Three Centered Knowing: A Wisdom and Sacred Movement School

With Cynthia Bourgeault and Deborah Rose Longo
April 18-23, 2016
Monday dinner - Saturday lunch


Claymont Society for Continuous Education
667 Huyett Road Charles Town, West Virginia 25414
United States
Claymont Society for Continuous Education in Charles Town, WV

A special 5-day Wisdom and Sacred Movement School geared particularly to students of the Christian Wisdom tradition as taught by Cynthia Bourgeault will take place April 18-23, 2016 at Claymont Society for Continuous Education, 667 Huyett Rd., Charles Town, WV 25414.

The enneagram of transformation that Gurdjieff brought into Western culture was taught by movement and music, not just lecture. We all seek to deepen the work of transformation and presence in our own lives. Cynthia has given a practical definition of presence as three-centered knowing -- intellectual center, emotional center, and movement center all active and working and cooperating together.

But how do we get to that three centered awareness? Many of us in the Western culture have an overuse of the intellectual and emotional centers and a neglect of the movement center. This kind of "Movements Wisdom School" is necessary corrective work for many of us.

Some of the inner postures and stances that we seek to establish in ourselves, it turns out, are best taught (and caught) not via words, but through body posture, rhythm, music and movement. The sacred movements brought by Gurdjieff are powerful but little known tools for teaching presence and three centered knowing.

Normally, these movements are not taught until after a student has been in a fourth way school for several years. This is a rare opportunity for serious Wisdom students not formally engaged in the Gurdjieff Work to experience firsthand the transformative power of the sacred movements.

Participants should have completed at least one introductory Wisdom School and/or have prior familiarity and serious interest in the Gurdjieff Work, including the sacred movements.

The daily schedule will include approximately four hours a day on the movements floor, teaching by Cynthia Bourgeault and Deborah Rose Longo, practical work in the kitchen, daily spiritual practice, and time for individual and group reflection and discussion. In addition there will be special projects and an informal final movements demonstration in which everyone will participate.

The seminar does not require extraordinary fitness or athletic training, but it is expected that participants will have a basic physical, mental, and emotional stamina to participate fully in the daily schedule as outlined above.

The cost of the school is $545, and includes lodging and meals for six days at the Claymont Society in Charles Town, West Virginia. Registration for the school is by application only. Please fill out the Wisdom and Sacred Movement School application form. Upon notification that you are accepted into the school, a deposit of $100 is required to hold your place in the school. The rest of the payment is due 30 days before the school begins. Your deposit and program fees are fully refundable up to two weeks before the event.  Scholarships are available for those who need assistance.

For more information e-mail Bob Sabath at Friends of Silence or phone him at 202-531-7572. Make out checks to Friends of Silence and send to Friends of Silence, c/o Wisdom School 2016, 120 Jubilee Lane, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. You can also make a deposit or a payment online.

We want to make this event available to all those interested regardless of their financial means. Scholarships and payment plans are available.  Contact Friends of Silence or Bob Sabath for more details.

+ Fill out Online Application
+ Make Online Deposit
+ Make Online Payment
+ More information about the School
+ More information about the Claymont Society

Cynthia Bourgeault is the principal Teacher and Advisor to the Contemplative Society, an ecumenical, not-for-profit association that encourages a deepening of contemplative prayer based in the Christian tradition, and an adjunct faculty member at the Vancouver School of Theology. She is a retreat and conference leader, teacher of prayer, writer on the spiritual life, Episcopal priest, and part-time hermit, spending half of each year in solitude on Eagle Island in Maine.

Cynthia is passionately committed to the recovery of the Christian contemplative path and has worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating and others as a teacher of centering prayer, as well as in Sufism and the Christian inner traditions. She is the author of Chanting the PsalmsMystical HopeThe Wisdom Way of KnowingCentering Prayer and Inner AwakeningLove is Stronger Than DeathThe Wisdom JesusThe Meaning of Mary MagdaleneHoly Trinity and the Law of Three, and many articles and audio tapes on the contemplative life. She is a past Fellow of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural research at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and an oblate of New Camaldoli Monastery in Big Sur, California.

In 2001 she was invited to become a charter participant in the "Deepening the American Dream Project," sponsored by the Fetzer Institute, joining a select group of other American spiritual writers including Kathleen Norris, Jacob Needleman, Elaine Pagels, Huston Smith, and Parker Palmer. The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart is a revision and expansion of the essay originally written for this project.

Deborah Rose Longo has been an instructor of the Gurdjieff Movements for over 35 years, working with groups in the United States, Germany, Australia, England, Chile, Canada, Italy, India, Russia, Ukraine and South Korea. She began her training in the Gurdjieff Work and the Sacred Movements under the direction of Pierre and Vivien Elliott, (students of Gurdjieff), in 1975 at the Claymont Society for Continuous Education in Charles Town, West Virginia (founded by John Bennett), and has continued to be a long time Claymont community member.  Deborah is also an artist specializing in mandala making, has had her work featured in numerous publications, and conducts mandala-making classes as a tool for helping participants connect positively with creative energy flow. For the past 12 years, she has also enjoyed the challenges of substitute teaching in the public school system as an opportunity to positively influence the lives of many young souls.

A note of encouragement from Bob Sabath for those of us who are not "body" or "movement" people:

I am not a very natural "body" guy. I carry in me a lot of “body shame” and am one of those guys that doesn’t know how to "dance" very well, and hates to have people watching him "move" on the dance floor.

I have been a part of a fourth way school in Washington DC for the past ten years. It meets weekly except in summer months. After several years of meeting, our class was introduced to the sacred movements. It took many weeks for me to get over my self-consciousness and awkwardness. I now attend an early Saturday morning movements class.

Much to my surprise, the movements have become one of my best teachers and one of the primary ways that I deepen my experience of presence and three centered knowing. The movements are not about performance and getting it right. I soon learned that the "outer" dance was accompanied by an "inner" dancer, and that even if the outer movement was falling apart and the whole group fell into discombobulation, the "inner dancer" could be still and present and connected and alive.

I hope you will join me in the dance!