Interior Castle — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Interior Castle

Course Description

Interior Castle is a spiritual journey through the seven mansions of St. Teresa of Ávila’s Interior Castle with James Finley and Mirabai Starr as guides. Along the way, practices of prayer, reflection, humility, and self-knowledge turn spiritual insights into experiential and embodied wisdom.

The rich, multi-media online course is based on James Finley’s many years of reading, meditating, and leading retreats on this 16th century mystic. Drawing from her work translating the Spanish text, Mirabai Starr reveals the essence of Teresa and her message. The course includes exclusive teachings, expanded commentary, additional articles, videos, and audio recordings. Each week, new themes facilitate a deepening and ongoing journey, personally and collaboratively with other course participants. Interior Castle is not required reading for this course, however, it is highly encouraged, especially before the course begins, if possible.*

Watch a short video with Richard Rohr and James Finley.

Interior Castle is intended for experienced spiritual students. The course is presented largely in James Finley’s poetic, creative, non-linear style and is therefore best suited to those who have experience learning in a heart-centered way that transcends and includes the intellect. Students not familiar with this teaching and learning style may find the course more challenging than other CAC courses.

Course Objectives:

  • Blend the text of Interior Castle with the presence, practices, reflections, and teachings of James Finley and Mirabai Starr
  • Experience Teresa of Ávila’s Interior Castle as an embodied pathway of union with God
  • Deepen awareness of the “inner witness” through life experiences and contemplative practice
  • Be inspired to see God in all things, to find hope and love even amidst suffering—in the cosmos, nature, oneself, and others
  • Understand the context of Teresa of Ávila’s life and writing
  • Connect with other seekers in the course


In this engaging, 8-week online course, you will have opportunities to:

  • Access exclusive video teachings by James Finley and Mirabai Starr
  • Learn why Teresa of Ávila is a revered spiritual writer and teacher
  • Discuss course content with fellow learners from around the world
  • Participate in guided study through the course material
  • Immerse in personal reflection and contemplative practice
  • Explore new material every week
  • Hear Teresa of Ávila’s writing read both in Spanish and in English
  • Review supplemental material (audio, video, articles, books, etc.) to deepen your spiritual journey
  • Invest 4-6 hours per week in the course teaching, reading, online discussion, and personal reflections

*We recommend Mirabai Starr’s modern translation (Riverhead Books: 2004).
The translation James Finley references throughout the course is from E. Allison Peers (Doubleday: 1961). The Peers translation is out of print and will be somewhat expensive if you can find it.

Course content will be available until one week after the course end date, or until Midnight, U.S. MT on the Tuesday following the course end date.

Registration closes one week before the course opens or as soon as the course fills, whichever comes first.

Cost: $120 per person. For financial assistance, please download and complete the Financial Assistance Form (applications are due at least 1 week before registration is scheduled to close). Please do not register for the online course until your request for financial assistance has been processed.

Course Dates:

Start Date End Date Registration Opens Registration Status
June 2, 2021 July 27, 2021 March 1, 2021 Registration is closed.

Please review the technical and language requirements prior to registering.

Registration is closed.

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