Cynthia Bourgeault provides her responses to a few more questions arising from her Eastertide invitation and practice challenge (recorded at a small gathering on June 3rd, 2022).
Read Cynthia’s full Eastertide invitation and instructions, and find related resources here.
Watch Cynthia’s responses to prior Eastertide questions in this community Zoom conversation (May 10, 2022)
Here are the six main practices Cynthia suggested for the 40 day period of Eastertide:
- For these forty days, fast completely from the story of yourself. In the end, it’s mostly irrelevant anyway, and its heavy-handed, ploddingly linear causality steals the being-energy you need to stay present at this more subtle level of selfhood. To paraphrase my cellphone, it’s like an app constantly running in the background that winds up draining the battery.
- You will taste your more subtle, World 24 self directly as you learn to remain consistently within your atmosphere**. Don’t let yourself be drawn out of your atmosphere, not for a single breath. The place you will always be drawn back to is at best World 48. Usually lower.
- Rest from thinking, analyzing, strategizing—and above all, introspection. Put away the journal for forty days; it is a World 48 cul de sac. What you are to receive cannot be “understood”; it must be directly seen.
- Practice three-centered awareness every day, balancing out your life patterns to include all three centers in everything you do—i.e., not simply sequentially, like three hours of headwork followed by three hours in the garden, but three hours of headwork fully in the body followed.by three hours in the garden not zoning out.
- Pay attention to the movement of the subtle body within you—the kesdjan flow within your outer being body—by daily work with at least one of the Gurdjieff exercises: not ALL of them. Spiritual gluttony of any kind will drag you right back into your World 48 self, and that is exactly what we are trying to dissolve here (or at least, make it a bit more transparent, so as to see through it).
- As much as possible, fast from counting. Do not count breaths, do not count calories, do not count the days left in Ascensiontide. Counting is so, so World 48! It will drag you right back into the deficient mental structure. Do all that you do either through simple, unquantified obedience to the aim you have set, or (when and if it descends) in that rush of timeless spaciousness from that other intensity. But do it, one way or another.
We are deeply grateful to Cynthia for so generously expanding on her initial invitation and responding to a range of thoughtful questions. Also our thanks to Jeanine Siler Jones for her gracious facilitation.
For a description and map of the worlds, see Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm by Cynthia Bourgeault
You can find a guided recording of the Atmosphere Exercise here.
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