Board of Directors and Staff
ABOUT OUR BOARD: The current Board of The Contemplative Society was elected at the Annual General Meeting on October 16, 2016 in Victoria, British Columbia. Board members bring to the Society a broad range of skills and experience. It is a working Board in which members take leadership in areas to which they are drawn.
Board members maintain a regular meditation practice and are committed to the vision and mission of The Contemplative Society. They are familiar with the Christian contemplative tradition and with the audio and written works of Cynthia Bourgeault and other teachers of the contemplative path. They frequently attend various contemplative events and small study groups.
Working well together is balanced with having fun together, and Board members bring humour, dedication, and commitment to the task of directing the ongoing growth and evolution of The Contemplative Society.
Heather Page, President
Heather Page has been a member of TCS since 1999, including filling the position of Administrator from 2001-2005; she then served as Board Associate, and now as President since Spring 2012. She trained with Contemplative Outreach as an Introduction to Centering Prayer Facilitator and co-leads contemplative workshops and retreats. See “About Our President” below for more information.
Henri Lock, Vice-president
Henri Lock is a United Church Chaplain at the University of Victoria. He teaches Centering Prayer to the UVic campus community and mentors four meditation sessions per week there. He has been a member of TCS since 2005.
Gerald Morton, Treasurer Gerald Morton has been a member of TCS since 2011 and a Board member since Spring 2012. He has shared leadership of weekly contemplative prayer meetings at St. Philip Church in Victoria for two years.
Joyalle Bunyan-Maynard, Secretary
Joyalle had being practicing meditation of some kind for over 30 years. She has also been associated with The Iona Community since 1994. She first learned Centering Prayer in about 1998 and had been following that discipline ever since. She joined The Contemplative Society in 2010 and the Board in 2013.
Barb Britton became a member of TCS after attending a retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault at Hollyhock in 2008. She has been a Board member since 2010. Barb currently volunteers with adults with disabilities and with middle school students in India for part of the year.
Kim Gye is a business owner and father of two girls. He feels that the contemplative practice supports his life goals to be a better father, partner, and employer. While he acknowledges the daily practice can be a struggle at times, he finds it has highlighted areas of growth for him. Kim feels grateful to support TCS in his role as an Board member since Spring 2012.
Liz Vickers has had a meditation practice for over 30 years. She has been a member of TCS since 2011, and member of the Board since spring 2012. She enthusiastically participates in and promotes Prayer in the Style of Taizé in Victoria.
Dorothy has been on the Board since February 2014. She is retired from working for wages. Her life is lived with family and friends, in worship and contemplation, practicing art, and in travel and study. Dorothy’s meditation practice for almost four years has been contemplative prayer. Prior to this, her practice was Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka after Sayagyi U Ba Khin. She sits once a week with a group at St. John the Divine and every two weeks with the Living Presence Group. In addition to her daily sitting meditation, Dorothy practices lectio divina and drawing meditation. She is delighted to be a member of the Board of The Contemplative Society. She prays her work and practice will help all beings find peace and happiness.
Ruth joined the Board in March 2016. She has experience as a chaplain, retreat leader, spiritual director, and yoga teacher. Currently, she is the Anglican chaplain at the University of Victoria. Ruth began her meditation practice in 1999 through her immersion in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She discovered Centering Prayer in 2002 while studying Contemplative Christianity at Naropa University. From there she attended several retreats with Father Thomas Keating at his monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, and eventually was introduced to Cynthia Bourgeault. As life allows, she has been practicing ever since.
Jeannie Achuff, ND grew up in a Quaker environment and has always found deep solace in contemplative practices. She was introduced to the concept of meditation retreats through the Vipassana style of meditation as led by SN Goenka in 1999, which shaped her meditations along with her yoga practices for the next decade. In 2008, she learned of Centering Prayer and the works of Thomas Keating and Cynthia Bourgeault. Since then she has practiced Centering Prayer along with energy awareness meditations as taught to her by her teacher, Lynda Caesara in Berkeley, CA. She is very grateful for the ways in which all of these practices help her to stay centered and grounded in the midst of a busy life of parenting and running a naturopathic medical practice.
Christopher began the practice of Centering Prayer after attending a Diocesan Clergy Day at Queenswood House of Studies on June 5, 1996, conducted by Cynthia Bourgeault. Since then, Christopher has attended and led numerous retreats and workshops in the contemplative Christian tradition. He writes a blog in which he reflects on spirituality, church, current events, and ministry. His blog, “In A Spacious Place”, is also the repository of 105 posts directly related to the ministry of Cynthia Bourgeault. He is also rector of St. Philip Anglican Church in Victoria, BC where he has served for thirty years.
Miranda Harvey fills the role of The Contemplative Society Administrator, working from our office and production centre in Victoria, BC.
Miranda has a BA in history and religious studies from the University of Victoria, where she focused on pre-modern Christianity and was introduced to the practice of meditation. She then joined the TCS Board in 2013 before becoming the society administrator in 2015. Miranda has worked primarily in customer service and fundraising, and enjoys spending time outdoors or in the company of music and friends in her spare time.
ABOUT OUR PRESIDENT:
As the President of The Contemplative Society I would like to introduce myself.
Many of you will recognize my name and know much of my history with TCS. For those of you who are newer to the Society, let me share with you some of my background.
In 1995, I first heard Cynthia at a Centering Prayer workshop at Queenswood in Victoria, BC. I was deeply touched by her teaching and knew I had discovered a practice that would sustain me in my spiritual life.
In 1999, I joined TCS board at a time when Cynthia was the resident teacher for the Society and lived in “Fairacres” on Salt Spring Island, which acted as The Contemplative Centre for the Society. Cynthia and others such as Fr. Richard Rohr and Fr. Bruno Barnhart led silent and teaching retreats at this centre. Cynthia held regular Benedictine retreats where contemplative work periods were included in the schedule. Over time, I learned to value these steady times of mindful work with our bodies, working with non-identification, attention, and surrender – skills that transferred well to my home life shared with my husband and two adolescent daughters. Those of you who have attended Cynthia’s Wisdom Schools will have had the opportunity to practice this type of work.
In 2000, Cynthia and the Board began to feel the need for an Administrator. I was hired in this position initially as Administrative Assistant, later to become the Administrator. This remains as the Society’s only paid position, aside from periodic contract work. Over the five years I maintained this position, I saw many changes. One of the biggest shifts came when Fairacres was put up for sale. Cynthia moved off the island to “Seascape”: a beautiful waterfront cabin on the Sooke Basin, about an hour drive from Victoria. Seascape is part of a larger property known as “Glenairley”, owned by the Sisters of St. Ann – a sacred space which became a wonderful location for many contemplative retreats led by Cynthia and others.
After moving on from my position as Administrator, I became a Board Associate/Advisor and later added the task of designing the TCS CD covers. I was trained by Contemplative Outreach to be a Facilitator of Centering Prayer and together with my husband, Christopher, have led “Introduction to Centering Prayer” workshops, Quiet Days, and Silent Retreats.
Now, as President, it feels in some ways like I have returned to the beginning, once again working with the Board but in a different capacity. As I begin this new phase, I am deeply grateful for the many volunteers who contribute so much to the Society: from the Board which meets monthly to coordinate or resolve the many tasks at hand, to the many people who contribute to the production of the teaching CDs, from recording to editing, and previewing. Volunteers help with the organization of retreats and workshops with Cynthia and other teachers as well as oversee Cynthia’s blog and TCS Facebook page. In addition to the volunteers, I am so grateful for the work that the TCS Administrator does to make the Society run smoothly. She is the voice on the phone, the response to the email, the one who updates the website, keeps tracks of our books, and much more. She puts in countless hours and is the steady person at the heart of this organization.
My deep thanks and appreciation also to you, the membership. Without your support both financially and by your presence and encouragement, this Society would not function.
Finally, my deep gratitude to Cynthia who, with the early Board, shaped the vision we hold today. We continue to be blessed and nurtured by the wisdom she shares, in her teachings and writings and as she continues to explore ways to freshly express the mysteries of Presence and practice that speak to our depths.
Please continue to hold the Board in your hearts as we seek to move forward. May we continue to be open to and guided by that Source which is at the heart of all.
Please feel free to contact us with your input, questions, feedback, and suggestions: