The Contemplify podcast kindles the examined life for contemplatives in the world. Through artful musings & conversations with scholars, creatives, and master teachers each episode delivers a subtly intoxicating* exchange on the contemplative lifestyle with practical takeaways to emulate in daily life. Host, Paul Swanson, is a husband, father and contemplative educator at the Center for Action and Contemplation and co-host of Another Name for Every Thing with Richard Rohr**. *Contemplify is best served with a pint in hand. Please listen responsibly. ** All shenanigans, tom foolery and bally-hoo posted on Contemplify are my own. Contemplify is not representative of the Center for Action and Contemplation or Richard Rohr on any matter.
Lo-Fi & Hushed Contemplative Practice Session (September 2023 / Autumn Equinox)
31:31Lo-Fi & Hushed is weekly space for the contemplative practice of lectio divina with poetry. This practice is graceful, transformative, and subdued. Lo-Fi & Hushed is available worldwide, on Riverside livestream, and you can participate from the hallows of your own home. “I do not complain of suffering for love, it becomes me always to submit to her, whether she commands in storm or stillness, one can know her only in herself. This is an unconceivable wonder. Which has thus filled my heart and makes me stray in a wild desert.” — Hadewijch of Antwerp Visit https://contemplify.com/hushnow/ to learn more.
David Shumate on When Words Become Thunder
1:00:59"David Shumate's High Water Mark is absolutely fresh and unpredictable. . . . You will be surprised by your confrontation with the utterly first rate." — Jim Harrison David Shumate is the author of The Floating Bridge and High Water Mark, winner of the 2003 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. His poetry has appeared widely in literary journals and has been anthologized in Good Poems for Hard Times, The Best American Poetry and The Writer’s Almanac. Shumate is poet-in-residence at Marian University and lives in Zionsville, Indiana. David and I talk about poems that surprise you, the elemental essence that gardening, cooking, contemplation, poetry share, what it means to follow the brush, culturing of wisdom is at the heart of the arts, and much more. David also reads a few of his poems including one of my all-time favorites, “Teaching a Child the Art of Confession”. Visit contemplify.com
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Douglas E. Christie on Depth Without Resolution
1:03:03Douglas E. Christie, Ph.D., is Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He is author of The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Early Christian Monasticism; The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology; and The Insurmountable Darkness of Love: Mysticism, Loss and the Common Life. He is the founding editor of the journal Spiritus and served as co-director of the Casa de la Mateada Program in Córdoba, Argentina from 2013-2015. Doug and I talk about why the poetic and apophatic theology of Hadejwich of Antwerp and Jan Van Ruusbroec might be important for our times, incarnational risk and AI, kindness as a spiritual practice and much more. Listen to Doug's first appearance on Contemplify here. Visit contemplify.com for the shownotes.
Carmen Acevedo Butcher Follows the Mystical Tugs on the Heart
1:13:48Carmen Acevedo Butcher, PhD, is an author, teacher, poet, and award-winning translator of spiritual texts. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence. Her dynamic work around the evolution of language and the necessity of just and inclusive language has garnered interest from various media, including the BBC and NPR’s Morning Edition. A Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year and Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Acevedo Butcher teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, in the College Writing Programs. Carmen and I talk about the mystics that allure, the noetic power of language, necessity of compassion and so much more. Visit contemplfiy.com for shownotes.
Lisa Wells on Holding a Fierce and Loving Gaze
1:05:19Lisa Wells is an author, poet, and co-founder of a small, nonprofit press based in Seattle, Washington called Letter Machine Editions. Her latest work is Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World. In Believers Lisa locates folks who meet the climate catastrophe with a fierce and loving gaze, with their sights on restoring humanity’s relationship with the planet as best they can. With a poetic and engaging pen, Lisa continually asks how then shall we live? Lisa and I talk about despair and love, trash as the shadow of our culture, doing the best we can, dropping out of high school and joining a wilderness school, and much more. Visit Lisa at lisawellswriter.com or lettermachine.org. Visit Contemplify.com
Scott Avett on Being Here for the Feast
1:12:57Scott Avett is a visual artist, musician, and songwriter. No amount of descriptors quite do him justice. Scott’s work was met by my ears before my eyes. His songs slip into the ear stream, reverberate off the rib cage and remind the heart it was born free. Scott’s paintings hold your gaze in absorption, jostle you awake, and drop you off a block later. In our conversation today Scott and I talk about creativity and contemplation, mysterious inputs that need to be absence of the thought of outputs, the study of sacred texts, parenting and death, and much more. Visit Contemplify.com for show notes. Visit Scott at scottavett.com or theavettbrothers.com | IG: @avettar | T: @ScottAvett
Haleh Liza Gafori on Putting Mystery in the Middle
59:00Haleh Liza Gafori is a translator, vocalist, poet, and educator born in New York City of Iranian descent. Her latest work, is a translation of Rumi poems entitled Gold. I first heard one of her translations of Rumi sitting around a campfire on a Sunday morning in Patagonia, Arizona. I was bit by the passion and this conversation does not disappoint. Haleh and I converse about being raised in a family that celebrates poetry, how a translator’s work is never done alone, what clergy of today might learn from Rumi’s transformation, translating as a spiritual practice, and much more. Visit Haleh at halehliza.com | @halehliza Visit contemplify.com
Belden Lane on the Unbroken Desert of God
54:16Belden Lane is Professor Emeritus of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, author of numerous books including The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality and Backpacking with the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as Spiritual Practice. Belden Lane is a true elder, and in our conversation he exhibits that when we talk about wild places, the rough play and laughter of God, grief after losing a son, what we can learn from trees, and much more. Visit contemplify.com
Your Naked Freedom
5:53Good poetry is inherently spiritual. It is a clown car of interpretation. Once a door of perception is opened, endless and surprising “Ahas” tumble out. When you have a spiritual teacher who embodies a poem, their words become thunder and contemplation soaks you. Get a taste of Season Four of Contemplify. First full episode is out in a week. slide over to contemplify.com