Mr. Gurdjieff, meet Mr. Teilhard!

A practical and intensive exploration of the convergence between two wisdom streams
October 28 - November 2, 2019
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

NOTE: Registration for this school is closed.  We have a full enrollment for the October 28-Nov 2, 2019 school at Claymont.  Cynthia has agreed to run the same school again at Claymont from December 1-6, 2019.  You can learn more about the December Wisdom School here, as well as register online.

The 2019 Wisdom School at Claymont is a special 5-day intensive immersion and exploration of the convergence between the teachings of Gurdjieff and Teilhard led by Cynthia Bourgeault with daily movements by Deborah Rose Longo, held October 28 - November 2, 2019 at Claymont Society for Continuous Education, 667 Huyett Rd., Charles Town, WV 25414.

Those of you who have been working with Cynthia know how much the Fourth Way Gurdjieff wisdom tradition and the Teilhardian wisdom stream have influenced her thinking.  She is writing a new book on the points of commonality and tension between these two wisdom streams.  She will be exploring some of her work during this time: Teilhard and Gurdjieff in conversation.

Points of Commonality

  • The Scale of Things (both men envision a cosmos at its actual size, depth, and vast interplanetary scale, not the “flat earth” or “spiritualized realms” of classical metaphysics.
  • Materiality and Embodiment: Moving beyond the Matter/Spirit divide
  • Cosmology: A comparative Look at the Two Cosmological Maps
  • Reciprocal Feeding: The whole system is a seamless whole, ecologically interdependence
  • Dynamism: Gurdjieff’s Law of Three and Law of Sevem Teilhard’s Omega Point and movement toward a future
  • The Collective: Anticipation of a Second Axial Spirituality based on Teilhard's "Complexification/Consciousness" and Gurdjieff's Obligolnian Strivings.

Points of Tension

  • Consciousness: Are human beings Conscious or Unconscious?
  • Human Nature: Teilhardian Optimism and Gurdjieffian Pessimism
  • Devotion: active power of transformation, or merely self-delusion

Making a New World

  • Ternary Metaphysics
  • Love

The daily schedule will include morning exercise and/or silent meditation (alternating), morning and afternoon teaching sessions by Cynthia, late afternoon movements led by Deborah Rose Longo; practical work (mostly around getting lunch together, some gardening and work on the land), and evening discussion, reflection, observations, concluding with short silent meditation. 

The total cost of the school is $695, and includes lodging and meals for five days at the Claymont Society in Charles Town, West Virginia. If you arrange your own local lodging, total cost of the school is $595. Registration for the school is by application only. Please fill out the Wisdom School application form.

Payment in full is due upon acceptance if possible, but no later than September 27, 2019.  A minimum nonrefundable deposit of $100 is required to confirm your acceptance and hold your place in the school. The rest of the cost is fully refundable up to two weeks before the beginning of the school. 

We want to make this event available to all those interested regardless of their financial means. Scholarships and payment plans are available.  If you have questions or need more information,  e-mail Bob Sabath at or phone him at 202-531-7572. 

+ Make Online Payment or Deposit
+ Wisdom School Scholarship Application Form
+ Contribute to Wisdom School Scholarship Fund
+ More information about the School
+ Suggesting Reading List
+ 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.