A Newcomer to the Wisdom Path: Stonington 2018

Stonington Town HallThe last bell bowl gong has sounded. The last chant echoes in the Stonington Town Hall meeting room. The Lupine and Solomon Seal blooms begin to shrivel in the vase. Our time here has ended, and has just begun.

In Gurdjieff’s language, Sarah and I were flung towards Stonington by a mysterious third force, after a time of death and illness in our extended family. As we rounded the bend and descended towards the waiting embrace of this sweet lilac-scented village, we barely knew how or why we had arrived.

But the ingatherers welcomed us, and we settled in to the daily rhythm: the harbor awakens at 4:00am, the coffee shop at 6:30. Then meditation, teaching, work, communal lunch, meditation, movement, teaching and final chant and meditation. Something special in the evening, and a mid-week bonus lobster boat ride to Cynthia’s Eagle Island seclusion.

What to make of this densely packed week? Sarah is the one who for years has carried one of Cynthia’s books in her portable bookshelf of readings on her spiritual path. I am a photographer, a spiritual person, but not on any path. I am used to the sensation of having my camera attached to my heart, not my brain, so Cynthia’s teachings were not unfamiliar. And I have experienced what I know to be non-local phenomena and coincidences, but these have only come at times of trauma and pain.

This week’s ingathering opened a doorway to a world I did not know existed. I was drawn to the teachings like my voracious grandchildren to a buffet. The light came on, and I knew why Sarah and I had driven 1200 miles from our home. My daily prayer throughout the darkness of our winter, “please show us a path,” had been answered. The light, so prevalent in Stonington, was wonderful.

posted June 21, 2018 by Bill Britten


Sarah and I have a gallery in the resort town of Gatlinburg, TN. We sell peace and tranquility, in the form of photographs, to the 10 million visitors that travel through our small Smoky Mountain town. We long to be members of a wisdom group, but are unsure how to proceed. The path will no doubt keep unfolding.

Comments (2)

  1. Oh, what delicious words and images! Thank you for reminding me of my own Wisdom a la Cynthia pilgrimages. I pass by Gatlinburg several times a year en route to Lake Lure, NC. Gonna stop by to meet you and buy me some peace and tranquility.

  2. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the wonderful images and narrative. Your photos captured the light and your words evoked the essence that we all sensed and shared.

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