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.


Conspire 2017: A live webcast hosted at Saint Mark’s [REGISTER HERE]
JULY 7-9, 2017
Love and justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.
Richard Rohr, angel Kyodo Williams, Mirabai Starr, and Ken Wilber explore our misguided attempts to overcome evil. They help us rediscover all beings’ inherent unity and belovedness. Conversion demands immense humility and honesty rather than zeal or purity. The autonomous, egocentric, and separate self must give way to our True Self. Facing our shadow is a breakthrough to grace and mercy. Embracing the parts of ourselves we’ve denied also reveals a “golden shadow”—our goodness, giftedness, and generosity! Fee is $15, which includes refreshments and light breakfast.

Enneagram—Beyond the Basics (with Friday evening accessible for beginners)
Facilitated by Kaye Bernard
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system composed of nine personality styles or “types.” Every style inhabits a distinct worldview and set of motivations that influence how a person moves through the world. Friday evening is accessible to those with no prior experience with the enneagram, but will also be beneficial for those who have worked with enneagram. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., diving deeper into the Enneagram, this experiential workshop will illuminate how nine personality types relate to each other. Knowing another’s way of looking at the world and the underlying motivations of each type can help us understand how and why we are different from one another. Together we explore each type’s defense mechanism, avoidances, traps, and other dynamics that, when conscious, hold the potential to help us become our best selves in interpersonal relationships. Fee $50 for the two-day workshop includes Saturday breakfast and lunch.

Listening for Life
Facilitator: The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty
How do we know our calling in life? How do we find meaning in times of change? These questions are at the heart of our spiritual journey and relate to our core identity and sense of what we are called to. Momentous choices like marriage or new career, momentous changes like losing your partner or caring for aging parents, momentous searches like crisis of faith or lifestyle reboot… life is always in flux. How do we discern God’s call in the midst of it? In Fall of 2017, we will explore practices for discerning God’s presence and call in our individual lives. We will also learn the skills of holy listening and posing powerful questions in preparation for forming mutual “listening for life” groups. These groups will journey together for several months as each member moves deeper into their own exploration of God’s call. Any questions or for details as they develop, please contact Canon Daugherty at

Interpretation of Dreams as a Spiritual Exercise
Facilitated by The Rev. Steve Garratt
Does the psychology of C.G. Jung have something to say to Christians? What role does the unconscious play in the Christian life? Can listening to our dreams help us to realize Jesus’ words? These and other questions will be explored in a four-week series on the relationship Jung might play in the Christian faith journey. An examination of the role of dreams in the Bible and the Christian tradition will be included in our study. Particular attention will be given to the works of Morton Kelsey, John Sanford, and Ann Ulanov (all Episcopalians!). Participants are encouraged to purchase and read John Sanford’s book, The Kingdom Within: The Inner Meaning of Jesus’ Sayings, available in the Cathedral Shop. Class is free. Optional dinner is served 6-6:30 p.m. for $7 per person.

New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk
CATHEDRAL NAVE, DECEMBER 31, 2016, 6 P.M. – 12 A.M.
By candlelight and contemplative music, many people mark the turn into a new year by engaging in this 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. All are welcome. Suggested donation: $5 per person. $15 for families.

Storytelling as Social Conscience
Facilitated by Bob Chapman Our bodies and identities are socially and culturally constructed. We are gendered, racialized, sexualized, politicized, represented, colonized, contained, controlled, and inscribed. As a result of the relationship between our lived experiences and our social actions, we may be both shaped by and resist social and cultural constructions. Participants will develop an autobiography of self (e.g., a poem, collage, song, etc.) in C. Wright Mills’ sense of connecting “private troubles” with “public issues.” That is to recognize that your identity is a reflection of (and perhaps a resistance to) society, culture, and politics, all of which have, to a certain extent, shaped our experiences. Class is free. Optional dinner is served 6-6:30pm for $7 per person.

Stations of the Cross–Sculptural Reliefs by Virginia Maksymowicz
LENT 2018 (FEB. 14-MARCH 30, 2018)
From Ash Wednesday through Good Friday, 2018, Saint Mark’s will exhibit Virginia Maksymowicz’s Stations of the Cross, cast sculptural reliefs in a tradition of religious imagery that dates back to the 13th century. Maksymowicz worked with a variety of models, culled from a wide range of ages and ethnicities. She explains, “I wanted the narrative of Christ’s passion and death to be represented in a way that is tensioned between the “specific” and the “universal.” The mixture of models and the anonymity implied by the fragmented figures push the imagery toward representation of the human community in its universal aspect (often called in theological terms “the mystical body of Christ”).” These sculptures are meant to be touched, and audio guides will make them accessible to visually impaired people as well. Free. For more info, or to participate in group experiences with the stations, contact The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty or Vi Lynk of Saint Mark’s Visual Arts Ministry.

Becoming an Atheist about the God of Rewards and Punishments
The Rev. Ed Bacon, former rector of All Saint’s Church, Pasadena, CA Drawing on themes from Cynthia Bourgeault’s latest work on Centering Prayer, including her emphasis on Oneness, and tapping Ilia Delio’s work on Wholeness as well as Ed Bacon’s own work on Love and Fear, this workshop is designed for those seeking to integrate a life of both contemplation and action as well as phenomenal levels of energy (a literal “well of water gushing up full of eternal life-energy”). We seek to become atheists about the God of rewards and punishments split off from both science and other faiths while we articulate a New Narrative of experiential faith for a transformed church. Fee: $50 includes Saturday breakfast and lunch.

Reclaiming the Spiritual Truth of Wisdom Literature in the Bible
WEDNESDAYS, FEB. 28, MARCH 7, 14, & 21, 6:45-8:15 P.M.
Facilitator: The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason
The seasons of our lives change. We read these ancient texts, trusting that they contain deep wisdom about God, about life, and the world in which we live. What does it mean to lament in our modern times? How do we find our way when spiritually disoriented? Can we rediscover God’s justice as an essential thread in our spiritual journey? Drawing on the reflections of Walter Brueggemann and others, we will engage these texts with special intention in our Lenten journey and beyond. Class is free. Optional dinner is served 6-6:30 p.m. for $7 per person. Wisdom Eucharist WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 7:30 P.M. (Culmination of Wisdom Literature in the Bible series, above) Facilitator: The Rev. Nancy Ross Celebrate together the liturgy of Holy Wisdom in an intimate Wisdom Eucharist, focused on readings and prayers from the Wisdom literature. Wisdom at creation, Wisdom in salvation history, Wisdom as intimacy with God in the Word as Logos and the Word made flesh and sacrament.


Cathedral Yoga
In the sacred space of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, this spiritual practice is designed to improve health, release tension and deepen spirituality. It is a gentle practice, and the instructors guide the group in ways that welcome newcomer and experienced practitioners alike. A freewill offering is taken to help offset the costs of this ministry. Instructors are Wendy Townsend and Brenna Kramer. More on the Cathedral Yoga page.

Contemplative Prayer
Contemplative, or centering prayer is an ancient form of Christian meditation which places a strong emphasis on interior silence, of opening our mind and heart—our whole being—to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. The Monday night “sit” in the Cathedral Nave and McCaw Chapel includes chanting, sitting and spiritual walking in silence, and discussions of scriptural and other texts. The Thursday group gathers in McCaw Chapel for twenty minutes of silence, opening and closing with a brief prayer. Monday contacts: Stephanie and David Metting. Thursday contact: Canon Maria Coldwell.