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2013 Couillard Lectures: Jesus and Sacred Wisdom

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These lectures will consider the life and teaching of Jesus as approached from the access point of the great tradition of sophia perennis, or Sacred Wisdom. Wisdom is all about awakening— a radical transformation not only of mind and heart, but of the fundamental structure of consciousness itself. Ms. Bourgeault will explore Jesus as a master of non-dual consciousness—perhaps the first such master the Near Eastern lands had ever encountered, and explore his consummate wielding of the traditional Wisdom genres (parables, koans, teaching examples). Above all, I will focus on the practice of kenosis at the heart of his radical program for transformation, and suggest how such a pathway, understood in these terms, opens up powerful new/old resources for contemporary seekers wishing to “put on the mind of Christ.” The talks will be based on my book, The Wisdom Jesus, and will involve not only lectures, but dialogue and contemplative practice as well.

Modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine, and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom path. She is the founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School.

Cynthia is the author of seven books: The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Chanting the Psalms, and Love is Stronger Than Death. She has also authored or contributed to numerous articles and courses on the Christian spiritual life. 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, California.

Cynthia continues to contribute to The Contemplative Society in her role as Principal Teacher and advisor. She passionately promotes the practice of Centering Prayer, and has worked closely with Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, Richard Rohr, as well as many other contemplative teachers and leaders within the Christian tradition as well as other spiritual paths.