A Benedictine Wisdom Lived: Wisdom Practitioners Share an Exercise in Immediacy

Cynthia Comes to Glastonbury Abbey for a Day of Reflection… Set on a gentle hill, a long winding driveway approaches a seasoned stone and wood monastery building with the Abbey Church of Our Lady of Glastonbury perched at the end. Beyond, the road narrows and heads down to the chicken and goat barn. The monks pray and chant the psalms in the Benedictine rhythm five times daily, in a chapel that breathes both with the tall pines surrounding it and with its simple, elegant interior. It is adorned with the stations of the cross, a two-sided crucifix, and icon of Benedict all created by artist Tomie dePalo. A feeling of peace and stillness, a sense of quiet fullness, pervades. Nightly, the monks gather around a stunning round icon of Our Lady of Glastonbury to sing before sleep. The grounds include an herb garden and woodland labyrinth, a stone fountain with Mary offering blessing, and a gazebo as well as outdoor stations of the cross and beautiful places to walk, stop and sit. Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham Massachusetts sits just two miles south and three miles west of the Massachusetts Bay of the Atlantic Ocean, just south of Boston. It was

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Thomas Keating: An Interspiritual Celebration ~ and Online Public Video Archive

With extraordinary joy and gratitude I offer these words of welcome to the wonderful feast now laid before you: the complete video archive of our groundbreaking Thomas Keating interspiritual celebration, which took place at the Aspen Chapel last July 13 and 14 — and of which, I am proud to say, Northeast Wisdom was one of the principal sponsors. You may view the eight videos of the event through the link at the end of this blog post. The purpose of the gathering was to honor Thomas Keating’s remarkable interspiritual legacy and to inquire more deeply together how to move forward in its light into the challenging and uncertain times now facing our planet. In both of these goals, the gathering far exceeded our expectations. In fact, it blew us all away. Fr. Thomas Keating–Trappist monk, principal architect of Centering Prayer, and interspiritual pioneer–died on October 25, 2018, leaving behind not only a living treasury of his own final teachings about the emergence into unity consciousness from a Christian perspective, but more significantly, the fruit of that emergence: his continued robust energetic presence among us as an ongoing teacher and guide. I became aware of that presence very powerfully toward

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With the Desert Fathers and Mothers: A Wisdom School Sung in Three Voices

What follows is an article on the Desert Fathers and Mothers retreat that Cynthia Bourgeault led in Tucson Arizona in the winter of 2018. Beautifully crafted by Jo Taylor for the Northeast Wisdom website, with experiential notes from Heather Ruce's retreat journal and Quaker Chantmaster Paulette Meier's reflections, their three voices come together to share the song of those ancient Wisdom teachers and their sayings as they come alive in us today.   Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything. ~ Abba Moses   First Evening: I Enter the Desert I arrive and immediately I am activated. I am aware of the old narratives creeping in and I feel somewhat small. How am I going to do this? I begin to see so many familiar faces of love and I settle down. I belong here, these are my people. After our first meeting I reflect. My insecurities are emerging, my beasts if you will. I know these beasts, they are not unfamiliar, they are old friends. They are full of doubt. They tell me I am behind, that I still have so much work to do, that I am too much, I’m being dramatic, people

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New Arising Index: Recording Quaker Chants with Paulette Meier

On my way to Ohio last weekend I had a layover in Philadelphia. My first flight had been delayed and with about 12 minutes to get from E terminal to B terminal, I got off the plane and took off sprinting. Not altogether the serene mystical picture I had conjured to begin a four-day trip to record a Quaker chant album with the incomparable Paulette! But that’s when I ran right by our friend Jeanine Siler-Jones, God bless her. As I was flying from one gate to another I looked over and there she was. Without slowing down I kept looking at her and then she glanced up and our eyes locked across the concourse and we burst into waving and laughing smiles and I knew the whole shindig was already well-in-hand.  I’ve never been to Ohio and I admit I thought it was a long flat stretch of farm from one end to the other. But then Nick Weiland picked me up from Columbus airport (I made my connection!) and took me on a drive through a beautiful rolling countryside down wooded country lanes to the beautiful property he and his wife Molly keep, tucked deep into a forest.

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Meditations on a Death Transmission

For my beautifully steadfast mother, Adele Teague: Thank you for helping me cross over the many arduous death-wombs that could have swallowed me whole (Jeremiah 1:5).   Death comes to us all. It’s the great equalizer. No, it is the great begetter of the mysterious unknown - uniting both you and me. We may not logically frame it so, but we sense death everywhere. Throughout everything, its siren call emerges. Decomposing matter remains the arbitrary awe and function of our everyday existences. Life is fleeting and therefore trivial; this is what they say. Death turns us into the waste of what we might have known and the people we may have yet become. If only things were different. If never we’ve accepted the immaculate grace of love in this one and only world we know, then surely the earth swallows us up into its disintegrating pit of sod and soil. Six feet under. Oh, how it loves to recycle us! We bend to the forcible will of an impermanence that cares not for how we cling to relative personal comforts for our illusions of immortality. In legacy building and the overall minutia of our perceived accomplishments, we erect vanity monuments

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