Mystic Heart Wisdom School

Spiritual formation for modern mystics

We don’t need to enter monasteries to become mystics or to cultivate our spirituality:
We are all mystics! The mystic heart is the deepest part of who or what we are.
We need only to realize and activate that essential part of our being.
– Wayne Teasdale

Mystic Heart Wisdom School looks at what the mystics of the world’s wisdom traditions all have in common. We are living in a time of change and upheaval in our religious institutions. In the midst of this religious sea change our Wisdom School focuses on what Diana Butler Bass describes as a “critical stage in a completely new spiritual awakening, a vast inter-religious progression toward individual and cultural transformation.” Join us as we seek to discover our role in this religious transformation. This is done through education, dialogue and spiritual practice. Forge new connections while deepening your relationship with the Great Mystery of the Divine.

Study the Perennial Tradition and the mystical Jewish movement of Hasidism with Rabbi Rami Shapiro. Hasidism teaches love, joy and humility, both in our service of God and in our treatment of fellow human beings. Rabbi Rami has authored numerous volumes including his latest work, Hasidic Tales.

Study the interface between Christianity and Buddhism and practices of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Gordon Peerman, author of Blessed Relief: What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists about Suffering and teacher of Buddhist/Christian dialogue.

Study Celtic spirituality with its emphasis on right relationship with nature in all its forms and its practices for truly beholding and honoring the creation as divine habitat, and the wisdom of the Desert Mothers with the Reverend Mary Earle, author of Celtic Christian Spirituality; The Desert Mothers: Spiritual Practices from the Women of the Wilderness; and Praying with the Celtic Saints.

Study the mystical Wisdom of the Trinity, the Journey to True Self and the coming Interspiritual Age with Patty Speier, poet, writer, spiritual director, certified Enneagram Instructor, SQ21™ Spiritual Intelligence Coach, and Executive Director of the Seton Cove.

Study the Enneagram through experiential practice with Daniel Hope, MA, Ascension Mission Formation Manager, Seton Cove Educator, certified Enneagram Spectrum® and Integrative Enneagram, and Commissioned Centering Method Instructor.

Who Should Attend: All those who wish to cultivate contemplative practices with which to deepen their relationship with the Great Mystery of the Divine and skillfully carry the work of love out into the world.

NOW OFFERING: Interfaith Spiritual Direction Certificate!


Patricia Speier, DMinis Director of the Seton Cove and Senior Director of Formation for Ascension. She is a spiritual director, teacher, and retreat facilitator who specializes in the use of literature and writing for spiritual growth and ethical development. She is passionate about the connection between Spirituality and Leadership and has developed the Leadership Pilgrimage, a year long intensive for leaders in all fields (business, medicine, law, religion, non-profit) which is now in its 13th year. Speier is a 2008 DMin graduate of Perkins School of Theology and a graduate of Seminary of the Southwest. She has studied spirituality at the Pecos Benedictine Monastery in New Mexico and Integral Spirituality with Ken Wilbur.

Gordon Peerman, D.Min., is a psychotherapist in private practice in Nashville. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Yale, and Vanderbilt. He founded the Saint Thomas Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program in 1997. As a vice president at Saint Thomas Health Services, he coordinated the dissemination of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to fourteen other hospitals in the United States. He is an Episcopal priest and has taught Buddhist Christian Dialogue at Vanderbilt Divinity School. He and his late wife Kathy Woods taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health.

mary earle seton coveRev. Mary C. Earle is an Episcopal priest, poet, author, spiritual director and retreat leader. Until her retirement, she taught classes in spirituality for the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. Mary has authored nine books; the subjects include the spirituality of living with illness, rule of life, Celtic Christian spirituality, the Desert Mothers, and Julian of Norwich. Mary has offered presentations and retreats in a variety of ecumenical settings, including conferences of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Directors International, the International Thomas Merton Society and hospice organizations. She was included in the Living Spiritual Teachers project of Spirituality and Practice.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award winning author of over two dozen books on religion and spirituality, including The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature and The Sacred Art of LovingKindness. He received rabbinical ordination from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, and holds a PhD from Union Graduate School. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rabbi Rami currently co-directs One River Wisdom School, writes a regular column for Spirituality & Health magazine called Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler, and hosts the weekly Internet radio show, How to be a Holy Rascal. His newest book is Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent.

Daniel Hope, MA is a formation manager, educator, and spiritual director at Seton Cove. Daniel was previously at Seminary of the Southwest where he worked in administration and earned his counseling degree with a focus on Marriage and Family therapy. While studying at Southwest he founded the marriage retreat and workshop series, The Commitment Project. Daniel is an alum of Google’s Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute and is passionate about bringing spirituality and mindfulness into the workplace. Daniel also has a background in social media strategy and has spoken at 3 SXSW Interactive conferences regarding the intersection of technology, psychology and spirituality. Daniel and his wife, Leslie, are about to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary and live in North Austin with their two daughters, Camilla and Violet and their toddler son, George.

Dates: April 16-18, 2021; July 23-25, 2021; November 19-21, 2021; March 4-6, 2022

Location: Oblate Renewal Center, San Antonio, Texas

Program Fee: $2,850 (Includes program materials, lodging and meals. $500 non-refundable deposit included in fee.)

Early Bird Discount: TBD

Pre-requisite: One class from the Seton Cove’s Core Curriculum or the Institute for Soul-Centered Leadership and/or an interview with a facilitator.

Requirements: Completed application process. Attendance at four, 3-day retreats over a ten-month period. Three reflection papers.

Vision Statement: We envision a society where the contemplative life, grounded in love, is valued, encouraged and celebrated.

Mission Statement: We provide spiritual formation that nourishes the contemplative life while supporting the mystic heart of true self.

For Details: Contact Patricia Speier at 512-451-0272

Information Session: Click here to register for the upcoming Information Session on September 24th.

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