The first Spanish language Wisdom School was held, as a pilot, on the afternoon of February 3, and ending the morning of February 6, 2023. Its location was Cornelia Serna’s farm in Sotaquirá, Boyacá , Colombia. Cornelia is a longtime Wisdom student and Contemplative Outreach leader.
Twenty people attended, all from Colombia, plus five facilitators from differing countries. The pilot was a concentrated version of the first days of the Introductory Wisdom Schools offered in the United States. It was not intended to cover all the material normally found in an Introductory school but rather to emphasize themes introduced in the early days, including the establishment of the Benedictine rhythm of ora et labora. The School included: meditation sessions; chant; teaching periods including a Zoom with Cynthia; work periods (inner and outer) individually and in groups; two periods of Lectio Divino; sessions on attention to movement; great silence; the Elm Dance, and a tree-planting ceremony in memory of the mother of Marcella Kraybill-Greggo, Spanish Wisdom laiason on the board of Wisdom Waypoints. We also held a Light Ceremony on the first day and an Anointing Ceremony at the end.
The teachings were on (1) the practices of Wisdom; (2) the elements of chanting as a Wisdom practice; (3) three centered awareness; (4) Lectio Divina and the Gospel of Thomas; (5) an exploration of the nature of Wisdom and its emergence in ancient and recent traditions, and in particular the currents that feed the Wisdom Waypoints. There were also teachings on the importance of movement and presence in the body. The Zoom dialogue with Cynthia Bourgeault (see below) focused on the importance of embodying Wisdom today for an evolving world, the dangers of “identification” and the need to emphasize human obligation and reciprocity in the Great Chain. of Being.
There were a number of key factors that contributed significantly to the participants’ experience and to their engagement:
- The natural environment of the farm and its produce and animals, which linked us to a sustaining Earth.
- The organizational effort that Cornelia Serna made to ensure that the logistics of the event flowed smoothly and the on-site support technological and organizational of Claudia Botero who kept the process flowing smoothly
- The presence and attention given by the farm staff and the inclusion of the staff in the rituals and ceremonies. Cornelia’s clear bond of affection and commitment to the staff was palpable.
- The collective intention and fluid working relationships between the facilitators who barely knew each other at the time the School started, and that only by Zoom.
- Cynthia’s appearance on Zoom together with the excellent sequential translation by Marcela Huepe.
The quality and seriousness of purpose of the participants were an important factor as were the contributions of Carmen Horst as chant creator and conductor and the translations prepared by Marcela Huepe both of the Aramaic version of the Lord’s Prayer (using Neil Douglas-Klotz’s English translations) and of the Gospel of Thomas. Also worthy of mention was Josefina Fernandez’s willingness to participate despite health challenges. She led a Zoom session on the concept of Wisdom (sabiduria).
We hope to organize the next Spanish Wisdom School in Colombia, in February 2024.
Related Materials in English:
A PDF commentary on Cynthia’s teaching by Claudia Botero and Josefina Fernandez: