Wisdom Schools

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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.

Nov 1-4, 2018

Vermont Wisdom School with Marcella Kraybill-Greggo

Rock Point — Burlington, VT

Please join us for our second Wisdom School offered by the Rock Point Intentional Community.

This introductory wisdom school will include periods of teaching, chanting, meditation, lectio divina, body movement, and conscious work. This Wisdom School will offer a teaching on deepening our THREE Centered Way of Knowing/Integral Wisdom Knowing: Intelligence of the mind, the emotional center, and the moving center. Our leader/facilitator will be Marcella Kraybill-Greggo with collaborating members of the Rock Point Wisdom School. Marcella is a teacher, spiritual director, dynamic participant in the wisdom school community, and serves as Vice-President of the board of Northeast Wisdom. She lives in Bethlehem, PA with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, and spent her early years in Tanzania, Africa as a child of medical missionaries. Marcella is Co-director of the Spiritual Direction Graduate Certificate Program at Moravian Theological Seminary as well as the Clinical Director for Moravian’s MA in Clinical Counseling. She holds a Masters in Social Work along with a certificate in Spiritual Direction.

We’ll meet from mid-afternoon Thursday, November 1, 2018 until noon on Sunday, November 4th, 2018. Some limited scholarship aid will be available. 

Registration is now open: https://form.jotform.com/80105364809960

For more information contact Michael Hechmer at Mhechmer@me.com.  

Nov 10, 2018

Principles & Foundations of Wisdom Christianity: Changing our Perspectives with Bill Redfield

Holy Family Retreat Center — West Hartford, CT

Wisdom is a deep stream running under religious traditions, including Christianity. One of the first titles given to Jesus by his followers was a moshel mehalim, “master of Wisdom.” This session covers foundational aspects of Christian Wisdom with a focus on embracing the whole person: mind, heart and body in knowing and practice. The cornerstone practices of Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, Chant and Prayer of Gesture and Movement will be introduced.

This program will consist of a balance and rhythm of Wisdom teaching, spiritual practice, directed discussion, and shared ritual. Because they will be spread out over several months, participants will be given time for integration. While these days of practice can stand alone, together they will build toward sequential coherence that will serve as a firm foundation for future Wisdom learnings. Familiarity with Centering Prayer or other spiritual practices is necessary.

Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Offering: $65 (includes lunch)
For registration please visit: https://www.holyfamilyretreat.org/calendar/principles-foundations-of-wisdom-christianity

Rev. Bill Redfield retired three years ago as rector of Trinity Church, Fayetteville, NY after nearly 20 years. He’s been an Episcopal priest for over 40 years and is also an LCSW who worked in private practice in central New York and Maine. His lifelong interest is 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 and serves as President of Northeast Wisdom.

This is part 1 of a 3-part series entitled Exploring Wisdom Christianity: 3 Days of Deepening Practice & Inquiry.  

The sessions are as follows:
Saturday, November 10, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Principles and Foundations of Wisdom Christianity: Changing our Perspectives
Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – The Core of Wisdom Christianity: A new way of Seeing and Being
Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Integrating Wisdom Christianity into Life: How will the results be embodied in our lives?

Nov 28 - Dec 2, 2018

Wisdom Group Leadership Training with Bill Redfield, Laura Ruth

Hallelujah Farm — Chesterfield, NH

In a recent conversation among seven senior Wisdom students, there emerged a consensus that our Wisdom community is on the cusp of a significant shift. There emerged the shared understanding that there is something of a “passing of the baton” that is currently transpiring. While Cynthia of course continues to be the head and the teacher of our growing community, an increasing number of experienced students are sensing a call to step out and teach themselves. Even if not called to teach, though, there seems to be a felt urgency to more deeply embody the Wisdom teachings in our own lives. So, this is all about finding one’s own Wisdom Voice—whether it be expressed in organizing and leading Wisdom Practice Circles, in teaching Wisdom Schools/retreats, or in an emboldened manifestation of Wisdom in our everyday lives.

Have you ever considered leading a Wisdom Practice Circle in your own home community? If you have but then hesitated because you didn’t think you had the required experience or expertise, this training may be for you.

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.

This training will be led by Bill Redfield and assisted by Laura Ruth.

The Rev. William C. Redfield is an Episcopal priest and a licensed clinical social worker. Ordained in 1976, he spent the first half of his career as a group, family, and individual therapist. Bill served Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, New York for nearly twenty years. There, he brought his passion for new forms of “Wisdom” spirituality to fruition, and established “Wisdom House” as an outreach spiritual ministry in the greater community. Retired from parish work, Bill has been engaged in full time Wisdom work since 2014 at Wisdom’s Work. He is currently offering “Wisdom Mentoring,” the confluence of the rivers of psychological work and spiritual work.  This work is open to anyone seeking to deepen their experience of Wisdom, and for those being called to lead Wisdom practice groups. Utilizing a Wisdom perspective, Bill meets with individuals, groups, and wisdom leaders in a process he calls Wisdom mentoring. Wisdom Mentoring is done in person or on the Zoom platform and is aimed at profound transformation—from the inside out.

Laura Ruth has been co-facilitating Wisdom practice circles and retreats with Kerstin Lipke at Hallelujah Farm for the past several years. In this work, she holds space for the deep dive into experiential, embodied, heart-centered Wisdom practices designed to nourish personal practice, ground life in community, and serve the process of transformative presence in daily life. 

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 $75 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: $75 due by November 1, 2018.


Nov 29 - Dec 2, 2018

Southeast Wisdom Arising Retreat–Save the Date with Jeanine Siler Jones, Rebecca Parker, Laura Copeland

St. Mary's Sewanee — Sewanee, TN
Join us during Advent as we come together and experience a deepening of the Wisdom tradition teachings from the work of Cynthia Bourgeault. Wisdom hinges on the transition to a different mode of perception, classically referred to as “putting the mind in the heart.”
Together we will build a sacred and supportive container, deepening into the practices that cultivate this Wisdom way of Knowing: Centering prayer, Lectio Divina, sacred chanting, movement and mindful work. This retreat is for all Wisdom practitioners, especially those who guide other circles of practice, or would like support in forming their own groups to spread the teachings and practices of Wisdom.
Save the date and stay tuned for more information.
For more information, click here to download the flyer.
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.