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Spiritual Practices from the Gurdjieff Work: Online Course with Cynthia Bourgeault – Now Available On-Demand

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Originally offered Nov 3rd-28th 2014, this highly popular course is now available in an “On-Demand” basis from Spirituality and Practice. 

Course Overview:

G. I Gurdjieff (1866-1949) was an enigmatic, Armenian-born spiritual teacher whose one-of-a-kind spiritual teaching has been a quiet force in Western spiritual history for nearly 100 years. Spirituality & Practice is pleased to offer you a rare opportunity: a practical, hands-on exploration of Gurdjieff’s powerful spiritual practices minus the intellectual speculation and secrecy! This 12-part email course created by renowned teacher Cynthia Bourgeault plunges you right into the heart of these transformative practices.

“The Work,” as it’s familiarly known, was Gurdjieff’s colossal attempt to recover ancient spiritual wisdom in danger of total eclipse in the West and to pass it on in forms accessible to contemporary men and women without the intermediaries of religion, dogma, or fanaticism. Since Gurdjieff’s first arrival in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of World War I, the Work was displaced westward and organized itself in “below the radar screen” study groups in Europe and North and South America. Its influence has been largely felt through the stature and influence of some of its major proponents, including philosopher Jacob Needleman, playwright/director Peter Brook, and P. L. Travers of “Mary Poppins” fame.

In overall format you could describe the Work as an early type of mindfulness training, but with distinctly Western heart and soul and a flavor all its own! Its core program is designed to bring out of the distracted, self-important, self-preoccupied contemporary personality a conscious human being, capable of presence, freedom, and compassionate action.

While many of the practices are familiar along the path of spiritual transformation, Gurdjieff brings them a flavor all his own. And some of the specialities, such as the Work’s teaching on attention, identification, and self-remembering, are unparalleled in any other spiritual lineage.

In this e-course, Cynthia Bourgeault will lead you through the practices themselves in a cumulative, sequential way that remains concrete and focused on a practical task. She explores what Gurdjieff means by “conscious labor and intentional suffering” and hints at the huge cosmic vision underlying and tying together all these individual practices. She explains looks at where his ideas come from, but much more closely at where they’re going, and how these simple but powerful practices can put teeth on the bones of your present spiritual commitment, whether it’s officially “religious” or not.

Cynthia Bourgeault is one of the foremost contemporary bridgebuilders between the Gurdjieff Work and the contemporary spiritual sensibility. An Episcopal priest and retreat leader, she participated actively in the Gurdjieff Work for ten years and still remains deeply involved in its teaching and articulation. Like Gurdjieff himself, she discovered that these practices opened the door to deepening and grounding her own Christian practice, and she has been committed to extending the interfaces through workshops, writing, and now this e-course.

Join us for this unprecedented online course. You will receive:

• 12 emails from Cynthia Bourgeault
• access to the recording of a one-hour teleconference with Cynthia held when this course was first offered.

Full details to subscribe to this very popular on-demand program from Spirituality and Practice available HERE.

For a full list of Cynthia Bourgeault’s online courses with Spirituality and Practice please see HERE.

 

11 replies
  1. Abbott Feren
    Abbott Feren says:

    I have been in a Gurdjieff group since October 1992.

    I don’t claim to be a master in the work.

    However, I am willing to address questions about the work.

    My responses will tend to be in the manner of pointing a direction.

    Reply
    • G.R.
      G.R. says:

      Are you at all familiar with Valentin Tomberg’s criticism of the Gurdjieff work in his landmark book “Meditation on the Tarot”? The general idea being that the Gurdjieff method of crystallization that we hear so much about within G Groups is actually undesirable in comparison to the “radiation” that comes from a “true” esoteric spiritual practice, which actually dissolves all crystallization. I know this is a convoluted and loaded question but I’m just curious as to whether you are at all familiar with this criticism and how do you in your life deal with criticisms of the G work?

      Reply
  2. Nancy Bono
    Nancy Bono says:

    Please include me in your mailing list.
    I became a student of Gurdjieff in 2000 although I am no longer part of a group. I have read Gurdjieff’s writing, including Beelzebub’s Tales, Ospensky, Bennett, and others. This is my first contact with Cynthia’s work and this site. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Ann Liz John
    Ann Liz John says:

    Is Cynthia Bourgeault authorized by the Gurdjieff Foundation or any of its associate groups to actually teach the Work? The Work is unlike any other transformational system, and I would not want to study it unless the person teaching the course was actually authorized to do so, having been trained in the Work by an acknowledged teacher. I have been teaching this Work for more than twenty years so I do know what I’m talking about. Just studying it, talking about it, and doing a lot of reading is no substitute for the experience of working a group, and it could be psychologically very damaging to study Gurdjieff’s Work with anyone unqualified to do so.

    Reply
    • Administrator
      Administrator says:

      Apologies for our delay in responding to your comment – we wanted to get clarification from Cynthia herself! Here is what she said:

      “First, I do not teach the Work per se. I do not run a Gurdjieff group or even a Gurdjieff reading group. My approach to the Gurdjieff material is from the stance of a sympathetic insider/outsider, teaching the ideas as part of a broader spectrum of spiritual inquiry into the truly significant intellectual and visionary ideas reshaping contemporary Western Spirituality, and from my own lineage credentialing as an Episcopal priest and teacher of Christian contemplative practice. I work in close collegiality and/or under the mentorship of several respected spokespersons in both the Foundation and Bennett lineages of the Work, where I am recognized as a responsible and necessary bridgebuilder to a wider world.

      When people who are first introduced to Gurdjieff through me express interest in going deeper into the Work, I immediately refer them to an officially authorized group. I share this reader’s concern that the transmission of this teaching be conducted within a responsible lineage — not just for accuracy in the articulation of ideas, but for support and wisdom in the practices.

      It is not true, however, as this writer seems to imply, that I have only a reading knowledge of the Work. I worked in a Foundation group for nearly a decade, under the direct supervision of Foundation-authorized teachers, and I continue to maintain close contact with teachers in both the Foundation and Bennett lines of the Work, and to refresh my practice with periodic participation in movements schools, public conferences, and private gatherings, where the invitation has been extended, once again, from senior people in the Work. So I am not an unknown or unauthorized product. A loose cannon, perhaps, but at least firmly bolted down to the deck of the ship. I have a specific license to do what I do, and I do not exceed the terms of that license.

      Reply
    • Administrator
      Administrator says:

      Apologies for our delay in responding to your comment – we wanted to get clarification from Cynthia herself! Here is what she said:

      “First, I do not teach the Work per se. I do not run a Gurdjieff group or even a Gurdjieff reading group. My approach to the Gurdjieff material is from the stance of a sympathetic insider/outsider, teaching the ideas as part of a broader spectrum of spiritual inquiry into the truly significant intellectual and visionary ideas reshaping contemporary Western Spirituality, and from my own lineage credentialing as an Episcopal priest and teacher of Christian contemplative practice. I work in close collegiality and/or under the mentorship of several respected spokespersons in both the Foundation and Bennett lineages of the Work, where I am recognized as a responsible and necessary bridgebuilder to a wider world.

      When people who are first introduced to Gurdjieff through me express interest in going deeper into the Work, I immediately refer them to an officially authorized group. I share this reader’s concern that the transmission of this teaching be conducted within a responsible lineage — not just for accuracy in the articulation of ideas, but for support and wisdom in the practices.

      It is not true, however, as this writer seems to imply, that I have only a reading knowledge of the Work. I worked in a Foundation group for nearly a decade, under the direct supervision of Foundation-authorized teachers, and I continue to maintain close contact with teachers in both the Foundation and Bennett lines of the Work, and to refresh my practice with periodic participation in movements schools, public conferences, and private gatherings, where the invitation has been extended, once again, from senior people in the Work. So I am not an unknown or unauthorized product. A loose cannon, perhaps, but at least firmly bolted down to the deck of the ship. I have a specific license to do what I do, and I do not exceed the terms of that license.”

      Reply
  4. Comment
    Comment says:

    “I do not know what you know about Christianity… It would be necessary to talk a great deal and to talk for a long time in order to make clear what you understand by this term. But for the benefit of those who know already, I will say that, if you like, this is esoteric Christianity. We will talk in due course about the meaning of these words.” – Gurdjieff

    Reply

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