Contemplation in Teilhard's Universe

A Retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault and Ilia Delio

Contemplation in Teilhard’s Universe:
A Retreat with Cynthia Bourgeault and Ilia Delio

Saturday April 30th, 2022
8:00 am EST – 6:00 pm EST

Daylesford Abbey Spirituality Center
220 S Valley Rd, Paoli, PA 19301


A day-long, in-person retreat to join in community and create
a “Teilhardian Contemplative Practice” to more fully harness the paradigm-shifting
potential of human contemplation in an age of epochal change.

The Teilhardian framework of contemplation offers an expansive milieu wherein contemplative practice can break out of popular individualistic therapeutic models and play its unique role in cosmic and cultural evolution.


Please join us for an exclusive in-person, day-long retreat with contemporary Teilhardian mystic, Cynthia Bourgeault and prominent Teilhardian scholar, Ilia Delio. This event will take place at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, PA on April 30th, 2022.

Retreat Schedule

All scheduled events are in the EST USA (UTC/GMT-4) timezone.

8am Breakfast
8:45am Opening Remarks by Ilia Delio
9:30am Cynthia Bourgeault: What is Teilhardian Contemplation
10:15am Break
10:30am Guided Teilhardian Contemplation with Cynthia Bourgeault
11:30am Group Discussion
12pm Lunch
1:30pm Cynthia Bourgeault: Teilhard, Contemplation, and Divine Energy
2:15pm Break
2:30pm Guided Teilhardian Contemplation with Cynthia Bourgeault
3:30pm Discussion
4pm Closing Remarks by Ilia and Cynthia
5pm Dinner
6:00pm Departure

Retreat Information

This contemplative retreat will offer opportunities to learn about and engage in Teilhardian contemplation. The Teilhardian framework offers an expansive milieu wherein contemplative practice can break out of popular individualistic therapeutic models and play its unique role in cosmic and cultural evolution. The retreat is open to all levels of experience — regular contemplative practitioners and those hoping to learn more will all grow through this spiritual retreat.

We ask that all participants provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon arrival to attend this in-person event.

Three meals and refreshments (breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and coffee/tea) are included in the cost of the event. Please note in your registration form if you have any dietary restrictions.

Daylesford Abbey Spirituality Center is a handicap and wheelchair accessible space. Ready more about the spirituality center here.

Overnight accomodations at the Abbey are available at a seperate and additional cost.

Space is limited! 

This event will be recorded. By attending this event you consent to your likeness being recorded and used in future C4C products and promotional materials.

Retreat Leaders

Ilia Delio

Ilia Delio s a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC and American theologian specializing in the area of science and religion, with interests in evolution, physics and neuroscience and the import of these for theology.

Ilia currently holds the Josephine C. Connelly Endowed Chair in Theology at Villanova University, and is the author of twenty books including Care for Creation (coauthored with Keith Warner and Pamela Woods) which won two Catholic Press Book Awards in 2009, first place for social concerns and second place in spirituality. Her book The Emergent Christ won a third place Catholic Press Book Award in 2011 for the area of Science and Religion. Her recent books include The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love (Orbis, 2013), which received the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a third place Catholic Press Association Award for Faith and Science. Ilia holds two honorary doctorates, one from St. Francis University in 2015, and one from Sacred Heart University in 2020.

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader. She divides her time between solitude at her seaside hermitage in Maine and a demanding schedule traveling globally to teach and spread the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom paths. Cynthia is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation alongside fellow teachers and colleagues James Finley and Richard Rohr.

Cynthia is a member of the GPIW (Global Peace Initiative for Women) Contemplative Council and recipient of the 2014 Contemplative Voices award from Shalem Institute. She is a founding Director of both The Contemplative Society and the Aspen Wisdom School. She continues to contribute to The Contemplative Society in her role as Principal Teacher and advisor.

Cynthia is the author of several books: The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, The Wisdom Jesus, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Mystical Hope, The Wisdom Way of Knowing, Chanting the Psalms, and Love is Stronger than Death. She was a principal collaborator with Ilia in producing Personal Transformation and a New Creation: the Spiritual Revolution of Beatrice Bruteau(Orbis, 2016), contributing the biography of Bruteau plus a major essay on Teilhard. Her explorations of Teilhard also figure prominently in the most recent edition of Oneing, published by the Center for Action and Contemplation, and in her forthcoming book, Another Intensity: Exploring the Imaginal Realm(Shambhala, 2020).v

From Ilia Delio’s Praying in Teilhard’s Universe:

Teilhard’s vision of contemplation and evolution is a movement beyond the ego, a surrendering of self to the power of matter.  Matter invites one to let go of the self and hand oneself over to an attractive power beyond the self. I do not leave the world to find God; rather God is the power of matter into which I am pulled. From the heart of matter, God calls to the heart of the contemplative, and from the heart of matter, the contemplative is drawn to see more deeply because matter radiates truth, and in truth, matter finds its meaning.  Matter calls to matter; heart calls to heart. To contemplate God Omega is to enter into matter. As matter takes hold of me and I surrender myself to it, something new breaks open in me, a creative freedom to become something more with matter; and becoming something more in and with matter is becoming my true self, at home in the universe.

Teilhard reframes contemplation within a new paradigm of evolutionary consciousness. As the universe is being formed, the human person is being formed, and as the human person is being formed, so too the universe is being formed. God is the ineffable power of love who is within every aspect of created existence and the future of that which exists.  To give oneself over to the power of God is to give oneself over to the power of matter, and to give oneself over to the power of matter is to give oneself over to God. God is truly one with creaturely existence, its creative power, so that as the creature forms and changes, so too does God. Evolution is the rise of God in such a way that God is revealed as evolution progresses.  In this respect, the fullness of revelation has yet to be, for God will be fully revealed only at the highest stages of consciousness toward which evolution is oriented.

Read the entire article here.

About Our Partners

Trust for the Meditation Process

The Trust for the Meditation Process is a 30 year-old charitable foundation that supports the teaching and practice of meditation, mindfulness and contemplative prayer. They provide grants to non-profit organizations renew contemplative Christianity, promote health and wholeness, and bring silence and stillness to a hectic world.

Daylesford Abbey Spirituality Center

In an environment of hospitality and inclusivity, Daylesford Abbey’s Spirituality Center assists all individuals longing for a deepening sense of personal and communal spiritual growth.

The Center offers a variety of faith-nurturing experiences and programs. In the spirit and charism of  St. Norbert, known as a minister of peace & reconciliation, the Center’s goal is always to foster that same reconciliation — with God, self and others.

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