The Vocabulary of Wisdom: Cynthia Quotes for Everyday Practice

What follows are statements made by Cynthia, heard with my own ears, in her presence. They are pieces of the whole, containing the whole, grouped together in their shared resonance. During 2019 Sarah and I attended five Wisdom Schools. During these wonderful times I do not normally take notes, because the teachings are exchanged on the “heart channel,” and I feel that note-taking translates them back to the “intellect channel.” So I sit with ears only—no paper or pen. Sometimes, however, a nugget of Wisdom comes floating towards me like a beautiful butterfly, or ringing like a special bell. These I cannot resist, and I quickly capture them on my phone’s notepad. Over the course of the five Wisdom Schools during 2019, and the Imaginal Wisdom School of 2020, I collected many of these notable quotes.

The images that accompany the following quotes were mostly taken on trips to the beach in South Carolina. My camera has been an instrument of my heart for a long time. Hopefully, the images reflect something of the meaning within the quotes.

To get started, here is a single quote which might help to center us as we receive the quotes which follow:


“Meaning is not explanation, it’s resonance


I heard Cynthia say this in February 2019, at the Desert Fathers and Mothers Wisdom School near Tucson. It was so beautiful, how the meaning of a little koan about meaning and resonance landed in me as pure resonance. For me this is a key for all sacred texts, Wisdom schools, and teachings of any sort. Our minds have been trained to receive information, analyze it, and figure out the meaning. But the Wisdom teachings land in the heart, with resonance. How can we learn to receive this resonance? The teachings themselves will show us, slowly. How? So many Wisdom sayings, from sources like the Gospel of Thomas, the Desert Fathers, and Cynthia, are not immediately accessible or explainable. I have found that you can sit with them, in a place outside the mind (the heart), sometimes for weeks or months, and they will begin to attract or collect other nuggets of shared resonance. Eventually, meaning emerges from the shared resonance. A light shines on that part of the Whole.



“Increased humility and flexibility are the fruits of spiritual practice that lead to compassion”

“See from nonduality, act from compassion”

“When you remove judgment, what’s left is compassion, not indifference”

“The demand for compassion remains throughout the realms”

“Compassion is the only field that contains all the perspectives”




“Attention and surrender need to be in balance. They are the joysticks you use to navigate the cosmos.”

“Attention can’t be divided. It is whole. It can only be expanded.”

“Out of the subject-object mode, attention magically turns into awareness”

“The true self cannot be attained with the attention in subject-object mode. You can only find your true self in a place beyond the mind.”

“Centering prayer is all about the configuration of your attention”

“What you pay attention to you energize”

“Keep within! The hidden pearl within is your magnetic center, your equanimity, the Wisdom Way that you are cultivating.”



Sensing and Grounding

“As you learn to sense your feelings instead of immediately jumping up in your head and story, try going lower, into your feet, and even lower into the earth. The stability and support of the earth. What will flow through you will be your agency. The light that comes in your darkness will be your own.”

“The head will never get the motions that the body gets naturally. Surrender, obedience, attention. You can’t do equanimity in your head!”

“You can’t move the plank you’re standing on! Sensation can be moved easier than emotion or story.”

“Dwell not in what you are, but that you are. From divided awareness to expanded awareness, using the modality of sensation.”

“Identification is one of our most insidious leeches on presence”




“With gathered attention and sensation, and turning off the dominance of the mind, you will see. The reward for seeing is more seeing.”

“Start building a nest where your witnessing presence can live”

“See from nonduality, act from compassion”

“Get to know what meets you.

There is a personal aspect to the universal laws.”

“Being a willing participant in the relational field is the thing. What we contribute is the power to see and reflect. Attune your being to see what’s happening in the field. Beware the “incomplete observation.” As soon as you make judgment, you are not seeing.”

“Imaginal seeing matches Imaginal selfhood.”



Time and Timeless

“We perceive wisdom from a higher level as the future”

“The timeless wisdom that comes to us from another realm when we wake up is what we know as the future”

“The future is not what lies ahead, but the larger dimensions of the whole. The outer layers of meaning. The past doesn’t cause the future, wholeness does.”

“Hold attention as a resonant field, pay attention to the patterns. The price of admission is your narrative self, which is grounded in time.”

“When you do conscious work, or any act of altruism, it is for the future”

“Time is a measure of resistance. Replace duration with volume and depth.” 




“Letting go is a powerful act. Letting be creates new worlds”

“Don’t correct back to positivity if what you want is equanimity”

“Kenosis and self-calming are opposite ends of the spectrum”

“Conscious labor and intentional suffering are the joysticks we use to navigate the universe”



The Relational Field

“We derive our selfhood from the relational field. Nothing in the cosmos works in service to the individual.”

“Don’t watch the individual pieces, watch how they flow. The relational field has the properties, not each one of us.”

“Practices are not a means to get somewhere, but an expression of a relationship with something that is.”

“Health is in the quality and integrity of relationship. The drop is the ocean, not separated. The indwelling Divinity doesn’t replace you but suffuses you. So that what is hidden becomes manifest.”




“Align with the highest possible outcome when wrestling with judgment. Align with wholeness and love. Better than ‘choosing.’”

“All judgment not founded in love will be inaccurate. All negative perception is skewed.”

“True discernment happens in the Imaginal realm”

“If the path is in front of you, and you’re not sure if it’s “true” — take the wager, do the work of transformation. It will be better than sleep, which is the alternative.”

“Limit the amount of spiritual information. Reach out and connect with your path. Avoid spiritual materialism.”



Holding Our Post

“Our job is to hold a post in the resonant field. Keep your attention in yourself. Keep within, don’t let your attention be scrambled. Don’t fall asleep. Look for opportunities to be present and give presence.”

‘The three centers of awareness need to be in relationship and dialogue for you to think and be. This is what it’s all about kiddos.”

“Our talent, our gift, is our willingness to enter the reciprocal dance with whatever cards we’ve been dealt in this plane.”

“The fruits of the spirit are attained as we begin to live at the next level”




“Unbinding cleanses the lens of perception so we can see the abundance. To the extent that we touch and be in abundance in our own life, we become prophets of hope.”

“The deep surrender of self through Kenosis is the access path to abundance, not your will”



Imaginal Causality: Exchange Between the Realms

“Imaginal causality is patterned. The heart is the instrument to read the patterns.”

“The three centers have to be online and balanced. Then we are able to maintain a stable access route to the higher information that’s always coming to us.”

“As you move into Imaginal causality, conscience takes the place of attraction and aversion as the mover of your being.”

“A conscious human being participates in the whole and generates the required radial energy through the transformed substance of their life.”

“What we call virtues or qualities in world 48 (our realm) are energy streams in world 24 (the Imaginal realm), subtle substances that are nutrients for our planet.”

“The fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) are alchemical byproducts of conscious work and intentional suffering. What flows out as these qualities is the fruit of an alchemy that goes on deep within our being, using our being as the raw material, in which who we are and our pleasures and self-maximization is somehow changed through conscious labor and intentional suffering.”

A Note from Northeast Wisdom / Wisdom Waypoints:

William Britten has often shared his beautiful images with this website, and in his generosity, he has now contributed this distillation of teaching he received over the course of six Wisdom Schools he attended between 2019 and 2020.

When we first saw these ‘statements’ and their images, we immediately felt them as inspiration for inner work, noticing how they could be drawn into daily life, taken up and then lived with as practice. Arranged as they are in twelve short chapters: perhaps each chapter taken up for a week, or a month, to live into and practice with as a window into deeper discoveries and discernment on the path. Can we “receive this resonance” as the “teachings land in the heart” as Bill encourages us in his introduction? How do they land in our bodies as well? If you too are inspired, let us know how you have worked with this vocabulary of Wisdom, and please, share your discoveries with the Wisdom community in the comments section below. Thank you!

From Bill: Sarah and I have a gallery in the resort town of Gatlinburg, TN. The peace and tranquility of the Smoky Mountains is reflected in the photographs that we offer to the 10 million visitors that travel through. We are so grateful for the Wisdom path, and to be on an unfolding journey with our fellow seekers.

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1 thought on “The Vocabulary of Wisdom: Cynthia Quotes for Everyday Practice

  1. Hi Bill and Sarah,

    Today, I was enjoying the beautifully curated Cynthia Quotes in your post and happily “surrendering myself to the beauty” of the images. But it was an extra bonus to find these came from you and Sarah! I’ve been hoping to see you again since the end of December.
    I’ve been in your Friday Centering Prayer Group on Fridays throughout most of December; as with the various Centering Prayer Groups I’ve joined since the pandemic began (I mostly go to Heather Ruce’s daily meditation) it was such an amazing experience to be able to feel THAT connected with a group of “strangers”, and practicing Centering Prayer with your group on Christmas Day itself – a day when we normally spend with family and loved ones – really made me see that in the Wisdom Community, I’ve found a new family and a true home. For this and so much more, thank you.

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