About the Community for Integrative Learning

The mission
of the Community for Integrative Learning (CIL) is to provide learning experiences that promote connection, health and wholeness.
CIL, a Delaware organization, is the educational arm of the Brandywine Pastoral Institute, an established not-for-profit counseling and education center. The integration of body, mind, soul and spirit in individuals and communities is our primary focus.

Vision It is the vision of CIL that, through our programs and activities, those we touch experience greater harmony, expanded creativity and enriched purpose along with increased connectedness and well-being.

Program Focus
Our programs focus on these areas of interest to our members: Integral Spirituality (see below) and the psycho-spiritual journey, sometimes referred to as the "Heroic Journey."

See our Events Page for more insight into our programmatic focus.

What Is Intergal Spirituality?

Most of the great wisdom traditions agree that:

Spirit, by whatever name, exists.
Spirit, although existing “out there,” is found “in here,” or revealed within to the open heart and mind.
Most of us don’t realize this Spirit within, however, because we are living in a world of sin, separation, or duality—that is, we are living in a fallen, illusory, or fragmented state.
There is a way out of this fallen state (of sin or illusion or disharmony); there is a Path to our liberation. If we follow this Path to its conclusion, the result is a Rebirth or Enlightenment, a direct experience of Spirit within and without, a Supreme Liberation, which marks the end of sin and suffering, and manifests in social action of mercy and compassion on behalf of all sentient beings.

Does a list something like that make sense to you? Because if there are these general spiritual patterns in the cosmos, at least wherever human beings appear, then this changes everything. You can be a practicing Jew or Christian and still agree with that list; you can be a practicing Buddhist or Neopagan and still agree with that list. The simple existence of those types of currents profoundly changes the nature of belief itself.

Attunement to these deep spiritual patterns could occur through any of the great religions, but would be tied exclusively to none of them. This would be something added to one’s religion, not subtracted from it. The only thing it would subtract is the belief that one’s own path is the only true path to salvation.

Visit our Events Page to see how CIL brings groups together to explore universal Truths and their implications.

CIL Leadership

Director and Co-Founder, Steve Steinwedel

Steve Steinwedel, Ed.D. holds a masters degree in Counseling and a doctorate in Educational Leadership, having done his dissertation research on the phenomena of executive and life coaching.

He was a college basketball coach for twenty years and a college counselor for sixteen years as well as adjunct professor teaching graduate courses in counseling psychology.

You can contact Steve via email at [email protected].

Steve has been practicing and teaching yoga and meditation for over fifteen years. He works with individuals and groups on the deeper meaning of their night dreams and how to use them in service to their life plans and also assists his wife Janet with the operation of her leadership consulting business, Leader’s Insight.

Steve gives talks to various groups and organizations as well as leading retreats and workshops; listed below are some of his topics:
A Conversation on Prayer: Some Of Mary Oliver's Poems
The Wisdom of Dreams: The Magic Mirror that Never Lies Poetry, Dreams, & Reflection Exploring Our Inner Landscapes (retreat) The Exotic and Mystical Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Founding Director and Co-Founder Gene Thompson

Gene Thompson retired from DuPont in 1992 as a research manager. He was trained as a chemist (Ph.D.), but says he would starve today practicing chemistry as his interests have turned to philosophy, psychology, spirituality, and poetry.

Gene loves reading, learning, and teaching, especially poetry and the works of philosopher-mystic Ken Wilber. He is an active member of the Brandywine Pastoral Institute, the Community for Integrative Learning, and First and Central Presbyterian church. 

not because it is safe out there
because it often isn't.
because that is what it takes
to feel safe in here
whatever is out there.
~ Gene Thompson

Founding Members

Gina Bosworth | Asha Dodia | Ruth Flexman | Betty Garrett | John Hale Marina Kaiser |  Bud Lundgaard | Judy Pappenhagen | Faith Queman
Yvette Rudnitzky | Steve Steinwedel | Gene Thompson

In the Fall of 2001, on the heels of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the above individuals gathered to begin discussions for a community organization that would bring people together in this region to discuss important issues of the day. The group had a strong psycho-spiritual leaning and was well versed and informed by the work of integral philosopher Ken Wilber. These discussions led to the formation of the Community for Integrative Learning. Our first event was in February of 2002 with the poet and philosopher David Whyte where over 250 seekers spent a wonderful weekend.