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FULL with WAITLIST: The Encounter with Evil – A Teaching Retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault 

February 17, 2023 - February 22, 2023

Mercy Center- Encounter with Evil Event

NOTE: This event is NOW FULL with Waitlist (see link below)

Wisdom School: The Encounter with Evil:
A Teaching Retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault 

WHEN:  Feb 17, 2023 6 PM (PST) – Feb 22, 2023 12 PM

WHERE: Mercy Center Burlingame, 2300 Adeline Dr, Burlingame, CA 94010, United States

In this timely wisdom school, we will be inquiring into the nature and presence of evil as a discernible force, with a focus on these key questions: What is a useful, contemporary understanding of evil? How can we effectively deal with evil, at both an individual and collective scale?

Teachings will draw from a wide variety of sources both spiritual and psychological, with the emphasis first and foremost on the practical: learning to recognize and shield oneself better from the toxic effects of prolonged exposure to evil, “speaking truth to power” in a way that wields real clout, and as necessary, to draw more intentionally and skillfully on assistance from realms beyond our own.

We will be exploring:

  • the metaphysics of evil — with an emphasis on the process and relational nature of its arising
  • the psychology of evil — with a look at personality disorders as both a microcosm and potential spawning ground
  • the roots of collective psychosis
  • the dangerous blind spot in the Christian strategy of “love conquers all”
  • considerations of personal responsibility
  • the remediating force of conscience and the costliness of engaging it

There will be an invitation to a wisdom way of approaching this material through a daily rhythm with periods of silence, centering prayer, teaching, conscious conversation, Gurdjieff Exercises and Movements, chanting, mindful work, and contemplative free time.




Retreat Leader & Centering Prayer Team:

Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally acclaimed retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude in her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. She is principal teacher for The

Contemplative Society and the founding director of an international network of Wisdom schools, uniting classic Christian mystical and monastic teaching with contemporary practices of mindfulness and embodied presence.

Heather Ruce will be supporting our wisdom school experience through guiding us in daily Gurdjieff Movements. She is a wisdom spiritual director with training in a neurophysiology based approach to understanding the nervous system. She loves working with individuals as well as facilitating groups and retreats focused on learning and practicing the Christian Wisdom Tradition.

Joy Andrews Hayter is a spiritual director, and Centering Prayer coordinator at Mercy Center. Joy is dedicated to fostering contemplative practices such as Centering Prayer and others within the Christian Wisdom tradition that help us become aware of God’s ever-present love. As a scientist she sees in the physical world an expression of that love.

Catherine Regan is a spiritual director, retired psychologist, and adjunct staff member at Mercy Center, primarily serving on the Centering Prayer team. She has a special interest in participating in the reclamation of the Christian Wisdom tradition and fostering the contemplative practices so urgently needed at this time in our world.



February 17, 2023
February 22, 2023
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