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.

Upcoming Offerings

The Wisdom School at Saint Mark’s has an exciting curriculum designed for the next program year, and the first two offerings now have registration open.
Conspire 2018: The Path of Descent as Path of Transformation
A live webcast with Richard Rohr and friends, hosted at Saint Mark’s
August 31-Sept 2, 2018, Leffler Living Room at Saint Mark’s Cathedral
(Detailed schedule to come)
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 online here.
Enneagram 3.0—Diving Deeper on your Spiritual Journey
Friday September 14, 2018; 6-8 p.m.
Saturday September 15, 2018, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Facilitated by Sarah Walston, MA, MEd, LMHC, certified enneagram instructor
Building on two earlier workshops in 2017, this workshop will focus in greater detail in three areas: 1) how the enneagram informs dynamics of interpersonal relationships in family systems, the work place and other settings; 2) common pitfalls in misidentification, and 3) 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 online here.

Ongoing Offerings

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

Contemplative Eucharist
Sundays, 7 p.m. Cathedral Nave

Sundays, 9:30 p.m. Cathedral Nave

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

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

Offered last season:

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.” Audio and text guides embedded in a mobile app offer visitors several meditations to accompany their experience. 

Becoming an Atheist about the God of Rewards and Punishments
Facilitated by The Rev. Ed Bacon, former rector of All Saint’s Church, Pasadena, CA
Fee: $50 includes Saturday breakfast and lunch.
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.

Wisdom Remixed: Reclaiming the Spiritual Truth of Wisdom Teachings in the Bible
WEDNESDAYS, FEB. 28, MARCH 7, 14, & 21, 2018, 6:45-8:15 P.M.
Facilitated by The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty, The Rev. Nancy Ross
Class is free. Optional dinner is served 6-6:30 p.m. for $7 per person.

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.

A Lenten Quiet Morning at Saint Mark’s Cathedral 
All are invited for this morning of communal and individual silence, prayer, and reflection facilitated by Cherry Haisten. The morning will consist of Morning Prayer, two periods of Centering Prayer, as well as shared unstructured time in silence where you may choose among a number of contemplative activities. This event is co-sponsored by Saint Mark’s Cathedral and The Center at Saint Andrew’s. Reservations are appreciated. Donations ($10-$15 suggested) will be gratefully accepted. For more information and to register please contact Nancy Ross,

Wisdom Eucharist
(Culmination of Wisdom Literature in the Bible series, above)
Facilitated by 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.

Storytelling as Social Conscience
Facilitated by Bob Chapman
Class is free. Optional dinner is served 6-6:30 p.m. for $7 per person.
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.

Listening for Life
Facilitated by The Rev. Nancy Ross. Class is free; registration required.
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 a crisis of faith or lifestyle is always in flux. How do we discern God’s call in the midst of it? 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 in the New Year. These groups will journey together for several months as each member moves deeper into their own exploration of God’s call. 

Interpretation of Dreams as a Spiritual Exercise
WEDNESDAY EVENINGS, OCT. 25, NOV. 1, 8, AND 15, 2017, 6:45-8:15 P.M., BLOEDEL HALL
Facilitated by The Rev. Steve Garratt
Class is free. Optional dinner is served 6-6:30 p.m. for $7 per person.
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.

Enneagram—Beyond the Basics (Registration closed)
Facilitated by Kaye Bernard. Fee - $50 for the two-day workshop includes Saturday breakfast and lunch.
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system composed of nine personality styles or “types.” Each of us gravitates to and adopts one of these styles in childhood. 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 it before. Saturday will dive 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 will explore contrasting tendencies within the Emotional and Thinking Centers of our own ‘Body Intelligence’, learning to correlate the high and low side of each type’s Passions/Virtues and Fixations/Holy Ideas. Employing the "higher aspects" of all Types is essential when using the Enneagram for transformation.