CAMP COLUMBIA, Thetis Island, B.C. JULY 13-15, 2007
Cynthia Bourgeault

Seeking energy from the divine, you will taste it. Don’t worry about it.

If a twelve month old child worried about walking, she would never walk. When the time is right it will emerge. In the meantime, rely on the wisdom of the elders that it will come to you, you will taste the difference between the way you used to draw energy and the way of drawing energy from the divine.

God is for us, not opposed to us. God wants us to unfold, wants us to succeed. In the right time, you will unfold. Egoic perception makes it all seem hard. If you don’t get in the way it will happen.

We live in a culture that has become toxic to the emergence of our God-given being. It is the responsibility of contemplative culture to regain sanity. Contemplative practice was initially looked at in terms of personal wellness but it is in fact a powerful political movement. The mad lifestyle of our culture is finite.

Sunday July 15, 2007 9:20 a.m.

Age 40/50 a malaise/tedium sets in and we resort to trying to generate something on the horizontal axis.

John S. Dunne – stages in human journey in terms of four consents:

  1. child – consent to the goodness of being here. Life is ok.
  1. early 20’s – consent to energy of sexuality – let become part of your humanity


  1. mid-life – consent to life as derived from within rather than shaped from without. Let go of exercising powers on the horizontal. Give yourself consciously to the inner work of getting your sense of self from within.
  2. old age – consent to let go of the powers of your soul – letting go of everything that has carried you so far – live in a state of poverty. Give over the reigns of your own lifeforce.


We will drag the baggage of incomplete consent from the last stage into the next. If we fail at #3 we will not be able to do #4.


The purpose of the spiritual life is to help us get through the tasks each of which involves a letting go – failure to get through is clinging.


Freedom is the ability not to get trapped or hooked. The capacity to accept voluntary constriction is the condition for the emergence of the final freedom.


Thomas Keating – life’s one goal is to move us gently but relentlessly to the full completion of our being – the terms in which this can happen are not normally according to our choosing.


The great temptation is to try to keep going doing the same old game of an earlier stage. Growing into age is a proactive gesture. It takes courage to lean towards the new era of our lives.


There is beauty in growing into the next age – but we have to accept it. Letting go moves each stage.


Integrate who you are now and move on.


The moments of your life have been forming in you the ability for discernment and the refinement of life into a quality of presence and aliveness. The entry gate into the final period of life is the willingness to stand – you have to endure the tedium until something emerges in it. By living from a different set of ingredients you can live deeply in this, whatever it is, if you consent.


The stripping is not the enemy. Learn to recognize the arising of consciousness.