The History

About G. I. Gurdjieff

G. I. Gurdjieff (1866-1949) brought the results of his journeys throughout the Middle and Far East together in a practice and teaching that still has a powerful effect on people’s lives. In this teaching, all sides of a human being are developed at the same time — what he called harmonious development. The first demand he gave to those following him is contained in the ancient adage, "Know Thyself." Harmonious development cannot take place in the absence of real self knowledge. Gurdjieff began teaching in Russia in 1912 after years of travel, only leaving during the Russian Revolution. Then, he opened his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man near Paris, where he lived and taught. It was there that the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann music was composed. As interest increased around the globe, centers of study were established in New York, London, and other cities in the Americas and Europe. Today, Gurdjieff study groups continue to flourish in almost every state in the United States and almost every country throughout the world.

The Gurdjieff Foundation of Colorado

Walter and Elizabeth Vanrenen, who had been in Lord Pentland’s New York group for over ten years, moved to Boulder in 1968 to enroll their son in the University of Colorado. Shortly after, Lord Pentland visited them and suggested that they begin a group to study Gurdjieff’s ideas and practices. The first group, comprised of six people, soon grew, maintaining the thread of work that is still alive in what is now the Gurdjieff Foundation of Colorado.
Since its beginning in 1968, working together has provided the group’s members with rich experiences and deep impressions. Everyone has had the benefit of many influences, which resulted from trying to understand Gurdjieff’s teaching more completely, and practice it, as well as from visitors and visits to other Foundations. The sincerity needed to stay together has been tested, and in facing the difficulties that naturally arise within a group of human beings, the group has been strengthened. The Gurdjieff Foundation of Colorado was formally established in Boulder in 1987. It is affiliated with the Gurdjieff Foundations of New York and San Francisco.
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