Wisdom Schools

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Apr 6-22, 2018

The Way of Wisdom: a Two-Weekend Wisdom School with Jan Byars, Diane Elliott

Second Presbyterian Church — Indianapolis, IN

Do you long for deep Knowing? Do you thirst for deep rest?

Wisdom is a way of knowing that goes beyond one’s mind, one’s rational understanding, to embrace the whole of the person: heart, mind, and body. Wisdom is the mystery embedded deep within every religion. Our particular Wisdom School will approach Wisdom through a Christian lens. A Wisdom School is a retreat focused on living in Presence. It is about deepening what Cynthia Bourgeault calls “intelligent spiritual insight.” In Wisdom Way of Knowing, she says, “Wisdom is not about knowing more but knowing deeper.” This retreat will be based on the model developed by Cynthia Bourgeault.

A Wisdom School does not actually teach Wisdom; it creates a sacred space for Wisdom to emerge. This intensive retreat occurs over 2 weekends, offering an ancient roadmap of human wholeness, holding sacred space for our being to increase and to have greater receptivity to Presence. Through the Benedictine tradition of prayer and work, we will prepare our hearts to perceive the signs of Wisdom. We will use a three-centered approach in order to bring heart, mind, and body into harmony and deepen our spiritual formation. Through the use of sacred practices, including silence, prayer, work, chanting, and Lectio Divina, we will hold sacred space.

The leaders will be Diane Elliott and Jan Byars. Cynthia has been Diane’s and Jan’s spiritual teacher for many years and has endorsed this beginning Wisdom School personally.

Recommended reading: Wisdom Way of Knowing by Cynthia Bourgeault; Gospel of Thomas (Jan and Diane will be using Lynn Baumann’s translation. There are many others) (Kindle free version: The Gospel of Thomas, by A. Nyland)

Please join us for two weekends of deep Knowing & deep Rest!

Weekend #1: Friday, April 6, 5:30 to 9:00pm Saturday, April 7, 8:30am to 6:00pm Sunday, April 8, 8:30am to 6:00pm
and
Weekend #2: Friday, April 20, 5:30 to 9:00pm Saturday, April 21, 8:30am to 6:00pm Sunday, April 22, 8:30am to 6:00pm

Space is limited to 30, first come first served. A waitlist will be created if necessary.

Cost: $150 per person. This includes light Friday dinners, lunches and snacks. Second Presbyterian has graciously provided the facilities, keeping the cost very low. $50 is due at registration (non-refundable) and $100 by March 1, 2018. Full amount due for registration after March 1st. Final registration date April 3, 2018. Please eat breakfast before coming.

For more information and to register, download the flyer.

For questions please contact Diane at 317.437.4689 or Jan at 937.321.5016.

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Apr 25-29, 2018

Wisdom Group Leadership Training with Bill Redfield, Lois Barton, Deborah Welsh

Hallelujah Farm — Chesterfield, NH

This residential experiential learning event will present both the contextual underpinning of the Wisdom practice movement as well as a thorough presentation and practice of specific leadership skills for leading Wisdom practice groups. While we will begin with a suggestion of what human Wisdom development might be in this current age and how the Wisdom movement directly addresses this present human challenge, this training will then move directly into the practical demands and realities of contemplative practice and Wisdom group leadership. Not only will we catalogue some of the current expressions of Wisdom groups (e.g., chanting groups, Gospel Thomas groups, book study groups, and, of course, Wisdom Schools), but we will also present, demonstrate, and practice some of the specific group leadership skills that will be demanded in each of these groups. Besides setting forth a unique perspective of the Wisdom “post-holder” as group leader and delving into some of energetic realities subtly present in this work, this training will also suggest a marriage between energetic group leadership and more traditional group dynamics theory.

Because there is sequential unfolding to this training and to the acquisition of deeper understandings and skills, participants will be expected to attend the whole workshop. A follow-up component in which participants can receive support and supervision will also be made available.

This training will be led by Bill Redfield, Lois Barton, and Deborah Welsh.

The Rev. William C. Redfield is an ordained Episcopal priest and a licensed clinical social worker. Although he was ordained in 1976, he spent the first half of his professional career as a group, family, and individual therapist in Maine. Later Bill served Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville for nearly twenty years. During this time he brought his passion for new forms of “Wisdom” spirituality and established “Wisdom House” as an outreach spiritual ministry in the greater community. Having retired from parish work over four years ago, Bill is now engaged in full time Wisdom work mainly in the Northeast.

Sister Lois Barton, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, holds basic and advanced certificates from the Spiritual Direction Mentoring Program of the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse, NY, and a Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program of Loyola University, New Orleans. Sister Lois is an experienced teacher, spiritual director, and group leader. Along with Bill, Lois has a long-established practice of Centering Prayer and also has been an active student of Cynthia Bourgeault for the past eleven years. She is the program director of The Sophia Center in Binghamton, NY.

Deborah Welsh, Ed.D., a Wisdom Leader and creator of “Wisdom of the Body”, has worked with Bill Redfield and Lois Barton co-leading Wisdom Schools since 2010. She is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Mental Health Counselor, and Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist, specializing in dance and movement as sacred. Her underpinnings are in modern and improvisational dance, the psychology of C.G. Jung, yoga, and exercise physiology.

Cost: All are welcome at Hallelujah Farm. We are grateful for your support in the amount you can afford. As a guideline, the suggested contribution for this retreat is $550, which includes a $50 deposit.

Venue: Guests receive hospitality from Sandy & Roger Daly of beautiful Hallelujah Farm. Accommodations are in shared double rooms. Single rooms may be available upon request.

Information & Registration: Contact Laura Ruth at laurampruth@gmail.com. In order to hold your place, the following deposit is requested: $50 due by April 1, 2018.

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May 3-6, 2018

Wisdom School-South Africa with Cynthia Bourgeault

Goedgedacht Farm — malmesbury

Following Contemplative Outreach South Africa’s National Conference, Cynthia Bourgeault will lead a contemplative Wisdom School in the Western Cape. She will be working with meditation, contemplative prayer, lectio divina, the language of sacred gesture, and the daily practices of mindfulness, inner observation, and surrender in a traditional Benedictine context.

Please note that the Wisdom School is now full, but they are taking a wait list. To add your name, please complete the registration form and send to Penny Joy Day at pjday@iafrica.com.

Pre-requisites: An established meditation practice and a willingness to participate fully in the program.

Cost: R2000 plus accommodation (includes bedding, towels, and full board) – accommodations range from R2400-R3000. Please see the registration form for more information.

Time: May 3rd at 6:00 pm to May 6th, ending with lunch

For more information, please contact Penny Joy Day at pjday@iafrica.com.

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Jun 3-10, 2018

Maine Wisdom Ingathering with Cynthia Bourgeault, Matthew Wright

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: christpath77@yahoo.com.

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 https://northeastwisdom.org/maine-wisdom-ingathering-registration/ 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: www.islandrentalsmaine.com. 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 www.vacationrentals.com and www.rentalsmaine.com. 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!

Blessings,

Cynthia                                     

Details
Sep 12-16, 2018

Living in Remembrance: The Wisdom of the Sufi Path with Matthew Wright

Hallelujah Farm — Chesterfield, NH

In this 5 day (4 night) Sufi Wisdom School we will immerse ourselves in the rhythms and wisdom practices of Islamic spirituality: daily embodied prayer, chanting the names of God, attending to the breath, and anchoring awareness in the heart. We’ll study the basics of Sufi teaching, beginning with the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an, and unfolding through such spiritual giants as Ibn al-Arabi and Jalaluddin Rumi. Attention will also be given to the connections between the Islamic and Christian Wisdom streams.

This first-time event is a wonderful way to learn more about Islam and Sufism. No prior knowledge or experience with the tradition is needed—just an open heart. As with other Wisdom Schools, previous commitment to, or interest in, contemplative practice is expected. Time will be spent within the Wisdom rhythm of silent prayer, chanting, lectio divina, conscious work and sacred conversation.

The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, serving as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY. He is also a teacher and retreat leader for Northeast Wisdom, a non-profit dedicated to the renewal of the Christian Wisdom tradition.  Matthew brings forward the depth and brilliance of this stream within the wider context of inter-spiritual dialogue. As Wisdom teacher, his presence and vast storehouse of knowledge express a vibrant and living connection with the tradition, as witnessed in his new blog A Waking Heart. In addition to his studies with Cynthia Bourgeault, Matthew has been a student of the Mevlevi Sufi path for eight years, under the guidance of Shaikh Kabir Helminski. The Mevlevi path is rooted in the teachings of the renowned Sufi mystic-poet Jalaluddin Rumi. Matthew and his wife, Yanick, live alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery.

See the flyer for more details.

For more information and to register contact: Kerstin Lipke – kerstinlipke@gmail.com.

Details
Oct 5-8, 2018

Visionary Seeing Wisdom School with Bill Redfield, Lois Barton, Deborah Welsh

The Spiritual Center — Windsor, NY

Besides a science of transformation, Wisdom includes a cosmological map that explains how the universe is put together and, within this configuration, what constitutes a meaningful human life. While our “Heart-Centered Living Wisdom School” focuses on the methodology of transformation, the “Visionary Seeing Wisdom School” provides the context of that change—from what to what and why? The divine exchange and reciprocal feeding are presented and attention and surrender practices are deepened. The Gospel of Thomas continues to be explored, especially those logia that apply to these areas. Our time together unfolds in the same basic balance and rhythm as in the Heart Centered Living Wisdom School. Participants will have to opportunity to delve deeply into their own unique life purpose.

This training will be led by Bill Redfield, Lois Barton, and Deborah Welsh.

The Rev. William C. Redfield is an ordained Episcopal priest and a licensed clinical social worker. Although he was ordained in 1976, he spent the first half of his professional career as a group, family, and individual therapist in Maine. Later Bill served Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville for nearly twenty years. During this time, he brought his passion for new forms of “Wisdom” spirituality and established “Wisdom House” as an outreach spiritual ministry in the greater community. Having retired from parish work over four years ago, Bill is now engaged in full time Wisdom work mainly in the Northeast.

Sister Lois Barton, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, holds basic and advanced certificates from the Spiritual Direction Mentoring Program of the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse, NY, and a Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program of Loyola University, New Orleans. Sister Lois is an experienced teacher, spiritual director, and group leader. Along with Bill, Lois has a long-established practice of Centering Prayer and also has been an active student of Cynthia Bourgeault for the past twelve years. She is the program director of The Sophia Center for Spirituality in Binghamton, NY.

Deborah Welsh, Ed.D., a Wisdom Leader and creator of “Wisdom of the Body,” has worked with Bill Redfield and Lois Barton co-leading Wisdom Schools since 2010. She is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Mental Health Counselor, and Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist, specializing in dance and movement as sacred. Her underpinnings are in modern and improvisational dance, the psychology of C.G. Jung, yoga, and exercise physiology.

Cost: $500.

For more information and to register, please contact Cathy Dutch, wisdomswork@gmail.com.

Details
Feb 21-26, 2019

Wisdom School Southwest: “The Desert in the Desert” with Cynthia Bourgeault

Redemptorist Renewal Center — Tucson, AZ

This is high season in Tuscon, so this Wisdom School might be particularly appealing to those of us in the Northeast.

The Desert Mothers and Fathers is our theme for this special event Wisdom School. These early Christians living in the desert developed a way of life that has much to teach us in this age. Cynthia brings us a rhythm of silence, contemplation, teaching and personal time during these desert days at the beautiful Redemptorist Renewal Center in the northwest part of Tucson, Arizona. This is a special event Wisdom School so there are no prerequisites for attendance. We will begin with Cynthia Bourgeault after dinner Thursday, February 21 and end at noon on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. All meals are included.

Recommended reading: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers by Benedicta Ward, Listen to the Desert by Gregory Mayers, and The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton.

You might also wish to listen to Cynthia’s Desert Fathers & Mothers audio teaching from the last retreat to familiarize yourself with these concepts.

Please contact Jane Waldron Bearce at 602-725-9260, or by email at wisdomschoolsouthwest@gmail.com for more information.

Download this flyer for more details, contact information and to register.

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