The Wisdom School


Offering a balanced path for spiritual transformation grounded in prayer and practice, drawing on the Christian contemplative tradition while respecting the diversity of experiences born from contemplative practices of other traditions.

2018-2019 Program Offerings

Conspire 2018: The Path of Descent as Path of Transformation
A live webcast with Richard Rohr and friends, hosted at Saint Mark’s, Bloedel Hall
August 31, 12-7 p.m.; September 1, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; September 2, 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  Tentative schedule here (PDF)

Come and explore contemplative teachings, practices, reflection, and conversation with Richard Rohr, Barbara Holmes, Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Mirabai Starr to reconsider dark times as sacred and to find companionship, community, and courage for your own unique journey of becoming Love in our world. The mystics of many spiritual traditions teach the path of descent—surrender, generative self-emptying—as the way of transformation. More than ideas or success, the suffering (personal and communal) and woundedness we inevitably experience can be our teachers. Open heart, mind, and body to the surprising wisdom to be found in transforming darkness and descent. Fee is $10, which includes refreshments, light breakfast, and post-webcast access to videos. Register here.

Enneagram 3.0—Diving Deeper on your Spiritual Journey
Facilitated by Sarah Walston, MA, MEd, LMHC, certified Enneagram instructor
Friday September 14; 6-8 p.m.
Saturday September 15, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Building on two earlier workshops in 2017, this workshop will focus in greater detail in three areas: how the Enneagram informs dynamics of interpersonal relationships in family systems, the work place and other settings; common pitfalls in misidentification of one's Enneagram type; and how the Enneagram serves as companion on the spiritual journey of self-work and communal experience. Fee is $50 for the two-day workshop, which includes Saturday light breakfast and lunch. Register here.


Resilience in Troubling Times: Developing Spiritual Practices that Sustain Us on the Journey
Facilitated by Saint Mark’s Clergy
Wednesdays, September 19 & 26, 6:45 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Building on the parish’s work with Esther de Waal’s book Seeking God, and drawing on resources from the Society of St. John the Evangelist, participants will explore spiritual practices that assist us in making our way in a troubled world more gracefully, less anxiously, with flourishing and faithfulness as integral experiences. Program is free with no registration required; optional Community Dinner at 6 p.m., $7.


Dreams and Spiritual Growth
Facilitated by Frances Parks, Ph.D., ABPP

Second Tuesday of each month, October–March, 6:30-8 p.m. in the Leffler Living Room; (except for Nov. 13 & Dec. 11–meet in Cathedral House Room 210)
“The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego...” ­­— C.G. Jung
Work with dream theory and material encourages an appreciation and understanding of symbols and symbolic material that is familiar in Biblical literature, liturgy, and art. Such work and study enables and encourages a trust in knowing through wisdom and faith as a complement to our culture’s heavy value on trusting only the rational. Goals for participants include: to develop a better understanding of the concept of true self; to gain insight into aspects of the personality that may not be in conscious awareness; and to facilitate personal/spiritual development through a study of the theory of dreams based largely on the work of Carl G. Jung. Participants would be encouraged to read John Sanford’s book Dreams: God’s Forgotten Language as a basis for understanding and discussion. This group requires
a commitment to regular attendance and participation. Fee: $10 per session. For more information and to register, contact The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty.


Engaging the Visual Arts as a Spiritual Experience 
Virginia Maksymowicz, Artist and Educator
Saturday, November 3, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Skinner Hall
Virginia Maksymowicz, artist of the Stations of the Cross that hung in the nave during Lent, will lead an interactive workshop on visual arts and spirituality. In the morning, Ms. Maksymowicz will consider the power of visual art to access spiritual yearnings and convictions and will lead the group in creative exploration of making art as spiritual experience. After lunch, participants will go to the Henry Art Gallery to view James Turrell’s “Light Reign” and to engage other works specifically chosen for this workshop. Fee: $60. Register here.


The Invitation to Wisdom and Grace
Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason
Wednesdays, March 13, 20 & 27, 2019; 6:45-8:15 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Come explore the spiritual journey, which has been described as a process or cycle of Order—Disorder—Reorder. There is wisdom to be gleaned in all three stages, but we often stall or get trapped in the first phase (conservative) or second stage (liberal), and our understanding of God inclines to tribal, idolatrous, and self-serving features. For those willing to press on and live into the reordering of life, the journey unfolds into engagements with God’s true character of mercy, justice, and love, which is experienced as grace. Program is free with no registration required; optional Community Dinner at 6 p.m., $7.

Mirabai Starr—From Dark Night to Transformation
Friday & Saturday, March 29 & 30, 2019, Bloedel Hall
Event times and registration details to be announced in the Fall
Mirabai Starr has written on the mystics and the unifying teachings at the heart of all spiritual paths, with a gift for making timeless wisdom accessible to contemporary seekers. She returns to Saint Mark’s with a new workshop that draws on this inspiration from wisdom traditions and insights arising in her own poignant journey, to explore the catalysts for transformation in each of our lives—bridging contemplative life and compassionate service, between cultivating an inner relationship with the Beloved and expressing that intimacy in community, between the transformational power of loss and darkness and the longing for the sacred.

Wisdom Praxis—Practice Circle
The Rev. Patricia Rome Robertson
Saturday, April 6, 2019, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Come for a wisdom day grounded in contemplative practices of meditation and lectio divina, contemplative chant and movement, and small group conversation, focused on the three centers of our Being as Ways of Knowing. The Rev. Patricia Rome Robertson is former rector of St. Stephen’s Church in Seattle and a 20-year student of Centering Prayer and Cynthia Bourgeault, currently affiliated with St. Barnabas Church on Bainbridge Island, where she serves as Assistant for Contemplative Ministries. Fee $50, space is limited. Register here.
Capstone: Women’s Retreat in Easter Season
April 26-28, 2019, Camp Casey on Whidbey Island
Reflect, share, listen, learn, rest, grow… A women’s weekend away with Saint Mark’s clergy women and a spiritual retreat facilitator to explore themes of discerning the movement of the Spirit in our lives, both moving from dark valleys into transformative living and acknowledging the points of light and expanding into them. Time for contemplation, conversation, enjoying nature, worship, and each other. Fee: $200 – includes two nights lodging (single rooms) and all meals. Space is limited; priority given to those who participate in the Wisdom School. Contact The Rev. Cristi Chapman to register.

Seasonal Practices

Advent Quiet Morning
December 15, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
St. Andrew’s, 111 NE 80th St., Seattle, WA
Lenten Quiet Morning at Saint Mark’s Cathedral
March 23, 2019, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
These special Quiet Mornings help us move deeply into the sacred seasons with morning prayer, centering prayer, walking meditation, and unstructured time for reflection held in shared silence. Donations ($10-$15 suggested) gratefully accepted. Reservations are appreciated; contact The Rev. Canon Nancy Ross.

New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk
December 31, 6 p.m.-12 a.m., Cathedral Nave
By candlelight and contemplative music, come mark the turn into a new year by engaging in this deep spiritual practice. With pews removed, the labyrinth is laid down in the center of this sacred cathedral, allowing people to “circle to the center” as a practice designed to illuminate the inner path of wisdom. At midnight the Eucharist is celebrated at the center of the labyrinth. All are welcome. Suggested donation: $5 per person; $15 for families.

Ongoing Offerings

Cathedral Yoga
Sundays, 6-7 p.m., Cathedral Nave

Contemplative Eucharist
Sundays, 7 p.m. Thomsen Chapel

Sundays, 9:30 p.m. Cathedral Nave

Centering Prayer
Mondays, 7:15 p.m. McCaw Chapel or Thomsen Chapel

Evening Prayer
Monday-Friday, 6:30 p.m., McCaw chapel or Thomsen Chapel