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Center for Action and Contemplation

Course Description

A 14-week online course exploring the heart of God through the idea of Divine Exchange, Cynthia Bourgeault’s framework for the Christian Wisdom tradition. Learn how kenosis, or self-emptying, can lead to a participatory exchange between the finite and the infinite.

The Divine Exchange explores the idea of exchange as the dynamic medium for everything finite and infinite. Building on the foundations established in the Introductory Wisdom School, Cynthia Bourgeault continues to unpack the metaphysics of her Wisdom understanding to demonstrate how students can take the work even further through practices like kenosis and three-centered awareness.

Students will learn a simple, easily digestible metaphysical framework for engaging in transformational work. This container is used to present deeper spiritual truths. Teachings are brought to a deep level of knowing through embodiment exercises that are an integral part of the course.

This course will also look at parallels between Wisdom roadmaps from antiquity and Jesus’ Gospel teaching. Other important topics include the writings of Ilia Delio and Pierre Teilhard du Chardin, who provides a template for seeing Christian teachings from a quantum, cosmological perspective.

Learning Objectives

  • Cultivate a Wisdom rhythm in your daily life through reflection and engagement with contemplative teachings and practices
  • Expand your awareness of the Divine Exchange and its relevance to our realities today
  • Deepen your contemplative practice to engage and embody these teachings
  • Connect and learn with other spiritual seekers

“Cynthia transformed my way of thinking—a boundless God who is all-loving and merciful. That led me to a flood of inner peace and gratitude.”

—Ed P.

Course Impact

Participants enroll in our online contemplative courses, like The Divine Exchange, for many reasons. Some found the practice of kenosis, or self-emptying, to be helpful during times of discernment or deconstruction of faith. Others felt the inner work inspired by the course helped them create more fulfilling exchanges of energy and wisdom. 

Participants who engaged fully with the course shared that they: 

  • Engaged more deeply with the world through the metaphysical framework and contemplative practices that encourage life-long transformation
  • Developed stronger trust in their intuition with embodiment practices like kenosis and three-centered awareness. 
  • Joined an expanded spiritual community with other contemplatives in our online Christian courses — people looking to practice the Wisdom framework. 
  • Became more fluent in mystical wisdom and action — exploring teachings from other mystical teachers such as Ilia Delio and Pierre Teilhard du Chardin. 

Course Schedule

Below you will find the course schedule for all upcoming offerings. You can register or sign up to be notified of an upcoming course by clicking the buttons below.

Registration
April 24, 2024 – June 4, 2024
Start Date
June 12, 2024
Length
14 Weeks
Cost
$195
Register Now

Course Details

The Divine Exchange is a 14-week online course. Students should expect to invest 4–6 hours of work each week on course material, reading assignments, online discussions with other students, and time for personal reflection.

Students will have access to course content for the duration of the course. Course content will be available four weeks after the course ends.

Course Prerequisites

It is strongly recommended that students take Introductory Wisdom School before enrolling in The Divine Exchange.

Financial Assistance

To apply for financial assistance, please complete the online Financial Assistance Form 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.

This is a sample video from the course.

Course Overview

Each week students will explore a new topic of study through an introduction (including an inner task and chant for the week), teaching material, a contemplative practice, and student discussions. Students can progress through each week at their own pace.

This 14-week online course is designed so you can bring the teachings, contemplative practices, and conscious work into your own routine and deepen its impact on your life.

Outline

  • Week 1 — Welcome and Course Introduction
    Cynthia invites us into this Wisdom School by engaging our hearts, imaginations, and bodies in a universal tradition of human purpose.
  • Week 2: Exchange In The Teachings Of Jesus
    Cynthia gives us a fresh look at several parables and other teachings of Jesus, reframing our understanding of them in a way that brings home his points, namely that the world is abundant, provident, and infused with divine tenderness.  She finishes with an introduction to conscious work.
  • Week 3:  Surrender As A Pathway Of Exchange
    Journey into a foundational piece of exchange—kenosis, or non-clinging. Cynthia leads us into an exploration of how kenosis, especially as practiced through Centering Prayer, is necessary for exchange to take place.
  • Week 4: The Divine Alchemy
    Cynthia introduces us to exchange in how the finite and the infinite are indwelling in each other, with exchange happening between the two. She uses that to work through two of the more difficult of Jesus’ parables.
  • Week 5: Trinity As A Mandala For The Divine Exchange
    Cynthia presents the asymmetry of threeness and how it opens new thought pathways through the Trinity and Gurdjieff’s Law of Three.
  • Week 6: Questions And Responses, And The Elm Dance
    Teaching on The Law of Three and how to recognize Third Force. Also covered is what role, if any, ego may have in spiritual practice and in life.
  • Week 7: Substituted Love: The Eucharist As A Pathway Of Divine Exchange
    Encounter the integrity and power of substituted love through the lens of dying to self, carried forward by love.
  • Week 8: Anointing Ceremony Preparations, And Mary Magdalene As Apostle
    The spirit of Easter is reframed as a liberating act of dying to self through kenosis. Cynthia shows us how anointing is the supreme Wisdom sacrament of dying before you die.
  • Week 9: Anointing Ceremony
    The Anointing Ceremony weaves a sacramental action and powerful readings into a ritual of transformation, providing plenty of fodder for this week’s exploration.
  • Week 10: The Exchange: A Teilhardian Perspective
    Cynthia describes how Teilhard’s grounding in both science and faith allowed him to see that a being’s complexity is tied to its consciousness, and how Teilhard saw events as necessary friction for development. Everything finds its place in the whole through purity, faith, and fidelity, with the give-and-take of exchange.
  • Week 11: Christian Tonglen
    This is a week of practices, starting with a simple example of the Gurdjieff movements. Then Cynthia has us move into four different breathing practices that scale increasing heights of receiving and bestowing, traversing the ground set up in Buddhist Tonglen and moving it into the Paschal mystery.
  • Week 12: Questions and Responses, and Closing Meditation
    Cynthia further describe the groundedness, presence-with-detachment, and centeredness the exercises demand. She revisits Three-Centered Awareness and segues into the importance of an embodied approach, then finishes with using Third Force consciously through non-identification.
  • Week 13: What Are We Here For? The Larger Cosmic Roadmap
    Cynthia revisits Teilhard and two aspects he adds to the map of Exchange, then goes through Ilia Delio’s work on self-organizing to a higher collectivity, or holarchy. That leads into non-identification.
  • Week 14: The Eucharistic Celebration
    The Eucharistic Celebration wraps up this Wisdom School in a ritual that brings the teachings together in an embodied way. The invitation is to walk back through all that this course has offered you.
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