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

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  359 ratings  ·  31 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
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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
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lots to deconstruct here.

Objective is to become more aligned with true Wisdom.

Western views on religion veer heavily away from Wisdom and view God as being removed from humans versus one of us. While I am not a religious person, there is much to take away from a spiritual level.

Key points to get you on a path towards Wisdom (mainly through prayer & work):

1. Rhythmic labor - doing laundry, chopping vegetables, etc. Conscious work is necessary. Be fully present.

2. Meditation - About 20 minutes
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.
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
Scott McRae
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a masterful treatment of so many deep topics: non-dual reality, centering prayer, the wisdom traditions, contemplative spirituality, surrender, to name a few. Oh highly recommend it!
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
This is a peaceful, encouraging book that gives practical advice for walking in the Wisdom way. My favorite chapter was "Seeing with the Eye of the Heart," which describes how humans are called to be creative: "our role is more a creative midwifery that has to do with intuiting the new patterns as they arise in the imaginal and helping birth them into form" (p. 83). The sections entitled "Dancing with the Conscious Circle" and "The Gift of Conscience," in particular describe how those with a pur ...more
Mo-Reen E
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a companion to an on-line class I am taking taught by Cynthia Bourgeault.
The book covers much of the material in the course and is a great reference.
If you are not familiar with Wisdom Schools, this would be a fabulous introductory book explaining the origins and current practices.
It is book for spiritual seekers; perhaps those looking for something more, or something else than our current day religions offer.
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.
Allison Arsenault
Someone recommended this to me as an intro to Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom work. I ended up reading it after completing her online introductory wisdom school course and it was a great recap with some new-to-me material as well
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
Eileen Gebbie
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Needs a great deal more in the way of supporting material and citations.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
The concepts weren't developed sufficiently or tied together well and as a result the overall work was patchy and unclear.
Nicole Guthrie
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In short...this book changed my life!
Agatha Glowacki
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Very similar to the Wisdom Jesus. A little simplistic. I appreciated the practice instructions through
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
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.
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.
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. ...more
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
***** Love this author. Very informative
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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

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22 likes · 6 comments
Please come home. Please come home. Find the place where your feet know where to walk And follow your own trail home.
Please come home. Please come home into your own body, Your own vessel, your own earth. Please come home into each and every cell, And fully into the space that surrounds you.
Please come home. Please come home to trusting yourself, And your instincts and your ways and your knowings, And even the particular quirks of your personality.
Please come home. Please come home and once you are firmly there, Please stay home awhile and come to a deep rest within. Please treasure your home. Please love and embrace your home. Please get a deep, deep sense of what it's like to he truly home.
Please come home. Please come home. And when you're really, really ready, And there's a detectable urge on the outbreath, then please come out. Please come home and please come forward. Please express who you are to us, and please trust us To see you and hear you and touch you And recognize you as best we can.
Please come home. Please come home and let us know All the nooks and crannies that are calling to be seen. Please come home, and let us know the More That is there that wants to come out.
Please come home. Please come home For you belong here now. You belong among us. Please inhabit your place fully so we can learn from you, From your voice and your ways and your presence.
Please come home. Please come home. And when you feel yourself home, please welcome us too, For we too forget that we belong and are welcome, And that we are called to express fully who we are.
Please come home. Please come home. You and you and you and me.
Please come home. Please come home. Thank you, Earth, for welcoming us.
And thank you touch of eyes and ears and skin, 'Touch of love for welcoming us.
May we wake up and remember who we truly are.”
“Where there's surrender, synchronicity tends to follow, which is one of the most delightful side effects of a surrender practice.” 1 likes
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