Maine Wisdom Ingathering with Cynthia Bourgeault, Matthew Wright

Jun 3-10, 2018

Thank you for your interest in our Maine Wisdom Ingathering! The foundational pieces are now in place, and we can now provide you with the information you need to determine whether you’re definitely “in.” We hope you are! This gives all signs of shaping up as a wonderful Wisdom adventure. If you’d like to download this information to print out to have on hand, click here for the a document.

Contact Information. Our event coordinator is once again 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 program this year will feature the usual blend of daily teaching (by Cynthia Bourgeault, shared in the afternoon with Matthew Wright), meditation, chanting, sacred movement, and conscious practical work, as well as some unprogrammed time for exploring the natural paradise here and reconnecting with old friends.

Our theme this year will be “The Good, the True, and the Beautiful.” Acknowledging the escalating desensitization in contemporary America to violence, profanity, and flagrant immorality, we propose to refocus our attention, in classic Wisdom fashion, around the opposite end of the energetic spectrum and beam those qualities of wonder, goodness and truth, out into our aching universe. Cynthia’s morning teaching will focus on Gurdjieff’s “Obligolnian Strivings,” his inspiring and challenging vision of human purpose. Matthew’s afternoon teaching, springboarding off the Gospel of Mary Magdalene deep into the country of the heart, will explore how a Wisdom presence, even in the midst of conflict and divisiveness, can help shift the energy field, “turning their hearts to the good.”

And as usual, there will be music, this year drawing on the talents of Wisdom student/concert pianist Edith diBartolo to draw us deeper into the Western musical language of beauty… And by popular acclaim, the Taize jam will be back, and with a gathering orchestra of fiddles, recorders, Celtic harp and handrums, we look forward to a merry and moving hullaballoo!

The program will begin on Sunday evening, June 3 and conclude with our traditional potluck “Gaudeamus” on Saturday, June 9. There will be a final early morning sitting on the 10th. 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 (which will be capped at 80 people). The balance (remaining program fee plus housing costs if applicable) will be due by May 1, 2018.

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 go to the registration form. You can either fill it out online or else print it out and mail it back to Wendy along with your check.

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 partners at the Island Agency right here in Stonington: Christina Carter is the rentals rep. You can also call the 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 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. 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!