The Sophia Institute

The Sophia Institute


So wonderful to be graced by the presence of Jean Shinoda Bolen today in the Circle and to all the other beautiful souls there as well (within this realm and on the other side!) Thank you to the Sophia Institute for making this happen. Sending deep gratitude.
I support the Sophia Institute in Charleston. SC. Proud to have served 2 terms on the Board of Directors!
Prayers go out to the lovely Sophia Institute as they face Hurricane Florence. Thinking of all of you.
FREE FREE FREE EVENT - World renowned monk, guru of Indian origin, SWAMI SARVAPRIYANANDA, ( of the lineage of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa/Swami Vevekananda is giving a talk on YOGA, MEDITATION, etc. at the Broomfield Auditorium on July 12th from 6 PM to 8 PM. You are all invited to attend the event with family and friends. Please RSVP to [email protected] with number of guests. Looking forward to seeing you all there !! ALL ARE WELCOME - both Adults and kids. VENUE : Broomfield Auditorium 3 Community Park Rd, Broomfield, CO 80020 DATE July 12th - 6 PM to 8 PM Please RSVP to [email protected] Contact: Lalitha Chittoor - 7209036005
What an absolutely wonderful workshop we had at the Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC this past weekend. 18 beautiful souls showed up on Saturday to go to a new level of their being regarding becoming fearless. Thank you Kelli, Pam B, Nicole, Joanne, Meredith, Di, Keith, Pam, Ariane, Lisa, Maryann, Charise, Carolyn, Dee, Char, Sheryl, Jeff, and Chris. Thank you for sharing, listening, helping others, supporting yourselves, encouraging others, and being there for me as well. This is a group that I definitely want to get together again with soon and continue our good work together. You made it a very special workshop for me. I also want to thank Pamela S. for being there when she could and for giving of herself so bravely. I would also like to thank those participants who came on Friday night but could not attend on Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing you again, too. A special thank to my friend, Carolyn Rivers of the Sophia Institute for having me back again for the 3rd year and for her undying support for helping us all have the opportunity to grow as human beings and evolve as souls. Also a special thank you to my friend, Chris, whose house is such a wonderful respite and haven during these times when her friend, Connie, needs to crash from time to time. And thank you, my dear Jeff, for being there for me in all ways and for adding so much to the group. You are also loved and appreciated by many.
When will we get the list of attendees that want to work together from "The Way Under the Way" retreat?

The Sophia Institute offers leading edge programs that focus on wholeness, wisdom, peace, and sustainability for the transformation of self and society.

The Sophia Institute is a source and a beacon in today’s world for profound transformation and unlimited spiritual growth. Using a new model of spiritual partnership and integration between feminine and masculine values, the Institute fosters a spirit of co-creative wisdom that calls forth the unique gifts of each individual.

Mission: The Sophia Institute is a center of learning that provides innovative programs that foster the rise of the feminine, cultivating wisdom and mindfulness, for a more just, sustainable, and flourishing world. The Sophia Institute offers retreats, lectures, classes, and special events, featuring nationally and internationally renowned leaders and teachers.

Consider these brilliant last words to us from the iconic leader Representative John Lewis, written only days before his death and sent to the New York Times to be published the day of his funeral,

“Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”

The Honorable John Lewis from his op-ed, “Together You Can Redeem the Soul of our Nation” in the New York Times.

You can read it here or listen to the audio recording:®i_id=78169025&segment_id=34749&te=1&user_id=6eed3f6a19a67458fabe2529f998049a

As we reflect on current times, we looks towards our wonderful presenter Caroline Myss for insight and inspiration. As Caroline says, “Life has always been a journey of transformation, but never before have the forces come together quite with the same urgency that they are now.” We at the Sophia Institute agree, and hope all are able to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

To learn more about Caroline Myss, you can visit our website:

The Social Justice, Racial Equity Collaborative Living Your Truth Series presents, “A Conversation on Youth Social Justice”

Register for this free event and find more information on the Sophia Institute website:

The SJREC talk will feature the powerhouse, next-generation, change agents and co-founders of SheStrong, Maya Green and Countenay White on Tuesday, June 30th from 7:00p-8:30p via Zoom.

These remarkable and accomplished young women have taken on the mantle of social justice and women’s rights and represent the next generation of global leaders. Hear their perspective on the skills young leaders need to cultivate to effectively lead and service and advocacy efforts that are making a difference, not only for youth but also for communities across the country.

Join us this weekend. #jeanshinodabolen #virtualretreat

The Sophia Institute

The Sophia Institute

We pause today to mourn, to observe, and call for policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd and countless others effected by racism and violence. We abstain from using the Black Lives Matter hashtag, as not to hinder important communication but to strengthen it. #blackouttuesday #blackouttuesday⚫️✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

We welcome Master Teacher back to The Sophia Institute. There is still time for you to join us today in our Virtual Retreat with Mark Nepo. Register on our site or call or text our office phone, and we can assist you with registration. We begin at 10am EST as we connect with Mark in his home, Sophia staff in their homes, and you in yours.

#thesophiainstitute #marknepo #virtualretreat #retreat #fear #soul #collectivecare #mindfulness #mindfulness #meditation #spirituality #bestsellingauthor #whatmattersmost #whatmatter

Edited Recording: The Sophia Institute's "No Show Luncheon" 2020

This edited version of the 2020 Sophia Institute Luncheon includes high quality versions of the video wisdom shared by Marianne Williamson, Ellen Burstyn, Lynne Twist, Jean Houston, and others, as well as two very special musical performances. Please make your contribution to support the good work of The Sophia Institute here:

Thank you to all who attended our No Show Luncheon today. We love seeing how to celebrated with us in your own home as you joined us in ours. Thanks Cam and Tony for sharing pictures of your beautiful table setting and lunch!! It looks amazing. #thesophiainstitute

Sophia Institute "No Show Luncheon"

Welcome to The Sophia Institute's "No Show Luncheon"!

In less than an hour join us at The Sophia Institute on Facebook Live or join via Zoom for this one hour inspiring and uplifting event (zoom link>>>>) :

#mariannewilliamson #lynnetwist #jeanhouston #ellenburstyn #charlestonsymphony #carolynrivers #johntecklenburg #charleston #thesophiainstitute

In just 90 minute, we will begin our virtual NO SHOW LUNCHEON!!!

Join us here through Facebook Live or via Zoom at:

Have you registered for The Sophia Institute’s No Show Luncheon? Registration is free. Join #lynnetwist #mariannewilliamson #ellenburstyn #jeanhouston #carolynrivers #charleston mayor #johntecklenburg the #charlestonsymphony trio and more for an uplifting and inspiring event!

SAVE THE DATE AND RSVP!!! Join Lynn Twist, Marianne Williamson, Ellen Burstyn, Jean Houston, Mayor John Tecklenburg, the Charleston Symphony Trio, Founder Carolyn Rivers and more...

#charleston #stayathome #mariannewillamson #lynnetwist #jeanhouston #nonprofit #noshowluncheon

Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo brings his wisdom to us on May 15-16. We hope you will join us for this Virtual Retreat

There is no “they.” We are they. We are each other. And there’s a deep Unity that always waits below our righteous insistence that we know the way. #BookofSoul

The Sophia Institute is pleased you share that the Charleston Climate Coalition is encouraging everyone to make art that makes a statement about the importance of taking action on the climate crisis facing the planet.

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is April 22 -- make art, take a photo of it and go to Instagram at to share!

Here are a few creative prompts: Nature’s beauty (outside my window), I am fighting for a better climate because…, Pollution solutions/Global warming, Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Energy Justice. Mediums can be Messages in Windows, On Sidewalks, on Fences, Painting, Photography, Mixed-Media, Chalk Art, Wearable Art, Original songs, Music, Performance, Poetry, Spoken Word. Have fun!

#art #earthday #charleston

The podcast for living a juicy life!

We started salons after the Mother Emmanuel massacre. There’s a deep wound in racial equity that needs to be addressed. We need to speak to it to heal. The Sophia Institute's Founder Carolyn Rivers talks racial equity work and the Sophia Institute on Episode 96 of the Keep it Juicy! podcast Keep It Juicy! is a half-hour weekly podcast for those who are bold, passionate, and ready to squeeze every drop of juice out of life. We feature national experts on how to live a juicy life.

The podcast for living a juicy life!

We are taking a stand for creating more justice, sustainability and a flourishing world for all people at the Sophia Institute. Check out my interview on Episode 96 of the Keep it Juicy! podcast TODAY Keep It Juicy! is a half-hour weekly podcast for those who are bold, passionate, and ready to squeeze every drop of juice out of life. We feature national experts on how to live a juicy life. 

3 classes a week. 3 pricing options. From anywhere, be there on the mat with us. 🧘‍♀️ All levels welcome. Register at

Join our tuition-free webinar this Saturday with Joan Borysenko and Carolyn Rivers.

Reading a book. Taking a long walk with your dog. Connecting with a supportive friend over the phone. In what ways are you practicing self-care during this time? Let us know.

Sharing a message from friend and teacher Joan Borysenko

Running the Gauntlet of the Unknown
Joan Borysenko

Through the years I’ve written and taught extensively about “liminal time,” that pregnant pause between what is no longer and what is not yet. Although liminal time is a known stage in all rites of passage, most people have never heard of it. Whether we’re talking about a pandemic, a war, a refugee crisis, or even a man or womanhood ritual, a graduation, or a new job far away from family and friends, the stages (though not the intensity) of a rite of passage are the same.

1. Separation from life as you have known it.
2. Passing through liminal time- a journey through the unknown that begins with grieving. The landscape is foreign, and the outcome uncertain. There is no map of the territory. Running the gauntlet of the unknown is a challenge, a vision quest. Remember the film, The Life of Pi? The ship that Pi, his parents, and the animals from their circus-were traveling on suddenly sank. Pi found himself adrift in a lifeboat with a tiger, doing his best to survive. A wise old Pi, his life informed by that terrible night sea journey, lived to narrate his story. Tom Hanks’ classic film, Cast Away, is another tale about finding strength and wisdom in the unknown.
3. The Return- Those who make it through liminal time with courage and heart return to a transformed life bearing precious gifts: perspective, gratitude, courage, wisdom. These post traumatic strengths get shared with the community and uplift the whole.

The 3 stages of a rite of passage define the archetype of The Hero’s Journey- a narrative arc that makes a certain genre of adventure films inspiring and satisfying. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it through the gauntlet of the unknown. Some of us emerge traumatized. Other embittered or depressed. Some don’t make it through at all.

Through years of research and clinical experience I’ve identified several commonalities of resilient people. They are a model for the rest of us:

1. Human Connection. The irony of self-isolation is that virtual connection is now flourishing. I haven’t spent this much time talking to family and friends for years. They may be far away, but the same technology that it was so tempting to demonize as distancing, has turned out to offer deep connection in this wild time.
2. Realism. We can’t cope in a way that optimizes choice unless we face reality head on. We need to hear the truth and look directly into the eyes of the beast. My husband Gordon calls this Optimizing Realism. Governor Andrew Cuomo is the embodiment of this character strength. It is the bedrock of effective leadership.
3. A vision of what could be. In the film The Martian, in which Matt Damon gets marooned on Mars, the whole planet shares the same vision. Bring Him Home. To the extent that our whole country can share the vision of flattening the curve through social distancing, we will beat this thing together.
4. Faith in what’s possible. Remember John McCain? He was a POW who emerged from the hell of captivity as a powerful leader. When interviewed about how he survived, he gave credit to his faith. Faith doesn’t have to be religious by the way… it can be faith in human goodness, ingenuity, or your own ability to handle whatever comes your way.
5. Creativity. Think about all the folks who are making protective masks out of office supplies, or by sewing them. Dyson and other engineers figuring out how to make ventilators from parts that are still available.
6. Helping others. Giving aid in whatever way you can reverses the flow of attention from your own problems to how you can help and inspire others. As a result, you feel better (except when you are overstressed like many of our healthcare providers).
7. Self-Regulation. Knowing how to calm your nervous system through breathing, meditation, prayer, managing emotions, moving your body, listening to music, talking with a friend, following a routine, and getting out into nature are basic to resilience. Without such tools, your body’s survival system overrides reason, leading to poor choices, stress, and distress.

Stay tuned for tips on managing your emotions. Meanwhile, many blessings dear friends. Please stay safe and give others the gift of safety by staying home, no matter what your governor has to say. And enjoy the first blossoms on our apricot tree.

NEW SATURDAY CLASS!! Stay connected while socially distancing by joining us for Yoga: Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. All levels welcome. Link below to register. We will send you a Zoom link when you register. See you on the mat.

#virtualyoga #yoga #charleston #socialdistancing #wellness #wellbeing #retreat #meditation #onlineyoga

While we are socially distancing, we are strengthening our spiritual connections. We remain committed to our wellness as we pivot towards creative, new ways of staying connected. We invite you to join us in our Virtual Yoga Practice, each Tuesday and Thursday at 12 noon. $15 a class or $65 per 5 classes. Link to register below

David Whyte

Poem : The Journey.
filmed by Gayle Karen Young Whyte

Listen 💙 Validate

Not A One - Mark Nepo

Sharing some wisdom from our dear friend Mark Nepo

As we navigate these challenging times, I will be posting messages as they come through along with poems and other reflections. Here's one for today, Not a O...

Join Caroline Myss today at 3pm

Hi Everyone,

Today at 3:00 pm CST, we will initiate a circle of grace as we join together - wherever we are - and join in prayer. Some of us will pray the rosary. Others will meditate. And many of us will pray in our own personal way. There is no right or wrong way to pray.

Some of you have asked if I am leading this prayer time via internet. No, I am not. Instead we will join together in spirit, as we are now nearly 10,000 people from all over the world, in nearly every time zone.

My way of entering into deep prayer is to go to a place in my home without any distractions of any kind - electronics, etc. Light a candle if you want. I never put music on. I pray in silence. But you know your prayer comfort zone.

Let me add that the length you stay in prayer is not important - but your intention is. Pray for the healing of our world, for grace to flood into the whole of humanity as we walk day-by-day into this new world together. Pray for the grace to not be taken over by fear. Now is the time for faith in the truth that this is yet another passage of chaos - and we will make this journey together.

Bless you all and thank you for being a part of this prayer circle. I'll be with you at 3:00 in spirit.

Let us all hold in our hearts this prayer: Hover over us, God...and bless us with the grace of healing and mercy.

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Videos (show all)

Edited Recording: The Sophia Institute's "No Show Luncheon" 2020
Sophia Institute "No Show Luncheon"





3 Broad Street
Charleston, SC

General information

We look toward a world that could be called a wisdom society, a 21st century that could be called The Sophia Century: a conscious enlightened world, a compassionate global community, where wholeness, healing, sustainability, the conscious heart, deep wisdom, and the sacred feminine are at the center of life. As we face new challenges in a world of conflict, we are dedicated to the vision that together we can create a more conscious and enlightened world, a world in renaissance that expresses the vastness of the human potential.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
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