.

Due to its practical nature and the help given there is no charge for this weekend.

Anyone interested please contact Carol at cprbroadst@btinternet.com and copy to info@hermeneutics.co.uk and we will be in touch with more information nearer the time.

Saturday 29th April


Art and its Significance

Carol Richards

A look at the ideas as presented on Khen Ratcliffe’s recording as titled.

From the classical beauty of the work of Michaelangelo to the current Turner Prize winners, has our love and appreciation of the arts evolved or simply lost its way? Both as Art makers and Art appreciators how can we gain greater knowledge and insight? Please bring comfortable loose clothing for practical work, any other materials will be provided.

After studying with the Shivananda school of Yoga in India Carol gained a teaching certificate with the International Yoga Fellowship. Whilst teaching on the Wirral she then formed a link with the IHS and its founder Khen Ratcliffe in the late 1970’s.

Carol has taught the Art of Yoga, stress management and related subjects over the years often using art as a vehicle for stress release and insight.

Friday 12th – Sunday 14th May


Movement Shiatsu & Inner Qigong

Bill Commerford

Bill COmmerford Image

Like Inner Qigong, Movement Shiatsu is a fully integrated system which involves clients more actively in treatments as an exploratory form of Shiatsu that includes developing awareness of breathing, movement and connection in what we do and how we do it.

We will explore 6 Forms of Touch in developing awareness of how we work on ourselves and with others through the quality of our sense of connection and how to explore this with people we treat. The aim is to assist clients’ sense of autonomy and well-being as we explore appropriate options: you’ll notice changes as they emerge.

Developed by Bill Palmer (www.seed.org ) Movement Shiatsu and Inner Qigong are especially useful for clients with chronic health patterns as both practices promote a greater awareness of how we breathe, move, focus, embody and inhabit our space. No previous experience of body work is necessary. Those interested can explore this work further on short and professional therapist training courses that Bill runs in London. For further information visit: www.shiatsutherapy.net or email: bill@shiatsutherapy.net

Saturday 20th May


An Introduction to Consciousness Studies

Dr. Peter Westbrook

The idea of a single universal truth, shared by all the world’s great religious and philosophical movements, has been rediscovered in each epoch by saints, sages, prophets, and philosophers. But while it unites thinkers from Christ and Buddha to Plato and Halliday, it has long remained an obscure notion in the margins of academic scholarship. More recently, however, it has loomed into relevancy for those who study the future rather than the past. Future Studies, as this field has become know in academia and business, tends to focus on technological and sociological developments. However, within Future Studies a focus has emerged on Consciousness Studies, being the study of consciousness itself. In this event, Dr. Peter Westbrook author of Divine Harmony: The Life and Teachings of Pythagoras, provides an introduction to the field including an overview of how consciousness has evolved throughout history, placing Eugene Halliday's contribution on the subject in context.

Dr. Westbrook received his initial training as a musicologist but went on to help found a unique private university and then a major American corporation, until a meeting with Buckminster Fuller set the tone for his future research. “To be negative about the future,” Fuller told him, “you don’t need to know anything. To be positive, you have to know a great deal.” In his lectures and college courses, which he has taught in the USA, Europe and India, Dr Westbrook, sets out the theme of his forthcoming new book At the Brink: Mankind takes its Final Exam.

Saturday 3rd June


Sacred Drama

Alan Roberts

Alan robers Image

We will be working firstly in experiencing the complex relations and alignments within the family web and the influences acting across generations, between siblings and in differing contexts and roles. Often these meaningful patterns and actions are held or fixed between individual positions and places; perhaps once they were intensely necessary but now they can be dysfunctional and impede any new movement and progress in life. Our work, with the help of others, is to become aware of these alignments and to release or re-align them.

Awareness of family networks and resonances may be already moving in you, and presenting relational issues for you to see more clearly and to work with. We will not all be able to do our exercise in this one day, but we will be involved in others that will meaningfully connect with our own networks. Some sessions only seem to take minutes, some hours, as those of you know who have worked in this way before, but always they are meaningful to all observing and involved.

Please dress in layers [the hall should be warm] that allow for movement [loose pants, sweaters and thickish socks are usual].

Saturday 17th June


The Conquest of Anxiety: What does Neuro Linguistic Programming Offer?

Victor Marino

Victor Marino Image

A one-day workshop exploring and practising specific Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) tools for managing internal state and external behavioural response. NLP is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created in California, in the 1970s. NLP techniques tend towards the use of direct intervention to change internal state (feelings) on a fairly immediate basis, rather than search for deep underlying cause of anxiety before initiating an intervention - (indeed in this context, NLP is often considered to be “at the other end of the spectrum” to traditional psycho-analytical approaches of researching the history of a person’s anxiety).

NLP has strong advocates (just ask Derren Brown!) and is used extensively in business to enhance communication and focus for the achievement of commercial goals. Many testify that the application of NLP techniques have been a revelation in terms of enabling personal responsibility for choosing internal state and behavioural response. At the same time, scientific opinion on the efficacy of NLP is somewhat divided and some people view NLP as an art rather than a science.

This one-day workshop will be highly participative, involving practice and exploration of a range of techniques. And at the end of the day, you decide what to take away and apply for your own spiritual, psychological and mental wellbeing.

Victor has many years of experience of leadership and team coaching throughout a vast range of commercial organisations on a global basis. He is an accredited NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) trainer and his focus is to help people understand how to increase their personal effectiveness.

Friday 23rd – Sunday 25th June


Stress Less

Pam and Gordon Smith

Pam & Gordon Smith Image

Gentle flow exercises, pranayama to calm your mind and yoga nidra, deep relaxation techniques.

Friday 7th – Sunday 9th July


A Meditative Approach to Creativity

Tashi Mannox

Tashi Mannox image

This workshop will include the practice of meditation as well as the practice of mark-making.

An interactive workshop with brush and ink; during which participants can bring their hand and heart of awareness in creating an enso. As an introduction, Tashi explains the historical and contemporary sacred integrity of Tibetan calligraphy and mark-making in Dharma-art, how to unite heaven and earth though the creative process of spiritual practice - as a means to an ultimate expression of freedom.

An enso is a disciplined-creative practice of traditional Japanese Zen ink painting, a circle that is hand-drawn in one uninhibited brushstroke to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The unique nature of this two-day workshop focuses on the approach to creativity as more important than what is created. This is achieved through an attitude of non expectation and fearlessness in both meditation and action. Therefore, to accept the perfection in the imperfection in the created end result of an enso.

Anybody can attend and you do not need previous artistic experience as a calligrapher as no specific language is used.

Tashi Mannox has embodied both the Eastern and Western artistic disciplines in his 35-year journey as a painter and calligrapher. Born British to the family name Mannox his first name, Tashi, was given to him when he became a Buddhist monk of the Tibetan Kagyu order at the age of 22, shortly after gaining his BA [Hons] in Fine Art.

For the next seventeen-years, as a monk, he apprenticed under the direction of a master of Tibetan art, the late Sherab Palden Beru. Part of Tashi’s training was in the elaborate art of temple decoration, which is the traditional hub for the Tibetan arts and its deep symbolism.

During his years in the monastery, Tashi entered a four-year Buddhist retreat, where he worked as a scribe, meticulously copying ancient Tibetan manuscripts. This highly disciplined training laid a firm foundation in the multiple forms of Tibetan calligraphy.

Since laying down his monastic robes in 2000, Tashi has built on his disciplined training and arising spiritual awareness formed through years of practising meditation and Buddhist philosophy - to produce collections of iconographic masterpieces that reveal powerful, sacred themes through the majestic images of Tibetan Buddhist iconography.

He is now recognized as one of the world’s foremost contemporary Tibetan calligraphy artists. Exhibiting internationally in London, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Sharjah of the United Arab Emirates, with up-and-coming exhibitions in Brazil and Bhutan.

In recent years Tashi has held numerous workshops, courses and retreats worldwide, instructing in the art of Tibetan calligraphy and Dharma-art with its all-important meditative approach to all creativity. www.tashimannox.com

Saturday 22nd July



Leeon Wong

Using the Collective Works of Eugene Halliday, 'The Blue Books', to look into the balance of affect and cognition, feeling and intellect and of energy-charge and form. During the day we will look through the Blue Books at some of the concepts and ideas they contain on Balance and related subjects.

Exploring how these can be used to help us to see the push and pulls of life and how our responses to these can be freed from ingrained mechanical action/reaction to a more free and immediate way of life. With the aim to intuit the still point of non-judgemental pre-polarised energy around which life turns.

Leeon is a long standing member of the IHS a period which has also included time as a council member. He was introduced to Eugene Halliday's work through tapes and books some 27 years ago. Since the introduction Leeon has been trying to understand and apply the teaching's of Eugene Halliday into his everyday life. For 20 years Leeon was a student of the IHS former Hon. President Don Lord. Don was a profound thinker and deeply versed in Eugene's work having been a close friend and student of Eugene's since 1942.


Friday 28th – Sunday 30th July

Time and Eternity

Pam and Gordon Smith

Further information will be provided soon.


Friday 29th September – Sunday 1st October

Shiatsu Techniques for Complimentary Therapists

Bill Commerford

Introducing Techniques from Movement Shiatsu & Interactive Bodywork & How to Apply These in Your Own Therapeutic Work. We’ll explore techniques that can assist you & your clients that are adaptable for couch, futon and chair treatments, that also address clients’ needs with their active cooperation.

We will also look at how to work with subtle yet effective techniques, energetically, but efficiently, so that you don’t tire, or injure yourself. This course is open to all, as well as complementary therapists.

For further information visit: www.shiatsutherapy.net or email: bill@shiatsutherapy.net