Garry Oak

"...things do not lose spirit simply because they inhabit form… the created world is infinitely precious and valuable in its own right." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three

About St. Brendan

St. Brendan the Voyager

The Contemplative Society

" the heart comes alive as an organ of spiritual perception, we are able to perceive the invisible Kingdom of Love that surrounds us - and live it into being." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault


"Split a piece of wood, and there I am. Pick up a stone and you will find me there." ~ Gospel of Thomas, Logion 77

"Only after the terror of one's own diminishment and annihilation, after the last scraps of clinging to life at any cost have been left behind forever, is it possible to truly live in hope." ~ Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope p. 69


Welcome to The Contemplative Society website. We are an inclusive non-profit society that encourages a deepening of contemplative prayer based in the Christian Wisdom tradition while also welcoming and being supportive of other meditation traditions. We are based in Victoria, BC, Canada and serve a global audience. Our work is conducted by a voluntary Board of Directors and one part-time Administrator.

We offer local retreats, wisdom schools, and workshops led by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault and other teachers of the Christian contemplative path. In cooperation with other similar organizations, we promote the contemplative Wisdom path and offer events in other geographic locations.

On this website you will find instructional and inspiration materials, in both text and audio format, supportive of the contemplative life.


The Divine Exchange – teaching by Cynthia Bourgeault

In this teaching, we learn how, in the great exchange of giving and receiving, we are fed by and feed other realms outside our earthly reality. We come to see the relationship among the visible and invisible realms not as a ladder of hierarchical steps to climb and escape lower states of being, but as an inter-abiding round dance of self-giving love. As we allow ourselves to participate in the freely flowing exchange of Divine creativity, love is made manifest. Moreover, we humans, as the embodiment of consciousness, are responsible for making that Divine love manifest in this time/space realm. Learn how, in following Jesus’ way, we release our essential Self as we help fulfill the deep yearning of the Divine.

Available as an 7-CD set or MP3 download. More details and audios for purchase on the Audio page.

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault

Modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault 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 path.


Matthew Wright is coming to Vancouver Island! Seeing from the heart, or knowing more deeply, is critical to the transformation Cynthia Bourgeault and other respected contemplatives are calling us to in these uncertain times, and Matthew will help us do just that. He will be teaching on the Gospel of Thomas as a gateway for “Opening To the Eye of the Heart”, supplementing this resource for Lectio Divina with meditation, embodiment practices, chanting, and instruction. Join us for the five-day retreat at the stunningly set Cowichan Lake Research Station from March 17 to 22, or at our public event in Victoria on Thursday, March 23.

Thank You to Our Donors

Our work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and the following organizations:


Our last Wisdom School with Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault was made possible by a grant from the Trust for the Meditation Process, a charitable foundation encouraging meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative prayer.