There is a hunger for spiritual witness and integration as we travel the Wisdom path in community. Wisdom Waypoints is exploring ways we can support “living the work”, grounding in practice and integrating the rich teachings from Cynthia and others into our lives.
We at Wisdom Waypoints/Northeast Wisdom want to create spaces for the Wisdom journey to consciously unfold, no matter where in the process one may be entering the Wisdom stream.
We imagine various portals or entry points. Two such portals we are envisioning include:
- One-on-one Spiritual Companioning
- Group Spiritual Companioning
One-on-one Wisdom Spiritual Companioning
Wisdom community members who are wanting to deepen and integrate their personal, spiritual and communal Wisdom journey and would value some one-on-one Spiritual companioning may request a Wisdom Spiritual Companion Directory. A list of seasoned Wisdom practitioners trained in the art of Spiritual Companioning will be distributed. Wisdom Waypoints will simply serve as a bridge, sharing this Wisdom Spiritual Companion Directory with anyone in the Wisdom Community who expresses interest. From there, community members may contact anyone on the list directly and contract privately for this service. For the Directory, contact Holly: email@example.com and she’ll email it to you.
Wisdom Group Spiritual Companioning
Beginning in September 2021, Wisdom Waypoints will launch LIVING WISDOM Group Spiritual Companioning Circles (6 – 8 people), who will meet together once a month for 2 hours, for four months. This formational circle, anchored by a seasoned Wisdom practitioner, will include Wisdom practices and embodiment, with an emphasis on heart sharing and integration. Cost is $100 for the series (some scholarship $ available).
Shared elements/ intention of each Wisdom integration Group:
- Anchored in a rhythm of silence
- Embodied practice – 3 centered knowing
- Heart Sharing
- Heart Listening
- Living Wisdom integration
To sign up contact Marcella Kraybill-Greggo at: Marcellak2@aol.com
During the time of the pandemic we have found that our hearts can be very open over Zoom. It is a time for wide listening and deep integration of the Wisdom lineage into our daily living. Let’s join together and mid-wife what is unfolding in our lives and in our world.
“A waypoint is a specific location en route to one’s final destination. A waypoint allows you to check your position, mark your progress, and stay on course as you journey forward. What a lovely way to picture the work we are collectively about. Imagine our globe encircled by a network of wisdom waypoints, each providing bearing checks and collectively keeping the ship on course as our planet journeys along its imaginal trajectory.”
This month, Marcella Kraybill-Greggo and Jeanine Siler Jones are teaming up to join Bill Redfield and Matthew Wright in highlighting a chapter of The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart as over 60 people in our Wisdom community join monthly for our zoom book discussion and deep dive into Cynthia Bourgeault’s seminal Wisdom book. You will find links to Bill and Matthew’s posts below.
Here, Jeanine and Marcella share their exploration of Chapter Three:
In our own engagement with Wisdom, we continue to return again and again to this book and to this particular chapter, “Chapter 3: Three Centered Knowing.”
This chapter lays out for us the how of being more fully present and open to higher meaning and the physiology of transformation. Since human beings are “three brained” or “three centered”, this teaching is foundational to spiritual transformation as we seek to know with more of ourselves online and available. We usually have one center we rely on or have a natural affinity towards. The inner tradition practices invite us to cultivate our “blind” or under-used centers with the intention of integrating and balancing all three. Cynthia says:
When a person is poised in all three centers, balanced and alertly there, a shift happens in consciousness. Rather than being trapped in our usual mind, with its well-formed rut tracks of issues and agendas and ways of thinking, we see to come from a deeper, steadier, and quieter place. We are present, in the word of Wisdom tradition, fully occupying the now in which we find ourselves. (p.36)
Cynthia lays out how each of the centers function beginning with the moving center which relates to our embodiment. She describes two subsets of the moving center: instinctive and the moving center proper. The instinctive subset is like our hard drive and it operates all the systems of our bodies (breathing, digestion etc..). The moving center proper is like our software and it operates our interface with the outward world as we engage through movement, gesture, rhythm, and our five senses. Our relationship with our moving center begins with befriending our bodies and recognizing the perceptivity, guidance and capacity inherent there. Our body prayers, work with sensation and sacred dances all deepen our relationship with this center. We are invited to fully inhabit our bodies.
Cynthia is clear, as she explains the emotional center, that she is not talking about the seat of our personal affective life. She distinguishes the emotional center from the heart as described in the ancient sacred traditions. “Growing up the heart” involves working skillfully with emotions and nervous system regulation, and ultimately it is our “antenna” for perceiving divine energy, purpose and connection. The emotional center is an organ for spiritual perception, “a bridge between our mind and our body and also between our usual physical world and this invisible other realm” (p. 35). Cynthia reminds us about the central teachings arising from the fourth century Desert Mothers and Fathers regarding the passions which divide our heart. When we get caught and cling to emotional reactivity or fall into mechanical emotional and thought patterns, we lose our ability to perceive clearly. Our heart opening Wisdom practices (chanting, Lectio Divina) and our practices of self-observation and surrender all allow us to be in relationship with our emotional center from a witnessing, non-identified place. This invites a life-long journey of touching into our true heart beyond the psychological self.
In the West we tend to think of our intellectual center as our brain. Yet, this Wisdom teaching reminds us we are three brained! We might think of our intellectual center as our left brain which is great at problem solving, reasoning, and dividing information into categories. As Cynthia reminds us, it is not always the tool for the job. Cynthia says “trying to find faith with the intellectual center is something like trying to play a violin with a saw; it’s simply the wrong tool for the job” (p. 31). And, in terms of our spiritual journey, we cannot rely on it alone or we will keep getting pulled back into thinking about God, ourselves and one another rather than experiencing and being in relationship together.
Jeanine speaks: As a long-time student of the Enneagram, I was captivated at my first Wisdom School listening to Cynthia unpack the three centers. The teaching resonated and built on my initial exposure through the Enneagram while also deepening the connections with my own lineage as a Christian. On a daily basis, this teaching frames my engagement of my own spiritual journey as well as those I accompany in therapy and Spiritual Direction.
Marcella speaks: A deep gift of learning about these three Wisdom centers of knowing is the recognition that this teaching is not about knowing more, but rather knowing with more of ourselves engaged. To know God/Mystery/Love with more of myself engaged, has been the deeply satisfying dimension of my own Wisdom journey these last 10 years. To come to understand that my formational years in East Africa actively engaged my movement center from an early age, and to be offered through this Wisdom teaching new language and validity for something I already knew in my body has been transformational. Now actively engaging and offering embodiment/incarnational practices in the classes that I teach at seminary, in meeting with people for spiritual direction, and in facilitating Wisdom practice circles has been a deep and wide grace of this “three brained” teaching.
This chapter ends with a beautiful poem by Jane Hooper that invites us into all three of our centers of knowing. It evokes our full bodied, whole-hearted, and clear-seeing mindful engagement. Please read it in its entirety on pages 38-40 of Cynthia’s The Wisdom Way of Knowing.
Please come Home
Please come home. Please come home.
Find the place where your feet know where to walk
and follow your own trail home.
Please come home, please come home into your body,
your own vessel, your own earth.
Please come home to each and every cell,
and fully into the space that surrounds you.
Please come home. Please come home to trusting yourself,
and your instincts and your ways and your knowings,
and even the particular quirks of your personality.
Please come home. Please come home and once you are firmly there
please stay home awhile and come to a deep rest within.
Please treasure your home. Please love and embrace your home.
Please get a deep, deep sense of what it’s like to be truly home.
Please come home. Please come home.
You and you and you and me.
May we wake up and remember who we truly are.
Please come home.
Please come home.
Please come home.
~ by Jane Hooper
YES! May we all… “Wake up and remember who we truly are”.
Northeast Wisdom encourages local Wisdom Practice Circles to revisit The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart in your own local gatherings this year. May we all glean the next layer accessible for each of us as we engage more deeply. May this book re-inspire our Wisdom Community this year! To find out how to get the book, and view other recommended books, please go to our Resources page or click here for the book.
You may click on these links for Bill Redfield’s Intro and Chapter I, The Wisdom Way Of Knowing: Northeast Wisdom Study Group Begins January 2020, and Matthew Wright’s “Wisdom Way” Study, Chapter II: How the West Lost its Wisdom.