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Aug 14 - Nov 19, 2019

Introductory Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault with Cynthia Bourgeault


Cynthia Bourgeault is a long-time student of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths and is a core faculty member of the CAC and Living School. Christian Wisdom teachings have been around since the earliest days of Christianity; Cynthia teaches from that ancient perspective in ways that suit today’s world. Arising from an in-person Wisdom School that Cynthia led for 200 students, this online course integrates her teachings and contemplative practice to offer an embodied experience.

Wisdom isn’t something you get from a guru or a reward for performing certain actions. Wisdom is about inner work and transformation. Wisdom isn’t knowing more; it’s knowing more deeply, with more of yourself. Wisdom is caught more than taught. This course explores the Wisdom way of knowing and growing. Cynthia invites us to awaken to our yearning for a different kind of presence and to develop the skills, knowledge, and actions for our own transformation.

No prior experience with Cynthia’s Wisdom Schools is required; however we do recommend some familiarity with Cynthia’s books or talks. This course serves as the prerequisite to any of the advanced Wisdom Schools Cynthia provides.

The course will:

  • Cultivate a Wisdom rhythm in your daily life through reflection and engagement with contemplative practices and teachings.
  • Expand your awareness of the Christian Wisdom path and its relevance to our realities today.
  • Develop contemplative practice(s) to engage and embody these teachings.
  • Connect and learn with others on the journey toward living in a Wisdom way.

Approach: in this unique, 14-week online course, you will have opportunities to:

  • Interact with fellow learners from around the world.
  • Participate in a guided study through videos and readings from Cynthia Bourgeault and others.
  • Engage in personal reflection and contemplative practice.
  • Enjoy 24/7 access to the course material.
  • Explore new material every week (released Wednesday mornings, US Mountain Time).
  • Invest 2-4 hours per week in the reading, online discussion, and personal reflections.

Registration: closes one week before the course opens or as soon as the course fills, whichever comes first. Click here for online registration.

Cost: $195 per person. To apply for financial assistance, please complete the online Financial Assistance Form at least 1 week before registration is scheduled to close. Please do not register for the online course until your request for financial assistance has been processed.

Date: August 14 – November 19, 2019

In support of this course, Northeast Wisdom will post study groups on our Practice Circles page. There, participants will be able to find groups that are gathering together for the course. If you already have a group, please let us know by submitting your Practice Circle information using the form on that page. Thank you!

Please note: CAC did not implement group pricing this time around, and in lieu of that are asking groups to have a number equal to 25 percent of the students in the group register for the course.

CAC will have group pricing in place for the 2020 dates listed below.

March 4 – June 9, 2020
August 12 – November 17, 2020

March 3 – June 8, 2021
August 11 – November 16, 2021

March 2 – June 7, 2022
August 10 – November 15, 2022

Sep 26-29, 2019

Being with Change: Discovering Wisdom in Times of Transition with Kerstin Lipke, Laura Ruth

Hallelujah Farm — Chesterfield, NH

Join us during this poignant time of year, as summer yields to autumn and the call inward begins again. Exploring the delicate, creative interplay of inner and outer, activity and stillness, and silence and speaking, we will listen more deeply to, and move with, what is brought forth during times of transition.

This 3-night retreat is an opportunity to begin to cultivate greater awareness within the midst of change, that challenging but inescapable part of our path without which transformation cannot occur. Held within a Wisdom community of support, we will participate together in practices that relate to our theme:

Lectio Divina or “sacred reading” – an ancient monastic practice of listening to the Spirit speak to our hearts through Scripture. Sacred Chant – no prior singing experience necessary! Body- awareness Practice and gentle, natural movement. Conscious Practical Work – a practice of presence and attention.

People of all spiritual traditions (or none) are welcome. Prior experience with silent prayer or meditation is helpful.

Retreat Guides: Kerstin Lipke & Laura Ruth together form Incarnating Wisdom. They have been facilitating experiential Wisdom retreats and practice circles for the past several years. Committed to Wisdom that is alive, embodied and responsive, Laura and Kerstin are actively listening for how to serve from the heart through practice in our individual lives and in community, and in the dynamic relationship with daily life and the world.

Times: Begins Thursday, September 26th at 5:30pm with a light supper; ends Sunday, September 29th at 1pm after brunch.

Cost: All are welcome at Hallelujah Farm and we are grateful for your support in the amount you feel you can afford. As a guideline, a suggested contribution for a shared room is $350 (includes a $75 deposit). Single rooms may be available upon request for a suggested contribution of $425 (includes $75 deposit).

Venue: Guests receive the hospitality of Sandy & Roger Daly at beautiful Hallelujah Farm. Most accommodations are in shared double rooms.

Information & Registration: Contact Kerstin Lipke at kerstinlipke@gmail.com. In order to hold your place, the following deposit is requested:
$75 due by September 12th.

To download the flyer, please click here.

This retreat is generously supported by The Friends of Incarnating Wisdom.

Oct 11-14, 2019

The Way of the Heart: Christian, Sufi and Hindu Mysticism with Matthew Wright

Hallelujah Farm — Chesterfield, NH

How do we awaken the Heart? How do we experience life through the heart center? For centuries, Christian, Sufi and Hindu mystics have been drawn to the heart, knowing it as our primary source of spiritual perception and connection as well as being the seat, or center, of selfhood. Through the heart we experience the inner nature of Life, in the moment. Our great Wisdom traditions teach that the heart knows through a visceral, resonant connectivity within wholeness and relationship. This brings us into direct contact with the realities of beauty, tenderness and love.

We will explore the Path of the Heart through three primary doorways; Jalaluddin Rumi, St Theophane the Recluse and Ramana Maharshi. These three will be our entry into the Wisdom teachings of Sufism, Christianity and Hinduism. Matthew will weave together teaching and heart practice from each path that focus on cultivating our hearts in relationship with the Divine Heart.

Our time together will be held within a Wisdom rhythm of silent prayer and meditation, chant, embodied practice: movement and conscious practical work, as well as Lectio Divina style reading of interspiritual texts.

Guest Teacher: Matthew Wright
The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest and Wisdom tradition retreat leader who has been working to bring forward the depth and brilliance of this stream within the wider context of inter-spiritual dialogue. His presence and vast storehouse of knowledge express a vibrant and living connection with the tradition, as witnessed in his blog A Waking Heart. In addition to his studies with Cynthia Bourgeault, Matthew has been a student of the Mevlevi Sufi path for nine years, under the guidance of Shaikh Kabir Helminski. The Mevlevi path is rooted in the teachings of the Sufi mystic-poet Jalaluddin Rumi. Matthew and his wife, Yanick, live alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery.

Retreat begins: at 5:30pm with a light supper.

Retreat ends: Monday at 1pm after a shared meal.

Information & Registration: Laura Ruth will be holding the Incarnating Wisdom post during this retreat, on-site and for registration. You may contact her at laurampruth@gmail.com. To download the flyer, click here.

Deposit: In order to hold your place, a $95 deposit is requested, made out to “Incarnating Wisdom” and sent to Laura Ruth at the address below. Thank you!

Cost: All are welcome at Hallelujah Farm and we are grateful for your support in the amount you feel you can afford. As a guideline, a suggested contribution for a shared room is $525 (includes a $95 deposit). A limited number of single rooms may be available upon request for an additional $25 per night.

Venue: Guests receive the hospitality of Sandy, Roger and John Daly and Leigh Marthe at beautiful Hallelujah Farm. Most accommodations are in shared double rooms.

Thanks to the generosity of Friends of Incarnating Wisdom, we are grateful to continue to be able to make these events accessible to all, offering them with a pay-as-you-can suggested contribution.

Oct 12, 2019

Exploring the Wisdom of the Gospels with Bill Redfield

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center — West Hartford, CT

Among the various titles given Jesus is “Wisdom Master.” An exploration of the Gospels Wisdom Parables will give us an understanding of what this title might imply. Using a Lectio Divina approach, we will unpack such parables as the Laborers in the Field, the Parable of the Talents, and others. You will end the day appreciating Jesus as “Wisdom Master” and with a method that gives the Gospels a living meaning.

Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
$65, includes lunch
To register, please follow this link https://www.holyfamilyretreat.org/calendar/wisdom-of-the-gospels

Oct 25-27, 2019

Deep Calls to Deep: God within the Thunder of Chaos with William Sheehan, Adwoa Lewis-Wilson, Allen Bourque

Bethany House of Prayer — Arlington, MA

“Deep calls to deep at the thunder of thy cataracts” — Ps. 42:7

Most of us find ourselves practicing within a larger cultural impasse of anger and fear. This retreat provides an intimate setting within which to progress from our own impasses – by way of lamentation – to joy, surrender and freedom. Our goal is to support a deeper alignment of our core selves with God in the very midst of our chaos, allowing this to be the essential foundation of skillful action in our world.

We will incorporate dialogue and movement with our traditional practices of silent prayer, chant, conscious work, and ritual. Through these we create a container to identify, express, and loosen some of the emotions that frequently keep us stymied in the dualistic options set before us. The weekend offers an opportunity to explore our personal barriers and hopes for a unitive presence within a world of thunderous chaos.

This retreat is offered on a sliding scale from $200 to $350, with a suggested fee of $275. $200 covers the cost of our facilities (including private rooms for each retreatant) and food. Anything over $200 goes towards the facilitators’ stipends as well as a scholarship fund for those who cannot pay the full amount. We are grateful for your generosity. Registration begins at 4:30 Friday with orientation program at 5:30.

Click here to see the flyer and/or for more information.


Oct 28 - Nov 2, 2019

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

Claymont Society for Continuous Education — Charles Town, WV

A practical and intensive exploration of the convergence between two wisdom streams. The 2019 Wisdom School at Claymont is a special 5-day intensive immersion and exploration of the convergence between teachings of Gurdjieff and Teilhard led by Cynthia Bourgeault with daily movements by Deborah Rose Longo.

Date: October 28 – November 2, 2019 

Time: Monday dinner – Saturday 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 cost of the school is $695, and includes lodging and meals for five days at the Claymont Society in Charles Town, West Virginia. Registration for the school is by application only. Please fill out the Wisdom School application form. Upon notification that you are accepted into the school, a deposit of $100 is required to hold your place in the school. The rest of the payment is due 30 days before the school begins. Your deposit and program fees are fully refundable up to two weeks before the event.  Scholarships are available for those who need assistance.

For more information e-mail Bob Sabath at Friends of Silence 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.

Nov 8-14, 2019

Reclaiming the Mystical Heart of Christianity: How Centering Prayer Can Deepen Your Experience of God with Cynthia Bourgeault

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center — West Hartford, CT

OR NOVEMBER 8-10, 2019

This contemplative silent retreat provides a sacred opportunity for a large Community of Contemplatives to gather as a healing presence to the world and to one another. Individually you’ll deepen your Centering Prayer practice with Cynthia Bourgeault, one of the great contemplative guides of our time. The retreat will unpack some of the key ideas in her highly acclaimed book The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice. Emphasis will be placed on the notion of “nondual personhood,” as well as the method and foundations of the Centering Prayer practice. Participants will see that Centering Prayer is not simply a Christianized form of other meditation methods, rather a method that has its own specific mechanism to transform consciousness from a narrow to broader perspectives of personhood.

This retreat will be held in silence. Each day will include wisdom teaching with Cynthia, movement practice, Contemplative Eucharist, chanting, and multiple Centering Prayer periods. The retreat is open to practitioners on all spiritual pathways, the basis for our conceptual exploration and practical work will lie in centering prayer and the Christian theological perspective which underlies it. All levels are welcome, though an established centering prayer or meditation practice is helpful.

Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Ph.D., is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader, widely acclaimed as one of the leading contemporary teachers of Christian nonduality. She is the author of ten books, including The Heart of Centering Prayer: Christian Nonduality in Theory and Practice, which has been hailed by Fr. Thomas Keating as “a major contribution to the Centering Prayer movement and to interspiritual dialogue.”  In addition to overseeing a growing network of international wisdom schools, she also serves as a core faculty member for the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM, together with Fr. Richard Rohr and James Finley.

Contemplative leaders assisting and supporting Cynthia in her leadership of the retreat:

Rev. Matthew Wright, M.Div is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition. He serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY and is a teacher for Northeast Wisdom and The Contemplative Society, a non-profit rooted in the teaching lineage of Cynthia Bourgeault. Matthew lives with his wife, Yanick, alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY. You may visit his website at A Waking Heart.

Rev. William Redfield retired as rector of Trinity Church, Fayetteville, NY, three years ago after nearly 20 years. Besides being an Episcopal priest for over 40 years, he is also a licensed clinical social worker and has worked in private practice in central New York and Maine. He has had a lifelong interest in the intersection of spirituality and the inner life. He is the creative force behind the birth of Wisdom House, Fayetteville, NY. Bill is a student of and a collaborator with Cynthia Bourgeault, now with an active practice of “Wisdom Mentoring.”

Fr. Michael Holleran was a Carthusian monk for 22 years, and is currently a priest of the Archdiocese of New York stationed at Notre Dame church in the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan, NYC. He also received Dharma transmission as a zensei in the Zen tradition from Fr. Robert E. Kennedy, SJ, Roshi, and runs his Dragon’s Eye Zendo at St. Francis of Assisi church in midtown (Manhattan). Passing on the contemplative tradition in its many manifestations is for him a great passion and joy. For more information, visit www.michaelkholleran.org.

Fr. Bill Sheehan, OMI, is an experienced retreat director who has led many Centering Prayer workshops and retreats, including 11th Step retreats. Since 1983, he has been involved with Contemplative Outreach, founded by Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO, practicing centering prayer and guiding others in this way of prayer for more than 25 years. He is a member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate order and lives in an Oblate House of Prayer in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Allen Bourque is a Christian Contemplative, and Centering Prayer practitioner and has been a student of Tai Chi and related Daoist internal arts for over 20 year. His primary Daoist teachers are Don Ethan Miller and Bruce Frantzis. He weaves together the strong body and awareness-based practices of Daoism with the profound heart-centered practices of Christianity. He leads Contemplative Movement programs throughout the Northeast and is an advanced student of Cynthia Bourgeault. He is a graduate of the Shalem Program for Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats, a member of the faculty of the Life Together Community of Brookline, and a member of the Board of Contemplative Outreach Boston.

Miranda Chapman is a compassionate soul with a heart for helping others find peace in their lives. The Institute’s founding program director, Miranda has been teaching yoga, meditation, and transformative workshops and retreats for nearly a decade. She studied meditation, yoga and Ayurveda in India and Canada, and has taken her practice all over the world. She is also an avid community builder and social and environmental activist.

Deborah Welsh is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, a licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Advanced Teacher of yoga nidra/iRest ©. Currently, her professional focus is on Sacred Dance and contemplative practices of non-dual, integrative spirituality, particularly within the traditions of Christianity and Buddhism. Deborah lead workshops and has developed a program entitled “Wisdom of the Body,”  primarily within the Wisdom Schools and Retreats of Wisdoms Work (www.wisdomswork.com). Deborah founded The Sacred Dance Collective of Central New York, a group of dancers exploring the power of dance as a medium of prayer, contemplation, and social action.

For those who cannot attend the full week, we welcome participants to join us for the weekend of November 8-10.

Follow the link for more information and to Register Today.

The cost of this retreat is from $275-$750 for commuters, and from $375- $1150 for weekend or 6 nights with lodging in either single and shared rooms and bathrooms.

This Contemplative Outreach of New England retreat is co-sponsored with The Copper Beech Institute.

As part of the Christian Contemplative Experience, Holy Family Retreat Center is providing workshops and retreats to learn more about Centering Prayer and develop a practice in advance of this retreat. It is highly recommended that all attendees new to Centering Prayer attend a Centering Prayer Introductory Workshop prior to this retreat; The more you bring, the more you receive.

To learn more: https://www.holyfamilyretreat.org/cce.