Signature Work

The Living School

The Living School for Action and Contemplation is a ground breaking two-year spiritual formation program with Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley. Through rigorous study and contemplative practice, students are exposed to the mystics of the Christian contemplative tradition, awakening to the pattern of reality—God’s loving presence within all things. As the emphasis on contemplation and action is deepened, students are equipped to engage both the concerns of our world and personal challenges and circumstances with creativity and hope.

Introduction to Wisdom

What is “a wisdom way of knowing” and how is it different from the way in which we typically “know?” How might understanding Jesus as a wisdom teacher change our understanding of his life and death? Is hope a desired outcome or the essence we live from? What can we learn from the Benedictine rhythm? Cynthia explores these and other questions in many of her writings, including A Wisdom Way of KnowingThe Wisdom Jesus, and Mystical Hope.

To learn more about Cynthia’s wisdom work, including teachings, practices, and resources, visit wisdomwayofknowing.org.

Centering Prayer and Nondual Perception

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 a Christianized form of other meditation methods. Cynthia cuts through the misconceptions to show that Centering Prayer is in fact a pioneering development within the Christian contemplative tradition.

In Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Cynthia examines how the practice is related to the classic tradition of Christian contemplation; she looks at the distinct nuances of the method and explores its revolutionary potential to transform Christian life. In The Heart of Centering Prayer, Cynthia provides a practical, complete course in the practice and goes deeper to analyze what actually happens in Centering Prayer: the mind effectively switches to a new operating system that makes open-hearted, nondual perception possible.

The Path of Conscious Love

Since the fourth century, the path of celibacy has traditionally been seen as a superior path to union with God. The formation of Christian doctrines on relationship and marriage has primarily been led by celibate men. How have these views limited our understanding of love? Could it be that love, desire, and longing all have a critical role to play as the driveshaft of creativity? What is the divine essence of desire and how can we begin to work with desire instead of against it? Cynthia explores the nature of eros, self-emptying, and creativity in The Meaning of Mary Magdalene and Love is Stronger than Death.

The Trinity and Evolution

Where does the idea of Trinity come from? Does it have any bearing on our evolutionary cosmology? Is there something about the number three that can unlock impasse?

In The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, Cynthia Bourgeault asks us to take a look at an idea from traditional Christianity—the formula of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—as though we’re looking at it for the first time. She reveals it to be something we hadn’t expected. Cynthia finds in the idea of the Holy Trinity a striking vision of the nature of reality. Embedded within this doctrine 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.

The Heart of Centering Prayer — COSA National Conference

Cynthia Bourgeault dives into her key teaching from “The Heart of Centering Prayer” in this meaningful 13 session teaching given at Contemplative Outreach South Africa’s National Conference.

Click here to listen and download all 13 sessions.