“From time immemorial Wisdom Schools have emerged in times of global crisis or on the cusp of great leaps in human consciousness in order to help shepherd our planet through the transition. While there is academic teaching that goes on here, that is not the primary business of a Wisdom School; the primary business is to help anchor human wholeness and to work with the core practices that sustain the transformation of consciousness.”

Time & Location

Feb 17, 6:00 PM PST to Feb 22, 12:00 PM PST –  FIND FULL EVENT SCHEDULE HERE

Hosted by Mercy Center, 2300 Adeline Dr, Burlingame, CA 94010, USA

Content Access

You will have access to the course platform and event recordings for one month – until March 21, 2023.

About this Wisdom Offering

In this timely wisdom school, we will be inquiring into the nature and presence of evil as a discernible force, with a focus on these key questions: What is a useful, contemporary understanding of evil? How can we effectively deal with evil, at both an individual and collective scale?

Teachings will draw from a wide variety of sources both spiritual and psychological, with the emphasis first and foremost on the practical: learning to recognize and shield oneself better from the toxic effects of prolonged exposure to evil, “speaking truth to power” in a way that wields real clout, and as necessary, to draw more intentionally and skillfully on assistance from realms beyond our own. We will be exploring:

  • the metaphysics of evil with an emphasis on the process and relational nature of its arising
  • the psychology of evil
  • the dangerous blind spot in the Christian strategy of “love conquers all”
  • considerations of personal responsibility
  • the remediating force of conscience and the costliness of engaging it

There will be an invitation to a wisdom way of approaching this material through a daily rhythm with periods of silence, centering prayer, teaching, conscious conversation, Gurdjieff Exercises and Movements, chanting, mindful work, and contemplative free time.

Retreat Leader & Centering Prayer Team

Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally acclaimed retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude in her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. She is principal teacher and founding director of an international network of Wisdom schools, uniting classic Christian mystical and monastic teaching with contemporary practices of mindfulness and embodied presence.

Heather Ruce will be supporting our wisdom school experience through guiding us in daily Gurdjieff Movements. She is a wisdom spiritual director with training in a neurophysiology based approach to understanding the nervous system. She loves working with individuals as well as facilitating groups and retreats focused on learning and practicing the Christian Wisdom Tradition.

Joy Andrews Hayter is a spiritual director, and Centering Prayer coordinator at Mercy Center. Joy is dedicated to fostering contemplative practices such as Centering Prayer and others within the Christian Wisdom tradition that help us become aware of God’s ever-present love. As a scientist she sees in the physical world an expression of that love.

Catherine Regan is a spiritual director, retired psychologist, and adjunct staff member at Mercy Center, primarily serving on the Centering Prayer team. She has a special interest in participating in the reclamation of the Christian Wisdom tradition and fostering the contemplative practices so urgently needed at this time in our world.

Zoom Hosts

Jesse Roger Burson is a father of three, business owner, retired Coast Guard officer and dedicated practitioner of meditation and centering prayer for over forty years. He has been attending Wisdom Schools and following the teachings of Cynthia Bourgeault since reading “The Wisdom Jesus” in 2017 and has been a Spiritual Director and Group Spiritual Director since 2019. Jesse is also an avid sailor and pilot!

Alan Krema is a long time student of Cynthia Bourgeault and has attended multiple Wisdom Schools since 2010. He facilitates Wisdom practice groups focused on Centering Prayer, Wisdom Way of Knowing, and the Gospel of Thomas. He emphasizes the engagement of current issues with the embodied Wisdom of contemplative practice. He is actively engaged with Wisdom Waypoints and Contemplative Outreach and has introduced a variety of teachings from the Wisdom Way of Knowing lineage into the practice and prayer gatherings of Contemplative Outreach. He lives in the Chicago area.

Course Platform Host

Eilen deVerteuil is a long-time student of Cynthia Bourgeault. She has served The Contemplative Society and Wisdom Waypoints with her gifts of program development and community relations. She desires to help spread the teachings of the wisdom tradition in whatever ways she can.