New Wine, New Skins
John Main Seminar 2023
Online, September 14-17
Led by Cynthia Bourgeault, Andrew Harvey and Laurence Freeman
A wineskin was usually made of goat or sheep skin to store or transport wine. Putting new wine into old skins while it was still fermenting risked breaking the skin and losing the wine. Jesus uses the metaphor to illustrate the perennial freshness of the revolution he began and continues to drive – his empowering call to a renewed consciousness that will manifest new forms and structures of human life. Christians pray that this ‘reign of God will come on earth as in heaven’.
This powerful parable will inspire the trio of teachers presenting this year’s John Main Seminar, the 39th. Each sees the urgency of a renewed global Christianity empowering the breakthrough in consciousness and behaviour that humanity needs to survive. With very different voices, minds and life-experience, they are friends, serving a common cause, who believe in the transformative potential of our present Dark Night. This depends on the new wine of the mystical wisdom traditions being rediscovered and poured into new containers and into unprecedented religious and societal channels. Some forms of the community that meditation is forming and recreating are already signs of the coming new era.
Their individual presentations during the Seminar, their interactions with each other and with the participants will doubtless stretch the skin of the Seminar format to breaking point. However, the whole will include workshops led by each of the three, group discussions and a workshop on Embodiment by Giovanni Felicioni. The skin will be strengthened by the regular times of prayer and meditation.
As is the custom, the pre-Seminar meditation retreat will be led by Laurence who will invite contributions from Andrew and Cynthia. Giovanni will lead a daily embodiment session. This retreat is both for the beginning and ongoing meditator.
John Main Seminar Online - Schedule (French timezone)
THURSDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER
FRIDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER
SATURDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER
SUNDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER
John Main Seminar In Person Event from Bonnevaux
This event will also run from Bonnevaux, France, you can view the in-person event page here.
Why Practice Does not make Perfect
Pre-Seminar Meditation Retreat
Online, September 11-14
Laurence Freeman with Cynthia Bourgeault, Andrew Harvey and Giovanni Felicioni
In preparation for the seminar this on-line version of the retreat led by Laurence Freeman, Cynthia Bourgeault, Andrew Harvey and Giovanni Felicioni, offers you the opportunity to tune into the contemplative rhythm of life at Bonnevaux. Please click to visit the page “how to create your own retreat” and use the available resources while following the talks by the speakers and the discussion groups live at Bonnevaux. For yoga with Giovanni please see the resource page mentioned above. Remember it is important that you meditate at least twice a day during your retreat and that you take time for silence, solitude and resting in nature.
Pre-Seminar Retreat Online - Schedule (French timezone)
MONDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER
TUESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER
WEDNESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER
THURSDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER
Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally acclaimed retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude in her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. She is a faculty member emeritus of the Center for Action and Contemplation and the founding director of an international network of Wisdom schools, uniting classic Christian mystical and monastic teaching with contemporary practices of mindfulness and embodied presence. She has been honored as one of the 100 most spiritually influential living people in 2021.
Andrew Harvey was born in India where he lived until the age of nine. He credits this as shaping his sense of the inner unity of all religions and a vision of the world infused with the sacred. His friendship with Laurence began when they were students at Oxford. He is Founder-Director of the Institute for Sacred Activism, inspiring people to become, effective, and practical agents of systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability. Sacred Activism is a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world. More on Andrew.
Laurence Freeman is a Benedictine monk and Director of the World Community for Christian meditation and its international home Bonnevaux. While serving at the heart of the community that meditation creates he has, through his writing, retreats and dialogue with other faiths and the secular world, contributed to the renewal of contemplative Christianity as a force for peace and unity in the world and to the nurturing of a daily practice that informs and transforms the partitioners and their world. More on Laurence.
Giovanni is Associate Director of Bonnevaux, the international home of the WCCM, of which he has been a part since its beginning. He is a Rolfer and Yoga Teacher and has served on the faculty of the Rolf Institute. Giovanni’s unique teaching style combines the ancient and contemporary bodywork arts of Yoga and Rolfing. It was formed over two decades of clinical study with movement researcher Hubert Godard (Tonic Function Theory).
What you get