As we continue on in the season of Epiphany, the veil still thin, we are invited to bring the gifts of Wisdom to that which is springing forth and desiring to manifest through form in the collective. We are in a conducive and fertile field for recognition, mending, and re-membering the mercy as we make our way through the collective traumas of our time.

Last March, the Covid-19 pandemic made way for another awakening to the ongoing racism and inequity embedded in the soil of the world, and in particular America. This overdue awakening brought turmoil and unrest, a necessary condition for growth. Time goes on and it is important for us to stay awake, to keep our hearts tuned, to receive the help available to us, to integrate the resources needed, for something unknown to unfold as the future beckons us into new structures of consciousness.

There is an ongoing need to be present to this collective pain body and re-enacted trauma as it intersects with the Wisdom tradition. In particular, we can draw from the Fourth Way teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff as a source of insight. The Fourth Way is all about making your life conditions the conditions for your spiritual work and transformation, hence in shorthand it has been called The Work. You don’t have to go away to a monastery but in fact your life can become your monastery no matter the circumstances.

Although I will name but a few likely familiar teachings, we can begin to make some important connections. Let’s begin with the notion of being asleep. The Work suggests that humans in our typical state walk through life unconsciously. We have become machines at the mercy of our conditioned thoughts, emotions, and even physical postures but we can wake up to our mechanical nature if we are open to doing so.

In this case, we can wake up to our mechanical nature specifically as it manifests in the very subtle and sometimes not so subtle art of othering, domination, exploitation, and oppression. The practice of self-observation is one of our most important methods in this aim of waking up and is about honestly seeing the state of our being. We see not from our super-ego, which often sits on the throne of the intellectual center judging and analyzing, but from witnessing presence, whose signature mark is curiosity.

As we observe and begin to work on ourselves we also see the particularity of each person’s experience. Using the word ‘we’ can be problematic because ‘we’ are not a homogenous group of people. At the same time, ‘we’ are all humans which does not need to negate these particularities. We are all part of a complex system in which there is both profound connectivity and differentiation.

Working with self-observation allows us to see for ourselves how we are prone to unique and similar ways of falling asleep in our three centers in regard to racism. The work with our intellectual center is through thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes; our emotional center through emotions and feelings; and our movement center through sensations, gestures, postures, instinctual reactions (fight, flight, freeze). Much of our sleep comes from over 200,000 years of human history. The reality is, racism has been an insidious thread running throughout the entire human experience.

There have always been groups of people objectifying, othering, and oppressing different groups of people for all kinds of reasons. There have always been those who dominate and desire power over others. This is not new, and perhaps was a manifestation of the deficient phases of the magical structure. In his book Seeing Through the World, Jeremy Johnson says, “The magical is also deficiently expressed as the capacity to be mindlessly destructive, a doing without consciousness, which also manifests as a kind of machine consciousness, or mass destructive violence, in the deficient mental age.” (p. 93) We can look at the history of humans and see this mindless destruction and mechanical nature as the same tendency which leads us to exploit animals and our planet.

Every one of us, wherever we sit around the planet, has been born into the deficient mental age and a context of the collective trauma structure inherent in slavery, racism, war, colonization, and other forms of violence and othering—which is more pervasive than it may appear. It is difficult to see that which we have been living in and is living in us. What is new is that more and more humans are beginning to see the mechanical nature of it, and wake up in varying degrees from the sleep.

Our conditioning can be seen, as two foundational Fourth Way teachers Maurice Nicoll and P.D. Ouspensky suggest, like old coats that are layered on. A person can have so many coats on that the person can hardly fit through the doorway and go into the next room. We have many coats that need to be discarded in order that we might be able to fit through the doorway in front of us. A large piece of the inner work necessary in this current experience is becoming aware of our sleep and removing these coats, both individually and collectively.

Through our self-observation we can begin to see how the conversation in regard to systemic racism and white body advantage brings up our identifications. Identification is about the ways we attach to an image of the self or identity. We become identified with certain narratives about ourselves and ways of doing things which support our sense of identity. In her e-course Spiritual Practices from the Gurdjieff Work[i] Cynthia says, “The main reason that identification is hard to spot is that it’s so closely tied into the mechanisms from which our usual sense of selfhood derive that it’s almost like trying to look at your own eyeballs!” We can loosen our identification as part of the healing.

We can also work with internal and external conditioning in regard to racial justice. Cynthia’s descriptions of external and internal considering are incredibly helpful here. She says:

External considering is basically the Work equivalent of “practical compassion.” It is fundamentally no more complicated or exotic than simply the capacity to actually see the condition of another, to walk in his or her footsteps, to “love my neighbor as myself”—all familiar territory in every religious tradition. But so often in the West these ideas have become infused with sentimentality and duty; there is no real consciousness involved. In the Gurdjieff version…the chief operatives are conscious attention and a well-honed moving center.

Cynthia continues:

The opposite of external considering is internal considering, of course, which for Gurdjieff meant an excessive interiority and a preoccupation with one’s own internal states, needs, and narratives. In this state, lost in one’s story, it is very difficult to assimilate the actual condition of another, let alone see how to help. Everything moves in relationship to one’s own interiority. Like trying to understand a phrase in French by first mentally translating it into English, one moves from self to other and back to self again without ever grasping the relationship directly. That is why, according to Gurdjieff, so much of what we call “self-awareness” nowadays is merely narcissism writ large.

True self-awareness begins at the next level out, when those rigid boundaries between self and other are dissolved in a single, flowing energetic field. External considering does not require great personal empathy or emotional drama. It requires a quiet mind, a complete lack of inner talking, and an ability to take one’s cues directly from the present moment.

This is exactly what is called for. How would we navigate our collective trauma if we were to integrate these resources? If each one of us took seriously Gurdjieff’s charge of “external considering always, internal considering never” and enlarged our capability “to actually see the condition of another,” to walk in their footsteps, and love them as ourselves? What would happen if we leaned into the practice not from a preoccupation with our own internal states, needs, and narratives but rather with hearts as finely tuned spiritual instruments ready to play?

For one, we would water the earth with holy tears pouring out of a genuine remorse of conscience. Remorse for our being asleep. At the 2020 October Wisdom School at Claymont we spent some time with the idea of remorse. Cynthia reminded us that remorse is not about guilt or shame, although there can be a place for those, but rather an immediate seeing in which freedom and humility allow you to finally take responsibility without blame, self-justification, or denial. It happens when we can open to the higher emotional center and is a place where love can be awakened. The struggle with ourselves is on behalf of the collective. We have to enter through the gate of remorse with forgiveness, and a recognition that there is a universal burden I’m going to carry a piece of.

And finally, we can also allow Gurdjieff’s Obligolnian Strivings to speak directly to these threads:

The first striving: to have in one’s ordinary being-existence everything satisfying and really necessary for the planetary body.

The second striving: to have a constant and unflagging instinctive need to perfect oneself in the sense of Being.

The third: the conscious striving to know more and more about the laws of World- creation and World-maintenance.

The fourth: the striving, from the beginning of one’s existence, to pay as quickly for one’s arising and individuality, in order to be free afterward to lighten as much as possible the sorrow of our Common Father.

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.

What if we sat with and ingested these strivings in regard to how we externally consider people from every ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and on and on? How can each one us cultivate the organizing principles in support of regulating the collective nervous system?

As we become more conscious and work toward healing the wounds of racism and colonization, we can remember Jeremy Johnson saying in Seeing Through the World:

…that consciousness is not ours; we might speak of its realization in us but it is not, in truth, ours to possess. Rather, creativity and the structures of consciousness themselves are an originary phenomena (and therefore can only be traced back to the spiritual, the ineffable). Rather than heroically taking a leap into new consciousness, each spiritual mutation is a participatory process of entrusting oneself to origin and stepping into a process that is co-enactive rather than territorialized (nearly taking, claiming, or conquering a time-space realization) (pg. 87).

Perhaps, this is all part of origin calling us forward from within to join in the creation of a new structure of consciousness, latent in us, groping to unfold. There are many more questions to live with than answers.

Cynthia’s words from her recent blog post, Integral as Theotokos: A Western Take on Origin, are apt in this exploration. She says:

It is being able to “ware” consciously the dance of time and timelessness right at the heart-of-the arising itself, the ever present springing forth of the new into the old. The capacity of consciousness that can allow you to do that is also the capacity that can hold the complementary perspectives of each of the structures, not on a flattened linear map, but in the pure spherical wonder of the divine delight in Becoming…

…The goal here is not to dissolve the Ursprung in a final realization of the illusionary nature of all form and time, but rather to stand in it with all the strength of one’s being and integrated ego strength (the true fruit of the mental structure of consciousness), so that one can shape and give ‘voice’ to the mysterious yearning of the divine heart to take form, which would otherwise overwhelm with its sheer life force any finite womb in which it yearned to gestate.[ii]

This moment requires something from each one of us. And although that something will be unique in expression, each one of us can stand in the current tensions with a wide heart and strength of being, offering ourselves in service of the collective. We can see to it that everyone has what is needed. We can study and work with the law of three and the law of seven as they speak to this thread. We can “lighten as much as possible the sorrow of our Common Father” and strive always “to assist the most rapid perfecting of other beings, both those similar to oneself, and those of other forms.”

If you are interested in this exploration, you can join Jeanine Siler Jones and me, Heather Ruce, in a Wisdom Circle beginning this month. You can find out more details below.

 

[i] Available now at the Spirituality & Practice website as Spiritual Practices from the Gurdjieff Work with Cynthia Bourgeault, an ever-current, on-going e-course first offered in November 2014. [ii] See Cynthia’s post here Integral as Theotokos: A Western Take on Origin, Exploring Jean Gebser Lesson VIII


Wisdom Informed Anti-Racism Practice Circle
Wednesdays, February 10 ~ June 9, Spring 2021
with Heather Ruce and Jeanine Siler Jones

This monthly gathering is for those grounded in the Wisdom lineage and practices in which we seek to know God and our world with more of ourselves through the three centers of our heart, mind, and body. This experiential gathering is designed to expand our capacity to be awake to racism in ourselves and systems of racism in our community. Our time would consist of embodiment and grounding practices, engaging materials around racism/anti-racism, and time for small group deeper dives into the intersectionality in our lives.

We call this group into being because we sense a calling personally and collectively to do this work as the wounds of separateness and polarization continue to be illuminated. The Wisdom lineage invites us to deeply connect with our wholeness, to feel our remorse and to offer the qualities of our aliveness as we move through this period of great reckoning.

For more information, click here to go to the Event page.
Thank You

 

Images in blog post, from the top: Overhanging Branches, public domain; Gears in a machine, public domain; Planet, Space & Time, Art Gallery New South Wales, courtesy of Fiona Feng, Unsplash; Mary Magdalene of the Tears, original painting by Tanya Torres, courtesy of her website; Globe (metallic gray undifferentiated), courtesy of Charles Deluvio, Unsplash; Tree Ocean Sun Sky montage, public domain. Intertwining branches image in flyer, origin unknown.

WRITTEN BY HEATHER RUCE & SUSAN LATIMER

Welcome to Chapters VII, VIII and the Epilogue, in our continuing series of posts focusing on Cynthia Bourgeault’s foundational work, The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart; where Wisdom postholders have shared, chapter by chapter, their experiences with this little book. You will find the links to previous posts in this series at the end of this post, along with a place to share your comments.

Heather Ruce opens with her comments about Chapter VII, while Susan Latimer closes this post with her summary of Chapter VIII and the Epilogue.

 

Chapter VII: Seeing with the Eye of the Heart, with Heather Ruce

Each morning we wake to find ourselves on a river upon which we have never been, we proceed in uncharted waters, and we do not know where we are headed. As Wisdom students we’ve learned that it is not so much about needing to know where we are going but rather knowing where to see from and how to find our way in unknown waters.

At this time, we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, economic fragility, and the many murders of people of color including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, culminating in uprisings about the ongoing and deep rooted racism and social injustice in the soils of our country. As we all continue to learn how to truly address the deeper levels of these realities in our predominant culture, our structures and in each and every one of us, we can be regrounding ourselves in Seeing with the Eye of the Heart, and returning to The Tools of Wisdom which support this aim.

Cynthia reminds us that our world is part of a vast inter-realmic, ever-changing, unfurling, dynamic “dance of becoming.” And no matter what external circumstances are taking place we can begin to pay attention to the more subtle ways these realms want to be in relationship with us and that the divine may want to manifest through us. She says:

There is always a kind of cosmic ‘downloading’ going on, as the divine qualities seek new streambeds to flow through, the imaginal realm presses against our physical one in an alchemy of transformation, aching, it seems, to come into finitude. And from our end, we live in the cosmos not as exiles yearning for the absolute but as alchemists and artists teasing the shape of the divine emerging out of the eternal and into the now. (p. 82)

Our common post right now is to become “alchemists and artists” able to perceive the “divine archetype” aching to come into form. Our portal into the “dance of becoming” is through “the power of creative perception” more closely understood as “a creative midwifery that has to do with intuiting the new patterns as they arise in the imaginal and helping birth them into form” (p. 83). In order to do this we must learn to see with the eye of the heart.

This is something that Cynthia has taught in some form or another in every book of hers and in every Wisdom School I have participated in. As her students, we’ve been training for times like we are in now. And yet it seems there is a quickening, an urgency to develop our capacity to see from the heart even more aptly. Humanity is on another precipice and in desperate need of midwives who can help birth something new into form. It is not inevitable that we will make the passage through this eye of the needle, but it will be less likely if we do not take up our role in the dance.

Cynthia says, “spiritually understood, the heart is an organ of astonishing perceptivity and versatility that when fully awakened and tuned allows us to play our part in the dynamism of creation.” This chapter brings us back to the familiar but never overstated truth that the heart is not the seat of our “personal emotional life.” An imperative distinction in a time when individual emotions run high and our global nervous system is activated. She returns to Kabir Helminski’s description of heart capacities as “psychic and extra sensory awareness; intuition; wisdom; a sense of unity; aesthetic, qualitative, and creative faculties; and image-forming and symbolic capacities. . . with an intuitive ability to pick up the signals from the imaginal realm” (p.85). Are we not being asked to cultivate these capacities even more fervently? With a precision and unshakable steadiness like never before?

Cynthia is clear: only as our heart comes into resonance with, and our entire being surrenders to, the qualities of divine intelligence, beginning with “love, mercy, and compassion,” can heart-knowing take place. “Creative perception is ultimately, then, an act of love” (p. 86). It is our imperative task to learn to see and know in these ways in order that we might live out our path of conscious love.

I spent several summers in my later teens as a white water raft guide. The river was itself in a perpetual state of change and although we could learn a stretch of the river with the rapids to be taken head on, the holes to be avoided, and the eddies to be found, we had to learn how to read water. I wouldn’t have recognized it at the time but this reading required presence in all three centers, in order to see what route was needed this time. If not present enough to see and respond to the deeper patterns of the water in each moment, each pass down the river, carnage would be the consequence.           

In the Wisdom tradition, the passions and “fantasies of our own mind” are what cloud the heart, distorting our ability to see and respond in the now. Cynthia shows us that we must purify the heart and this “begins with getting beyond ‘the fantasies of our own mind’—which for better or worse means bridling the imagination” (p.88). What can be observed in our current circumstances is an unbridled collective imagination. She tells us the undisciplined imagination is the only prerequisite for the devil “whatever one may take this to be, whether an external or internal contrary force” to enter. We don’t want fear, anger, or any other egregore (group thought-form) of the uninhibited imagination, to become the devil of our time. We need those who can see these collective mirages for what they are and contain the imagination “between the twin banks of attention (teaching it to stay put at a single point) and surrender (letting go of all phenomena as they occur)” (p. 90).

In this chapter, Cynthia brings us to the practice of lectio divina, or sacred reading as a way of gaining agency with the imagination. Through the ongoing engagement of this practice, “knowledge begins to deepen into understanding, and understanding into visionary seeing” (p. 92). And she tells us this “deepening understanding unfolds in four stages.” The first stage, the literal, “is all about facts and linear causality.” In the second stage, called Christological, one learns “how to see analogically, in terms of meaningful coincidences, symbols, and resonance.” The third, is called the “tropological “which means having to do with growth” and one “allows the images to form their own patterns and cross-weavings.” (p. 94). The fourth and final is called the “unitive” and “at this level of understanding, we become not only sensitive interpreters of the patterns but actual cocreators” (p. 95). The seeing becomes simultaneously an engendering. 

Can we wean ourselves from the “junk food” of passions and fantasies, and develop the eye of the heart that can read the text of our current circumstances, the river where the inter-realmic waters of the finite and the infinite meet? Can we surrender to the river in such utter vacuity that we become the river and as part of its coherence, fashion its course just as dance partners shape the pattern on the floor that is danced?

Cynthia teaches that once the eye of the heart is open, the artistry of conscience can begin. This conscience, she says:

…is the heart’s own ability to see the divine hologram in any situation no matter how obscured, and to move spontaneously and without regard for its personal well-being in alignment with that divine wholeness. When conscience awakens in a person, it brings not only the obligation but also a mysterious ability to be present in exactly the right way. (p. 98)

It can begin to guide us down the river of the now as it discerns and moves as the coherence. We must tune our heart with collected haste. As Bill Redfield has said, “we no longer have the luxury of being Wisdom students;” we must take our place and become “Wisdom.” Cynthia reminds us that we have support from the Conscious Circle of Humanity “to help negotiate a sharp bend in the highway of cultural history” (p 96). Are we not on a sharp bend in the highway, the river?

If we are going to read the water of this particular bend in the river, we are going to need to lean into the practices that tune our heart to perceive, but we cannot stop there. The Wisdom path is about perceiving and then moving into voice and action in the actual conditions of our lives, in the very particular moment of cultural history we are in. Right now there is wise action to be taken in this dense realm, and this has always been true, around the reckoning with the cultural history of colonization and alchemizing the embodied structural and systemic racialized identity system. I recognize the ‘we’ I am speaking to is not homogenous and therefore wise action will be varied.

There is wise action to be taken as we re-enter the world from our cells and houses amidst a virus that is still in our midst without trying to return to a capitalistic consumeristic ‘normal.’ But this work here, now, has to be approached from a qualitatively different mind, a mind that is deeply embedded in the actual heart, with its steady beat and heft and quality of aliveness rooted in the physical body on this plane and anchored in the imaginal realm. The Wisdom way only takes shape in the body and the transformation required must happen in the body, in our individual and collective cells. Our ancestors, the conscious circle of humanity, are here to support and guide us. Together we co-create a new intelligence and shape a new current.

 

Chapter VIII: The Tools of Wisdom, with Susan Latimer

Finally, in Chapter VIII Cynthia reminds us of the tools we have to awaken our hearts, the task to which we were born: “…only with awakened hearts are we actually able to fulfill our purpose within the cosmos and take our place in that great dance of divine manifestation” (p. 100). 

In our current reality, when most of us are unable to gather in person, Cynthia’s words ring out:

…Start with what you have…. Remember that this awakening is intended…. An inner yes is all it takes. Once the willingness to begin takes over in you, whatever you need will come to you. And you’ll be able to recognize it. (p. 113)

You do not need a group. You do not need an in-person retreat. Yes, those things can make it easier, but they are not necessary. We have everything that we need in order to begin, or continue, our Wisdom path. 

Here are the tools of Wisdom. A reminder for most of us, to continue to build these into our days:

Presence
Meditation
Sacred Chanting
Lectio Divina
Surrender

A few words on each.

Presence
Strive for Three-centered awareness. For most of us that means building a STOP exercise into our day where we sense our feet or return to our breath in order to awaken the moving center. 

The Benedictine rhythm of Ora et Labora can also enliven our days, particularly if our physical, practical work is done with attention—conscious practical work. 

Meditation
Centering Prayer, with its practice of kenosis, letting go, remains the primary practice for Wisdom seekers. There are now online resources for learning centering prayer. The goal of meditation is not to attain “prolonged states of altered consciousness” (p. 104). The goal is to become fully conscious and present in daily life. 

Sacred Chanting
Chanting is my go-to practice. When I am unable to do anything else, I chant. 

During my 8 months of treatment for stage 3 breast cancer in 2017, I was unable to do Centering Prayer. But I knew that chanting was needed for my healing, and I chanted daily. Chanting wakes up the emotional, or feeling, center, and “sets it vibrating to the frequency of love and adoration, while feeding the body with that mysterious higher ‘being food’ of divine life” (p. 105). I am quite convinced that the primary reason that my voice was not affected by the high doses of chemo and radiation that my body was subjected to is because I was “irrigating my body with healing vibration” (Therese Schroeder-Sheker, in a personal correspondence). When we chant we use breath and tone—out of which “the divine Source brought the created realm into being” (p. 105). Cynthia reminds us that our true voice reveals our true self.

Chanting in a Time of Covid-19
As we all know, chanting in a group is a powerful practice. And now most of us are unable to do that, for the foreseeable future, because of the way that this virus spreads through the air. Even before this pandemic, I would often listen to a body of chant (like Paulette Meier’s beautiful Quaker chant collections, or Darlene Franz’s wisdom chants) and sing along. Although it is not the same, we can chant together in real time, through Zoom. Currently, Elizabeth Combs and I are offering a weekly chanting session that is open to all; click here for more information and to join the Wednesday chant gathering.

Lectio Divina
A way of “ingesting” the Word. If you are not already doing this, try “replacing the morning news with fifteen-twenty minutes of lectio” on any sacred text you choose (p. 110). 

Surrender
Cynthia reminds us that: “Surrender is the awakening of the heart.” Surrender underlies all of our Wisdom practices, and that, without it, “all the other spiritual practices remain merely pious busywork.” Cynthia quotes Kabir Helminski: “Surrender is always ‘being actively receptive to an intelligence that is greater than that of ourselves ‘” (p. 111).

 

Finally, a few quotes from the Epilogue

“…when the eye of the heart has been purified it can look directly into the imaginal realm and clearly perceive what has not yet been born in time…” (p.117)

Many of us have been astounded at the timing: how Cynthia’s first Mega Wisdom School in 2015 was made available through the Center for Action and Contemplation just last August in 2019, and that the Divine Exchange Wisdom School of 2018 is now up, just a few weeks ago, in 2020. The Northeast Wisdom Council started what have become Wisdom practice circles through Zoom just this past January, 2020. It seems we have been tapping into the imaginal so that Wisdom teaching is available to all who have internet access, even in this strange time of global pandemic. 

I will end with Cynthia’s last words of the book:

….the shortest course in Wisdom is never about ideas and practices.
It is about traversing those twelve inches between the head and the heart. (p. 119)

What a time for Wisdom!


Heather Ruce contributes to the Wisdom community in many ways, most recently offering a contemplative retreat near her home in southern California entitled “An Introduction to A Wisdom Way of Knowing: What the Christian Path Has to Offer”; working as a TA for the CAC’s Introductory Wisdom School 14 week courses; offering Wisdom practice circles, lectio divina groups, ongoing Collective Pause Meditation & Practice; and currently holding the post for the ongoing the Friday morning Wisdom Meditation through Northeast Wisdom.

Her latest contribution to the Northeast Wisdom website is a three-post series of eight Inner Tasks, called: “Self-Remembering, Self-Observation and Observing the Centers” posted here in Breaking Ground and easily found on the Inner Practice page of Resources. These exercises are based on the Gurdjieff Work in this Wisdom lineage, work that profoundly resonated in her initially at a Wisdom School in 2012. It wove together the threads of her studies in psychology, somatic experiencing, and spirituality—grounding and enlarging them in a deep tradition and set of maps and have become an integral part of her life in her ongoing practice and mentorship with Gurdjieff Movements teacher Deborah Rose Longo, who she assisted at the Claymont Center in West Virginia in October and December 2019 during Cynthia Bourgeault’s “Mr. Gurdjieff Meet Mr. Teilhard” retreats.

Heather has contributed to several posts on Northeast Wisdom. You may find links to those posts, her website and read more about Heather on her Seedlings page here on Northeast Wisdom.

 

Susan Latimer says: I was born and raised in Southern California and spent most of my time outside or singing and playing the piano. From an early age I found God in Creation. After a Master’s Degree in music performance, a long time of discernment led me from music to the Episcopal priesthood as a vocation. This year I celebrate 28 years of ordination. I am married and have two grown sons, and am currently the Rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Hemet, CA. 

From the beginning I longed for an embodied Christianity, one that really took the incarnation seriously. I found some pieces in my work with Linda Kohanov (Eponaquest), through experiential work with horses, in the mid 2000s. There I first learned to sense my body, to learn from it, and to sense connection at the heart level with another sentient being—the horse. But when I finally attended a Wisdom School (Kanuga, 2015) led by Cynthia Bourgeault I knew I had found what I longed for. Since then I have led Wisdom practice circles and retreats in Tampa, been in Law of Three practice groups, moved back home to Southern CA, begun to write sacred chants, attended many Wisdom Schools, worked as a TA for the Center for Action & Contemplation for Cynthia’s Introductory Wisdom School e-course, co-led a Wisdom practice circle with Heather Ruce through Northeast Wisdom, and led retreats on Living and Dying as Spiritual Pilgrimage, and The Spirituality of the Voice. I have also been blessed to study in the contemplative musicianship program with Therese Schroeder-Sheker. 


A Note from Northeast Wisdom:

Northeast Wisdom encourages individuals and groups of all kinds to take up the study of The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart by Cynthia Bourgeault this year. Won’t you join us?

Thank you for visiting these chapter posts on Cynthia Bourgeault’s book The Wisdom Way of Knowing, gathered and contributed in the winter, into spring, of 2020 by the Northeast Wisdom Study Group postholders. The posts on the first six chapters of the book may be found at these links:

The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Northeast Wisdom Study Group Begins in January 2020, Introduction and Chapter I, by Bill Redfield;
“Wisdom Way” Study, Chapter II: How the West Lost Its Wisdom by Matthew Wright; “Wisdom Way” Study, Chapter III: Three Centered Knowing by Marcella Kraybill-Greggo and Jeanine Siler Jones;
A Call to Depth and Action ~ Individually and Collectively: Chapters IV and V of The Wisdom Way of Knowing by Heather Vesey; and
The Foundational Gesture to Enter the Divine Dance is Surrender: Chapter VI of the Wisdom Way of Knowing by Nan Delach.

 

Image credits in this post were all found on Unsplash. Thank you for your service! From the top: images of river through the buttes, courtesy of Tommy Lisbin, Unsplash; image of rainbow in river courtesy Wolfgang Hasselmann, Unsplash; image of reflected upside down river courtesy of Elijah Heitt, Unsplash; image of bend in river with thick fog courtesy of Johny Goerend, Unsplash; image of sun rays on canyon river courtesy of Tom Gainor, Unsplash; image of fire beside river courtesy of Nikita Velikanin, unsplash; and photo of Heather courtesy of Heather Ruce, and photo of Susan courtesy of Susan Latimer.