Books

 

Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening

Practitioners of Centering Prayer are known for the great enthusiasm they bring to the practice of this ancient discipline. Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening is a complete guidebook for all who wish to know the practice of Centering Prayer. Cynthia Bourgeault goes further than offering an introduction, however. She examines how the practice is related to the classic tradition of Christian contemplation, looks at the distinct nuances of its method, and explores its revolutionary potential to transform Christian life. The book encourages dialogue between Centering Prayer enthusiasts and those classic institutions of Christian nurture—churches, seminaries, and schools of theology—that have yet to accept real ownership of the practice and its potential.

 

Love is Stronger Than Death

Essentially a powerfully moving love story of two aging individuals, Love Is Stronger Than Death: The Mystical Union Of Two Souls is a powerful love story of two aging individuals, Cynthia Bourgeault and Brother Raphael (Rafe) Robin, an Episcopalian priest, author and a Trappist hermit. The ability of human and spiritual love to transcend death and open the way to joyous bliss is superbly presented in this highly recommended and heartwarming tale of building an emotional, personal, and loving relationship for the future that transcends all earthly limitations.

 

Mystical Hope: Trusting in The Mercy of God

At a time when people are yearning for good news, Cynthia Bourgeault’s new book invites us to find our way to the hope that does not disappoint or fail. In five interwoven meditations, Mystical Hope shows us how to recognize this hope in our own lives, where it comes from, how to deepen it through prayer, and how to carry it into the world as a source of strength and renewal.

 

The Heart of Centering Prayer

Learn the traditional and yet innovative Christian meditation practice that can help us break the pattern of compulsive thinking.

Centering Prayer is the path to a wonderful and radical new way of seeing the world. It is not, as is sometimes thought, simply an act of devotional piety, nor is it simply a Christianized form of other meditation methods. Cynthia Bourgeault here cuts through the misconceptions to show that Centering Prayer is in fact a pioneering development within the Christian contemplative tradition. She provides a practical, complete course in the practice and then goes deeper to analyze what actually happens in Centering Prayer: the mind effectively switches to a new operating system that makes possible the perception of nonduality. With this understanding in place, she then takes us on a journey through one of the sources of the practice, the Christian contemplative classic The Cloud of Unknowing, revealing it to be among the earliest Christian explorations of the phenomenology of consciousness.

Cynthia Bourgeault’s illumination of the Centering Prayer path provides compelling evidence of how important the practice has become in the half-century since it first arose among American Trappist monks, and of its maturation and refinement over the ensuing years of sincere study and practice. It will resonate with beginners on the Centering Prayer path as well as with seasoned practitioners.

 

The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three: Discovering The Radical Truth at the Heart of Christianity

Just as she’s done in her previous books, Cynthia Bourgeault asks us to take a look at an idea from traditional Christianity—this time the formula of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—as though we’re looking at it for the first time. And as usual, she reveals it to be something we hadn’t expected at all. She finds in the idea of the Holy Trinity a striking vision of the nature of reality. What she claims, in a nutshell, is that embedded within this theological formula that Christians recite mostly on autopilot lies a powerful metaphysical principle that could change our understanding of Christianity and give us the tools so long and so sorely needed to reunite our shattered cosmology, rekindle our visionary imagination, and cooperate consciously with the manifestation of Jesus’ “Kingdom of Heaven” here on earth. She looks to the history of Christian theology, to her own years of contemplative practice, and to the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff. Her tone is, as ever, as accessible as it is compelling, and it’s a wild ride. “I will do my best to make the ride as smooth as possible,” she says, “but in the end, my commitment is to getting there, because I know beyond all personal doubt that there is indeed a ham radio concealed inside this Trinitarian tea cupboard. And in the midst of this long winter of our Christian discontent, when spiritual imagination and boldness are at an all-time low and the church itself hovers at the edge of demise for lack of an animating vision, perhaps now more than ever the time is ripe to remove the packing boards from this tea cupboard and release its contents.”

 

The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering The Woman at the Heart of Christianity

Mary Magdalene is one of the most influential symbols in the history of Christianity—yet, if you look in the Bible, you’ll find only a handful of verses that speak of her. How did she become such a compelling saint in the face of such paltry evidence? In her effort to answer that question, Cynthia Bourgeault examines the Bible, church tradition, art, legend, and newly discovered texts to see what’s there. She then applies her own reasoning and intuition, informed by the wisdom of the ages-old Christian contemplative tradition. What emerges is a radical view of Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ most important disciple, the one he considered to understand his teaching best. That teaching was characterized by a nondualistic approach to the world and by a deep understanding of the value of the feminine. Cynthia shows how an understanding of Mary Magdalene can revitalize contemporary Christianity, how Christians and others can, through her, find their way to Jesus’ original teachings and apply them to their modern lives.

 

The Wisdom Jesus

Rediscover Jesus with a “beginner’s mind,” understanding his life and teaching with the heart.

If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus’ vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.

 

The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart

“Drawing on resources as diverse as Sufism, Benedictine Monasticism, the Gurdjieff Work, and the string theory of modern physics, Cynthia Bourgeault has crafted her own unique vision of the Wisdom way in this very accessible book, nicely balanced between concept and practice.” Gerald May, senior fellow, Shalem Institute, and author, Addiction and Grace and Will and Spirit

“The spiritual wisdom and practical suggestions in this lively and beautiful book will be helpful to many who find themselves setting out on the interior journey.” —Bruno Barnhart, a Camaldolese monk and author, Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity

“Cynthia Bourgeault’s book is a valuable contribution to the much-needed reawakening of spiritual practice within a Christian context. Her sincerity, good sense, metaphysical depth, and broad experience make her a source to be trusted.” —Kabir Helminski, Sufi Shaikh, the Threshold Society