Maine Wisdom Ingathering with Cynthia Bourgeault

Jun 4-11, 2017

Our second annual Maine Wisdom Ingathering is now officially on the calendar: June 4-11, 2017 and registration is open.

Here’s the schedule open to the public:

2nd Annual Maine Ingathering Schedule

Full schedule of events available to those who are registered. Any questions, please email Wendy Johnston.

Sunday, June 4:

(Arrivals throughout the day)

7:30 pm: welcome and orientation; chanting and meditation (town hall)

Monday, June 5

7:15 am: chanting and meditation (town hall)

9:15 morning teaching (town hall) CB: Teilhard for Troubled Times

10:30 break

11:00 practical work in teams

(Darlene leads cooking team, Oddfellows; Cynthia leads morning music group in site at St Mary’s Church. Emphasis on Taize vocals; some Brendan music. )

12:30 Lunch (Oddfellows Hall, followed by time off

            2pm: Centering Prayer with Guthrie Sayen , Town Hall

            3 pm: Contemplative Movement with Allen Borque, Town Hall

            (unscheduled time for small groups and special explorations, individual music lessons)

4:15: PUBLIC TALK by CB at Town Hall: “St Brendan the Navigator: Introducing our Local Celtic Hero”

5:30: chanting and meditation

6:00 Dinner on your own and night off

Tuesday, June 6

7:15 am: chanting and meditation (town hall)

9:15: morning teaching (town hall)

10:30: break

11 am: practical work (Darlene and Wendy work with Taize instrumentalists and vocalists at St. Mary’s Church; will need assistant chef to lead cooking team.

12:30 Lunch (Oddfellows Hall) followed by time off

(unscheduled time for small group and special explorations: music lessons, practical work, drama group, children’s group, recreation and excursions, Centering Prayer with Guthrie at 2, Contemplative Movement with Allen at 3)

4:15: afternoon teaching (town hall): GEOFF WARNER, founder of Owl Furniture:


5:30: Chanting and meditation

6: dinner (on your own)

7:30 TAIZé JAM at St. Mary’s Church

Wednesday, June 7

7:15 am morning chanting and meditation followed by

Free Day to Explore the Neighborhood: Excursions to Eagle Island, Isle au Haut; Old Quarry kayaking, sightseeing in Acadia National Park; Contemplative Movement continues at 3.

No scheduled evening event.

Thursday, June 8

7:15 am chanting and meditation (town hall)

9:15: morning teaching , Town Hall (Teilhard exploration continues)

10:30 break

11:00 practical work (Darlene in Kitchen; CB leads Troupe for Brendan Scene Study prep)

12:30 Lunch followed by time off (contemplative movement, Centering Prayer, and private lessons continue)

NOTE: Cynthia will be speaking on Global Enneagram Summit at 1 pm today!

 4:15 Afternoon Teaching: St Brendan Play, Scenes 1-4

5:30 chanting and meditation (town hall)

6:00 dinner break

7:30 public talk by CB: Teilhard and the Conscious Circle of Humanity (town hall)

 Friday, June 9

7:15 am: Chanting and meditation (town hall)

9:15 am morning teaching with CB (Teilhard exploration continues)

10:30 break

11:00 work in teams (CB leads Troupe for Brendan Scene study)

12:30 Lunch followed by time off (DARLENE works at Oddfellows Hall with Musicians to prepare for evening kirtan/zikr; centering prayer (2 pm) and Contemplative Movement (3 pm) continue at Town Hall

4:15: afternoon teaching: St Brendan play, scenes 5-7

5:30 chanting and meditation

6:00 dinner

7:30 pm: “For our one world: Evening of Sacred Chanting, Prayer, and Movement at Town Hall

Saturday June 10

 7:15 am: chanting and meditation

9:15 morning teaching (Teilhard track continues)

10:30 break

11:00 practical work in groups (Darlene with kitchen team; CB with Troupe as needed

12:30 Lunch followed by free time (CP and Contemplative Meditation continue)

4:15 afternoon teaching: Brendan voyage concludes

5:30 meditation and chanting except for kitchen and set-up team

6:00 “Gaudeamus” (beverages and munchies) at Oddfellows; dinner on your own (or make the party your meal)

Sunday, June 11

7:15 morning sitting” followed by departure at your own pace (most houses must be vacated by 10 am)

Once again we’ll be offering a relaxed, family-friendly Wisdom School in which serious study and practice gets balanced with time for outdoor adventures and deepening friendships. My teaching this year will focus on “Wisdom Perspectives in Turbulent Times.” On a lighter note, I plan also to explore some spiritual voyage narratives, including our own local nautical patron, Saint Brendan, whose legendary voyage to “The Land Promised to the Saints” (and my effort to capture it in a modern day Mystery play) will form the basis for some rollicking Celtic music and drama.

Here are all the details. To download and print this information for future reference, click here.

Contact Information. Our event coordinator is Wendy Johnston. She’s your registrar, and your “go to” person for all questions about housing or any other concerns. P.O. Box 608, Stonington, ME 04681. Phone 207-348-3093 (h); 717-926-6912 (cell); email:

Program. This year there will be no special, self-contained weekend event. The entire week will feature the usual blend of daily teaching (by Cynthia Bourgeault), meditation, chanting, and conscious practical work, as well as some unprogrammed time for exploring the natural paradise here and reconnecting with old friends. Darlene Franz will be in attendance to lead chanting and offer harmonium teaching, and Deborah Brewin-Wilson will be sharing her Celtic harping as she and I jointly lead an exploration in music and drama the voyage narrative of St. Brendan the Navigator, the 6th century Irish monk that many credit with the earliest Irish landfall on the North American continent. Cynthia’s teaching this year will focus on “The Survivor’s Guide to the Galaxy: Treasures from the Wisdom Tradition for Troubled Times.” The program will run straight through from Sunday evening, June 4 to Saturday evening, June 10th (there will be a final early morning sitting on the 11th). While we strongly encourage participants to come for the entire week, we also can accommodate a limited number of flexible arrangements for those with weekday or weekend commitments. Stay closely in touch with Wendy here.

Cost. There will be a uniform program fee of $150 per person (or $200 per family unit, no matter its size—great deal!!!) This covers our basic operational expenses: rental of teaching space, teaching fees, and a simple daily lunch which we’ll prepare as part of our practical work together. The same fee applies whether you come for the entire week or merely a part of it, since spaces and provisions will need to be purchased for the entire week.

In addition, you will have your accommodation costs in a variety of price ranges (see below), transportation expenses, breakfast and dinner on your own (either eat out or cook in), and whatever extras you’d like to set aside for tourist adventures.

Registration. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space in the Ingathering. The balance (remaining program fee plus housing costs if applicable) will be due by May 1, 2017.

Note: Everyone must register!!!! Even if you have already booked your accommodations, we need to receive your registration fee to keep you actively on our roster. Please use the following link to register

Accommodations. Stonington is a picturesque Maine fishing village with plenty of rental and motel options in all price ranges. For our Ingathering, you can either book your own accommodations (as several of you have already done) or apply for a spot in one of our Northeast Wisdom-booked rentals. If you’re booking on your own, we recommend working with our local partner at the Island Agency right here in Stonington: Christina Carter is the rentals rep. You can also call her office at (207) 367-2828.

There are other internet-based agencies that are also experienced and reliable including and The latter is a locally-based (Blue Hill) organization, phone (207) 354-5444.

If you’ve booked a house with room to spare and would like to be matched up with another retreat participant either to offer hospitality or for cost-sharing, let Wendy know.

Northeast Wisdom-managed Accommodations. Northeast Wisdom has rented three large houses in town for the occasion, and we are pleased to be able to provide accommodations for twenty-five to thirty people, depending on sleeping configurations. Depending on the houses selected, you can expect to pay between $400 and $500 per room for the week. Obviously, if this room is shared with another person (whether by partners sharing a double bed, or two people in separate beds), the price per person will be way more modest. As always, single rooms will come at a premium.

Once we receive your registration fee, we will work with you to find the optimal configuration for your requirements and budget. If needs be, we will look into renting more additional space, but at the moment, we cannot guarantee Northeast Wisdom-sponsored housing beyond these already booked properties.

For those coming for only part of the week, we may be able to facilitate cost-sharing with someone coming for a different timeslot. There are a few other “low-budget” options we may be able to help facilitate, including hospitality with a few of our local Wisdom residents, dormitory style space in which to roll out your sleeping bag, and as mentioned in an earlier email, the local camping ground (if you’re coming by car, as it is about three miles out of town).

Scholarships. We have some limited financial assistance available to help defray costs. (Thanks to two generous-hearted donors who made this possible!) Again, make your needs known to Wendy.

Transportation. If it’s at all feasible, we encourage you to consider driving. While our Wisdom campus itself is very compact and in easy walking distance, the main market is a couple of miles out of town, and most regional sightseeing (Acadia National Park, Old Quarry kayak rentals) will require your own wheels. And any additional meditation cushions, backjacks, seat cushions, or other paraphernalia you can tuck aboard will be helpful, believe me!!!!

Otherwise, your airport options are Bangor (closest, about 1.5 hours away), Portland (3 hours), and Boston (5 hours). These latter options require you to rent a car, but it may prove a cost-effective option since the flights (particularly Boston flights) tend to be considerably cheaper than Bangor. Southwest Airlines to Manchester NH is another viable option, and there is also regular summer air service between Boston and Bar Harbor (even closer than Bangor, but generally pricey.) We are sorry that we cannot commit to providing personal airport pickup service for everyone flying into Bangor. If you let Wendy know your flight times, we can help you coordinate with others arriving at about the same time so that you can arrange shared shuttle service.

Kayaks. Any serious kayakers out there? One of the cottages we’re renting comes with about a half dozen kayaks as part of the rental package. If you are an experienced kayaker interested in further exploration of this island-dotted paradise, let Wendy know, and we’ll do our best to book you into that cottage (your name will have to be specifically registered in the lease agreement; for liability reasons the kayaks are not free for the taking to all Wisdom School participants).

What else? Later this spring (about the time your balance owing is due) we’ll send you another information bulletin with details you need to know to help with your packing and preparations. For now, simply return your registration form, take a deep breath, and keep us in the loop RE your housing arrangements. Wow! This is actually happening!

We know this is a lot of information so if you wish to download and print, click here.

Looking forward to our time together!