Modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and scholar Cynthia Bourgeault joins Terry to explore what it is to live and imagine from the “eye of the heart” in a seemingly apocalyptic world. They reflect on how each of them is relating to death and also discovering new strength and guidance by keeping the company of saints, sages, and our courageous ancestors — one of the most important spiritual fruits of awakening into the “imaginal realm.” Cynthia suggests we aspire to “live the laws of the next world”, like those who began building great cathedrals they knew they wouldn’t live to see completed.
Cynthia Bourgeault has been a way-shower for many thousands of people around the world, sharing the riches of Christian, Sufi, and Gurdjieffian contemplative practices, as well as serving as a fierce constructive critic. She has been a long-time teacher of the meditative practice of Centering Prayer, having worked closely with Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, and Richard Rohr, and many other contemplative teachers and leaders, as well as a core faculty member of the Center for Action & Contemplation. She is also a member of the Global Peace Initiative for Women Contemplative Council and a founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. Cynthia is the author of many books including The Heart of Centering Prayer, The Wisdom Jesus, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, and Love is Stronger than Death. Her newest book, Eye of the Heart, is a spiritual journey into the “Imaginal Realm” — an energetic realm well known to the mystical traditions and associated with the world of dreams, prophecy, and a higher vision of our human purpose that is both evolutionary and collective.
Here are some additional questions they explore:
- Can we become so intimate with our inevitable death, that we become impartial, courageous, and more profoundly alive?
- How can we “keep the good company” of the great contemplatives and our now-deceased mentors during times of darkness?
- How can we “live the laws of the next world” and become the “strange attractors” of wisdom to which others can gravitate?
- What is the imaginal realm according to Christian mysticism? How might we learn to see with “the eye of the heart”?
For more information on Cynthia Bourgeault and Terry Patten, check out the following resources:
- Cynthia’s New Book – Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey Into the Imaginal Realm
- Cynthia Bourgeault’s Website
- Center for Action and Contemplation
- The Contemplative Society
- Wisdom Way of Knowing
- Northeast Wisdom
- Terry Patten’s website
- A New Republic of the Heart website
I hope you appreciate this week’s episode with Cynthia Bourgeault on State of Emergence. If you believe these conversations are important and want to support them, please join us as a monthly contributor and become part of our community of listeners. Thank you so much!