Cynthia Bourgeault – Luminous Wisdom Cowichan Lake Education Centre 1-7 April 2019 Friday am (Nb: these are personal notes from Cynthia’s oral presentation and may not always be a completely accurate reflection of her teaching)

Work task – “Levitation” as simple as bringing your arm up or bringing in consciousness, anything that works against gravitational pull generates lightness. Walk to the upstroke, bring attention to the lifting of the foot when walking. Keep coming back to this task. Observe the shift as you become aware of this task.

Chant, Paulette Meier

Give over thine own willing

Give over thine own running

Give over thine own desiring

To know or be anything

And sink down to the sea

Which God sows in thy heart

And let that be in thee

And grow in thee

And breathe in thee

And act in thee… (cont.)

Isaac Penington, 1681

The seed needs to grow in the womb of our soul. The seed carries the fetus of you. It grows in this incarnation. What causes the seed to germinate? The cherishing of the seed. The ground it grows in are the conditions of life. Something knows the fullness of life. Boehme, Quakers mysticism, Gurdjieff, and Thomas used seed imagery.

The particularity of each religion is vital. Can’t separate the core out. Not just a blending of the most acceptable of all religions.

Roots planted in Christianity but reach out and dance with the other religions. The closer one gets to the esoteric, there is more meeting.

We live in a terrible era on the exoteric level. Christianity has become labelled with fundamentalism.

Can’t separate from the container.

Christ as the light holder.

Need to re-envision Christ – who was this person? Jesus was a mystical Jew


  1. a universal human treasure, one of the Great Ones. To give help, to give new teaching. Good to honour all the Great Ones. However you language it, they came from God.


  1. He was charged to bring to the world the rising tide, what is known in the East as bodhisattva. We are all One – “love your neighbour as yourself.” We are a picture of God emerging. Teilhard – we are all cells in the body.


  1. First one to model non-dual consciousness. Master of the transformation of consciousness. His language for this was “the kingdom of heaven.” This dimension filled with the grandeur of God. He called himself “Son of man,” not “Son of God.” The question of uniqueness, specialness, only comes from a dual state of consciousness. A level of confusion. Trying to describe from a lower level. This is how Christianity went astray.


2 ways to pay attention to this: 1. the teachings, 2. incarnation

  1. The Teachings – the teachings which get it best are found in the Gospel of Thomas. Focus on the transformational teaching of Jesus and awareness of the parody and irony. 2/3 overlap with the Canonical Gospels. There is an ear for the seed mix, the bringing forth.

Logion28 – the normal waking state is just drunkenness. “turn and stand” = wake up. Come to know the one in the present. Stop lying and do not do what you hate. Bring forth what is within you. Pick up a stone – split a piece of wood and I am there. The higher like the lower = becoming a single whole.

Cannot find you anywhere, stripping themselves naked = kenosis and stabilization of the non-dual

Can then go back to the Canonical Gospels and read with new eyes – eg. labourers in the vineyard – pays them all the same – a perfect koan, can’t be resolved on the usual level of more/less and not fair. The whole thing is grounded in abundance. It frames where your consciousness is and mirrors it back to you. The entitled sense of self. Disciples grumbling about the past and Jesus responds – you are missing what is right in your midst – the present.

So many people want to throw out the pascal mystery = a sacramental pathway. Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies – how do we die?

Meet betrayal, abandonment in this passage – not my will but thine

My God, my God – desolation. Even Jesus experienced total despair. The Easter passage helps you walk this and we remember from year to year. The path is through dying.

Teilhard and Ladislaov Boros – Jesus spent three days in the heart of the world (not hell). Entered into the deepest level, the root conditions, the geosphere – abandonment, etc – and stayed there. These conditions are perfect for the generation of something else. We need these conditions.

There is something in the seed that is growing and wild – erotic. But as you inhabit it, it becomes gentled, syzygy.

A long, brutal journey – but no matter how dark, something will hold.

Centering Prayer is a mini-death – “boot camp” in Gethsemane – die into the Paschal mystery


  1. Incarnation – “For God so loved the world” leave it at that. Something so precious and unique about this world for the full revelation of God.


Teilhard – “God inoculated himself into matter.” – not about fall and screwed-upness

The fall was the natural exertion of gravity, one of the conditions of this world. Something about this realm is precious. Others often demonize this realm as illusion and bad. But it is something particular and precious, focus not on “there is a better place in the sky Lord, in the sky.”

The question should be how do we live into this. Embodiment is the perfect condition.

Need a new frame which was actually the original frame.

Christianity loses sight of the importance of the incarnation – more focused on the Pascal mystery.

Christianity is not a perennial religion – this pulls it away from its central point, not a Sophia Perennis religion – this hinges on the incarnation.

The wisdom line, not an interspiritual life.

Develop a Christian expression of the non-dual. This is the epicentre. Christianity has its own non-dual language – don’t have to borrow from other religions. But to do this must be in intercommunion with other religions = deeply informed and receptive to the other religions

Don’t find a common denominator and go with that. Liturgy is so particular to each of the faiths. The particularity of each religion is the container for its particular form of devotion that connects directly to the heart.