Rounding Five Years: Northeast Wisdom is Coming of Age

Dear Wisdom Friends,

As many of you know, one of my longstanding priorities has been to encourage a creative and empowered next generation of Wisdom teachers. A lineage only survives into the future to the extent that the wingspan of its next generation of lineage bearers exceed the wingspan of their founder. I have seen all too many bright young spiritual organizations die on the vine in the second generation when, out of fear or misplaced respect, they allow themselves to become a mausoleum for the founding teacher. I was determined that this should not happen with Northeast Wisdom.

As this wonderful experiment in Wisdom organizational culture now rounds its five year milestone, I am overjoyed to report that I have rarely seen such a burst of creativity and collaborative spirit, now coming of age. In declaring themselves no longer a Board but a Wisdom Council, my seven students-become-colleagues announce formally what has already been increasingly true in spirit: that this wee organization collaboratively birthed in 2014 has indeed become a new wineskin to bear the good new wine of Wisdom to a parched and bewildered world.


Northeast Wisdom Council Members

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I will not detail here all the remarkably imaginative and groundbreaking initiatives launched and/or supported by our Council this year. But to highlight just a few: members of our Council have broken into new delivery formats (would you believe, an online Holy Week retreat and now an Advent retreat?); taken on Bruno Barnhart’s Future of Wisdom in the first Northeast Wisdom study group on Zoom which served people across the country and around the world; overseen the return-to-print of the contemporary mystical classic, The Mystery of Death by Ladislaus Boros; spearheaded the production of a second volume of Paulette Meier’s remarkable Quaker Wisdom chants; and sponsored two groundbreaking seminars: the Thomas Keating interspiritual celebration in Aspen this past July and the Teilhard and Gurdjieff seminar at Claymont this past fall–both of these events capably staffed and organized by emerging Wisdom students. This, of course, is over and above the amazing variety of on-the-ground Wisdom Schools now flourishing coast-to-coast. The new generation of Wisdom leaders is indeed alive and well, well-grounded in the lineage, yet bursting with their own creativity and synergy. It’s not just teachers in the traditional sense. It’s also visual artists, musicians, chant writers, cinematographers, movements teachers; the brew is sparkling.



Meanwhile, with the daily operations clearly in safe hands, I have been freed to turn my attention to the experimental projects and writing closest to my own heart. I am happy to report that my new book, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm, will be published in September 2020. And The Mystery of Death, mentioned in the paragraph above, will include an extended introduction and commentary which I finally found time to write. Top on my list for the upcoming year is to continue to plunge deeper into the metaphysical dialogue between Teilhard and Gurdjieff–which I am convinced contains the seeds of a cosmovision robust enough to reorient our crumbling Western culture at this point of crisis­­–and to continue the exploration of Thomas Keating’s profoundly beautiful and moving end-of-life exploration of an authentic Christian nonduality.



What a privilege and a gift to be traversing this sacred ground! I am so grateful to our Wisdom Council, to the emerging network of younger Wisdom leaders coast-to-coast who are stepping up to the plate with respect and panache, and to each of you who are reading this post and feel moved to make a financial contribution. Together, we are creating this new wineskin. It is sorely needed. Let’s keep it going!

With blessing and gratitude,


Dear Wisdom Friends,

It is my great pleasure and honor to invite you to financially support the work of Northeast Wisdom. Supporting and proliferating Wisdom work in the world, Northeast Wisdom is eagerly working to encourage and support developing Wisdom communities around the globe. Through initiatives that highlight emerging leaders, that connect Wisdom seekers with Practice Circles and programs, and that is beginning to publish and distribute written Wisdom material—Northeast Wisdom is an important engine that manifests Wisdom in the world.

While Cynthia continues to contribute her guiding hand, Northeast Wisdom is looking toward an expanded presence now that will amplify her work in emerging teachers and new programs. We are looking forward to an enduring footprint of Wisdom that will contribute to the world’s transformation. Indeed, it is hard to think of a time and place that needs Wisdom more than our world right now.

Your financial gift is one vitally important contribution in supporting Wisdom when we need it most. But we are all also called to integrate Wisdom into the fabric of our lives. Please join with us on the Wisdom Council (formerly the Board) of Northeast Wisdom, as we work to more generously give ourselves and our resources to our work together.


Bill Redfield

Northeast Wisdom is committed to supporting the Wisdom Community across the country and around the world, and its fount of ‘new arisings’ in the Wisdom lineage of Cynthia Bourgeault. With your generosity and support, Northeast Wisdom hopes to “bear the good new wine of Wisdom to a parched and bewildered world.”

In appreciation for your gift of $250 or more, we would like to send you a copy of the new reprint of “The Mystery of Death” by Ladislaus Boros with a never-before published Introduction and Commentary by Cynthia Bourgeault, which will be sent to you in late March of 2020.

We Invite You to Donate Here

You may make your contribution to Northeast Wisdom directly on this website by following this link to the Donate button, or you may send your check to Northeast Wisdom, PO Box 2133, Darien, CT, 06820-2133. Please note “2019 Annual Appeal” in the memo online or on your check. Northeast Wisdom is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Join us, with your contribution, in the amount that is sustainable to you. Every gift is received as a gift from the heart, growing the community and furthering the work of Wisdom in the world.

 Thank you.                                                       



Appreciations for photos: of drawing courtesy of Barbara Miller, from the Bruno Barnhart Northeast Wisdom study group; of Paulette and crew courtesy of Molly Weiland; of Thomas Keating Interspiritual Celebration courtesy of Todd Hartley and Matthew Wright; at Claymont Gurdjieff meets Teilhard October 2019 courtesy of Cynthia Bourgeault and Marcella Kraybill-Greggo; of the in-process cover of the reprinting of Boros’ The Mystery of Death, photo courtesy of Paul Cohen at Monkfish Publishing; of Thomas Keating’s book of poems The Secret Embrace, courtesy of and available at the Contemplative Outreach website; of the labyrinth at Glastonbury Abbey courtesy of their website; and of the shepherd with sheep photo by Bill Britten, image displayed at Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center. Thanks also to public domain websites max pixel, wikimedia, public domain pictures and pexels.  

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6 thoughts on “Rounding Five Years: Northeast Wisdom is Coming of Age

  1. Have you thought of doing a study group on The Meaning of Death like you did with Bruno Barnhart’s book? I would love to take part of that.

    1. Dear Dianne, I have been thinking about how we might work with Mystery of Death myself, so thank you for your comment. I think it deserves some thought, about how we might take it up in a meaningful way. Another wonderfully rich and in some ways difficult text! And one that I find speaks to the heart of Wisdom in such a profound way. It moved me very much to work with Boros, and I think we may be able to support some great work, with some careful thought. We keep growing, and learning, and challenges like these are just what we are wanting to explore. Keep on letting us know what is coming up for you! With love, L

      1. I am also interested and have started reading The Grace in Dying by Kathleen Singh. Very helpful- it’s lije having an elder.

    2. I would so love this ! ( Study group on the meaning of death, explori g the depths of Barnhart’s book.
      – Cynthia Popelka

      1. I would be interested in participating in this book study. Additionally, the Kathleen Norris Singh book is wonderful, and reading it with a group would be an attractive prospect.

  2. I’m struck once again by the extent to which Northeast Wisdom School appears to be a genuinely ecumenical effort, as certainly Fr. Keating’s and Richard Rohr’s are. Perhaps the rediscovery of sophia perennis, contemplative life and centering prayer might help mightily in overcoming sectarian peculiarities? That would be amazing, a huge work of the Holy Spirit.

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