Beautiful sunset overlooking water




Being on a threshold of dialogue and practice to cultivate the depth dimension of our lives through the embodiment of an active contemplative path and expanding our inner reservoir and widening our ability to respond to life with presence, compassion, and practical wisdom is the conversation of Journey Towards Center.


Journey Towards Center is an invitation to the shared trans-lineage exploration of incarnational mysticism, aikido, and wholeness. This offering is a full-bodied program for those interested in the study and exploration of human and ecological wholeness and healing. It is a living inter-spiritual dialogue, a contemplative ecumenism of language and movement as an avenue to steward the awakened heart as a wisdom way of living.

Grounded in the Incarnational Mystical tradition together with Aikido, a martial wisdom practice directly exploring harmony in the midst of perceived duality, Journey Towards Center is a passageway into a wider bandwidth of resonance with our self, one another, and the planet. It offers an active contemplative path to explore and expand the totality of our being and perhaps access the invisible inside the visible.

The program is enriched, influenced, and supported by several years of study and mentorship with my teachers in the non-dual mystical traditions from east to west: Specifically Jim Finley, Cynthia Bourgeault, and the direct lineage of Morihei Ueshiba.

Jim offers a corpus of wisdom teachings that are both far-reaching and intimate. His transmission of the mystical lineage as passed to him by Thomas Merton is practical and subtle, encompassing a wide path. Cynthia’s precise and comprehensive exploration of spiritual transformation is exemplary and inclusive of the non-dual lines of wisdom. And, inherent in Aiki principles, we find a spiritual path of embodiment wherein heart cognition may be ignited and eventually stabilized through sincere practice.

Aikido, revealed by the late Morihei Ueshiba (O’Sensei), is a martial wisdom practice with roots in the inherent harmony of creation wherein Love is the shape of everything. Our work is learning to see it, experience it, and live it right here. It is a vast path of the study of a unitive mystery. Aikido is not a religion and embraces people from all faiths and traditions. It shows and invites us by method and practice to directly experience our innate interconnectedness and Unity with each other in the midst of conflict and polarized positions.

The contemplative path of Aikido finds itself on a similar threshold as that of the contemplative wisdom path found within the Incarnational wisdom tradition. Both are in the midst of reclamation of sorts. Religious and systemic trappings, power structures, and doctrinal literalism are no longer satisfying or digestible for many serious seekers of truth and transformation. As such we find ourselves in the midst of “spitting out the bones” as is said in the Zen tradition.


Journey Towards Center is an ongoing exchange offered in a small group format. We offer a 5-day non-residential retreat periodically both by request and as a scheduled event. Participation is by application only. If you have an interest in receiving an application, please send us a note with your request to



Leigh is one of 180 people from around the world that made up the first cohort of the Living School, Center for Action and Contemplation, a global community exploring the cultivation of practical contemplative living through the study and application of Wisdom traditions. She is also long time student of Aikido and Dojo Cho of
Two Rivers Aikido / Kalispell Zen Center.

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