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Mon, Jul 31


St. Francis Retreat House

Wisdom School: Movements as Prayer

Together we will pray these Sacred movements with all three centers of knowing, noticing their devotional impact and the way in which they grow and enhance our work with our second body, our Kesdjan body.

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Wisdom School: Movements as Prayer
Wisdom School: Movements as Prayer

Time & Location

Jul 31, 2023, 6:00 PM PDT – Aug 04, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

St. Francis Retreat House, 3918 Chipman Rd, Easton, PA 18045, USA

About this Wisdom Offering

Join us for a Movements as Prayer four-day Wisdom School, hosted on the beautiful campus of St Francis Retreat House in Easton, Pennsylvania.

We will gather for this MOVEMENTS AS PRAYER WISDOM SCHOOL, led by Heather Ruce. Together we will pray these Sacred movements with all three centers of knowing, noticing their devotional impact and the way in which they grow and enhance our work with our second body, our Kesdjan body.

The Gurdjieff Movements are interpretations of sacred temple dances and rituals discovered during travels to monasteries in Asia and Africa. Movements are a means by which ancient wisdom is preserved and passed down to future generations. Through their embodied symbolic language beyond our thinking mind, a deeper perception arises. Although there are different kinds of Gurdjieff Movements: ritual, prayers, dervish dances, mathematical patterns, etc., the objective of them all is that they are prayers. Gurdjieff saw them as medicine. Like Eastern martial arts, they are exact and precise, demanding precision, discipline and dedication. You can find out more information about Gurdjieff Movements here.

Wisdom School participants will experience the rhythm and tools specific to a ‘Wisdom way of knowing,’ an ‘integral way of knowing’ which engages and harmonizes the three intelligence centers: feeling, mind and movement. We will experience a balance of engaging self and one another in ‘prayer through Movements,’ sharing of observations, and contemplation - a balance known in the Benedictine tradition as ‘ora et labora.’ Movements are the teacher.

Familiarity with the Wisdom lineage of Cynthia Bourgeault or the Gurdjieff Work is required. Some experience in Gurdjieff Movements is preferred but not essential. Space is limited!


7:30–8:00am     Gurdjieff Exercise

8:00–9:00am     Breakfast (Silent)

9:00–11:00am    Movements

11:20–11:50pm   Centering Prayer/Chant

12:00–1:00pm    Lunch

1:00–3:00pm      Private Reflection

3:00–4:30pm     Movements

4:45–5:15pm      Centering Prayer/Chant

5:15–5:45pm      Sharing Observations

6:00–7:00pm     Supper

7:00–8:30pm     “Debriefing the day” & Wisdom Practice followed by Private Reflection/Rest in the Great Silence through Breakfast


Heather Ruce is a Wisdom Spiritual Director and facilitates Wisdom practice circles, groups, retreats, and Wisdom schools focused on the Christian Wisdom Tradition. She has been a student of Wisdom teacher Cynthia Bourgeault for over a decade and of Gurdjieff Movements teacher Deborah Rose Long since 2016. Heather weaves her Masters in Marital & Family Therapy and training in Somatic Experiencing, Organic Intelligence & Spiritual Direction into her teaching and guidance in various Wisdom practices in service of waking up and putting on the Mind of Christ.

Marcella Kraybill-Greggo MSW, LSW, AOJN is a Spiritual Director and student of Wisdom as highlighted by Cynthia Bourgeault. She holds a Masters in Social Work, is an Ignatian Exercises Director, is certified as an embodiment InterPlay facilitator, is an Associate in the Order of Julian of Norwich and serves as Director of the Spiritual Direction/Spirituality Programs at Moravian Theological Seminary. Marcella also serves on the board of Wisdom Waypoints.

Vesna Nikolic has rediscovered her love for music and has been playing for Movement Classes for over five years. She considers the work with music and movements as an essential part of her inner work and accepts that as her own personal work, as well as the service for others. Vesna has been a student of Cynthia Bourgeault for many years, is a member of Toronto Gurdjieff group and serves on the board of Ignatian Jesuit Centre in Guelph. In her heart, the practical and cosmological teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff and  devotional, reverential practices of esoteric Christianity and Ignatian Spirituality nourish one another towards greater wholeness.


Date: Monday, July 31 – Friday August 4, 2023

Cost: $775 for overnight participants; $550 for commuters; Payment requested at registration, (Payment options sent when registration is approved; full refund minus $50 processing fee if needing to cancel up until 7/15; 1⁄2 refund after 7/15)

Time: Participants may check into your room starting at 4:00pm on Monday afternoon, July 31. Our first meal together will be Monday dinner at 6:00pm. The retreat ends on Friday, August 4 at noon; participants will be provided a “to-go-lunch” following our last morning


To apply: Complete the online application here.

Questions: Contact Marcella Kraybill-Greggo at

Accommodation options:

Room with Private Bathrooms: Rooms have queen bed, full bed or twin bed. Each room has a desk and a comfortable reading chair.

Rooms with Shared Bathrooms: "Jack and Jill" bedrooms which share a bathroom Rooms have either full or twin beds. Rooms have a sink, a desk and a comfortable reading chair.

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