Wisdom Schools

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Jul 26-29, 2018

Mary Magdalene and Conscious Love Wisdom School with Bill Redfield, Laura Ruth

Hallelujah Farm — Chesterfield, NH

Love is the central force that holds all of life together. And yet there are so many myths and misconceptions about love, it ceases to be much more than an irrelevant and harmless platitude. Wisdom Christianity can provide a lens through which love’s meaning can be restored. And this perspective is informed by Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene.

Join us in a Wisdom School that conceptually, ritually, and experientially explores this central force through the lens of this relationship. The approach will be a direct inquiry into the heart of life that will have significant implications for us all.

Using silence, chanting, and ritual to compliment the teaching, we will explore the presence of Mary Magdalene in the Paschal Mystery. Then, using her relationship with Jesus as our starting point and model, we will explore the possible trajectory of conscious love in our lives. Participants will have the opportunity to unpack and critique some of the unconscious assumptions of love in our cultural models in order to explore a deeper understanding of love’s truth.

While helpful, previous attendance at an Introductory Wisdom School is not required. Conscious, practical work and contemplative movement will be a part of the retreat, along with time for integration. All traditions are welcome, and an ongoing commitment to spiritual practice is essential.

The Mary Magdalene and Conscious Love Wisdom School will be held at Hallelujah Farm, from Thursday, July 26 (beginning with a light supper at 5:30 pm) to Sunday, July 29 at 1:30 after lunch. The suggested donation for this Wisdom School is $475 which includes a $75 deposit. However, we are grateful for your support in the amount you feel you can afford.

This training will be led by retreat guides Bill Redfield with Laura Ruth.

The Rev. William C. Redfield is an ordained Episcopal priest, a licensed clinical social worker, and serves as President of the Board of Northeast Wisdom. 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 open to anyone seeking to deepen their experience of Wisdom, and for those being called to lead Wisdom practice groups. 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. She serves on the Board of Northeast Wisdom.

Cost: All are welcome at Hallelujah Farm. The suggested contribution for this retreat is $475 which includes a $75 deposit. However, we are grateful for your support in the amount you feel you can afford.

Venue: Guests receive generous hospitality from Sandy & Roger Daly of beautiful Hallelujah Farm. Accommodations are in shared double rooms. A limited number of single rooms may be available upon request for an additional suggested contribution of $25/night or $550 for the retreat.

Information & Registration: Contact Laura Ruth at laurampruth@gmail.com. In order to hold your place, the following deposit is requested: $75 due by July 4.

This retreat is made possible by a generous grant from the Narthex Foundation.

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.

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

Vermont’s second Wisdom School offered by the Rock Point Intentional Community is coming in November – *preregister now to save a place!

From mid-afternoon Thursday, November 1, 2018 until mid-afternoon Sunday, November 4th, 2018, we will gather at Rock Point’s Bishop Booth Conference Center, 20 Rock Point Road, Burlington, Vermont.

This is a second introductory (with new material) wisdom school that 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.

The total retreat costs are:

Single room            $420
Shared room          $330
Commuter               $240  

This includes lodging/meeting space, all nine meals (we got rave reviews from our first Wisdom School!), program costs and honoraria. Some limited scholarship aid will be available.

Registration forms will be available and online in early August and accepted in order of our receiving them. A 50% deposit will be required with registration, nonrefundable unless we are able to fill a cancelled space.

*To preregister, and guarantee a spot – no deposit required until time of registration – contact Michael Hechmer at Mhechmer@me.com.  

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.