Wisdom is not knowing more. It is knowing deeper, knowing with more of you,” writes Cynthia. Wisdom fundamentally describes a higher level of human consciousness characterized by a supple and alert awareness, compassionate intelligence, a substantial reduction in the “internal dialogue,” and the capacity to engage reality directly, without the superimposition of mental constructs and categories. It is the original Integral Knowing.
The retreat offers balanced movement from prayer to work, from intellectual stimulation to silence—and back again. Wisdom School has more talking than a meditation retreat, more silence and physical embodiment than a seminar. The Wisdom model suggests that it is not through specialization in any one mode (contemplative silence, thinking, bodywork) that one learns Wisdom, but through the ability to move smoothly and rhythmically through all these modes without getting stuck in any one of them.
The Benedictine monastic tradition has specialized in this mode of knowing for more than 1500 years now, offering an ongoing alternative to the much more academic and theological models that began to dominate in Europe with the rise of scholasticism and the university in the Middle Ages. Bonnevaux originally began as a Benedictine Monastery and the life being lived nowadays at Bonnevaux is rooted in this Benedictine tradition and reflects it in a contemporary form. A Benedictine Wisdom School merely makes more articulate what has been intuitively lived on this soil for centuries, and we draw on that presence on our work.