Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault

Contemplative Prayer, The Contemplative Journey Add comments

The prophet Isaiah announces, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.”

Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom School was held in the suburbs of Charles Town, WV, at the Claymont Society in November, 2010. There were 57 seekers in attendance on different paths but drawn together in their common search to go deeper with Cynthia as their spiritual leader. Each day had a special rhythm in the Benedictine tradition: prayer, meditation, chanting, work, rest and learning. Periods of silence were woven into the pattern of the day.

Cynthia’s teachings were centered on how to go deeper (Wisdom) to know God and be transformed. Some of the topics that resonated with me included:

– Gurdjieff’s 3 centered presence which allows you to journey deeper: mind, body and heart presence.
– The wisdom journey incorporating the Rule of Benedict.
– The Gospel of Thomas: newly discovered truths about our early Christian contemplative heritage.
– Centering and Welcoming Prayer: Tools for transformation.
– The heart as an organ of spiritual perception.
– Metaphysical realms: “we are all part of the heart of God expressing itself…Each one of us are part of an invisible matrix of the God web.”
– Books used: The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart and The Luminous Gospels.

So what did I learn at Wisdom School? I have always sensed that Jesus came as a teacher of wisdom and this school was a confirmation that there is still much to learn about the real mission of Christ. In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus provides new insights into the realm of Wisdom that can be understood not only with the mind, but with the heart. These sayings, called Logia, invite us to learn from the inside out, using our three centered presence as a tool for understanding. I also validated that my practice of Centering and Welcoming Prayer are tools for spiritual transformation embraced by the Wisdom tradition.

I understand a little better God’s purpose in creation. According to an ancient Islamic saying, “I was a hidden treasure and longed to be known and so I created the world.” The Gospel of Thomas (Logia 5) states: “Yeshua says…Come to know the One in the presence before you, and everything hidden will be revealed…” God desires to be in love union with his creation and be found. The Wisdom journey is an expansive, deep, mystical and heart centered experience that allows the traveler to know that “we are an instant of God loving to be known.” The Wisdom path incorporates new teachings with contemplative practices to understand the One present within you at all times. The heart, an organ of spiritual perception, helps us to incorporate stillness and presence into our lives and be transformed. I am grateful that I have found this new path – to seek and find the hidden treasure.

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