AN INVITATION TO BEGIN THE HEALING WORK – A Blog Series by Cynthia Bourgeault

Writing just after the November 2020 US election, Cynthia Bourgeault shares this:

 

“Well, the oasis of grace miraculously opened, and now it’s time to roll up our collective sleeves and get on with the healing work! I know that my own first assignment has something to do with helping to expose— and hopefully defuse— some of the reactivity and sanctimoniousness that boils just below the surface in my immediate peer group, the spiritual liberal intelligentsia.”

 

What unfolds is a series of blog posts where Cynthia provides reflections and insights being revealed through the writings and legacy of Jean Gebser  (1905-1973).

 

Gebser was a German-Swiss philosopher, linguist, and poet, best known for his theories on how humans transition through particular ‘structures of consciousness’.  As a starting point Cynthia recommends the book Seeing Through the World by Jeremy Johnson, which provides an introduction to Gebser’s foundational work. She writes “I could see that Gebser—through the brilliant eyes of Jeremy Johnson—was handing me exactly the tools to see where I’d been pinned for so long now, both personally and culturally . . . If you’re up for joining this exploration, I encourage you to buy Jeremy Johnson’s book and explore it firsthand.”

 

Cynthia’s series of blogs, starting with AN INVITATION TO BEGIN THE HEALING WORK, can be found here.

 

 

Mystical Hope – Vital Sustenance for our Times

Mystical Hope cover

In 2001 Cynthia Bourgeault published a grace-filled guide for facing difficult times, offering insights and pointers in the small and powerful book entitled MYSTICAL HOPE: Trusting in the Mercy of God.  Many in Cynthia’s community and beyond are turning (or re-turning) to this book to navigate current concerns and challenges, and finding it a source of deep spiritual sustenance. 

Over the coming months, Northeast Wisdom will be providing reflections and chapter summaries of this book. We invite you to share in the experience and these writings, starting this month with:

 

 
Mystical Hope, Chapter One: Awakening in the Body on the Journey to the Wellsprings by Laura Ruth

“Come, are you ready to set out?”

The first chapter of Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God ends with the above words, Cynthia extending her hand to all who want to travel on a path to the wellsprings that lie far beyond the familiar hope for an outcome, resolution of challenge or difficulty, or wish for change. Listening for words we usually connect to hope, I can taste how these belong together. They are of a particular arena—hope as related to something concrete in the world, outside of ourselves, a circumstance, future event or situation. Hoping for or about something, hoping for something to be different than what it is. The journey Cynthia is inviting us to is of another color, a distinct flavor and fragrance.  Continue reading here >>>

 

 

 

Find a complete listing of Cynthia Bourgeault’s books here.

Watch for Chapter 2 summary coming to North East Wisdom website soon…

Eye of the Heart: Cynthia Bourgeault Shares the Imaginal Roadmap

Eye of the Heart book cover

 

In the following podcasts and interviews Cynthia Bourgeault illuminates the Imaginal and some key insights offered in her groundbreaking new book EYE OF THE HEART: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm:

 

ENCOUNTERING SILENCE: Silence and the Imaginal Realm

(Audio: October 2020)

In this two-part interview, Cynthia Bourgeault speaks with Encountering Silence hosts on her practice of silence, and thoughts on navigating through the particular challenges of our current times. From this interview:

Our own personal and collective fear of death is what’s holding us on one side of the divide, and if we could just get through that, we’d have a whole new set of tools in our grab-bag for rebuilding the planet on the other side of COVID.

— Cynthia Bourgeault

Listen to Part 1 here.

Part 2 of Cynthia’s conversation on Silence and the Imaginal Realm now available here.

 


STATE OF EMERGENCE: Spiritual Mettle and the Good Company of the Holy

(Audio: September 2020)

Cynthia Bourgeault joins Terry Patten to explore what it is to live and imagine from the “eye of the heart” in a seemingly apocalyptic world. They reflect on how each of them is relating to death and also discovering new strength and guidance by keeping the company of saints, sages, and our courageous ancestors — one of the most important spiritual fruits of awakening into the “imaginal realm.” Cynthia suggests we aspire to “live the laws of the next world”, like those who began building great cathedrals they knew they wouldn’t live to see completed. 

Some questions explored include:

  • Can we become so intimate with our inevitable death, that we become impartial, courageous, and more profoundly alive?
  • How can we “keep the good company” of the great contemplatives and our now-deceased mentors during times of darkness?
  • How can we “live the laws of the next world” and become the “strange attractors” of wisdom to which others can gravitate?

Listen to Cynthia and Terry’s conversation here.

 


GOOP PODCAST: A Different Way to Live Virtuously

(Audio: September 2020)

Cynthia joins the Goop team to discuss key existential questions that come forth for many of us, including:

  • Are we all just irrelevant specs?
  • Does our life actually have meaning?

According to Bourgeault, while humans are not the center of everything, our actions have profound influence on the well-being of the planet (and a system that extends beyond it). She says that a lack of consciousness has led to much of the mess we’re currently in, and she explains how we all play a particular role in amending the damage. Cynthia talks through how our fear of dying is problematic (and what a different approach to death could look like), what it truly means to live virtuously, and whether or not she’s hopeful for the future. (Spoiler: Mostly, she is).

Listen to the GOOP interview here.

 


Cynthia at SAND 2020

SAND ONLINE EVENT: The Roots of Hope Run Deep: Timeless Wisdom to Guide a Perilous Passage

(Video: May 2020)

Cynthia Bourgeault speaks with Science and NonDuality (SAND) hosts, providing an overview of the Imaginal Roadmap,  offering a much broader perspective on our planetary situation at this point: a map which renews hope while at the same time ratcheting up the demand for personal spiritual transformation. 

Watch the full video interview with SAND hosts here.

 

 


 

Eye of the Heart book cover EYE OF THE HEART: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm – by Cynthia Bourgeault

This groundbreaking book shares the evolution of Cynthia Bourgeault’s spiritual journey and offers a new map to understanding energy and our collective reality.

In Eye of the Heart, Cynthia Bourgeault investigates the imaginal realm–an energetic realm well known to the mystical traditions but often forgotten in our own times. It is invisible to the physical eye, but clearly perceptible through the eye of the heart.

 

“A brilliant synthesis that both situates the imaginal world and gives it more meaning that it has previously had… [Bourgeault] is a true representative of the Western spiritual tradition.”  – from the afterword by A. H. Almaas

 

 

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

 

NOW AVAILABLE:

This groundbreaking book shares the evolution of Cynthia Bourgeault’s spiritual journey and offers a new map to understanding energy and our collective reality.

In Eye of the Heart, Cynthia Bourgeault investigates the imaginal realm–an energetic realm well known to the mystical traditions but often forgotten in our own times. It is invisible to the physical eye, but clearly perceptible through the eye of the heart. The imaginal realm has long been associated with the personal world of dreams, prophecy, and oracles, and it also points toward a higher vision of our human purpose that is both evolutionary and collective. Bourgeault explores both aspects of imaginal reality and shows readers how we can cooperate more fully with its guidance in our lives. Expertly blending her own lived experiences with research on the imaginal realm, Bourgeault explores how her personal relationships have helped to bring these teachings into sharper focus and the role this realm plays in Christian and other mystical traditions. She delves into the connections between our inner consciousness and what happens in the world, exploring the transformative energy and governing conventions that make the manifestation of this realm possible.

 

“A brilliant synthesis that both situates the imaginal world and gives it more meaning that it has previously had… [Bourgeault] is a true representative of the Western spiritual tradition.” 

– from the afterword by A. H. Almaas

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Shambhala Publications
Amazon
Barnes & Nobel
Book Depository

 

 

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FIND PODCAST CONVERSATIONS AND VIDEOS WITH CYNTHIA SPEAKING ON EYE OF THE HEART HERE

 

 

 

Launching The Year Of Teilhard by Cynthia Bourgeault

A letter from Cynthia Bourgeault, January 3, 2015

 

Dear Wisdom Friends,

Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Renowned scientist, theologian, writer, mystic. 1881-1955

Here’s an unusual New Year’s resolution! I’d like to propose that all of us in the Wisdom network declare 2015 The Year Of Teilhard de Chardin and take on the collective task of getting to know his work better.

There’s no specific milestone to celebrate here. This year will mark the 60th anniversary of his death, but that’s probably looking in the wrong direction. The important thing is that Teilhard’s star is now rising powerfully on the horizon, heralding the dawn of an entirely new kind of Christian theology. Misunderstood in his own times, silenced and exiled by his Jesuit superiors, he is finally coming into his own as the most extraordinary mystical genius of our century and the linchpin connecting scientific cosmology and Christian mystical experience on a dynamic new evolutionary ground.

Teilhard is not easy, but there are very good guides out there who will ease the entry shock. My recommendation is that you begin with Ursula King’s Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de Chardin. King is probably the foremost Teilhard scholar of our times, and her very well-written biography gives a good overview of Teilhard’s developing vision and a useful way of keeping track of the chronology of his works. Kathleen Duffy’s Teilhard’s Mysticism is also an insightful introductory guide, introducing the major phases and themes of Teilhard’s work in five expanding “circles.” And of course, for a succinct and clear overview, you can hardly do better than Ilia Delio’s chapter on Teilhard in her Christ in Evolution.

From there, I’d dive directly into Teilhard by way of Ursula King’s stellar anthology, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (in the Modern SpiPierre Teilhard de Chardin by Ursula Kingritual Masters series, Orbis Books, 1999). King’s well-chosen selections and helpful introductory commentary will help get you up to speed as painlessly as possible. From there, go to The Heart of Matter, Teilhard’s magnificent spiritual autobiography, written near the end of his life, which offers a moving recapitulation of his lifelong themes as well as a reflection on his earlier work.

From there, wander as you will. Those of more devotional temperament will find his The Divine Milieu, Hymn of the Universe, and “The Mass on the World” moving and accessible. Those of more scientific temperament may gravitate toward Christianity and Evolution and The Future of Man. His magnum opus, The Phenomenon of Man, is notoriously challenging, but if you’ve worked your way up to it gradually, you’ll be more able to take it in stride.

Most of these volumes are easily available at Amazon.com and other internet websites, and Hymn of the Universe, officially out of print, is available for download.

During my upcoming Wisdom Schools this year, I will be intending to “ease in” some Teilhard where appropriate: particularly in our Glastonbury Ascensiontide retreat and our Advanced Wisdom School in North Carolina this April—so if you’re signed up for either of those schools, be sure to get an early jump of the reading trajectory I’ve just laid out. I’ll also be introducing these materials in the some of the “Communities of Practice” sessions in New England later this year, and probably in an official Teilhard Wisdom School in 2016. So be sure to stay tuned.

 “Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation.”

~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

I’m a relative newcomer to Teilhard myself, still working my way through this remarkable corpus like a neophyte spelunker in a vast crystal cave. Not surprisingly, it’s “the kids” in the Wisdom Network—Matthew Wright, Brie Stoner, and Josh Tysinger—who seem to have the best handle on the material and are already grasping its implications for the future (their future!) and unlocking its potential in sermon, song, and drama. I mention this simply to encourage you not to be intimidated by the material, or the apparent lack of an authority figure to interpret it for you. Form a reading group, use your well-patterned lectio divina method to break open a short section of text, and dive in with your energy, your insights, and your questions. How you get there is where you’ll arrive.

Okay, who wants to take me up on this New Year’s Challenge?

 

Love and blessing,

Cynthia

 

 

 

 

The Wisdom Way of Knowing – Book Review

The following book review of Cynthia Bourgeault’s The Wisdom Way of Knowing was originally posted on March 10, 2014 at Abbey for the Arts: http://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2014/03/10/abbey-bookshelf-the-wisdom-way-of-knowing-by-cynthia-bourgeault/

 


 

This review is written by long-time fellow monk in the world Edith O’Nuallain:

This book, penned by a modern day mystic and internationally known writer and teacher, offers a clear and concise introduction to Wisdom teachings as they manifest across a variety of faith traditions.  Though its primary locus of practice is based on Christian monastic traditions, specifically Benedictine monasticism, the author, Cynthia Bourgeault, imbues her teachings with flavours from other sources, most notably Sufism and Gurdjieff’s ‘Work’. Bourgeault identifies Jesus as a “moshel meshalim”, a master of Wisdom teaching. Few of us are familiar with this face of Jesus. Read more