Wisdom Group Leadership Training

This is the first in a series of four articles by Bill Redfield about the Wisdom Group Leadership Training offered November 29 ~ December 3, 2017. This practical training in skillful post-holding, including ‘embodying the wealth of Wisdom's vision' and developing group skills for greater integration, will take place at Hallelujah Farm in Chesterfield New Hampshire. Before I begin my pitch, allow me to introduce myself and our team to you. The Wisdom path started for me when I met Cynthia 27 years ago and when I began a practice of Centering Prayer. As an Episcopal priest and clinical social worker, I have long been interested in the intersection of spiritual development and psychological development. I reconnected with Cynthia ten years ago and since then have been a participant in her Advanced Wisdom group. Having spent a chunk of my adult life leading groups of various kinds and teaching group process and group development in several graduate social work and graduate education programs, the upcoming training in leadership skills for Wisdom groups represents for me a confluence of life interests.I have had the great good fortune of being able to work with two dear friends over the past four years.

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2nd Annual Maine Wisdom Ingathering is Less Than a Month Away!

Our Second Annual Maine Wisdom Ingathering is now only a little more than a month away! This e-letter comes to bring you all up to date about how this year’s event is shaping up—and to announce that there are still places for a few last-minute recruits if you’re willing to arrange your own housing. Our program this year, June 4-11, 2017, will have two tracks. In the morning we’ll be continuing our work with Teilhard de Chardin, this year with a specific focus on what he might have to say to a world suddenly thrust into volatile and perilous circumstances. The title of our exploration is “A Survivor’s Guide to the Galaxy: Teilhard for Troubled Times.” We’ll be considering the ways in which his expansive evolutionary vision and deep mystical hope offer surprising new insights and resources for a world which all too often nowadays find itself steering rudderless. And speaking of rudders… In the afternoon, we’ll be exploring our local Celtic seafaring saint, St. Brendan the Navigator, by way of an original mystery play I created in his honor about twenty years ago. I’m envisioning this afternoon track as creatively staged lecture-discussion-scene study drawing us deeper into that perennial Wisdom

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The Lord is Risen Indeed? Alleluia? A Reflection on a Holy Week Retreat and Easter Lived in the Tradition of Wisdom

A Poem: "Take Off Your Shoes" by Adwoa Lewis-Wilson. Take off your shoes, In fact, remove all your coverings – The cloak of achievement, adornments of knowledge,      Every false veil of ‘self’. For the place you stand is holy ground. Here is where I will burn away all that is not real. Here is where you remain aflame with my Spirit’s fire. Take off your shoes, Yes, all your coverings. For here you have found the baptismal fount. You may not enter this sanctuary other than naked,      Vulnerable           Exposed. Available. Then will I wash you and you will find your part with me. Then clean and pure, will you abide as a beacon of my Light. Like the bush you will not be consumed. For this soul of yours is holy ground. And see? You will not, naked, drown. For by my presence, from your very soul Has flowed springs of living water.Bare yourself and come near. In your soul you will find me:      A fire’s power,      A cleansing stream.      A perfect refuge,      An endless union,      A boundless bliss, Unknowable Revelation, Unshakable Peace. Here I wait, for you to arrive, But first you must take off your shoes. ~ Adwoa

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Substituted Love

In honor of Holy Week, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my "Becoming Truly Human: Gurdjieff's Obligolnian Strivings" e-course, just now winding down. “And the fifth: the striving always to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself and those of other forms, up to the degree of the sacred ‘Martfotai’, that is, up to the degree of self-individuality.” It’s one thing to be willing and able to help a fellow being: to send them strength, reassurance, even an energetic boost. But is it possible to actually change places with them so that we take the weight on our own shoulders and they are permanently set free? Definitely not, most spiritual traditions say. In the words of my Sufi teacher, a butcher’s son: “Every mutton hangs by its own leg.” Assistance, yes; baraka, blessing, clarity, counsel, and strength: in all these ways we can help. But spiritual liberation itself is non-transferable. You can’t become conscious unconsciously, by someone else doing it for you. It is the fruit of your own inner work. I raise this point, obviously, because we are now less than a week out from the beginning of Holy Week.

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Conversation and Flow: A Spiritual Practice

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about conversation and the necessity of paying attention to the flow of our words. Since, as Christopher Fry* has said, “Affairs are now soul size,” it seems that our conversations should be the same. It’s like a dance really, and if well done, can become an embodied spiritual practice emphasizing the three modes of attention, surrender and compassion. I took a social dancing class in sixth grade in order to prepare for school dances and to be ready for successful adulthood in the days when dancing with a partner was more than rocking back and forth or just jumping around in time to wild music. Our first attempts were very concentrated. Counting one, two, three to the music and making our feet move in a box-step pattern as we looked down at them generally kept us from stepping on our partner’s shoes. As the rhythm moved inside of us and we began to really feel the movement, our minds relaxed, our attention to our partners increased and enjoyment took the place of tension in our bodies. I remember vividly as an adult the time I waltzed at a parish dance with the father of

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