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.

Assisi-Pilgrimage-Rev-Dr-Cynthia-Bourgeault-CDNEWLY REVISED AND RE-RELEASED!

Assisi Pilgrimage: Journey to the Heart of St. Francis & St. Clare – teaching by Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault is joined by Ward Bauman and Susanne Olin in an exploration of the lives of Saint Francis and Saint Clare. In this seven-day Wisdom School held in Assisi, Italy, Francis and Clare are presented as “models for conscious love”, helping to explore surrender, embodiment, immolation, and salvation. showing how they work together to create a sustained force of love in our lives. As we come to know the true heart of Francis and Clare, new light is shed upon early Christian thought regarding our bodies, human sexuality, renunciation, and the natural world.

Available as a 9-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.


Our next teaching retreat is with Mirabai Starr! Join us on Vancouver Island September 27 through October 1 for ” One Heart: Weaving A Tapestry of Inter-spiritual Community”, an immersive experience with Mirabai, who is best known for her translation of the mystics and her memoir, Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation, her teaching around the globe on the mystics, contemplative practice, and the transformational power of grief and loss. Registration is now open! There will also be a public event with Mirabai, “The Feminine Face Of The Divine: A Journey Across The Spiritual Traditions”, on September 26 at 7 pm in Victoria. Find out more!

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.