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Wisdom Leader: Leigh Schickendantz

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Leigh SchickendantzMeet Leigh Schickendantz from Kalispell, Montana. Here is what Leigh has shared with us about her Wisdom journey:

The course of the eastern paths lead me to Cynthia. Decades of exploration within the Buddhist and Sufi traditions curiously, so it seemed at the time, landed me in Cynthia’s stream of wisdom teachings. I found myself immediately captivated by her vast reach, articulated depth, and encompassing lean towards the wisdom lineages of both east and west.

Formally I began studying with Cynthia in 2010 where I first joined her in the desert of Tucson, Arizona to participate in a Wisdom School centered on the teachings of the Desert, the Wisdom Encounter. This initial immersion with Cynthia opened into an interior landscape of transformation that changed my life.

Fast forward to now, winter of 2018. Since that first wisdom school I have participated in many Wisdom Schools, which eventually lead me to the doors of the Center for Action and Contemplation. It was through the Living School (first cohort) that Jim Finley came into my life, enfolding another master of the mystery alongside Cynthia, into my widening circle of mentors. Together both Jim and Cynthia not only support, but exquisitely understand the Wisdom found within the teachings of the east, which feels essential to the functional integration of my lifelong interests.

I am also a student of the Japanese martial art of Aikido, fondly known around the globe as the Art of Peace. The Wisdom teachings of Morihei Ueshiba known as O’Sensei, the founder of Aikido, was woven into my life through a series of events beginning in 1987. During those years of profound estrangement from myself it was Aikido that opened the door to a different kind of seeing. Aikido is a study of the embodiment of harmony in action; sacred gesture. It is an art grounded in the teachings of non-duality and explored through direct experience dovetailing both delicately and intricately with the Wisdom teachings found within the headwaters of the perennial Wisdom streams of mystical incarnation. Cynthia, Jim, and the teachings of O’Sensei together help me to keep awakening to wonder and beauty as well as providing seasoned scaffolding to support my professional work as a practicing Transpersonal and Somatic psychotherapist and on the mat as a Dojo Cho of our Aikido school.


Wisdom offerings:

Journey Towards Center is an offering resting on direct experience that there is an underground aquifer of possibilities accessed through the embodiment practices of Aikido grounded in the evolutionary and all-inclusive incarnational mystery. The practices and principles found in the art are given to awaken presence through the sincere study of harmony accessed through portals of Breath, Attention, Sensation, Intention, Ground, and Silence all found inside the dynamic foundational practices of the art and supported by wisdom teachings.

Journey Towards Center takes place in our Aikido school. It is offered in a small group format, meeting once a week and includes Wisdom text study, embodiment practices, meditation, poetry, chant, and group dialogue. The next group will be forming in March 2018. Residential retreats are offered by request. The program is by application only.


Learn more about Leigh’s work and offerings:




Inspiring Words of Wisdom (Community members can share inspirational quotes HERE):

This other, more subtle world is invisible to the senses, and to the mind it is pure speculation. But if the heart is awake and clear, it can directly receive, radiate, and reflect this unmanifest divine Reality.
~ Cynthia Bourgeault, Wisdom Way of Knowing p.35

To be a seeker is to be someone who has been graced with a riddle. ~ Jim Finley, Living School symposium

When you bow deeply to the universe it bows back. When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you. ~ O’Sensei, The Art of Peace








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