Cascadia: Program Overview

CASCADIA is a school without walls or temporal limits. Much of the program is completed through online and video conference interaction with CASCADIA mentors/teachers and the program has no fixed length. Participants simply enrol for a year at a time and stay as long as they find helpful. The program year runs from April 1 to March 31 so program fees must be received before March 31 of any given year in order to participate.

The core of the program is the small group and individual mentoring of participants that occurs through online interaction within the framework of a private LinkedIn group that will be open to all enrolled program participants. Suggested readings and challenges in living the things being taught will form the foundation of what will be discussed in these interactions. This will be supplemented by periodic video conference calls and the mentoring and teaching that happen within the retreats. For an additional fee, some of the mentors/teachers may also be available for ongoing, individual email or phone interaction as part of the mentoring they offer, or supplementary occasional face-to-face meetings.

The annual Fall retreats held in the Toronto area are exclusively available to those enrolled in the program. They are built around the classic Christian disciplines of contemplative prayer, lectio divina, and silence, and are ordered by the framework of the Benedictine Daily Office. Retreats also include a fast from phones and all internet-accessing technology (with a built-in exception of a scheduled brief time each day when this can, if necessary, occur). Mornings are generally more conceptual, afternoons more experiential and evenings more contemplative. These strands, however, are continuously interwoven in the flow of each retreat day.

Applicants to CASCADIA LIVING WISDOM SCHOOL should possess psychological and spiritual maturity and motivation to live their way into wisdom, wholeness and well-being. They must also have basic computer skills and a Gmail account (video conferencing will be by means of Google Hangouts which require that you have a Gmail account), be committed to participation in God’s transformational agenda of making all things new in Christ, and have an established contemplative practice. Those who are new to contemplative living will benefit from first receiving an introduction to contemplative practices and the way in which they involve living from the heart. One way of acquiring this foundation for those in the USA Pacific Northwest is the one-year, Living from the Heart program of the Selah Center in Seattle but other similar programs are available to help you cultivate the contemplative ways of knowing that are foundational to accessing and living wisdom. Contact us if you are having trouble identifying ways to acquire this preparation.

Ideas and practices explored within the CASCADIA LIVING WISDOM SCHOOL will push most applicants intellectually, theologically, and spiritually. In order to really understand wholeness, transformation and love we will be drawing insights from such sources as evolutionary theology, cosmology, other faith traditions, and depth psychology. While prior background in these areas is not necessary for participants, what is required is openness to the contributions science and other religious traditions can make to Christian theology, spirituality and wisdom.