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January 2023 Newsletter

November Update & News from TCS

The Contemplative Society held its Annual General Meeting on October 30th and participants attended both in-person and…

Fall Update & News from TCS

Now is a good time to update you on the new movements here at The Contemplative Society, and how these may involve you…

September 2020 Update and Message from TCS Board

Dear Contemplative Friends,
This has been a year of momentous change and uncertainty!
Here at The Contemplative Society, we have been prayerfully discerning our future path through the challenges and opportunities during this tumultuous time. 
The Board has made some difficult decisions to reduce administrative costs and bring expenses into alignment with income. We’ve had to change our usual way of operating and are exploring alternative and creative means to support the Contemplative Wisdom community seeded by Cynthia, shifting to on-line meditation gatherings and our first online retreat. We are looking at what is before us now and listening deeply to what the Spirit is calling us to live into.
We said a fond farewell to our administrator Sharon Taylor, who has held the position with graceful attentiveness since December 2018. We extend our warm thanks to Sharon for her heartful, thorough and creative service. 
We hired Eilen deVerteuil (welcome back Eilen!) on an interim basis to help us implement administrative efficiencies and reduce the administrative load and cost to a sustainable level while helping to shepherd us through this major transition.
Matthew Wright retreatCommunity health guidelines due to COVID let us to cancel the June in-person retreat with Ward Bauman, but we managed to host a fabulous Zoom retreat with Matthew Wright with more than 100 people in August.  
We spent three days of exploring and meditating on the life and wisdom of Julian of Norwich and the profound message of hope she has for our time.  The overwhelmingly positive response affirmed the need to continue offering online teachings and supporting our community on the contemplative path. We plan to offer more online retreats over the coming months.
An exciting, emerging development for TCS is our current initiative to strengthen local and regional support for contemplative groups in the Pacific West area.  At the same time, we are working with Northeast Wisdom on finding ways to minimize duplication and increase efficiencies in serving the whole network of contemplatives.
TCS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING October 24, 2:00pm, on Zoom
We are preparing for our AGM scheduled for October 24.  We will soon be sending more information about the AGM and how to participate on Zoom. This is an opportunity for you to become a member of The Contemplative Society, or to renew your membership, by making a donation and having your donation applied to membership.  Simply follow this link: 


Our deepest gratitude to all who have supported us through donations, membership, and participating in events over the past months. We know that many of you are also facing challenges, uncertainty, and disruptions in your lives. Please know that we are committed to serving the contemplative community and followers as we adapt to these changing times.
We hope you will continue to support us with your generous contributions, membership, and encouragement. We will keep you notified as details and decisions unfold. 
Please let us know if you have any specific questions and we will do our best to respond as promptly as possible.


Henri Lock
President, The Contemplative Society
Eilen deVerteuil
Interim administrator
Board Members:
Barb Britton
Gerald Morton
Paula Marlatt
Barbara Hansen
Liz Vickers
James Douglass
Shō Ya Voorthuyzen
Kim Gye

Contemplative Voices Award: Honoring The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault

Honouring Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault On November 16 The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation presented its 2014 Contemplative Voices Award to the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault. The Shalem Contemplative Voices Award was created to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to contemplative understanding, living and leadership and whose witness helps others live from the divine wellspring of compassion, strength, and authentic vision. Past honorees have been Father Richard Rohr, OFM, the Rev. Margaret Guenther and Rev. John Philip Newell. The evening included a web-streamed (video-taped) recording of Cynthia’s presentation. Cynthia Bourgeault, a modern-day mystic, writer and internationally known retreat leader was honored by Shalem with a special benefit evening on November 16, 2014  at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Rockville, MD. Cynthia is an Episcopal priest and a founding director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. She continues to contribute to The Contemplative Society in her role as principal teacher and advisor and is dedicated to promoting the practice of Centering Prayer. She is a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, CA. Cynthia is also the author of eight books including: The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three; The Meaning of Mary Magdalene; The Wisdom Jesus; Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening; Mystical Hope; and The Wisdom Way of Knowing. In addition, she has authored or contributed to numerous articles and courses on the Christian spiritual life. “Cynthia is passionate about recovering the Christian contemplative and Wisdom path and is one of the clearest contemplative voices today,” says Leah Rampy, Shalem’s executive director. “By her life as a hermit and teacher, she witnesses daily to the value of the contemplative path, and we are honored to acknowledge her in this way.” From Cynthia’s presentation:

“Contemplation was originally in the Greek and early patristic understandings reserved for a kind of higher or noetic knowing, knowing through the nous, the eye of the heart. Sometimes it takes the form of visionary seeing, images, but more typically it is simply a kind of luminous, situational knowingness that can’t be attributed to any outside source. It becomes part of one’s own being… …We need to begin to claim the slowly growing collecting reservoir of noetic insight and draw on it consciously in service of the continuing evolution of humanity and the life of the planet. Contemplative reawakening may have begun on the ground of personal healing and transformation, but it has now found its authentic wingspan in the prophetic and the collective.”