An Encounter with Evil Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault

In this timely advanced wisdom school course, 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?

Cynthia’s teachings 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, drawing more intentionally and skillfully on assistance from realms beyond our own.

During this course, she explores:

  • the metaphysics of evil with an emphasis on the process and relational nature of its arising
  • the psychology of evil and its 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

Because this is an advanced wisdom school, a strong meditation practice and familiarity with the Christian wisdom tradition as laid out by Cynthia Bourgeault is strongly recommended. Baked into the course are daily invitations 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.

A note on the course components and why they are so integral to this course.

This course is a powerful, provocative, and important offering. Due to the sensitive and intense nature of the subject matter, the Gurdjieff Exercises, Movements, Enneagram, and conscious work are essential components of this experience. They are woven throughout the entire week of wisdom school in order to support a dynamic integrative experience for those interested in engaging with this material. Augmenting with these grounding, deepening, and stabilizing practices is essential.

It is important to remember the reality of the equal measure of inherent strength, sturdiness, resilience, and prosilience (intentionally building the capability to deal with a greater array of challenges) each one of us has access to as we engage with this important and evocative material.


This Course includes over 30 sessions filmed live during a five-day Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault at the Valle Crucis Conference Center in North Carolina in April 2023. This Course has been created as an on-demand course, to use at your own pace. The format, organization, and flow of every session has been carefully designed so that you can experience the daily rhythm and structure of a wisdom school in your own setting and circumstances. The daily flow of the course includes:

  • Morning Gurdjieff Exercises
  • Teachings by Cynthia in the morning, afternoon, and her responses to questions and additional reflections during several evenings
  • Gurdjieff Movements in the morning and afternoons with Heather Ruce
  • Chant and music sprinkled throughout
  • An Enneagram video montage that highlights the essential work being done twice a day during the Work Periods
  • The entire week infused with morning, afternoon, and evening Centering Prayer and gathered, collected silence
  • Many of the resources (downloadable) that we used during the week, as well as others we have curated especially for this course

Participants will receive unlimited access for one year to all course materials and resources including:

  • Course Session Videos. The session videos follow the precise order and flow of the Wisdom School. We’ve included all of the many ways we came together during the School: the morning Gurdjieff Exercises; Teachings by Cynthia in the morning, afternoon, and her responses to questions and additional reflections during several evenings; Gurdjieff Movements in the morning and afternoons with Heather Ruce; Chant and music sprinkled throughout; and an Enneagram video montage to highlight the essential work being done twice a day during the Work Periods; all held in morning, afternoon, and evening Centering Prayer and gathered, collected silence.
  • Audio (MP3) Recordings. An audio (MP3) of most* sessions are also provided. These can be downloaded to save and use on any portable device. *We are not offering an audio-only recording of the Movements sessions or the outdoor Enneagram sessions.
  • Transcript. Most* sessions have a PDF transcript that you can read / download beneath the session description and audio file. There are roughly 200 total transcript pages. *We are not offering a transcript for the Movements or Enneagram sessions. However, there are several downloadable resources for both.
  • Additional Session Resources. For some sessions we have included references and supplemental content that support the teaching.
  • Supplemental Course Resources. You will find related resources in this section, the last one in the course. We will be adding any new resources related to the topic of evil that we find. If you know of one we don’t have, please let us know.

“Wisdom Schools are a format for integral learning that’s based in some of the deepest roots for transformation and change in the Christian tradition. Wisdom schools are about awakening the yearning for a different kind of presence in the world and then developing the skills and the knowledge base to apply that, to transform your own life and the life of people around you.”
—Cynthia Bourgeault, Principle Teacher

Whether you plan to use the course materials for self-paced study on your own, or arrange to participate within a self-organized group, we’re certain you’ll find this a vital and transformative experience.

PRICE: $147 for Single-user access

We ask that you do not share your sign-in information with others; we have priced the course as affordably as we can (a percentage of every sale goes directly to Cynthia to support her in her work). Please don’t use these materials with groups of any size unless every participant has purchased and can access the course. To ask about financial assistance, please email

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