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Nov 23, 2019

Benedictine Spirituality as a Wisdom Tradition with Cynthia Bourgeault

Glastonbury Benedictine Abbey — Hingham, MA

Cynthia says: It is said that wisdom is not knowing more, but knowing MORE DEEPLY, knowing with more of your being participating. In this day-long teaching retreat, we will explore the Benedictine monastic tradition not only as a “school for the Lord’s service” (as it’s described in the Rule of St Benedict), but as a “school for growing being.”

Anchored in the daily rhythms of Glastonbury Abbey, a living wellspring of this 1500-year-old tradition, we will explore how the conscious interweaving of prayer and work, word and silence, “alone and together,” gradually call forth that elusive quality known as spiritual maturity or WHOLENESS. We will also explore how this time-honored template for transformation can be adapted to the conditions of our own lives to call forth this same quality of joyous wholeness in a world so deeply imperiled by fragmentation and factionalism.

This day long retreat on Benedictine Spirituality as a Wisdom Tradition is part of Glastonbury Abbey’s Days of Reflection 2019-2020.  Use this link to learn more about the Glastonbury Abbey Institute.

Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm

Suggested Donation: $120, includes lunch.

Registration is required. Please call 781-749-2155 x300 or click here for online registration and event details.

Dec 1-25, 2019

The Consent of Advent — An Invitation To a Virtual Advent Retreat with Bill Redfield


How many years have we traveled on this circle of life, thinking, as we come to December and the season of Advent, that we should be able to get more out of it? How many seasons have we lost ourselves to the busy-ness of the Advent and the pre- Christmas period, only to arrive at Christmas sensing that we’ve just been washed up on a tinseled shore without ever experiencing the deeper waters?

The human collective is in urgent need of a dramatic course correction. This requires nothing short of a radical change in consciousness. Consequently, this will not be your ordinary Advent retreat. We will be encountering more than just the traditional Advent themes that position themselves around Jesus’ birth. We will be using the response of consent to unlock some of the mysteries of this sacred season. But because consent, as I will be suggesting, is applicable to even more than the birth that we celebrate at this time of year—our inquiry will include the consents that are required across the complete continuum of our lives—between our beginnings and our endings.

This is an innovative Wisdom approach to movement through Advent and our preparation for Christmas. Participation in this retreat can be done on one’s own schedule and in one’s own home. While it will provide a certain structure to the duration of Advent—from Sunday, December 1 through Christmas Day, December 25—there is enough variation and flexibility that it shouldn’t preclude anyone’s involvement.

Click here to download a flyer with more details.

And here’s the link to the event website.

Dec 1-6, 2019

Mr. Gurdjieff, meet Mr. Teilhard! December Gathering with Cynthia Bourgeault

Claymont Society for Continuous Education — Charles Town, WV

A practical and intensive exploration of the convergence between two wisdom streams

Because of the overwhelming demand and large wait list for the October wisdom school, Cynthia and Deborah have agreed to host the same Wisdom School in December. The December 2019 Wisdom School at Claymont is a special 5-day intensive immersion and exploration of the convergence between the teachings of Gurdjieff and Teilhard led by Cynthia Bourgeault with daily movements by Deborah Rose Longo. held December 1 – 6, 2019 at Claymont Society for Continuous Education, 667 Huyett Rd., Charles Town, WV 25414.

Those of you who have been working with Cynthia know how much the Fourth Way Gurdjieff wisdom tradition and the Teilhardian wisdom stream have influenced her thinking.  She is writing a new book on the points of commonality and tension between these two wisdom streams.  She will be exploring some of her work during this time: Teilhard and Gurdjieff in conversation.

Date: December 1 – 6, 2019 

Time: Sunday dinner – Monday lunch 

Location: Claymont Society for Continuous Education, 667 Huyett Road, Charles Town, West Virginia 25414.

Those of you who have been working with Cynthia know how much the Fourth Way Gurdjieff Wisdom tradition and the Teilhardian Wisdom stream have influenced her thinking.  She is writing a new book on the points of commonality and tension between these two Wisdom streams.  She will be exploring some of her work during this time: Teilhard and Gurdjieff in conversation.

Points of Commonality

  • The Scale of Things (both men envision a cosmos at its actual size, depth, and vast interplanetary scale, not the “flat earth” or “spiritualized realms” of classical metaphysics.
  • Materiality and Embodiment: Moving beyond the Matter/Spirit divide
  • Cosmology: A comparative Look at the Two Cosmological Maps
  • Reciprocal Feeding: The whole system is a seamless whole, ecologically interdependence
  • Dynamism: Gurdjieff’s Law of Three and Law of Sevem Teilhard’s Omega Point and movement toward a future
  • The Collective: Anticipation of a Second Axial Spirituality based on Teilhard’s “Complexification/Consciousness” and Gurdjieff’s Obligolnian Strivings.

Points of Tension

  • Consciousness: Are human beings Conscious or Unconscious?
  • Human Nature: Teilhardian Optimism and Gurdjieffian Pessimism
  • Devotion: active power of transformation, or merely self-delusion

Making a New World

  • Ternary Metaphysics
  • Love

The daily schedule will include morning exercise and/or silent meditation (alternating), morning and afternoon teaching sessions by Cynthia, late afternoon movements led by Deborah Rose Longo; practical work (mostly around getting lunch together, some gardening and work on the land), and evening discussion, reflection, observations, concluding with short silent meditation. 

The total cost of the school is $695, and includes lodging and meals for five days at the Claymont Society in Charles Town, West Virginia. If you arrange your own local lodging, total cost of the school is $595. Registration for the school is by application only. Please fill out the Wisdom School application form. Payment in full is due upon acceptance if possible. A minimum nonrefundable deposit of $100 is required to confirm your acceptance and hold your place in the school. The rest of the cost is fully refundable up to two weeks before the beginning of the school. 

For more information e-mail Bob Sabath or phone him at 202-531-7572. Make out checks to Friends of Silence and send to Friends of Silence, c/o Wisdom School 2019, 120 Jubilee Lane, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. 

We want to make this event available to all those interested regardless of their financial means. Scholarships and payment plans are available. Contact Friends of Silence or Bob Sabath for more details.

PLEASE NOTE: Enrollment for the October Wisdom School is completely full and we will be unable to take anyone on that waiting list. If you were accepted into the October Wisdom School at Claymont with Cynthia and are on the wait list, you do not need to fill out this online application again.  Just make an online payment using the link below to confirm your place in the December 2019 Wisdom School at Claymont.

Dec 6-8, 2019

Love at the Heart of the Cosmos: Living in Relational Wholeness with Cynthia Bourgeault, Ilia Delio, Ursula King, John Haught, Kathleen Duffy


Conference begins Friday, December 6th, at 5:00pm and ends Sunday, December 8th, at 12:45pm. Onsite attendance is sold out but Livestream tickets are available, including special six month archive access to the recordings.

Join us for the second annual Omega Center conference, in collaboration with the Institute for Religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College, as we seek to harness the energies of love and together renew our world.

This event is committed to Teilhard de Chardin’s vision for “a new religion of the Earth for a new planet of life.” Through engaging presentations, centering prayer practice, small discussion groups, and celebration of Teilhard’s Mass on the World, we will together explore a new story of the whole that can inspire, transform, and give us hope. Presenters are Ilia Delio, Ursula King, John F. Haught, Kathleen Duffy and Cynthia Bourgeault.

Teilhard’s vision of “relational wholeness” sees that all dimensions of life are one co-evolving spirit: matter and energy, nature and humanity, faith and culture, science and spirituality, consciousness and contemplation. It is a living wholeness, a dynamic oneness, that deepens in complexity, consciousness, and convergence as the great cosmic epic proceeds.

Our time is a great turning point in this cosmic history, an era of transformation, a paradigm shift into a new planetary life. Teilhard’s vision offers the beginning of a new story of the whole, a renewed spiritual metanarrative that answers the perennial questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we going? It is a story that can restore faith in our common humanity, locate our home within the natural beauties of our living planet, and inspire new spiritual forms to make religion the most exciting energy of the 21st century.

To see more information about this retreat, use this link to the Omega Center, or you may Register Now for Livestream (On-site attendance was sold out when we checked September 10, 2019).

Online Livestream attendance will include all plenary talks, the centering prayer session, and Teilhard’s Mass on the World. Small discussion groups will not be included. All livestreaming attendants will receive exclusive, six-month archive access to recordings of the event.

Dec 13-15, 2019

Silent, Contemplative Retreat: Introduction to A Wisdom Way of Knowing: What the Christian Path Has to Offer  with Heather Ruce

Mary & Joseph Retreat Center — Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Join us as we explore Wisdom teachings and practices that engage three-centered (body, mind, heart) awareness, bringing about transformation to a truly different mode of perception and quality of being in the world. Heather Ruce is a Wisdom focused spiritual director. She has studied extensively with Cynthia Bourgeault, and works with individuals and groups to awaken the Heart. Check-in and dinner 4-6:30pm on Friday and we’ll be through at 1:30 on Sunday.

Cost: per person/shared $250; single $350; Commuter: $150

Click here to download the flyer.

To register, please click here.

Mar 12-15, 2020

Engaging the Enneagram as Wisdom Practice with Jeanine Siler Jones

Rock Point Retreat Center — Burlington, VT

Know your conditioning so your heart can be a more faithful instrument.
     ~ Cynthia Bourgeault

Join us as we come together and experience a practical engagement of the Wisdom lineage through the lens of the Enneagram. How can this map illuminate our habitual patterns so that we might soften our identification and participate in life more directly and authentically? How might it guide us in tracking all three centers of knowing so that we bring more of ourselves into Presence? How might we surrender more fully our attachments and habits as we shift the quality of our attention and open into the possibility of a more immediate and reciprocal relationship with the Divine in our lives?

With alert observation and surrendered mind, find the moment when thought arises before it gets attached to emotions/habits.

We will follow a Wisdom School rhythm with meditation, sacred chanting, Lectio Divina, movement and mindful work. We will engage somatic and attention practices, exploring the Wisdom roots of the Enneagram, and tracking what jams the signals around our hearts. Together we will create a walking Enneagram and let this ancient symbol teach us. We will play with listening, silence and sharing, and there will be free time to integrate, rest and explore the beauty of Rock Point.

For more information please see the flyer here.

To register and for any questions please contact Craig at csmith@diovermont.org or at 802-863-3431 by February 15, 2020 (online registration is temporarily unavailable).

Retreat begins: Thursday March 12 with registration 3:30 ~ 5:30. Our first gathering will be at 5:30.

Retreat ends: Sunday March 15, 2020 after lunch (about 1:30).

The cost of the retreat is $420 for a single room, $330 for a shared room and $250 for commuters. Cost includes all meals and lodging. Limited scholarship help is available.

Jeanine Siler Jones, LCSW, is a therapist at Siler Jones Counseling in Asheville, North Carolina and has been an Enneagram teacher for 15 years. In 2009 she dove deeply into Wisdom work, playing with the Wisdom roots of the Enneagram as Gurdjieff brought it to the West. Jeanine works with people interested in spiritually integrated therapy, is a primary igniter of Wisdom School Southeast, a contemplative group and Wisdom School retreat leader in the lineage of Cynthia Bourgeault. Jeanine holds a Master’s degree in Social Work, a Certificate in Theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is trained as a Wisdom infused Spiritual Director from Moravian Theological Seminary. Read more about her in Northeast Wisdom’s Seedlings.

In collaboration with the Rockpoint Wisdom Community. For venue information see The Rock Point Center and The Rock Point Intentional Community.

Mar 29 - Apr 3, 2020

Imaginal Wisdom School 2020 with Cynthia Bourgeault

Valle Crucis Conference Center — Banner Elk, NC

Join Cynthia at Valle Crucis Conference Center—a lovely, rustic retreat setting in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina—where Cynthia has offered Wisdom Schools since 2012.

When: Sunday evening, March 29 – Friday lunch April 3, 2020
Where: Valle Crucis Conference Center, Valle Crucis, North Carolina
Cost*: Non-refundable Deposit: $300, Double Occupancy: $1,100, Single Occupancy: $1,400
Register and pay by filling out the form at the bottom of this page, or register HERE.
*We have a limited number of scholarships available. See the registration form for more information.

Questions? E-mail Robbin Brent

Following is an excerpt from a three-part exploration of the Imaginal Realm, written by Cynthia.

The term “imaginal realm” has its immediate provenance in Islamic mysticism, but the idea itself—if truth be told, an archetype more than an idea—is common to all the great sacred traditions. It is traditionally understood to be a boundary realm between two worlds, each structured according to its own governing conventions and unfolding according to its own causality. In traditional metaphysical language, it is the realm separating the denser corporeality of our earth plane from the progressively finer causalities which lie “above” us in the noetic and logoic realms. Put more simply, it separates the visible world from realms invisible but still perceivable through the eye of the heart. In fact, this is what the word “imagination” specifically implies to in its original Islamic context: direct perception through this inner eye, not mental reflection or fantasy.

I say “boundary,” but the imaginal world is actually more of a confluence, for the word “boundary” suggests a separation while what is really at stake in this realm is an active flowing together. “Where the two seas meet” is a beautiful Sufi metaphor to convey the essence of what actually happens here. The imaginal realm is a meeting ground, a place of active exchange between two bandwidths of reality. That is how its cosmic purpose is fulfilled and—I will attempt to demonstrate shortly—the way in which it can be most fruitfully understood.

Following are links to Cynthia’s three-part exploration series on the Imaginal, offered on the Northeast Wisdom website:

Part 1 of 3: Introducing the Imaginal
Part 2 of 3: Where is the Imaginal Realm Located?
Part 3 of 3: Is the Imaginal Realm Real?