The Way of the Wisdom Jesus (Group Study Version)
Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching
This group study version contains everything you need to share the course with your community, including guides for both facilitators and participants. Purchase price includes full access to the course materials for the facilitator and the rights to use the course materials in an in-person group setting with participants.
If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you and your community can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourselves. Using her book The Wisdom Jesus as a guide, you will join Cynthia in exploring the teachings of Jesus through the lens of nonduality and kenosis (letting go). Throughout the course, Cynthia will guide you in experiencing Christian wisdom practices, including centering prayer, lectio divina, sacred chanting and psalmody, and the welcoming prayer. The course concludes with a celebration of recognition energy: that wellspring inspired by the instantaneous, mutual recognition of hearts.
This group study version of the course contains everything you need to share these teachings with your community, including:
Eight 15- to 25-minute downloadable video lessons taught by Cynthia Bourgeault
Guided reading assignments with downloadable PDFs from The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind—A New Perspective on Christ and His Message by Cynthia Bourgeault, PhD
Practices and reflections to help you integrate the teachings into your practice and daily life
Unlimited access to all course materials
Any questions about this group study version of the course? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this course, participants will:
- Contemplate nondualism as it relates to the teachings of Jesus
- Explore what kenosis means and connect it to the classic nondual practice of “nonattachment”
- Examine indwelling presence, or “living remembrance,” with regard to Jesus’s own teachings in the Gospels of John and Thomas, the Eucharist, and the Resurrection
- Experience Christian wisdom practices, including centering prayer, lectio divina, sacred chanting and psalmody, and the welcoming prayer
- Explore recognition energy
Lesson 1: The Nondual Jesus
“The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” As familiar as this teaching may be to many Christians, the heart of its meaning can be much more elusive. In this lesson, we will consider the basic historical context in which Jesus lived and out of which his teachings arose. We will explore the relationship between the Kingdom of Heaven as Jesus taught it and nondual consciousness, an awareness that sees no separation—not between God and humans, not between humans and humans. An understanding of this awareness will form the foundation for our further explorations in the course.
Lesson 2: Kenosis
Jesus didn’t teach “practices,” per se but the principle of kenosis, or “letting go.” Kenosis is the tie-rod connecting everything. In this lesson, we will explore what kenosis means, connecting it to the classic nondual practice of “nonattachment.” We will also examine a sampling of selections from the Gospel of Thomas and consider the Trinity as an icon of self-emptying love.
Lesson 3: Living Remembrance
In this lesson, we will explore what indwelling presence, or “living remembrance,” means with regard to Jesus’s own teachings in the Gospels of John and Thomas, the Eucharist, and the Resurrection. We will examine the history of Christian contemplative practice around this goal, including the Desert Fathers and Mothers and Benedict’s “School for the Lord’s Service.” This lesson builds on what we’ve learned and guides us toward the lessons to come in which we will be looking at four core wisdom practices that we can work with here and now to awaken or deepen our connection to wisdom.
Lesson 4: Centering Prayer
Meditation is one of the most ancient and universal of all spiritual practices, and it is the cornerstone of the wisdom encounter with Christ. In this lesson we will explore Centering Prayer—kenosis in meditation form. You will learn the basic practice of Centering Prayer and receive guidance for incorporating it into your personal practice.
Lesson 5: Lectio Divina
The practice of lectio divina—sacred reading—is based on the wager that scripture is a living word—not just history, not just facts and figures you can read in a book, but a source of ongoing personal guidance that can speak in your heart here and now, offering insight and uncannily timely assistance. In this lesson we will take a dive into this simple yet profound way of praying the scripture that transcends mental processing in favor of a deeper form of spiritual ingestion.
Lesson 6: Sacred Chanting and Psalmody
Chanting is at the heart of all sacred traditions worldwide and for very good reason: it is fundamentally a deep-immersion experience in the creative power of the universe itself. In this lesson, we will immerse ourselves in the three core elements out of which the earth was fashioned and through which all spiritual transformation happens—breath, tone, and intentionality—and explore chanting and psalmody as a personal practice.
Lesson 7: Welcoming
In this lesson, we will explore the welcoming prayer, a more recent addition to the collection of Christian wisdom practices. When performed correctly, it demonstrates beyond all doubt that the kenosis Jesus taught and modeled, far from being passive or spiritually indifferent, is in fact a pathway of vibrant spiritual strength and creativity connecting us to energetic fields far beyond our own finite resources. Through our willingness to work in the same way that Jesus did, we are able to ground-truth his being in our own lives.
Lesson 8: Recognition Energy
This final lesson of the course brings us back to the wellspring inspired by the instantaneous, mutual recognition of hearts: recognition energy. This capacity to ground-truth a spiritual experience in one’s own being is what drew Jesus’s disciples to him millennia ago and it is available to each of us, right here, right now.
Praise for Author
“There are few spiritual teachers who give us genuinely fresh insight, but even fewer who give us the tools so we can come to those insights for ourselves. Cynthia Bourgeault does both, and does them very well!” —Richard Rohr, OFM, author of Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
“Bourgeault masterfully takes the best of tradition, history, and recent scholarship, sums it up with clarity, and then respectfully and artfully flings open new doors of insight, wisdom, and possibility. She offers completely unique and stirring insights about Mary Magdalene.”—Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction
A modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, theologian, and retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to promote the rediscovery of the Christian contemplative path. She has been a long-time advocate of Centering Prayer and has worked closely with the community of teachers of that practice, including Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, and Richard Rohr. She is a founding director of both the Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School, and she continues to contribute to the Contemplative Society in her role as principal teacher and advisor. She was the recipient of the 2014 Contemplative Voices award from Shalem Institute. Cynthia’s articles and essays have appeared in many journals and publications, and she is the author of numerous books, including The Wisdom Jesus, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, and The Heart of Centering Prayer.
If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, please e-mail us within 30 days of registering for the course, and we will promptly refund your purchase price.