The Contemplative Society




Books by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault



The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three: Discovering the Radical Truth at the Heart of Christianity


Now available through Shambhala Publications and online or local booksellers.


Just as she's done in her previous books, Cynthia Bourgeault asks us to take a look at an idea from traditional Christianity—this time the formula of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—as though we're looking at it for the first time. And as usual, she reveals it to be something we hadn't expected at all. She finds in the idea of the Holy Trinity a striking vision of the nature of reality. What she claims, in a nutshell, is that embedded within this theological formula that Christians recite mostly on autopilot lies a powerful metaphysical principle that could change our understanding of Christianity and give us the tools so long and so sorely needed to reunite our shattered cosmology, rekindle our visionary imagination, and cooperate consciously with the manifestation of Jesus' "Kingdom of Heaven" here on earth. She looks to the history of Christian theology, to her own years of contemplative practice, and to the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff. Her tone is, as ever, as accessible as it is compelling, and it's a wild ride. "I will do my best to make the ride as smooth as possible," she says, "but in the end, my commitment is to getting there, because I know beyond all personal doubt that there is indeed a ham radio concealed inside this Trinitarian tea cupboard. And in the midst of this long winter of our Christian discontent, when spiritual imagination and boldness are at an all-time low and the church itself hovers at the edge of demise for lack of an animating vision, perhaps now more than ever the time is ripe to remove the packing boards from this tea cupboard and release its contents."


Advance praise for The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three:

“The Christian Doctrine of the Trinity is upheld by some as a border checkpoint to restrict access, while it is disparaged by others as extra baggage to be left behind. Cynthia Bourgeault peers into it with the heart of a mystic and the mind of a philosopher and rediscovers it as a kaleidoscope of inspiration and a key to understanding … everything. One of the most fascinating, humbling, and awe-inspiring books I’ve read in years." ~ Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist




The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault

The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity


"It is light bursting over the waters beneath a heavy clouded sky-- it is a woman speaking out into the clear air after the heart's years of secret conversing--it is, as David Whyte once said; The opening of eyes long closed--deep seeing into the true image at the core and resolving back to our origin. I sense an energetic symbiosis of your mind and hers until I am not sure who is speaking and that is the amazing anamnesis you have achieved. The book is magnificent; another writing to live on- to love through"

- Rev. Robert Pynn, poet and Dean Emeritus of the Anglican Cathedral, Calgary, Alberta

Click HERE for a wonderful book review of The Meaning of Mary Magdalene from Victoria-based writer and spiritual teacher, Dr. David Benner.




The Wisdom Jesus - Cynthia Bourgeault

The Wisdom Jesus

If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. Cynthia Bourgeault is a masterful guide to Jesus's vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teachings for yourself.


"There are few spiritual teachers who give us genuinely fresh insight, but even fewer who give us the tools so we can come to those insights for ourselves. Cynthia Bourgeault does both, and does them very well!"—Richard Rohr, OFM, author of Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer


"A masterful work. Cynthia Bourgeault invites us to follow Jesus's path of self-emptying love, and she describes wisdom practices that we Christians can use every day to transform our own minds so that we too can see with the eyes of Christ."—Jim Marion, author of Putting on the Mind of Christ


Chanting the Psalms by Cynthia Bourgeault

Chanting the Psalms: A Practical Guide with Instructional CD

The pointed and shaking finger of our adamant inner schoolteachers often accompanies calls to engage and stick with ancient (read: tried and proven) spiritual practices. Not so with Bourgeault's impassioned invitation to chant the Psalms. With a blend of Christian and Eastern mysticism running throughout, as well as recognition that learning to chant may be difficult, she gently guides readers through the "whys" and then through the "hows."

Read a review of this book by Joseph Anderson.



Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening - Cynthia Bourgeault

Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening

"Probably the best on practical prayer I have ever read. I am finding myself quoting you more and more, and cannot thank you enough for your using of God's clear gift. I will be publicly pushing the book--as all of them--whenever I find a crowd ready for such inner work and brilliance." - Fr. Richard Rohr





The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart - Cynthia Bourgeault

The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming An Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart

"The spiritual wisdom and practical suggestions in this lively and beautiful book will be helpful to many who find themselves setting out on the interior journey." — Bruno Barnhart, a Camaldolese monk and author, Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity


Mystical Hope - Trusting in the Wisdom of God - Cynthia Bourgeault

Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God

At a time when people are yearning for good news, Cynthia Bourgeault's new book invites us to find our way to the hope that does not disappoint or fail. In five interwoven meditations, Mystical Hope shows us how to recognize this hope in our own lives, where it comes from, how to deepen it through prayer, and how to carry it into the world as a source of strength and renewal.

Book Review: Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God (Cowley, 2001) is an inviting, warmhearted, and reflective introduction to Christian mysticism by Cynthia Bourgeault. Reverend Bourgeault is an Episcopal Priest who leads contemplative prayer retreats across the U.S. and Canada. She is a genuine contemporary mystic and minister who is not only deeply immersed in and committed to her Christian tradition and its contemplative practices, but has sincerely and richly studied Sufism (Mystical Islam).
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Love is Stronger than Death by Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault

Love is Stronger Than Death


Essentially a powerfully moving love story of two aging individuals, Love Is Stronger Than Death: The Mystical Union Of Two Souls by principal teacher for the Contemplative Society and spiritual retreat authority Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, is drawn from the life and experiences of Brother Raphael (Rafe) Robin, an Episcopalian priest, author and a Trappist hermit. The ability of human and spiritual love to transcend death and open the way to joyous bliss is superbly presented in this highly recommended and heartwarming tale of building an emotional, personal, and loving relationship for the future that transcends all earthly limitations.



Holy Week Liturgies by Cynthia Bourgeault Holy Week Liturgies - by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault

with Ward Bauman and Darlene Franz


Contemplative Liturgies created for Holy Week 2011,

with introduction, liturgy and music!


Cost: $15 plus shipping and handling
Phone: 320-363-3293




"To fully claim the Trinity as Christianity’s personalized mandalic expression of the Law of Three and to commit to living consciously beneath its banner would literally open up whole new worlds."

~ Cynthia Bourgeault, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three



"The imaginal realm is real, and through it you will never be separated from any one or anything you have ever loved, for love is the ground in which you live and move and have your being. This is the message that Mary Magdalene has perennially to bring. This is the message we most need to hear."

~ Cynthia Bourgeault, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene



"Only when the mind is “in the heart”, grounded and tethered in that deeper wellspring of spiritual awareness, is it possible to live the teachings of Jesus without hypocrisy or burnout. The gospel requires a radical openness and compassion that are beyond the capacity of the anxious, fear-ridden ego."
~ Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening


"Imagine that the unmanifest divine Oneness shatters into form, and suddenly we have color – color in shards, in pieces. That would be our physical, sensible world, with all its wondrous bits and pieces."
~ Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing


"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


"...what feels like energy from the vantage point of this life might actually be body from the vantage point of the next: the pure energy of love and compassion and creativity might be the “body” we wear in the next realm, and the body in which the cosmic Christ actually touches and meets us in our present state."
~ Cynthia Bourgeault, Love is Stronger Than Death