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Wisdom Leader: Beth O’Brien

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Beth O'Brien

photo by Sandy Weber

Beth O’Brien, Madison WI: Beth is the founder of Contemplative Presence. She is a Benedictine oblate of Holy Wisdom Ecumenical Monastery, spiritual director, and teacher of Centering Prayer meditation.  A direct student of Cynthia Bourgeault for many years, Beth received Cynthia’s blessing in 2014 to carry the Wisdom lineage forth—and has been offering her own Wisdom Schools since that time.

Inspired by Teilhard de Chardin’s writings on human energy and convergence, she continues to seek an ever-deepening knowing within an evolutionary and incarnational (embodied) spirituality.  Living on the outskirts of Madison, WI, Beth is married and the mother of two, young adult daughters. Beth holds a MA Education, MA Religious Studies.


Beth describes her offerings: 

“A growing body of people on the planet today are feeling drawn to live as contemplatives in the world, yearning for a deeper understanding and experience of their connection to God, each other, and all of creation.  In response to this ‘quickening of desire’ in the hearts of humanity, Contemplative Presence draws on the Christian contemplative heritage to offer support through spiritual direction, the teaching of spiritual practices, and Wisdom School.” 

Beth O’Brien, Founder of Contemplative Presence


Photos from Beth’s Wisdom Schools:


Split a piece of wood, and there I am. ~ Logion 77

2016 Placing Our Mind in Our Heart: Introductory Wisdom School

2016 Placing Our Mind in Our Heart: Introductory Wisdom School


Wisdom School participants engaging in a contemplative work period at Holy Wisdom Benedictine Monastery in Middleton, WI.The split wood will be used in the months ahead to heat the Sisters’ houses, firing a wood burning furnace.







Come into being as you pass away.  ~ Logion 42

Wisdom School work period -- weeding rooftop garden

Wisdom School work period — weeding rooftop garden


While weeding the rooftop garden at Holy Wisdom Monastery during a contemplative work period, Wisdom School seekers open to the possibility of moving deeper into ‘the wisdom way of knowing’.








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