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New Recordings from The Contemplative Society: Recovering the Mystical Heart of the Christian Wisdom Tradition

The Contemplative Society has the distinction of being Cynthia's first home as resident teacher of the Wisdom tradition. After offering a teaching in British Columbia in 1995, Cynthia returned to live there in January 1998, leaving the mountain monastery where her beloved Rafe had died two years earlier. In the "extension of the training" with Rafe that Cynthia writes about in Love is Stronger than Death, she says of that time, "I began to realize that the sphere of our "touching" came most intensely when I was in service to others: teaching, leading meditation retreats, building a new organization, The Contemplative Society, with a dedicated and growing group of people. More and more my teaching moved away from what I'd learned "by the books," and into what I was learning through the ongoing journey with Rafe. And it was during these times, when I knew more than I knew and shared it with a heart afire, that our continuing partnership was most radiant, both inwardly and outwardly visible." (p 229, Afterword) The Contemplative Society recorded many of those teachings—heart afire—from Cynthia's years in residence, and beyond. With most of 25 years itself in service to Cynthia's teaching, close to thirty

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“Wisdom Way” Study, Chapter 2: How the West Lost Its Wisdom

Our Northeast Wisdom study of The Wisdom Way of Knowing by Cynthia Bourgeault is off and running!  If you missed Bill Redfield's reflection on Chapter I, you can find it here.  If you're not participating in the online group, we'd still love to have you join the study in imaginal space, connecting from wherever you are with the energy of our collective engagement with one of our community's core texts.  As you read along, touch back here each month for a chapter synopsis and reflection from a Northeast Wisdom council member and feel free to share your reflections below. This month we're exploring Chapter II, "How the Christian West Lost Its Wisdom."  Cynthia begins by reminding us that the earliest followers of Jesus didn't follow him because they'd read about him in the Gospels--that he was the Son of God who rose from the dead--no, all of that lay up ahead.  There could be no "enlightened self-interest" at work.  Rather, they followed Jesus because something in them recognized something in him--"a meeting of hearts in the present moment that somehow conferred full knowledge and consent." Here Cynthia quotes Bruno Barnhart, who reminds us that Jesus' power as Wisdom master lies

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“I Am Not a Space that God Does Not Occupy…”
Part VIII. The Eye of the Heart

This is the last in an eight-part Northeast Wisdom Home Page Blog series that Cynthia prepared from what she calls "one of the best things I have ever written." It began on Sunday January 12, 2020, with posts every Sunday and Wednesday during the season of Epiphany. See links for previous postings, and more about the book how I saw God in everyone and everything, at the end of this post. Please share your reflections about the entire series in Comments! Throughout the essay "I Am Not a Space that God Does Not Occupy," Cynthia deftly weaves her personal inner experience and dynamic relationship with God and life—from the time of her childhood to the present—with that of our common human history of consciousness. In Part VII, she shares how initially it was her personal trajectory with Centering Prayer that led her to a clearer seeing and experience of what it is to perceive with the eye of the heart. Tracing the profound nature of Jesus' own words, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God," into the consciousness of our times; Cynthia opens and concludes Part VII with contemporary words of Wisdom. "See or perish," says

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“I Am Not a Space that God Does Not Occupy…”
Part VII. Seeing

This is Part VII of an eight-part Northeast Wisdom Home Page Blog series that began on Sunday January 12, 2020, with posts every Sunday and Wednesday during the season of Epiphany. Look for the last post Wednesday, February 5th; and see links for previous postings and more at the end of this post. Please share your reflections in Comments!In Part VI, Cynthia continues with the history of consciousness, confessing her "profound honor" of both the Old and New Testaments, while sharing Barbara Brown Taylor's answer to the question, "Where is God in this picture?" In light of a God who "is the web… (is) revealed in that singular, vast net of relationships that animates everything that is," Cynthia goes further to say, "Scripture does indeed contain all things necessary to salvation, but only if we keep writing it. And to keep writing it means—as all the prophets from Abraham on have consistently proclaimed—to be willing to leave all known reference points behind in order to ride that arrowhead of evolution relentlessly toward the next unfolding." VII Seeing “Voir or périr,” wrote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his searing prologue to The Human Phenomenon: “See or perish.” In the end, it’s

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“I Am Not a Space that God Does Not Occupy…”
Part VI. A Brief History of Consciousness, Continued

This is Part VI of an eight-part Northeast Wisdom Home Page Blog series that began on Sunday January 12, 2020, with posts every Sunday and Wednesday during the season of Epiphany. Please share your reflections in Comments! In Part V Cynthia outlines the history of consciousness in a trajectory as relevant to world culture as to individuals. With an example from her own life of her ever-evolving relationship with the true nature and power of scripture she says: "…then I looked upon it as the unchanging revelation of the one true God. Now I look at it as an extraordinary, sacred archive of the evolution of human consciousness." Opening further while relating her public profession of the Holy Bible as "container of all things necessary to salvation," she claims the same of a stone, "in this holy, God-infused universe of ours when we truly open our hearts to it." Cynthia then uses scripture to deftly track consciousness from magical to mythic through rational to integral. "This is where Jesus takes up the story," she says. "As far as the West is concerned, he is indisputably the first to model a fully attained nondual consciousness."   VI. A Brief History of

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