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The first Quakers were convinced they had rediscovered the original form of Christianity, in which the risen Christ was their inward Teacher, guiding them directly. From its inception, Quakerism has been deeply rooted in the living presence of Christ, experienced as the inward Light. Both faith and practice emerge from maintaining a steady connection to this wellspring of compassionate abundance and ethical action.
In this five-day Quaker Wisdom School, Cynthia Bourgeault, drawing from classical/enduring mystical principles, will guide us in exploring Jesus as a Wisdom teacher who invited his followers to a radical transformation of consciousness. Marcelle Martin will help us examine the Quaker experience of the Light of Christ within, which leads faithful people to participate actively in God’s transforming work in the world. And Paulette Meier will help to make the whole exploration heart-riveting by leading us in chants based on the words of passionate Quakers who experienced the living presence of Christ.
Material will be drawn not only from Quaker writers through the centuries, but also from the canonical gospels and the Gospel of Thomas. Our time together will include rhythms of communal worship, prayer, study, and work.
Modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, Cynthia Bourgeault travels globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom path. A long-time advocate of the meditative practice of Centering Prayer, she has worked closely with such colleagues as Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, and Richard Rohr and has participated in numerous InterSpiritual dialogues and events with such leaders as A.H. Almaas, Kabir Helminski, Swami Atmarupananda, and Rami Shapiro. 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.
Paulette Meier is a singer/songwriter, whose work as a peace educator led to her award-winning CD, Come Join the Circle: LessonSongs for Peacemaking, used in classrooms and families around the country to inspire and help children learn the ways of non-violence. While a Quaker artist-in-residence at Pendle Hill, Paulette was inspired to set some early Quaker texts to song and record them in chant-like, a cappella style.
Her Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong opens a window on Quaker spirituality and offers a meditative focus in spiritual practice. We will learn the chants in this collection, and they will be woven into our meditation and work together. For more information about Paulette and the chants visit: http://www.paulettemeier.com/spiritual-wisdom.html.
Marcelle Martin is a member of Swarthmore Friends Meeting (PA). Her best-selling book Our Life is Love (QuakerBooks of FGC) explores the ten essential elements of the Quaker spiritual journey. She has led retreats at Quaker meetings across the country and for four years was the resident Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill. She is the author of two Pendle Hill pamphlets, Invitation to a Deeper Communion and Holding One Another in the Light. Her blog, “A Whole Heart,” is at www.awholeheart.com.