Sinsinawa Mound Center offers retreats and programs as well as opportunities for personal reflection and renewal in a comfortable, rural setting.

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“Hagia Sophia”: Thomas Merton’s Magnificent Poem of Contemplation in Action

August 12 9:30 am - 4:00 pm


“Now The Wisdom Of God, Sophia, Comes Forth
Reaching From End To End Mightily”
 (from Thomas Merton, “Hagia Sophia”)

Hagia Sophia is Greek for Holy Wisdom. Sophia has many names and is celebrated throughout human cultures. She is Prajna Paramita in Buddhist sutras, Chokma in the Torah, Thought Woman of the Keres Pueblo people, Pachamama who creates the Indigenous people of the Andes and Ala, the Provider of Life for the Ibo of Nigeria, Mother Tao for China, and Wisdom of the Earth with the name Goddess Gaia.

The renowned monk and mystic Thomas Merton helps us deepen into the life of Sophia. In his prose-poem “Hagia Sophia” he offers us the beauty of words to reveal the Wisdom beyond words, Sophia. In this day-long retreat, Paula Hirschboeck will guide us in exploring and practicing each phase of Merton’s experience of Sophia. He invites us into four phases of contemplative practice: initial awakening, surrender, dark unknowing and entering the world as Sophia, the mercy of God in us. Presentation, conversation, and mindful activities honoring silence will support our day together.

“Hagia Sophia” can be read here at this link for reflection before the retreat.

Saturday, August 12, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check-in will begin at 9:15 a.m. so the retreat can start promptly at 9:30 a.m.

$60 fee. Registration ends on Wednesday, August 9. Bring your own lunch.

Presenter: Paula Hirschboeck is a former Sinsinawa Dominican now teaching as a Buddhist priest. She leads Sophia Zen Women’s Sangha in Madison and SE Wisconsin.


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August 12
9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Sinsinawa Mound
585 County Road Z
Sinsinawa, WI 53824 United States
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Eric Anglada

Sinsinawa Mound Center

585 County Road Z
Sinsinawa, WI 53824