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Wisdom of the Christian Mystics

In every generation, those who enter deeply into the mystery of life are known as mystics, great wisdom-keepers who help us along the way. They celebrate union with God and manifest love and compassion in action. Their writings give us inspiring poetry, visionary wisdom, prophetic insight, and guidance for bringing justice and mercy more fully into our world.

This e-course explores the life and teachings of some of the great mystics of the Christian tradition, revealing how their ancient — and sometimes recent — wisdom can inspire and transform our lives today. Each of the twelve emails will introduce you to a mystical teaching and invite you to savor its wisdom in the ordinary rhythms of your daily life.

You will meet both classical and contemporary mystics such as:

  • Hildegard of Bingen
  • Julian of Norwich
  • Teresa of Avila
  • Meister Eckhart
  • Howard Thurman
  • Aelred of Rievaulx
  • Evelyn Underhill
  • Dorothee Soelle

and several others. Over the course of our journey together we will consider the relationship between contemplation and action, the earth and the body as sacraments of Divine Presence, the breath as our guide to deep meditation, personal touchstones, mantra prayer, the sorrowful mother, soul friends, the code of chivalry, healing the sacred wound, the mysticism of resistance, and more.

Be careful: the words of the mystics have been known to change peoples’ lives.

Your guides for this course are Tessa Bielecki and Carl McColman.

Tessa is an “urban hermit” in Tucson, Arizona and the co-director of the Desert Foundation (see Her works include Holy Daring and other books on St. Teresa of Avila as well as Wild at Heart: Radical Teachings of the Christian Mystics, a learning course available from Sounds True.



Carl is the author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Unteachable Lessons, and Befriending Silence. His books, along with his blog and the “Encountering Silence” podcast he co-hosts, are all designed to help celebrate the wisdom of the mystics for today.




You will receive twelve emails during this course, one each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These will include:

  • Creative reflections on one or more of the great mystics and their timeless teaching;
  • Prayers, meditations, and blessings to weave the mystical way of understanding throughout your day;
  • An invitation to be part of the Practice Circle (a forum open 24/7) where you can interact with Tessa, Carl, and the other participants in the course, reflecting together on how to apply mystical wisdom to your life.
  • Access to an hour-and-a-half community gathering via Zoom during which we will share in small groups about our experiences with the e-course and have an opportunity for further conversations with Carl and Tessa. Time and date tba soon.

A teleconference with Tessa and Carl will also be held during this course (date to be arranged).

We invite you to join us in “Wisdom of the Christian Mystics.” Please be prepared to allow this course to touch both mind and heart, for every insight from the mystics contains a blessing.

November 2, 2020
November 27, 2020
Spirituality & Practice