UPDATES FROM CYNTHIA: Teilhardian Vision and Evolving Toward the Common Good

In late June Cynthia offered an important new post with a message to students, sharing her ideas and suggestions for “a worthy project for our Wisdom circle to take on.”  Cynthia also presented a riveting keynote address at the American Teilhard Association (ATA) annual meeting. Find links for both below.




In this new post Cynthia provides an orienting emphasis toward the evolving terrain of the ‘Common Good’ and the rebirth of moral leadership. She provides three explicit aims and suggestions for Wisdom students who are “up to the challenge of holding the post during this epochal consciousness shift.”


quote by Cynthia



In this virtual keynote address to the ATA annual meeting, Cynthia Bourgeault offers an illuminating and instructive overview of Teilhard’s emphasis on ‘personalization’ as an inherent and intensifying quality of consciousness in the evolutionary process toward a convergent unity.

… the more relationship, the more complexity, the stronger the flow of consciousness. For Teilhard, consciousness, relationship, and the personal are an unbreakable triad. Each implies the other and cannot be sustained apart from the other.

Cynthia shares how Teilhard’s potent understanding of the ‘Hyper-Personal’ aligns with the emerging Integral structure, as described by Jean Gebser in his book The Ever Present Origin.  The complementary perspectives of these two visionary 20th century thinkers leverage each other and point the way toward a renewed confidence in the maturity and profundity of the Western unitive vision.  Teilhard set forth a characteristically Western and enstatic approach to the highest states of realized consciousness — a vision independently confirmed and concluded by Gebser.

Weaving it all together, Cynthia helps us imagine a radically unified, relational field as the ultimate destination of the evolutionary journey.

“The Person represents a higher evolutionary stage on the journey. Teilhard intuited that from his evolutionary map, Gebser confirms it chapter and verse from his phenomenological map.”

Cynthia’s talk is followed by short presentations from authors of recent publications on Teilhard’s life and work.

Watch below or on YouTube:

This video is generously shared by the American Teilhard Association, recorded at their annual general meeting on June 12, 2021. The ATA explores and builds on the life and work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and aims to make his visionary thinking more widely available.  To learn more, or to become a member of the ATA, please visit their website at teilharddechardin.org



TEILHARD: A VISIONARY FOR OUR TIME – Audio Teaching by Cynthia Bourgeault – MP3 SALE

In both Cynthia’s ‘Common Good’ message, and her ATA presentation, she draws squarely upon Teilhard de Chardin’s evolutionary vision. Teilhard’s prophetic writings and ideas offer us essential wisdom to understand our times, and points us toward a more unitive, Integral consciousness to meet the emergent and unfolding future. 

The Contemplative Society is featuring Cynthia’s audio teaching set on TEILHARD: A VISIONARY FOR OUR TIME to support your learning and understanding.  For the month of JULY we are offering 25% off the MP3 digital download for this featured audio. A full description and ordering details available here:

TEILHARD: A VISIONARY FOR OUR TIME – Audio Teaching by Cynthia Bourgeault

Teilhard Audio Cover






What has Cynthia Bourgeault been up to…?

Cynthia at Sea


What’s new with our Principal Teacher Cynthia Bourgeault?

Recently we’ve heard from a number of you wondering what Cynthia is up to while in-person events and retreats are widely curtailed. 

Well, unless you happen to spot her on the high seas, here are some opportunities to tune into Cynthia’s activities and catch some of her upcoming  appearances:



New ICN Podcast: From a Cosmic Nudge to an Integral Christianity – A Conversation with Cynthia Bourgeault  

  • Cynthia and Integral Christian Network hosts share their converging interests and inspiration drawn from Jean Gebser’s influential Ever Present Origin.
  • This engaging dialog includes the emerging scope and potential for an Integral mode of Christianity.
  •  The shared conversation includes personal experiences and insights on a range of spiritual themes and topics –  see details and listen here.

Cynthia’s February video interview on Buddha at the Gas Pump

  • Cynthia illuminates aspects of the Imaginal Realm and other key insights from her most recent book Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm.
  • Also offered are reflections on forgiveness and love, as well as suffering, confusion, and pain as conditions that contribute to transformative new arisings.
  • Find the full topic outline and listen on BATGAP here.

Cynthia’s Blog Series and Reflections 




March 30 – Online: Mary Magdalene and Attention of the Heart – hosted by WCCM.org.  Information to register here.

  • You can also find in-depth versions of Cynthia’s profound teaching on Mary Magdalene in the Audio offerings on our TCS website. 

June 16 to Sept 21 – Online: The Divine Exchange – hosted by CAC.org. Registration now open! Find details here.

Cynthia in British Columbia: Plans for The Contemplative Society to host Cynthia on Vancouver Island Canada are still on hold until the pandemic restrictions are eased. Stay tuned for updates. NOTE: TCS members will be the first to be notified – to become a member find details here


For Cynthia’s complete calendar with current listings refer to her EVENT SCHEDULE at CynthiaBourgeault.org




Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm by Cynthia Bourgeault has been chosen as one of The Best Spiritual Books of 2020 by Spirituality & Practice!

Cynthia honored as one of the 100 most spiritually influential living people of 2021!

  • Congratulations Cynthia for recognition on the prestigious Watkins List!  View the full Watkins list here.
Eye of the Heart quote


The Contemplative Society is committed to recovering the mystical heart of the Christian Wisdom tradition.

All of our work is done by board members, volunteers, and a part-time Administrator.  Please know that your contribution of any amount is gratefully received! Click below to support us with a donation or join us as a TCS member. 

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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,






Advent 2014 – The Presence Before You

Advent Candle

Advent 2014

Yeshua says…
Come to know the One
in the presence before you,
and everything hidden will be revealed…

The Gospel of Thomas, Logion 5


Dear Members and Friends of The Contemplative Society,

As we approach the Fourth Sunday of Advent this logion from the Gospel of Thomas seems particularly poignant. As the days are becoming shorter we look forward to celebrating the incarnation of light and love into this world. But amidst the many distractions and temptations of busy lives it is easy to forget this presence who longs to be known yet never demands. It is only too easy to fill our lives with activity and clutter which so quickly numbs our senses and pull us away from this profound and wondrous connection.

Cynthia writes how difficult it can be to stay fully present to what she calls our “bare self” and how easy it is to lose ourselves in distraction.

Quoting Brother Raphael, Cynthia writes in Love is Stronger Than Death;

“If you can only stay present in that bare self, you’ll begin to discover how the absence of God is the presence of God.”

We are human. We want to jerk away from that moment. Fill it with distractions and activity, with our own meaning… To find the eternal communion, one must not be afraid to venture into that dark, black sea of what seems inexpressible absence…

Dwell in it…endure the tedium until something gradually emerges in it… By that very ache I know I am still connected in love; it is the bridge on which I cross. I remember Rafe saying, “It seems bare only because it’s so full of light.”


The Contemplative Society Board and I send our blessings to you as you celebrate this season of light and love. We are grateful for the financial support of our members and also your commitment to opening to and being guided by that deeper ever-abiding presence.

If you are not a member and would like to become one or simply would like to make a donation, please visit our membership/donation webpage HERE . It is the faithful support of our members that enables us to continue our ministry of supporting the work of Cynthia Bourgeault and also encouraging contemplatives in their practice.

Also, although the development of our new website is still in progress and we continue to add and update content and adjust design layout, our Audio ordering page is now restored. If you are interested in purchasing audio recordings of Cynthia’s teaching (available as MP3 download or disc sets) please see our full audio list HERE.


May you have a joyous and wondrous celebration,


Heather Page
The Contemplative Society


Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/spcbrass/4744175365/in/photostream/