Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart” as Want to Read:
The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  289 ratings  ·  24 reviews
"Drawing on resources as diverse as Sufism, Benedictine Monasticism, the Gurdjieff Work, and the string theory of modern physics, Cynthia Bourgeault has crafted her own unique vision of the Wisdom way in this very accessible book, nicely balanced between concept and practice."
--Gerald May, senior fellow, Shalem Institute, and author, Addiction and Grace and Will and Spiri
Hardcover, 154 pages
Published October 13th 2003 by Jossey-Bass
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wisdom Way of Knowing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wisdom Way of Knowing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Kasey Jueds
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My third Cynthia Bourgeault book... I'm still so blown away by her. This one is brief and incredibly rich at the same time--it's about different Wisdom traditions (Sufi, Christian, etc.) and is a lovely blend of inspiring and practical. CB writes so gracefully--she includes stories from her own life, from different religious traditions, quotations, poems... she explains a difficult subject clearly and thoughtfully, without dumbing it down... she includes guidelines for how to begin a practice, a ...more
Danielle Shroyer
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
So much beauty in this book. My one caveat is that I felt her approach to the passions and emotions felt too negative for me, at times almost Gnostic. I may need to reread to understand what she means by the language she is using but that took away some depth for me, as did the lack of discussion on justice/action as a fruit of Wisdom. Nevertheless a helpful corrective to so much of what has gone awry in Western Christianity...and modern religion in general.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Her definition of "original" as not "furthest back in time" but "closest in practice to what we believe the early Christians did" drives me crazy. But there is much to admire here, aligning Jesus with Sufis.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice read

Ready read with lots of nice info. She's ready to follow, meaning it doesn't get super boring like Rohr stuff
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've often read critics wondering what great writing in the post 9/11 era will offer a true reflection and insight on that event. This book was born of a retreat held by coincidence of timing in late September, 2001, on an island off the shores of Maine, and feels to me like the best and most necessary candidate. It tells the story of what is missing from our common version of Christianity. It helps me understand how and why Christianity came to carry only a shell of its purpose and meaning, a c ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cynthia Bourgeault is an ordained Episcopal priest, and crosses many spiritual traditions/paths with recommendations on how to awaken the heart and deepen spiritual understanding, including meditation, chanting, prayer. She references Sufism, Benedictine monks, Gurjdieff, Eckhart Tolle - so really touches on elements that are universal and not specific to one path.

This is the first book of Bourgeault's that I've read, but I will be back for more, and I have a feeling I'll be coming back to this
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite little book of all time. It may be small in size but it is packed with beauty, integrity, clarity and embodiment of the wisdom tradition. Taking from various traditions, the author successfully weaves a holistic practise and understanding of what the wisdom 'path' means and entails. The book is filled with wonderful literary quotes as well as a comprehensive list of sources and supplementary reading. I found the section on sacred creativity eecially beautiful and poignant
Darlene Hull
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fascinating introduction to the idea of the Wisdom Tradition as it applies to Christianity. Very well written. Cynthia Bourgeault is well grounded in the scriptures, and her love for the Word of God shines through. This book challenged much of my traditional thinking about my faith, and brought a richness to it I was not expecting. Great read.
It is hard to put a rating on this. A lot of it was over my head; I can see that it will be an important book for me in twenty years or so, when I'm further down my spiritual path. I appreciated the overview nature of the book, but definitely felt like I could use some more in-depth guidance, or in-depth background.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book ignites my sacred "yes". I am so glad I finished this so that I can start it again. CB is heady, yet the content is accessible. I had to go slow, but in doing so I noticed that I absorbed more and found that what was going on in my life was illuminated by what I read on any particular day.
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a gem of an introduction to modern mystic Christianity. It won't be for everyone, but if you're into that kind of'll like it! Her other books are completely amaze balls, and quite mind blowing,, but this is a great place to start.
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nice, concise introduction to the western Wisdom tradition. It alludes to much more than it reveals, but I think that's the point. The bibliography provides a good launching point for deeper investigation.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was another of the books read by my church book study group! I had never read any of the author's books so I did not know much about her or her writings. This is a great book to be read & discussed as a group.
Rex Lee
Jun 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this read prompted me to join a centering prayer group and i've been attending the meeting for the past three weeks
Connie Backus-yoder
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Karen Shepler
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Cynthia has become one of my favorite authors in this genre but it helps to have reading buddies for insights.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Further exploration into a personal interest. Informative and encouraging, geared toward the novice or beginner.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful exploration of the Wisdom tradition through examination of its threads through many spiritual traditions, and especially Christianity.
Marie Ferrantino
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another brilliant piece by Bourgeault.
Sheila Pritchard
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my second reading of this book. Just as good as the first time! Always so much to absorb - and be reminded of.
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book has many important insights and really convinces me that there is a wisdom tradition in and through most of the world's great traditions.
Recommended for one who is beginning their journey toward a contemplative practice and has not been touched by the works of Thomas Merton Or Keating.
Carey McCallum
rated it really liked it
May 15, 2010
Lucas Gastaldi
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2016
Liza Rhodes-Reese
rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2016
Linda A.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 13, 2018
rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2015
Robin Carlo
rated it really liked it
May 01, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search for Spiritual Community
  • The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation
  • Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirtuality
  • Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina
  • The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom
  • Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self
  • Invitation to Love: The Way of Christian Contemplation
  • The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages
  • The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality
  • Sadhana
  • Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong
  • Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition
  • The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery, and Meaning in an Ordinary Church
  • Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation
  • A Search for What Makes Sense: Finding Faith
  • How Then, Shall We Live?: Four Simple Questions That Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives
  • Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict
  • Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe Is Coming Apart
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 has been a long-time advocate of the meditative practice of Centering Prayer and has worked close
“Most important of all, do everything you can to nurture your spiritual intelligence. It is your only genuine source of hope, direction, meaning, and comfort.” 1 likes
“Where there's surrender, synchronicity tends to follow, which is one of the most delightful side effects of a surrender practice.” 0 likes
More quotes…