Stonington Wisdom Gathering Inner Task Given by Cynthia Bourgeault: Day One

Leaky buckets: Inner Task for the day given by Cynthia at the Stonington Wisdom Gathering, May 29-June 5, 2022

It’s traditional to begin the day with an inner task. And it’s typically given after meditation. Gurdjieff’s analysis of the human condition in one nutshell is this: we’re leaky buckets. If you remember just that and no more, you’ll basically have enough to get you very far along.

Materials are flowing to us from realms beyond realms, assistance coming in, particles and substances and energy of the most extraordinary fineness, that want to participate in constructing a nest in ourselves in which we can receive, still more profoundly. So it’s not like we’re dry, but we can’t hold onto it. It leaks out.

We don’t yet have a container. And the irony is that the very stuff that we slough off, because we can’t contain it, is the stuff that if we learned how to contain it, would begin to form the container. Irony? Yes. But that’s how it works. You must have gold to make gold.

So where is the place where we can start to work? We wander around with all these prayers: send me grace God, send me grace. And when grace comes, we immediately go have a party, because we can’t yet contain the energy of the higher, which means the more subtle, the more refined, in us.

So the place where the work always begins is to patch the leaks. And in order to patch the leaks in your bucket, you have to learn where they are. So our task all this week is going to be around the subject of containment.

When we came out of meditation, you can probably notice a higher state of coherence, both inside you, personally and in the room. And what will happen immediately, both personally and in the room, is we’ll slough it off.

So, the work for you, the inquiry this week, is to explore how you slough off energy, how you throw it off, in posture, in bustle, in familiar poses and gestures, which serve no purpose other than to reinforce personality.

Another way is in intensive introspection, in journaling and writing everything down so you capture it. Capturing things is one great way to slough it off, because it refuses to be captured. It gets captured like a butterfly gets captured in a Petri dish.But you write it down because you’re afraid you’re going to lose it. I can’t contain this. Because it doesn’t get contained that way.

Another way of leaking is doing a task using more parts of the body than are required, because all that excess stuff only establishes personality. I’m the master of my hammer, damn It.

So, these are some of the ways that we leak. It will be an exploration all day, but if you can take a snapshot at this point, a trace memory of how you are in a slightly more coherent state and take a second and reconnect with that higher coherence. That’s the benchmark.

So, look at it, and during this week, pick a particular thing. During the day, as you notice, watch, and see: how do I throw off energy? Notice particularly if you can catch when you’re moving from a more contained state to a less contained state. What have I just done to get there? And see if you can explore some system in your body that colludes in sloughing off the energy that your being really needs. Don’t scold it. It’s not an enemy. Just observe. So that’s the task. Is that clear?

Cynthia Bourgeault’s Stonington 2022 Inner Work Exercise #1

Inner Task Series by Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault gave these inner tasks at the Stonington Wisdom Gathering May 29 – June 5, 2022. They were posted to the Facebook Wisdom Community as Inner Work Practices for June 2022.