Mystical Courage by Cynthia Bourgeault
Commentaries on Selected Contemplative Exercises by G.I. Gurdjieff, as Compiled by Joseph Azize
By CYNTHIA BOURGEAULT
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 collective 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.
Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and theologian. She is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation and founding director of an international network of Wisdom Schools. She is the author of numerous books including The Wisdom Jesus, The Heart of Centering Prayer, and The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three.
Until now, scholars have largely passed over the numerous contemplative exercises presented in the writings of G. I. Gurdjieff, the Armenian-born mystic, philosopher, and spiritual teacher (c.1866-1949). In this 2020 book, Joseph Azize offers the first complete study of the exercises, their theoretical foundation, and full instructions. More details here.
A small gathering of friends met with Cynthia at Stonington Maine in September 2020, working on some of the Gurdjieff exercises in Joseph Azize’s book , as well as a deep dive into Cynthia’s book, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm. These are the rough recordings from most of the teaching and practice sessions during that week. They will be available at no cost until the beginning of next year.
“Your own sense of what works for you will be the starting point with these exercises, and if you choose to dive into them for the first time, or continue your work with them, you will be contributing to the matrix or web of our collective practice.” Read the full post here.
“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.” Read the full book review here.