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Eye of the Heart: Cynthia Bourgeault Shares the Imaginal Roadmap

Cynthia with Imaginal book

 

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. 

You can watch the video interview on this page, along with the conversations with two other SAND speakers who presented at the event.

 


 

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

Eye of the Heart book cover

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

Pentecost and Pacemakers

In May 2015, Cynthia Bourgeault shared a recent experience of a sudden health problem through the beautiful letter below. Thank you to Wisdom Way of Knowing (formerly Center for Spiritual Resources) for sharing the letter.


Pentecost 2015

 

Dear Wisdom Friends,

I guess you’re all wondering what happened to me last week.

The long and short of it is that on Saturday a week ago, while driving down from Maine to Massachusetts for our upcoming Ascensiontide Wisdom retreat at Glastonbury Abbey, I began to feel decidedly strange behind the wheel, needing to muster my entire concentration to keep from passing out. I spotted one of those blue hospital signs at a freeway exit and decided to follow it. A good intuition, it turns out! I was admitted with what’s known as acute third degree heartblock (which means that the heart’s electrical system is essentially in total meltdown), and emerged from the ordeal three days later with a new pacemaker happily ticking away in my chest.

It’s not exactly as if this came out of the blue. For a couple of years now I’d been complaining about difficulty with shortness of breath walking up hills, and I could tell inwardly that something was off. But my cardiologist had been focused on arterial issues rather than electrical ones, and the electrical system gave no outward signs of misbehaving. Just last January I’d been given a clean bill of heart health.

Glad I didn’t take his recommendation to begin a regular cardio fitness regime!

Drawing by Cynthia's grandchild

Drawing by Cynthia’s grandchild

This has all turned out as well as possible. While a heartblock is definitely a serious condition (worst case scenario is progression to sudden cardiac arrest), it is also one of the most easily treatable. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I am literally bionically reborn! My new high-tech pacemaker is programmed to cue off my natural atrial electrical impulse (the “top half” of the heartbeat) and help the ventricular impulse (the “lower half,” which was getting blocked) to synchronize. The result is that I am simply, fully “me” again, back in the ballgame with the old familiar pizzazz, and my eyes still blinking in wonder.

There is so much to be grateful for. If you have to have a medical emergency, this is about as cushioned as it gets. I was under 24-hour cardiac surveillance at a fine hospital until the surgery could be arranged, with the emergency pacemaker (if it came to that) right in the room. My daughter Lucy lives nearby, and was there at my side throughout the whole adventure — and now, is providing a wonderful space for recuperation while my new device and I settle in together. Best of all, my brilliant senior wisdom students, spearheaded by Bill Redfield and Patricia Speak, rose to the occasion magnificently and jointly co-created a memorable Ascensiontide retreat.

And from around the world, your love and prayers poured in. I felt deeply “carried” by a higher hand.

Everything being equal, I will receive the “all clear” from my pacemaker surgeon tomorrow and make my way back to Maine over the following two days, slowly resuming my normal activity (on which there should be no limitations). Thank heavens it was already a “hermit time” in my schedule, deliberately left wide open for writing and family visits.

The spiritual implications will take a bit longer to sink in. But for the moment, this is what’s uppermost in my mind:

For many years now during my evening psalmody I’ve chanted the line from Psalm 139: “the number of my days was appointed before one of them came into being.” And I think it’s Ecclesiastes where one finds the line, “Lord, make me to know the number of my days.” I know I’ve sung it in the Brahms Requiem. In fact, just six years ago at my first husband Cal’s memorial service.

Well, for better or worse, I now know the number of my days: 68 years, 2 months, 3+ days. Without being overly alarmist, it’s pretty clear to all concerned that the situation I experienced this weekend was not going to self-correct. Without those equal infusions of grace and modern technology my life would even now be winding down, or wound down already. As it is, I apparently have a 10-15 year medical extension, easily renewable if the rest of the one horse shay holds up.

It’s not like I’m now living on borrowed time, for this second wind that’s been given to me is fully my own life in this skin and bones, on this precious planet, and I intend to make the most of it. But you could say, perhaps, that it’s borrowed time from the Imaginal realm, a bit more space to explore the crucial dimensions of being finite, of bringing this all to a conscious fulfillment. And as I gradually get back into the rushing river of my life, I will try not to let this precious realization slip away.

Boundless thanks to all! In both realms. May I use this extension consciously and gratefully.

~ Cynthia