ContemplativeMinContemplation is the ever-fresh world of the spiritual heart.  Non-contemplation is the ever-constricted world of the head, senses, and feelings separated from that heart.  The spiritual heart is the true center of our being.  (Tilden Edwards)

Christian Contemplative Ministries at St. Barnabas is about growing in Wisdom that we may be able to see and live into what/who is really in front of us from a deeper level. It’s about being Present, being open to The Presence of the Holy which is always active in the world. It’s about living 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.

The 2018 Fall book study will focus on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, selected writings and intro by Ursula King. Tielhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a French Jesuit theologian and scientist known for his pioneering field work in paleontology. His visionary writings on faith and evolutionary theory aroused suspicion of the Vatican and he was forbidden to publish on religious matters in his lifetime. From King’s introduction:  “In the rhythm of life and its evolution, at the center of the cosmos and the world, he saw a divine center, a living heart beating with the fiery energy of love and compassion.”  This scientific mystic, in his various writings, brings to life understandings of Divine Life that speak to the emergence of today’s spiritual longings and shed new understandings on our ancient sacramental traditions.

The Book Study meets on selected Tuesdays once a month after Centering Prayer,
from approximately 9:45am to 11am in the Gowen Library at St. Barnabas.

September 25 – Intro and Part 1

October 16 – Part 2

November 13 – Part 3

December 11 – Part 4 and Postscript


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

As scheduled, two to three times a year.

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.

Fall 2018 Wisdom Retreat Day will be held on Saturday, November 10, 9:30 to 3:30 pm in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall. Featuring Sarah Walston, Enneagram coach and teacher, teaching on using the Enneagram for personal and community growth. Registration forms will be available in September.


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!