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.


Download the Wisdom School Brochure (PDF)

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.

Spirituality and Leadership: Leading from Within
We participate in paradigm shifts through a threefold process of recovery: 1) by confronting our pain; 2) waking to our true selves; and 3) reclaiming our innate creative powers. It is a move from “bondage into freedom” to be ourselves, and only then can we discover our truest identity, as beloved of God, good and generous of spirit. Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason.

Trinity: The Soul of Creation
April 6-8, 2017
The Wisdom School at Saint Mark’s presents a live webcast with Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and William Paul Young who join together to discuss the dimensional mystery of the Trinity as the foundation and template for the entire universe. Richard Rohr writes: “God is not the dancer but the dance itself! God is much more a dynamic verb than a static noun. God is constant flow. You don’t even need to understand it intellectually or theologically to participate in the flow of God. You are already there. Within your heart, body, and mind is an implanted flow toward life, goodness, love, communion, and connection. “Sin” is quite simply any resistance to that flow.”
This event will allow space for local table conversations, time for personal reflection and prayer, and meals on your own. Fee $15 with optional meal add-ons.

Earlier this program year, the following opportunities were offered:

Embracing the Enneagram as a Map for Spiritual Unfolding
Friday, March 10, 7-9 p.m. & Saturday March 11, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., BLOEDEL HALL
The inner observer knows the difference between when we are thinking, feeling and acting out of patterned responses and when we are living in grounded presence. Contemplative prayer cultivates the capacities of the inner observer. But we become discouraged when we find ourselves reacting in our same old patterned ways in love, work and family life. The Enneagram provides a map for understanding the dynamics of the human condition and the barriers to living our spiritual freedom. This narrative tradition class is introductory in nature, relying on group participation in the panel method and introducing practices for working with the Enneagram in daily life.
Please purchase “The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Guide-Revsied and Updated 2009” by David Daniels, M.D. and Virginia Price Ph.D.and complete the exercise on pages 1-8 prior to attending the workshop.  Copies are available at the Cathedral Shop.

CONSPIRE—Everything Belongs
JULY 15-17, 2016
A Live Webcast with Richard Rohr at the Center for Action and Contemplation.

An Evening with Mirabai Starr: The Passion of the Mystics
The mystics of all traditions claim that their love-encounter with the Holy One defies all description and yet their experience of longing and union pours out in the form of ecstatic, luminous and richly descriptive poetry and prose. Drawing from the works of the great Christian mystics, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich, Francis and Claire of Assisi, and Hildegard of Bingen, as well as Sufi saint, Rabia, Hindu poet, Mirabai, and others, we will engage these evocative words as objects of Lectio Divina (sacred reading). Then, grounding our encounter with the mystics in our own experience, we respond to prompts to access our unique voice and deepen our personal journey. Inter-spiritual chanting and simple body practices support and balance our contemplative readings and spiritual exercises. Registration not required; event is free, but donations accepted.

Making Spiritual Journey: The Poetry of TS Eliot
TS Eliot is considered one of the great 20th Century English poets whose verse is cited frequently as inspiration for spiritual journey and transformation. Mindful that the etymology of the word “poem” means “to make or give rise to,” we will explore ways that his
words give rise to life-giving, creative forces that shape the experience we call life. Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason. Fee: free.

All Desires Known: A Theology of Sexuality 
WEDNESDAY EVENINGS, NOV. 2, 9 AND 16, 7:00-8:15 P.M.
While the world sends many signals about our sexuality that are glib, confusing or even harmful, the Church has largely remained silent on the subject except to draw Victorian boundaries that exact shame when crossed. But nothing is more human than our sexuality, and there is beauty here, and a theology of sexuality that draws us deeply into the spiritual journey if we are to consider our experience in that context. Drawing on physiological, psychological, and spiritual aspects of our human sexuality, we will work toward an understanding of sexuality that is life-giving, a source of joy, and deeply resonant with divine mystery. Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason. Fee: Free.

Wisdom Praxis—Practice Circle
This day is grounded in a three-centered approach to Wisdom and will include contemplative practices of meditation and lectio divina, contemplative chant and movement, small group conversation and a holy meal, prepared and shared together. All are welcome, beginners and experienced practitioners alike. Facilitators include: Darlene Franz and Pat Speidel. Fee: $35.


New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk

CATHEDRAL NAVE, DECEMBER 31, 2016, 6 P.M. – 12 A.M.
By candlelight in the sacred space, walk the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth as spiritual practice of renewal and meditative resolution while musicians from the community set the tone for a holy evening. At midnight, a celebration of Holy Communion will be shared on the labyrinth “rose” as a sign of God’s abundant grace in the world. All are welcome. Suggested minimum donation: $5.

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.