“When the field of vision has been unified, the inner being comes to rest, and that inner peaceableness flows into the outer world as harmony and compassion.”

The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind

Meet Cynthia

Cynthia is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. Cynthia is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation alongside fellow teachers and colleagues James Finley, Richard Rohr, Barbara Holmes, and Brian McLaren.

“Contemplation is not a pious lifestyle.”
“We meet at the depths where the great traditions embrace each other.”
“Contemplation is engaged and evolutionary.”

Welcome from Cynthia

Welcome to my newly redesigned website! The purpose of this site is to give you an overview of my teaching and keep you in the loop about upcoming events and recent articles, blog posts, podcasts, and online learning opportunities I’ve been engaged in. For those interested, you’ll also find links to my main teaching networks and to a lively community of fellow seekers. As space permits, I’ll also share a bit about what I’m writing, thinking, and doing with myself these days as our planet collectively soldiers on.

“Wisdom isn’t knowing more, it’s knowing with more of you.”

Student Notes

"Cynthia is a master teacher, who will transform your understanding of traditional Christian theology and precepts. She offers her students clear, deeply practical ways to ground their faith in embodied practice and application. As her wisdom becomes your own, you gain the clarity, freedom and confidence to do the will of God. "
"I so appreciate Cynthia for her help in bringing congruence to my spiritual practice and my daily working life as an Osteopath. Cynthia's teachings on centering prayer combined with the revelation of heart cognition as my spiritual centre have allowed me to truly receive and perceive in my engagement with patients."
"I appreciate Cynthia's teaching style as one of true integration. Her mind is brilliant and yet she has a gift for explaining the most complex theological concepts in her teaching and writing in an understandable way. At the same time she embodies heart cognition and presence; mirroring for her students their own inherent wisdom."

Newest Book

“If ever there was a teacher who could gather the reins of the mind to gallop into the land of the heart (and take us with her), it is Cynthia Bourgeault. This exquisitely written love story distills the intricacies of the esoteric Western traditions into a transformational elixir—both rigorous and luminous—simultaneously intoxicating and sobering. This book is nothing less than a map to the meeting of the worlds at the crossroads of our own souls, one the mapmaker urges us to abandon the minute our heart sees the way.” Mirabai Starr, author of Wild Mercy

A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Real. In Eye of the Heart, Cynthia Bourgeault investigates the imaginal realm—an energetic realm well known to the mystical traditions but often forgotten in our own times. It is invisible to the physical eye, but clearly perceptible through the eye of the heart. The imaginal realm has long been associated with the personal world of dreams, prophecy, and oracles, and it also points toward a higher vision of our human purpose that is both evolutionary and collective. Blending her own lived experiences with research on the imaginal realm, Bourgeault explores the role this realm plays in Christian and other mystical traditions, delving into the connections between our inner consciousness and what happens in the world. Eye of the Heart presents Bourgeault’s spiritual journey with the imaginal realm and encourages readers to attune their hearts for the well-being of the world.

Blogs

Cynthia’s published articles cover a breadth of topics that take us on a journey toward a deeper embrace of our human frailty, messiness, and limitations as the very path and locus of transformation. Read up on Cynthia’s theological insights on the cutting edge between contemplation and “ordinary” life.

Courses

E-courses provide an easy way to dive in deeper to some of Cynthia’s most powerful teachings without having to leave home! Each course offers self-paced email lessons that include video or audio recordings, written reflections, contemplative practices, and more.

Videos & Podcasts

Cynthia presents an evolved view of the being and theology of Thomas Keating through a review of eight profound and personal poems from the book The Secret Embrace.

“As we enter the path of transformation, the most valuable thing we have working in our favor is our yearning.”

The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind

Bookstore

“Meaning is not explanation, its resonance…”

Cynthia Bourgeault Quotable Quotes
Daily Quotes for Daily Practice

Compiled by Bill Britten, photographer and Wisdom student
November 2020

Compassion

“Increased humility and flexibility are the fruits of spiritual practice that lead to compassion.”

“See from nonduality, act from compassion.”

“When you remove judgment, what’s left is compassion, not indifference.”

“The demand for compassion remains throughout the realms.”

“Compassion is the only field that contains all the perspectives.”

Attention

“Attention and surrender need to be in balance. They are the joysticks you use to navigate the cosmos.”

“Attention can’t be divided. It is whole. It can only be expanded.”

“Out of the subject-object mode, attention magically turns into awareness.”

“The true self cannot be attained with the attention in subject-object mode. You can only find your true self in a place beyond the mind.”

“Centering prayer is all about the configuration of your attention.”

“What you pay attention to you energize.”

“Keep within! The hidden pearl within is your magnetic center, your equanimity, the Wisdom Way that you are cultivating.”

Sensing and Grounding

“As you learn to sense your feelings instead of immediately jumping up in your head and story, try going lower, into your feet, and even lower into the earth. The stability and support of the earth. What will flow through you will be your agency. The light that comes in your darkness will be your own.”

“The head will never get the motions that the body gets naturally. Surrender, obedience, attention. You can’t do equanimity in your head!”

“You can’t move the plank you’re standing on! Sensation can be moved easier than emotion or story.”

“Dwell not in what you are, but that you are. From divided awareness to expanded awareness, using the modality of sensation.”

“Identification is one of our most insidious leeches on presence.”

Seeing

“With gathered attention and sensation, and turning off the dominance of the mind, you will see. The reward for seeing is more seeing.”

“Start building a nest where your witnessing presence can live.”

“See from nonduality, act from compassion.”

“Get to know what meets you.

There is a personal aspect to the universal laws.”

“Being a willing participant in the relational field is the thing. What we contribute is the power to see and reflect. Attune your being to see what’s happening in the field. Beware the “incomplete observation.” As soon as you make judgment, you are not seeing.”

“Imaginal seeing matches Imaginal selfhood.”

Time and Timeless

“We perceive wisdom from a higher level as the future.”

“The timeless wisdom that comes to us from another realm when we wake up is what we know as the future.”

“The future is not what lies ahead, but the larger dimensions of the whole. The outer layers of meaning. The past doesn’t cause the future, wholeness does.”

“Hold attention as a resonant field, pay attention to the patterns. The price of admission is your narrative self, which is grounded in time.”

“When you do conscious work, or any act of altruism, it is for the future.”

“Time is a measure of resistance. Replace duration with volume and depth.”

Surrender

“Letting go is a powerful act. Letting be creates new worlds.”

“Don’t correct back to positivity if what you want is equanimity.”

“Kenosis and self-calming are opposite ends of the spectrum.”

“Conscious labor and intentional suffering are the joysticks we use to navigate the universe.”

The Relational Field

“We derive our selfhood from the relational field. Nothing in the cosmos works in service to the individual.”

“Don’t watch the individual pieces, watch how they flow. The relational field has the properties, not each one of us.”

“Practices are not a means to get somewhere, but an expression of a relationship with something that is.”

“Health is in the quality and integrity of relationship. The drop is the ocean, not separated. The indwelling Divinity doesn’t replace you but suffuses you. So that what is hidden becomes manifest.”

Discernment

“Align with the highest possible outcome when wrestling with judgment. Align with wholeness and love. Better than ‘choosing.’”

“All judgment not founded in love will be inaccurate. All negative perception is skewed.”

“True discernment happens in the Imaginal realm.”

“If the path is in front of you, and you’re not sure if it’s “true” — take the wager, do the work of transformation. It will be better than sleep, which is the alternative.”

“Limit the amount of spiritual information. Reach out and connect with your path. Avoid spiritual materialism.”

Holding Our Post

“Our job is to hold a post in the resonant field. Keep your attention in yourself. Keep within, don’t let your attention be scrambled. Don’t fall asleep. Look for opportunities to be present and give presence.”

‘The three centers of awareness need to be in relationship and dialogue for you to think and be. This is what it’s all about kiddos.”

“Our talent, our gift, is our willingness to enter the reciprocal dance with whatever cards we’ve been dealt in this plane.”

“The fruits of the spirit are attained as we begin to live at the next level.”

Abundance

“Unbinding cleanses the lens of perception so we can see the abundance. To the extent that we touch and be in abundance in our own life, we become prophets of hope.”

“The deep surrender of self through Kenosis is the access path to abundance, not your will.”

Imaginal Causality:
Exchange Between the Realms

“Imaginal causality is patterned. The heart is the instrument to read the patterns.”

“The three centers have to be online and balanced. Then we are able to maintain a stable access route to the higher information that’s always coming to us.”

“As you move into Imaginal causality, conscience takes the place of attraction and aversion as the mover of your being.”

“A conscious human being participates in the whole and generates the required radial energy through the transformed substance of their life.”

“What we call virtues or qualities in world 48 (our realm) are energy streams in world 24 (the Imaginal realm), subtle substances that are nutrients for our planet.”

“The fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) are alchemical byproducts of conscious work and intentional suffering. What flows out as these qualities is the fruit of an alchemy that goes on deep within our being, using our being as the raw material, in which who we are and our pleasures and self-maximization is somehow changed through conscious labor and intentional suffering.”

Cynthia’s network is made up of thoughtful organizations that support her work and the contemplative community. Click the above logos to explore.