Contemplation is a change in consciousness.  It brings us to see the big picture. . .. to see beyond our own boundaries, beyond our own denominations, beyond even our own doctrines and dogmas and institutional self-interest, straight into the face of a mothering God from whose womb has come all the life that is. (Joan Chittister)


Christian Contemplative Ministries at St. Barnabas is about diving deep into the Heart of Divine Reality.  Everyone has the capacity to engage in contemplation and grow deeper in their relationship with the Cosmic Christ.  “You are made both of and for contemplation.  It is the secret longing of your being. . . . It is in the wilderness of your heart that you discover a reality beyond every religious form.  (Beverly Lanzetta)

We invite you to learn how to live into the non-dual Reality of Divine Love. This ability is developed through conscious, intentional practice that we engage in together and follow individually when we are apart. Our practices engage heart, mind and body – the three centers of knowing for human beings.


Opportunities to practice and develop in Contemplative Wisdom include:



CENTERING PRAYER: Practice of the Heart and Body

Group practice on Tuesday mornings at 9 am in the Church.

Centering prayer is a practice that begins and sustains that possibility of allowing our spiritual heart to flourish through daily meditation practice of letting go of thoughts. This is based on the teachings of Thomas Keating and Cynthia Bourgeault. Our time together includes a short reading, chanting and 20 minutes of silence in which we practice Centering Prayer together. Anyone is welcome to join us and instruction in Centering Prayer is provided as needed.


BOOK STUDY:  Practice of the Mind

For ongoing learning, we meet on monthly occasions after group practice of centering prayer  throughout the year to read and discuss a book that leads us further in our practice of the Contemplative Wisdom Way of Being.



Fall / Winter Book Study

The Universal Christ, Richard Rohr
“What if Christ is a name for the transcendent within of every ‘thing’ in the universe?”
“What if Christ is a name for the immense spaciousness of all true Love?”
“What if Christ refers to an infinite horizon that pulls us from within and pulls us forward too?”


In this provocative book, Richard Rohr explores the possibilities in the name that is not a last name but rather a descriptor for Jesus’ participation in the unfolding and emerging of the cosmos.
We will explore possibilities and new ways of engaging with Divine Life through Jesus and beyond as we contemplate the various sections of this book and share our own experiences of the presence of God in our world. Join us!
Meeting: St. Barnabas Library, Tuesdays, once a month, 9:45 am – 11 am (after 9 am Centering Prayer in the Chapel)
Dates and chapters covered:
October 8th, 2019 Chapters 1-3
November 5th, 2019 Chapters 4-7
December 10th, 2019 Chapters 8-11
January 7th, 2019 Chapters 12-14
February 4th, 2019 Chapters 15-17

WISDOM RETREAT DAYS: Practice of Heart, Body and Mind together

Based on the teachings of Cynthia Bourgeault, as provided in her book, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, we gather on a Saturday for special teaching, practice of Centering Prayer, chanting, and mindful work together. These gatherings have proven to be invaluable in the ongoing work of Contemplative Practice.

Seeing from the Eye of the Heart
Photography as Contemplative Practice

A Wisdom Teaching Day with Diane Walker, Artist and Contemplative

Saturday, November 2   9:30 am–3:30 pm St. Barnabas Parish Hall


When used with an eye to contemplative practice, your camera can become a vital tool, both grounding you more thoroughly in presence and providing a vehicle through which your surroundings may speak of deeper truths.

Seeing from the Eye of the Heart offers a unique opportunity to become not only more open and attentive to your native environment, but also to enter into an interaction with the world around you, allowing it to speak through you and your camera in often surprising ways.

In this workshop you’ll have opportunities – in the context of meditation – to learn how to listen for the call to photograph and how to compose more effective images. You’ll also have opportunities both to practice shooting and to practice listening to completed photos for what they might have to teach us.

Bainbridge Islander Diane Walker is a contemplative photographer, painter and writer with an extensive background in journalism, religion and marketing. She is the former Communications Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Washington, has served on the faculty of the Diocesan School of Theology, on the board of Episcopal Communicators and as Exhibitions Director of Episcopal Church in the Visual Arts.

A regular practitioner of centering prayer, Diane pairs her writing and spiritual practice with her art, producing a daily blog of photos, paintings, and meditations at She is the author of Illuminating the Mystery: Photographic Meditations on the Gospel of Thomas as well as several other books of photographic meditations; her photographs also illustrate Renee Miller’s Strength for the Journey: A Guide to Spiritual Practice. You can find more of her work on Amazon at

Please register as early as you can. Your check or indication of scholarship need secures your place.

Donations are non-refundable. Registration closes October 30.



For more information: Patricia Robertson|



From The Rev. Patricia Rome Robertson — BIO

I am so grateful to the Rector of St. Barnabas Church for inviting me to focus on the spiritual work that has meant so much to me for many years. I’ve been a regular practitioner of Contemplative Wisdom since 1998 when Thomas Keating came to the parish where I was serving for a weekend of teaching and practice of Centering Prayer. That practice, along with engagement of Wisdom School teachings with Cynthia Bourgeault, started me on the road of learning about the transformation that spiritual practice brings about in individuals and communities and yes, I believe, the world. This is important work, developing and awakening of the spiritual heart and body awareness that is embedded in all human beings but often lies dormant. Please feel free to email me at with questions about this ministry. Join us for a deepening of your life in Christ!

Patricia provides a periodic blog entitled “Along the Way”.  You can access and subscribe here.