It is a true delight to converse sacredly with the authentic and illuminated heart-mind of an uncommonly deep and intelligent mystic, and Cynthia Bourgeault is certainly such a being . So I’m honored and quietly excited that I will be joined on Sunday, June 15th at 10am Pacific by the great contemporary Christian mystic and teacher, Cynthia Bourgeault for a conversation entitled “The Eye of the Needle and the Cave of the Heart: Cultivating a Pure and Single Heart in a World Stuffed Full of Way-Too-Muchness”.
When Cynthia and I spoke in preparation for our dialogue, exploring what recently has held our deepest attention, we quickly discovered that for both of us, our energy and passion was coming most alive in the consideration of practice itself.
Contemporary conversations about spiritual practice sometimes seem to oversimplify things — as if “quieting the mind” were a mechanical procedure to perform in ten minutes.
Cynthia is right now interested in deeper, subtler work, in which she and her students repeatedly plunge into depth, via mediation, contemplation, chanting, reading, silence, oral teaching…and more meditation. It is the cumulative force of this, when people have the great blessing to really “hunker down” in retreat together, that gets the mind and the heart quieted, attentive, and more profoundly receptive.
Cynthia and I talked about this deep process of mystical “emptying” when I spoke to her before. She uses the ancient Christian term “kenosis” to indicate the radical stillness at the depth of authentic mystical experience.
This is about a discovery not just of “sincerity” as if it were something that is either there or not there, but of more and more profound sincerity, the process and discipline of the patient, consistent deepening receptivity and thus transformation of the “small self”.
This level of devotion to practice generally requires a profound intuition of a higher possibility, a deep honoring of what the heart can do when it rests, deeply, finding its way to the silence that is always here, waiting beneath all the noises and distractions of our busy life. In that silence the heart can know its truth, its deepest truth, and cease to be distracted, becoming truly single.
When our heart is purified enough that it can relax in its own deep sincerity, it naturally knows and respects and loves its deepest and highest potentials, which are not about anything glorious, but more about our most humble and open-hearted trusting simplicity. This kind of depth and tenderness and softness is one of the main things in life that are truly worth talking about!
Our conversation promises to be an exploration and celebration of the essence of practice, the deep sincerity of the heart, and a deep sense of the what the heart can do when it’s single.
The Sufi practice of sohbet means speaking to and from “the heart of the heart”. I invite you to bring your heart and listen in on Sunday, as Cynthia Bourgeault and I speak to and from the heart of our hearts.
About Cynthia Bourgeault
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 eight books: The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, 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.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Sunday, June 15th at 10:00am Pacific; 11:00am Mountain; 12:00pm Central; 1:00pm Eastern
*Find Your Local Time
Please Note: There will be a limited number of lines available on the live conference call, so we encourage you to listen online if possible. To make sure you can get through by phone, we encourage you to dial in early.
- To listen live by phone, dial: 206-402-0100 (alternate #: 501-707-0312)
- Then, enter Access Code: 272072#
- To listen live online go to: http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=56492130
- To download the audio after the teleseminar is complete go to the Beyond Awakening Audio Page
Join the Dialogue: About one hour into the dialogue, we’ll open up the lines and you’ll have the opportunity to interact with us directly over the phone or via instant message. Here’s what to do:
To interact live by voice, dial into the conference line number and wait until we ask for a question from someone in your region, or
Send us your question via instant message in the teleseminar window on your computer
Send us your questions and comments before or during the live dialogue by posting them on our Beyond Awakening Community Facebook page
We look forward to your attendance!
The Beyond Awakening Team