Three Centered Living

Monthly on the 3rd Thursday 10:00 AM to Thursday, December 17, 2020 11:30 AM

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The core message of the teachings of Jesus -- the core message of the teachings of many of the great religious and spiritual traditions throughout the ages is that humanity is asleep and that our deepest task in life is to wake up.

As human beings, we are endowed with profound gifts to empower our spiritual awakening -- both in our day-to-day living, as well as in our quest for spiritual development. However, many of us -- even many of us who are on a spiritual path -- are not aware of these gifts. This manifests in a spiritual life that is separate from life in the world. Or as using spirituality to feel better about the situation that we are in -- individually and collectively -- to the expense of using our spiritual path to face reality and transform ourselves and our world from the inside out.

G.I. Gurdjieff, the Russian born music, philosopher, spiritual teacher, and composer taught that human beings have three centers of awareness -- three centers of intelligence. And when we can begin to inhabit and live from these three centers, that we can begin the process of spiritual awakening. Only, according to Gudjieff, most of us live from one center only, leaving us to experience life mechanically and asleep.

But, we can wake up.

Throughout history, this waking up has been the realm of Wisdom and Wisdom Schools. This program -- Three-Centered Living -- is based on the teachings that have been passed down through the various lineages of Wisdom.

Session 1: Three-Centered Awareness on October 15, 2020
The first part of Three-Centered Living is beginning to cultivate an awareness of the centers. In this retreat/workshop, we will explore the centers at greater depth. We will learn about the centers -- the body/movement center, the heart/emotional center, and the mind/intellectual center. However, more than simply learn about them, we will engage in exercises that will help us to begin to inhabit the centers -- to experience life from the centers. While resistance may be part of beginning to wake up to the centers, what we will also find is that as resistance begins to ease, and as we begin to “bring the centers online,” that our experience of life will be richer, more vivid -- while also, paradoxically, be more subtle.
Session two: Three-Centered Receptivity on November 19, 2020
The second part of Three-Centered Living is about beginning to cultivate receptivity. So many of us look for meaning, for joy and fulfillment out there somewhere. “If only we had a better job, a better practice, a better relationship,” we tell ourselves. “If only the world weren’t as disquieting -- if our local, national, or global politics were like this or like that, then things would be okay.” But the truth is, that all that we need for our awakening is already and always right here in our hearts, when we know how to access it. As the contemporary spiritual teacher Cynthia Bourgeault reminds us, the heart is the organ of spiritual perception. In this second part of Three-Centered Living, we will explore receptivity in the centers. Engaging in practices and exercises that help to attune us to our body, heart, and mind we will begin to see openings to a much larger world -- within us and in the world around us. We will begin to experience that when we can be receptive, the wisdom that we need -- for living, for waking up, for transformation of ourselves and our world is right here.
Session three: Three-Centered Action on December 17, 2020
Beginning to develop a sensitivity to the centers -- beginning to hone a receptivity to what is here now is a necessary starting point on the journey of awakening. However, if we stop there, our awakening can easily slip back into slumber. Perhaps a more enlightened slumber. But it would be going back to sleep nevertheless. In this third part of Three-Centered Living, we will focus on the living part -- that is, the action part of our awakening. We will begin to tend an awareness of how we can tell when we are acting in alignment with the centers as well as how we can “course-correct” when we notice that we are slipping back into the haze of sleep. We will engage in practices that help us to experience what it’s like to make choices from the centers so that we can live from this deeper ground of freedom and possibility.

There is no charge for this workshop.  However, donations are greatly appreciated to help financially sustain the ministry of Rolling Ridge and to financially support Henry as he has donated his leadership for this series.

About the leader(s)

Henry Schoenfield

Henry Schoenfield is a trained Spiritual Director and ICF Professional Certified Coach.  He is passionate about working with faith leaders and institutions in times of change, transition, and transformation. Drawing on the spiritual wisdom of the Contemplative Christian tradition as well as other spiritual traditions, he helps people cultivate a space of deep listening for how God is calling them to meet the present moment with an open heart. He is an ordained United Church of Christ pastor and is currently serving in interim ministry in the Southern New England Conference.