More Discernment on the Four Voices

More on those “Four Voices”….  –   Blog post by Cynthia Bourgeault

In this continuation of my last post, I want to offer a couple of additional examples of my “Four Voices” method at work, along with some further reflections and a bit of fine-tuning. While the overall process tends to unfold along “Law of Three” ley lines, as described in my earlier post, every conversation turns up a slightly different alignment of the players and a slightly different way of weighing the evidence. Here are a couple of variations: Read more

My Missing Bag as Spiritual Teacher

Cynthia follows up this post with another, going even more deeply into her “Four Voices” method of discernment. You can find that one here: More Discernment on the Four Voices

My Missing Bag as Spiritual Teacher  –   Blog post by Cynthia Bourgeault

Since my interview with Terry Patten last June, many of you have been clamoring to hear more about my “four voices” method of discernment. It’s a way of listening to myself I developed on my own over the past twenty years or so, based on the idea that there are multiple selves within me, each one with its characteristic slant and agenda. Before a decision can be made that has any chance of holding water, it’s important to allow all of them—or at least the four major players, whom I call Nafs, Soul, Spirit, and Heart—to weigh in and come to terms with each other. Failure to do so will result in a discernment where the dominant voice pushes its agenda and the others proceed to sabotage it: the usual “hung jury” incapacitating any real action. Read more

The Epicenter of Christianity is Love

“The epicenter of Christianity is Love, and this week we are entering the epicenter. May we do so in Love.” ~ Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault

Palm-SundayOn April 17, 2013, as thousands of eager runners rushed past Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver BC for the annual Sun Run, inside listeners sat hushed and still as Cynthia Bourgeault delivered a riveting and powerful  Palm Sunday sermon.

As Cynthia starts her sermon referring to the congregation having just heard the traditional, ceremonial reading of the passion gospel to mark the beginning of Holy Week,  she asks “…what sort of a message are we actually projecting here?” Read more

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:



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

Jesus and Sacred Wisdom

On November 8th 2013, Cynthia Bourgeault provided a presentation on “Jesus and Sacred Wisdom” at the Moravian Seminary Couillard Lectures. This lecture has been video recorded and is available for viewing here: Jesus and Sacred Wisdom.

Cynthia at Moravian Lecture Nov 2013

Read more

AGM Letters from TCS President and Cynthia Bourgeault

President’s Report

The Contemplative Society AGM, February 22, 2014

When I was thinking about presenting the President’s Report to this year’s AGM the theme that kept coming to me was gratitude. There is so much that I am grateful for and thought beneficial to share.  Read more

Red Hat’s in Town


We would like to share with you a this wonderfully descriptive poem by recent Wisdom School participant Faye Cox,  that so creatively captures our Teacher, Cynthia Bourgeault.



Cynthia in Red Hat Read more

Advent message from TCS

We would like to share a recent letter from TCS President, Heather Page



StarAdvent 2013

Dear Friends of The Contemplative Society,

This is the season of holy waiting as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Christ Light – the season of mystery as the infinite touches the finite.

I am writing this from a little waterfront cabin not far from Sooke. Tomorrow I will be joined by 11 others for a TCS sponsored 5-day Meditation Intensive. This is the 3rd year that this unique retreat has been held. Unlike the typical teacher led retreat this is a peer led retreat. Each of the seasoned meditators who will be attending, will take responsibility for a portion of the retreat, leading sits, lectio and chanting. The retreat has always been popular but this year we were in the position to need to book a second retreat to accommodate the numbers who wished to attend. Read more

An Introduction to The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three

Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault recently provided an introduction and thorough overview of The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three at the Cathedral of St. Philip Spirituality Conference in Atlanta Georgia. This presentation has been recorded and is available here:

Click HERE for Part 1: Cynthia addressed the question “Why explore the Trinity?” (57:35 min.)

Click HERE for Part 2: Cynthia describes the Law of Three as providing a template of change, and introduces Christian writers that identified this dynamism within the Trinity. (70:28 min.)

Click HERE for Part 3: Cynthia explores more deeply the fundamentals of the Law of Three as a framing structure and governing principle for the emergence of new arisings, and its practical application to challenging situations or to navigate an apparent impasse. A question and answer period completes the presentation. (96:06 min.)

We are grateful to the Cathedral of St. Philip for recording this presentation and making it widely available.

The_Holy_TrinityThe Holy Trinity and the Law of Three: Discovering the Radical Truth at the Heart of Christianity – By Cynthia Bourgeault, is available through Shambhala Publications as well as local and online booksellers.