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Center for Action and Contemplation

Alumni Newsletter – May 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Alumni Newsletter
May 2016

A Note from Paul Swanson

I worry about a lot of things, but I don’t worry about achievements. I worry primarily about whether there are nightclubs in Heaven. —Tom Waits

This line by the bard of back alleys could have come from the lips of a cheeky Living School alum, for alumni recognize the crowning achievement of completing the Living School is simply taking another step deeper into the Mystery, which is at once ineffable and endlessly knowable and therefore doesn’t translate easily onto a LinkedIn profile. Mix this bottomless sense of Divine intimacy with seeking to serve the world through prophetic, compassionate action, and we get . . . you.

We’ve combed over your survey responses for ways we can empower students to have greater impact in their communities. Based on your feedback we have made some shifts in the curriculum. The most exciting news is that we are beginning to make Core Faculty teachings available in a downloadable audio format for Living School students and alumni. (Hold the phones! Before asking how you too can get a copy of these recordings, know that we will contact you once the recordings are ready for you to access.)

Keep reading this email for additional news about the Living School and the CAC and reflections from Carolyn Metzler, poetry by Gisele Njeim, and a spotlight on Helen Fitzgerald. Thanks for all you do in the world! If our paths don’t cross again on this side of the veil, let’s plan to meet in the back booth of one of those nightclubs in Heaven.

Steady on, compadres.

Paul Swanson signature
Paul Swanson, Director of Curriculum

Faculty Reflection – Carolyn Metzler


And where we are is where we live, And where we serve is where we love, And where we die is where we surrender To the deepest instinct that lifts our uncertain wings to the prevailing winds those which, without fail bring us home.

Dear Sendees of the Living School,

The Sandhill Cranes have flown north now; few remain in the area. . . . But each year they come back to this place, to this river, to this harvested cornfield, the singular particularity of memory guiding them like a homing beacon. I think of you all also, sent out alone but in community to the far reaches of the planet where you do what you do to love the world. Living School faculty and staff have been in exciting conversation about how to best support alumni, given our limited resources and given that we are largely about empowering alumni to create educational and supportive community among yourselves. . . . Click here to continue reading Carolyn’s letter.


News from the Living School

New Venue for Intensives
Beginning in 2017, we will be holding intensives at the Bosque Center, a retreat nestled in the bosque-cottonwood forest-along the Rio Grande in northwest Albuquerque. We hope this beautiful, peaceful setting will allow students to more fully enter the liminal space of Living School intensives. If you visit Albuquerque, you might enjoy spending a few days in this quiet place.

August Symposium
Mary Evelyn Tucker will join Richard, Cynthia, and Jim for this year’s Symposium, August 23-26, 2016, at Hotel Albuquerque. Tucker’s talks will center on the film Journey of the Universe, a project produced in collaboration with evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme. Jack Jezreel, president and founder of JustFaith Ministries, will speak at the Sending Ceremony, and Living School alumna Alana Levandoski will give a concert.

Second-year Intensives
In 2017, the Living School will hold two optional intensive retreats as an experimental pilot for those in the second year of the program. In California, Jim will focus on living the mystical experience in the everyday, February 17-19. Cynthia will lead a hands-on immersion in Christian contemplative “Wisdom practices” at Glastonbury Abbey in Massachusetts, April 24-28. This is one of the curriculum changes Paul referred to, based on feedback from alumni and students. Thanks for helping us improve the program!

Living School on Facebook
The Living School Community group on Facebook is a vibrant, sacred space for sharing everything from personal news to resources to support your continued learning and practice (like this video on Sacred Texts featuring our dear Cynthia). If you haven’t yet joined and would like to participate, follow this link and click the green +Join button (note it may take a few days for us to process your request).

The public Living School Facebook page has gone dormant, but you can still find and share posts. “Like” the Center for Action and Contemplation to receive Richard’s meditations and CAC news.

We Want to Hear From You!

Please let us know how this newsletter might support you as you live the Living School in your everyday life. Send your comments and suggestions to [email protected].

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