“Cynthia offered a transformational experience that exceeded my expectations and they were already high!” Retreat Participant
I created this Hidden Monastery to serve a mysterious way that is real and extends way beyond walls and institutions. This space is uniquely in service to way-keepers, those who study and pray in dedication to spiritual intelligence and love for Earth. To the best of my ability, I seek to host playfulness for the mystic path so that we can rejoice in sensitivity rather than feel cursed by it.
It is my job to heed spiritual intelligence in the dance with family, Earth and Divine Love. You will find that I bring a sense of humor, playfulness, down to earth mysticism, creativity, and vulnerability to the quest for embodied love, or what I call ensoulment.
I support soul friends around the world. This includes leaders in places like Spiritual Directors International, Spiritual Directors of Color, Creation Spirituality Network, The National Chaplains Association, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, United Religions Initiative, and the Parliament of World Religions.
My purpose is to foster freedom for myself and all people.
Spiritual Direction: I’ve taught art for spiritual formation on the graduate level for over 30 years. I’ve supervised and been a soul companion to spiritual leaders for decades coming out of my background in theology and the arts, a Master of Divinity, and in service as a pastor and guide.
Education: I earned a BA in Dance from UCLA and a Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley with doctoral work in Theology and the Arts at the Graduate Theological Union and in Multicultural Education at the Western Institute for Social Research. I’ve been certified in massage therapy and in using the Focused Energy Balance Indicator to support balance in life and leadership.
My Books: Chasing the Dance of Life: A Faith Journey, published by Apocryphile Press, Dance: The Sacred Art: Discovering the Joy of Movement by Turner Publishing, and Move: What the Body Wants by Woodlake Press. I also offer How-to guides on the physical practices of mysticism, intuition and psychic awareness. Click to learn more.
Artistry: I cofounded InterPlay with Phil Porter, a creative, improvisational community-based system designed to unlock the wisdom of the body for our time. InterPlay fundamentals use movement, voice, story, stillness, and connection to bring people and ideas together in amazing ways. I produced large scale community performance events called the Unbelievable Beauty of Being Human around the world. Click to get the low down on this amazing practice. I also have a visual Shrine making workshop. Here’s a peak.
Activism: InterPlay and mysticism are countercultural, earth-wise practices. As the executive director of InterPlay, I actively support racial equity and transformation. I served the YES board in support of young leaders, co-lead Changing the Race Dance with Soyinka Rahim, a workshop where people tell stories of our understandings and misunderstandings of socialized systemic racism. I developed InterPlay Art Responders with Catherine Jolly to realign ourselves to the beauty of a place and people after trauma.
Revered teachers– Doug Adams, Masankho Banda, Berkeley Psychic Institute and Phyllis Magal, Katrina Browne, Sheila Collins, Carla de Sola,Barbara Elliot, Jake Empereur, Jesus of Nazareth, Ruth King, Robert MacAfee Brown, Connors McConville, Thomas Merton, Metatron, Roberta Meyer, Phil Porter, Soyinka Rahim, Judith Rock, Betsey Wetzig, Ginny Whitelaw, Flora Wuellner, and more friends and students than I can name.
–Rev. Melinda McLain, pastor “Cynthia is a treasured mentor, teacher, and colleague in the art of deep and playful living. She instills trust among diverse peoples and leads groups with tremendous skill. Cynthia is a visionary and an exceptional entrepreneur. Any project or activity that she undertakes will be improved exponentially by her leadership or participation because she has the rare skill to be as great a follower and team member as she is a leader.”
-Rich Citrin, business and health consultant, “Cynthia is the consummate artist, facilitator, body wisdom expert and mystic. As the founder of InterPlay she has created a new way of being in the world and her influence has spanned the globe and has helped change villages in Africa, artists in Australia and children lives in India. Cynthia brings deep spiritual connection to a practical level for women and men of all ages. She has a special connection to a source that is beyond our usual day to day thinking. She has been a most vital agent in my life and I invite you to allow her into yours. You will be very happy you did!”
–Rev Susanna Pain, priest “What a gift, the spaciousness and creativity and generous listening you offer. Thank you.”
–Lila Mauricia Morisee, expressive arts guide, “It’s difficult to put words to the mystery, depth and ease that Cynthia’ sessions and written materials provide. I’ve reached a place of contentment, delight and humor that has led me open ever more deeply to it all–the mess of life w/ less drama, more “chop wood, carry water” kind of peace. Thank you, Cynthia –it’s been an immense gift and pleasure.”
–Terrence Keane, Marketing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theater,”Her keynote set the tone perfectly for the weekend. The ideas she introduced wove through our entire event, and I know that many of our participants — myself included — would like to come take a class.“