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

night sky

"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

About St. Brendan

St. Brendan the Voyager

stoney beach

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

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


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

We offer resources, local retreats, wisdom schools, and workshops led by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault and other teachers, and operate as part of a global Wisdom-focused network.

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



We share with you these honest, poignant reflections offered in a 2-part blog by Paula Pryce from Vancouver, Canada. Paula walks us deep into the misty, mossy forest to contemplate uncertainty, longing, fear, and joy…

Read the 2-Part Reflections by Paula Pryce here >>>


Find other Holy Week Resources in our recent e-News here


Chant WorkshopAPRIL 17 – Online

Chant The Heart: A Half-Day Retreat

with Elizabeth Combs, Susan Latimer

Chanting is an integral aspect of our transformative wisdom path, having the capacity to open us deeply and immediately into both our own hearts and the One Heart.

Join experienced chant leaders and Wisdom Community members Elizabeth Combs and Susan Latimer for this participatory half-day retreat.

Chanting is at the heart of all sacred traditions worldwide….. it is fundamentally a deep immersion experience in the creative power of the universe itself.”  ~ Cynthia Bourgeault

Full details available from our friends at North East Wisdom here >>>


Julian of Norwich coverJulian of Norwich: A Voice for Out Time

Audio Teaching with Matthew Wright

In this recording we get to know Julian of Norwich, a 14th century anchoress, as a woman who speaks to all times. Living through pandemics and a series of revelations ranging from intense physical pain and spiritual anguish to unsurpassable sacred love, Julian has a voice that is not one of naïve hopefulness but of deep experiencing.

Full details and purchasing options here >>>

“Gratitude to Matthew Wright for his exquisite blend of scholarly teaching and heart wisdom.”
~ participant, Julian of Norwich virtual retreat



Meister Eckhart’s Practices for Hard Times

with Ward Bauman

Ward Bauman eventOver 100 participated in this profound 5-day event guided by our guest teacher Ward Bauman providing key teachings from Meister Eckhart, the 14th century Rhineland mystic whose brilliant, enigmatic theology blossomed in a time of great suffering.

Our retreat leader Ward Bauman first grounds us in Eckhart’s basic ideas on truth, then turns particularly to his teachings on suffering. How we face hard times, Eckhart believed, reveals the quality of our inner being and spiritual development. For each day of the retreat Ward offers teaching and practices for fostering an embodied knowledge of Eckhart’s concepts and intentions, in balance with a contemplative and prayerful approach to our circumstances.


5 sessions, each starting with a contemplative practice guided by TCS leader, followed by teachings with Ward Bauman for approx 2 hours.

Content includes video and audio recordings, quotes, suggested deepening practices, as well as other useful resource listings.

Details and purchase info here >>>

“The retreat more than met my expectations.  It was a deep and meaningful experience for me, one which will help me take the next step in my meditation practice and spiritual journey.” ~ participant, Ward Bauman virtual event


Eye of the Heart book coverSelected by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2020!

Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm
by Cynthia Bourgeaul

“This book is nothing less than a map to the meeting of the worlds at the crossroads of our own souls, one the mapmaker urges us to abandon the minute our hear sees the way.” ~ Mirabai Starr

Find podcast conversations and videos with Cynthia speaking on her newest book here >>>

Our Principal Teacher 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.


Through the generosity of our donors, The Contemplative Society is able to offer resources and audio recordings, events, and other learning opportunities that support contemplative living and practice. We also provide scholarships to youth and others in need.

Our work is made possible through the generous support of our donors and these current and past funders:


We thank Alpenglow Foundation and the John Hobby Catto Family for their generous donation to the Margaret Haines Scholarship Fund.