“To Midwife Third Force”: Creating Law of Three Midwife Groups

Marcella Kraybill-Greggo attended her first full Wisdom School in the fall of 2014 at the Claymont Society in West Virginia. Cynthia Bourgeault offered a week long retreat, "Gurdjieff for Christian Contemplatives: An Intensive Exploration of the Holy Trinity and the Law of Three". As the date approached, Marcella was receiving guidance in her dreams to become more grounded physically. At Claymont, with its emphasis on the Gurdjieff movements, study would include daily experience in the moving center, as well as in the feeling and intellectual centers. Cynthia says that an essential fruit of contemplative practice is the ever widening capacity to midwife third force. Speaking to the potential of conscious attention, she repeated a concept during the retreat which intrigued Marcella; that third force is more midwifed than taught. The archetype of 'midwifing' (as being with, to bring into being or bring to birth) is central to the spiritual direction Marcella both teaches and practices. In her field, 'midwifing' refers to a way to both witness and stay the course while a person does their work, offering markers, reminding people of what they already know, while holding an awareness of how Spirit can work. This meeting of spiritual direction and

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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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