“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
Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally acclaimed retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude in her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. She is a faculty member emeritus of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the founding director of an international network of Wisdom schools, uniting classic Christian mystical and monastic teaching with contemporary practices of mindfulness and embodied presence. She has been honored as one of the 100 most spiritually influential living people in 2021.
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.
E-courses provide an easy way to dive in deeper to some of Cynthia’s most powerful teachings without having to leave home! There are numerous opportunities to participate in a variety of online formats, as offered by partnering organizations and course providers.
What’s New With Cynthia?
Unless you happen to spot Cynthia on the high seas, here are some opportunities to tune into Cynthia’s activities and catch some of her upcoming appearances:
Wisdom Community Connections
UPDATE AND ANNUAL APPEAL – Read letters from Cynthia and Wisdom Waypoints Council
Recently back from teaching in Europe, Cynthia shares some developments from the past year, thoughts on what’s emerging, and invites your contributions to support initiatives in the Wisdom community.
Visit Wisdom Waypoints!
This dynamic home base for Cynthia’s world-wide Wisdom community has recently launched a fresh new website and a vastly enhanced capacity for networking and resource sharing. Read about their many offerings, practice opportunities, and ways to contribute. Visit Wisdom Waypoints here >>>
Events With Cynthia
For Cynthia’s complete calendar listings refer to her EVENT SCHEDULE >>>
Integral Light Shining in the Dark: A Journey to the Heart of Advent with Jean Gebser
Teaching Retreat with Cynthia, December 10 – 15, 2021 at Garrison Institute NY
In this first-of-a-kind immersion retreat, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault will take us on a deep dive into the profoundly Christian and incarnational mysticism at the root of Jean Gebser’s Integral Evolutionary theory.
Cynthia Bourgeault Speaking at Enneagram Global Summit
This free online event featuring a wide range of Enneagram Master Teachers will be held on December 6 – 10, 2021
Cynthia will be presenting as part of panel addressing the topic: The Enneagram State of the Union Conversation: The Intersection of Embodied Psychological Growth and Spiritual Awakening
Four Voices of Contemplative Discernment with Cynthia Bourgeault – Online Course
Cynthia Bourgeault shares her personal decision-making method in a four-week online course plus live video conference January 2-29, 2022
This new edition of the Four Voices course will help you access your own inner wisdom.
Start the new year right: Decide to decide better!
You’ll receive weekly video teachings punctuated with real-life examples, contemplative practices, and access to a 24/7 online community, concluding with a live Zoom session with Cynthia.
Mystical Courage: Commentaries on Selected Contemplative Exercises by G.I. Gurdjief
When the global pandemic struck in the spring of 2020, spiritual teacher Cynthia Bourgeault sensed an invitation to go deeper than a continuous round of Zoom calls. She turned to Joseph Azize’s newly published collection of spiritual exercises from the Gurdjieff teaching, exercises that for decades had been kept apart from the general public. She invited members of her Wisdom School Community to join her in a rigorous practice with six of these exercises.
What emerged over a six-week collectie journey was a remarkable series of revelations and reflections encompassing not only the Gurdjieff tradition but her own deep insights into the Christian mystical and wisdom traditions, together with sagacious tips on practice and a prophetic vision of a post-pandemic future.
The fruit of that alchemy — presented here — is a profoundly renewed vision of Mystical Courage, a hope and strength emerging from beyond our own making that is available right now to guide our way.
In this practical guidebook Cynthia provides explanations and instructions on previously hidden spiritual exercises of George Gurdjieff. From the recent book review from Spirituality & Practice:
“There is so much here that’s useful to people of any faith, or none, who seek to discover or support wisdom in these difficult times.”
Eye of the Heart Continues to Make Waves!
Eye of the Heart has been honored as one of 20 best spiritual books of the year by Spirituality and Practice. acknowledging Cynthia’s book among the “exceptional contributions to today’s spiritual renaissance.”
What others are saying about Eye of the Heart:
“A brilliant synthesis that both situates the imaginal world and gives it more meaning than it has previously had…” —from the afterword by A. H. Almaas
“This book is nothing less than a map to the meeting of the worlds at the crossroads of our own souls …” —Mirabai Starr, author of Wild Mercy
“Cynthia has an amazing ability to take potentially complex ideas and to explain them with clarity and kindness. Only someone who has actually traversed these realms and knows them well could accomplish such a feat, and she does so with beauty and grace.” —Russ Hudson, co-author of The Wisdom of the Enneagram
“Eye of the Heart is an immensely original piece of thinking, feeling, writing. There is nothing like it.” —Roger Lipsey, author of Gurdjieff Reconsidered
“The weaving of personal, metaphysical, and contemporary political insights is amazing, seamless, and intercessory in and of itself. We need this kind of weaving and interpenetrating in our culture just as we need it between the realms.” —Tim Shriver, author of Fully Alive
“See from nonduality, act from compassion.”
“When you remove judgment, what’s left is compassion, not indifference.”
“The demand for compassion remains unchanged throughout the realms.”
“Compassion is the only field that contains all the perspectives.”
“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.”
“Freed from 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 a plank you’re standing on!
Sensation will move more easily 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.”
“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 entering 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.”
“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.”
“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 dialogue in order for you to think and be.”
“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 a higher level of being.”
“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.”
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.