Our Founding Teacher: Cynthia Bourgeault
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and tending to a global network of students and practitioners. Her signature contribution to the Christian contemplative reawakening has focused on four main areas: 1) Centering Prayer; 2) The Christian Wisdom Tradition; 3) The Western Esoteric and Fourth Way traditions; 4) The Path of Conscious Love.
She has worked closely with fellow teachers and colleagues including Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, and Richard Rohr, and is an emeritus faculty member of the Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation. Cynthia has actively participated in numerous inter-spiritual dialogues and events with luminaries and leaders such as A.H. Almaas, Kabir Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda, and Rami Shapiro.
We are honoured to offer a wide variety of Cynthia’s audio teachings in our STORE here.
We have listed Cynthia’s current book selections here.
For Cynthia’s most current writings, offerings, and her calendar of upcoming events please refer to her personal website: CynthiaBourgeault.org
Our Guest Teachers
The Rev. Ward Bauman is an Episcopal priest and former Director of the Episcopal House of Prayer on the grounds of Saint John’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Collegeville, Minnesota. He lived in Iran for many years where he studied Sufism and Buddhism. He has published a cookbook, Sacred Food for Soulful Living and a prayer guide, The Anglican Rosary: Meditating with the Mystics, as well as co-authored, The Luminous Gospels: Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and Philip. He considers his spiritual mentor to be the great Christian German mystic Meister Eckhart.
A video recording of Ward’s profound virtual retreat on Meister Eckhart’s Practices for Hard Times, is available here.
James Finley, PhD, is a contemplative practitioner, student of Thomas Merton, and clinical psychologist. He leads retreats teaching how connecting to our Divine indwelling can transcend fear and shame and awaken to our True Self. Drawing from his experience as a former monk and spiritual directee of Thomas Merton, Jim offers trustworthy guidance for the spiritual journey. A faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), he is the author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere and The Contemplative Heart, and the host of CAC’s podcast “Turning to the Mystics”.
The Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, a brilliant teacher, and gifted retreat leader, nurtured in the Christian contemplative Wisdom tradition by Cynthia Bourgeault herself. His primary interest is Wisdom: not knowing more, but knowing more deeply, fundamentally by the Way of the Heart. Matthew teaches that the heart is not only the seat of emotions, but the primary organ of spiritual perception, and he works to cultivate this mode of seeing.His contemplative practice is also informed by the Mevlevi Order of Sufism through the teachings of Camille and Kabir Helminski.
Matthew lives with his wife Yanick and cat Moonbeam on the grounds of the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.
You can find a number of Matthew’s illuminating teachings included in our collection of audio offerings.
Our Regional Leaders and Teachers
Jennifer England has been exploring the heart and practice of wisdom traditions since reading Thomas Merton’s Seven Story Mountain in the late 90s. She is a founding member of the Wisdom North Collective, a practice circle rooted in the mystical Christian tradition, and is also part of the Two Arrows Zen Sangha. Jennifer lives with her family in Whitehorse, Yukon Canada.
Carol Hekman, PhD., PsyD., is a psychologist and certified psychoanalyst with over 35 years of clinical experience. She received an MA in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, where she met her spiritual director, James Finely, and has been a student of the Christian mystical teachings ever since. A graduate of the Living School through the Center for Action and Contemplation in New Mexico, she leads a Centering Prayer group through All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA. Along with her involvement as a board member of The Contemplative Society, she is core faculty and a training and supervising psychoanalyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. She maintains a full-time private practice in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in Pasadena, CA. Find out more at www.carolhekman.com, or email@example.com.
Henri Lock spent years of dedicated service as the United Church chaplain at the University of Victoria. Henri is a meditation teacher and retreat leader, and has a special gift for mentoring and fostering the next generation of contemplatives. Henri is also the President of The Contemplative Society and lives in Victoria, BC Canada.
Dr. Paula Pryce is a cultural anthropologist who has explored silence, ritual, and the concepts of death, time, and space around the world. She is the author of two books including The Monk’s Cell: Ritual and Knowledge in American Contemplative Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2018). Paula lives in Vancouver, BC Canada.
Heather Ruce, MA is a wisdom spiritual director companioning individuals and facilitating wisdom practice circles, groups, retreats, and wisdom schools focused on learning and practising the Christian Wisdom Tradition. She offers teaching and guidance in various wisdom and mindfulness practices including Centering Prayer, Christian meditation, sacred chanting, lectio divina, conscious work and embodiment in service of waking up and putting on the mind of Christ. Find out more at heatherruce.com.