A Note from Phileena and Chris

Dear Beloved Community~

In March of this year, we all found ourselves swirling in a sea of chaos as the coronavirus pandemic threatened to alter life as we knew it. In response, Chris and I quickly switched gears to try and create a way to bring us all together, to help all of us stabilize and find a way to respond rather than react to our tumultuous circumstances.

Our April weekly webinars (“Whole Health Mondays,” “Spiritual Practice Wednesdays,” and “Kids Contemplation Fridays”) were an effort to create relevant, contemplative support for one another. If you missed those you might appreciate some of them even now.

There was a palpable sense of solidarity as our collective community reached out to one another in unison, declaring that:

“You are not alone.
We’re in this together.
We’ll do everything we can to help.”

This sentiment was originally birthed in Chris and my heart, but soon became our community anthem as we all braced ourselves for the ever-changing “new normal.” It warmed our hearts to see how so many banded together to offer a listening ear or an encouraging word to their friends across the nation and around the world.

Then, it happened that the pandemic and subsequent economic fall-out was not our only problem. Social unrest reached a boiling point. Chris and I found ourselves overwhelmed by the turmoil in our own city as another young black man was killed in the fight for racial justice.

Weeks turned into months, and as natural disasters and political instability were added to the list of global insecurities, we experienced our own season of turbulence as well. In response, Gravity had to cancel all of our remaining in-person programming for 2020.

As we find ourselves approaching advent in the Christian calendar and winter in the northern hemisphere, Gravity is trying to cooperate with the signs of the times and the invitation to slow down, enter the darkness, and wait for the new life that wants to be born. As Chris and I deepen our personal sabbatical time, Gravity too is responding in like manner.

Even as we have tried to be there for you this year under very challenging circumstances, you have also sustained us with your friendship, prayers, and financial support. We have experienced your solidarity. Thank you for reminding us that we are not alone, that you’re in this with us, and that you’ll do everything you can to help.

We are so very, very grateful for you.

As you approach Thanksgiving, may you find renewed gratitude for the gifts that can only come in darkness, and know how very much you mean to us.

Sincerely yours,

Phileena, Chris, & Basil

 

Gravity Board’s Summary of Third Party Inquiry Findings

This post is an update to our previous statement on June 14, 2020 in relation to allegations of misconduct made against Chris Heuertz. The Board of Directors of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism (“Gravity”), requested an inquiry conducted by an independent third party. That inquiry has concluded and in the spirit of transparency we would like to present the findings.

On June 1, 2020, a letter was sent to Brené Brown’s team alleging Chris committed sexual misconduct, psychological and spiritual abuse, and other forms of inappropriate behavior during the final years of his tenure at Word Made Flesh (“WMF”). Brené and her team requested the removal of her foreword from Chris’ book, The Enneagram of Belonging, and removed an episode of her podcast recorded with Chris. Brené then issued a public statement on June 17, 2020 that seemed to affirm the vague and largely unsubstantiated allegations.

On June 10, 2020, these allegations were made public through a Medium blog post. The accusations in the blog post were both sweeping and vague.

In response, Chris published a statement on June 12, 2020 in which he acknowledged three specific incidents of inappropriate behavior during his tenure at WMF. Those incidents were known, investigated and responded to by the Board of Directors at WMF. They were also known to the Board of Directors of Gravity. The accusations in the Medium blog post did not accurately reflect the circumstances of those three incidents, which occurred from 8 to 13 years ago.

With the intent to remain transparent, to guarantee unbiased reporting, and to ensure the perspectives and accounts of all had the opportunity to be heard, we, as the Board of Directors of Gravity, determined the best way to get clarity on the allegations made was to commission an independent third party inquiry. After reaching out to three potential firms, we hired attorney Susan K. Sapp of Cline Williams on Friday, June 19, 2020 to begin the inquiry. Ms. Sapp has over 30 years of legal experience, including a civil trial practice, with a focus on, among other things, labor and employment issues. Ms. Sapp has no personal or financial ties to, or conflicts of interest with, Chris, Gravity or the staff. What follows is consistent with the findings shared with the Board of Directors of Gravity at the conclusion of Ms. Sapp’s inquiry.

The scope of Ms. Sapp’s inquiry was to determine the following:

  1. Whether or not evidence supports the occurrence of the complained about behaviors while Chris was employed at WMF;
  2. Whether Chris engaged in more inappropriate behaviors than those reported to the WMF Board;
  3. What actions the WMF Board took in response to the situations of which it was aware;
  4. Whether any of the behaviors were illegal; and
  5. Whether any of the same or similar complained about behaviors have occurred while Chris has been employed at Gravity.

Over the course of Ms. Sapp’s inquiry, she interviewed 15 people, including former employees of WMF, current employees of WMF, past Board members of WMF who were on the Board at relevant time periods, former employees of Gravity, and current employees of Gravity. Her interviews also included both Chris and Phileena Heuertz, separately, without the other present.

Ms. Sapp also attempted to interview as many people related specifically to the online allegations as she could. She reached out to more than a dozen people who were directly or indirectly identified in the various social media posts on Twitter and Facebook, the letter to Brené Brown, and the Medium blog post specifically. However, she encountered a surprising unwillingness to speak with her among the people determined to be part of the complainant group. 

None of these individuals would agree to meet with Ms. Sapp or provide any corroborating information, under any terms, including promises of confidentiality and anonymity. In addition to this outreach, Ms. Sapp attempted to research as much as possible online and in social media, but when she requested communication through these channels, she was blocked by people who were closely associated with the complainants. Ms. Sapp observed that the complainants had numerous posts on Twitter and other social media forums, making similar broad brush but unsubstantiated allegations against Chris and Phileena.

Ms. Sapp was also able to review a significant level of Chris’ personal and professional correspondence, various WMF Board communications with Chris, WMF Board Minutes, and correspondence among WMF Board members between 2007-2012. This includes material that has not been shared publicly. Additionally, Ms. Sapp was able to study and review in detail the Medium blog post, the notes and documentation of the nearly 100 co-signers, the letter to Brené Brown, Brené’s public response, Chris’ public response, the June 12, 2020 statement from current WMF Executive Director Clint Baldwin, the December 10, 2012 statement from then WMF Board Member Robert Mabrey upon the Heuertz’ departure from WMF, and hundreds of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts.

Ms. Sapp is confident that with these sources of information, she has been able to assess the veracity of the allegations in the blog post regarding Chris’ behavior at WMF; discern what, if anything, has taken place during Chris’ leadership of Gravity; and otherwise sort through the various allegations without assistance from the primary complainants.

Ms. Sapp did determine, as Chris has acknowledged, that three separate incidents of an inappropriate relationship occurred between 2007-2012, only one of which involved a subordinate employee. Ms. Sapp found that while there was merit to the contention of inappropriate behavior with three women while Chris was employed at WMF, there was no evidence of any complaints regarding spiritual or psychological abuse or sexually predatory behavior. There was a crossing of healthy boundaries, but it appears to have been consensual, it did not involve sexual intercourse, and does not appear to have any elements of quid pro quo.

Ms. Sapp further found that there is no truth to the contention that the Board failed to take action at WMF. The Board of WMF took steps to correct Chris’ behavior in response to all three events. Reasonable actions were taken and there is no basis to “re-litigate” events that occurred 8-13 years ago and were handled in the best judgment of the WMF board at that time.

Contrary to the allegations that Chris never apologized or acknowledged “this part of his story,” Ms. Sapp confirmed that there is documentation of apologies extended and forgiveness independently offered to Chris in two of the situations. In the third situation, an apology was sent through a trusted intermediary, who had initially reported the issue to the WMF Board. There is no evidence it was either accepted or rejected; however, after the apology, the intermediary communicated via email on May 19, 2010 to Sarah Baldwin, who was WMF Board Chair at the time (and wife of WMF’s current Executive Director, Clint Baldwin, neither of whom would respond to requests for interviews during the inquiry): “Thank you for faithfully working on this – for not trivializing it. I delight to watch Chris’ ministry blossom and grow.” Sarah, in communicating this message to Chris, emailed him on May 19, 2010, saying: “I hope that you experience this as closure.”

In her research for this inquiry, Ms. Sapp also found that various social media posts related to the Medium post have accused Chris of “sexual violence” and “sexual assault.” In this regard, Ms. Sapp determined that there was no evidence that sexual assault or sexual violence had ever occurred at WMF, Gravity, or elsewhere for that matter.

Further, in investigating the working conditions of WMF, she found that much of the complainants’ issues regarding “financial indebtedness” had to do with the financial system of raising their own support, and receiving low pay in an effort to reduce the disparity between WMF staff members and the poor communities they worked among. In describing this, Ms. Sapp concluded that none of this amounted to “spiritual or psychological abuse,” nor was this business model that led to so much discontent the responsibility of Chris and Phileena, but that it had existed prior to their arrival at WMF and was perpetuated by the WMF Board. The requirement that staff raise their own support and pay back the organization any shortfall in their support account, often resulted in a situation where paying the organization back was required, even after a departure. In fact, this was the business model Chris and Phileena functioned under during their tenure at WMF as well, and likewise were required to pay back an overdrawn amount on their support account.

The nature of the Medium post has made it unclear just how many alleged victims there are, but it is clear that many people in social media have assumed that the 33 men and women referenced in the Medium post are among them. In this regard, Ms. Sapp concluded that there is no support for the contention that there were “33 victims” of the behavior described in the Medium post or other social media posts.

Finally, contrary to allegations that “the board of directors finally asked Chris to leave,” and there was a “great deal of secrecy and misinformation [that] surrounded Chris’ dismissal so that even those who were in leadership remain confused about the details,” the inquiry revealed that the Board of Directors at WMF were fully aware of the circumstances of Chris’ departure. Chris officially tendered his resignation to the WMF Board of Directors, and in consultation with the Board of Directors, Chris transitioned into a different paid role for a period of almost nine months following his resignation, until Phileena later resigned as well. In WMF Board Member Robert Mabrey’s 2012 public letter upon their resignation, this was acknowledged, saying, “Though they will no longer serve as the International Co-Executive Directors of WMF, they will both remain part of the community in reimagined roles that are better aligned with their evolving vocational passions. By now you have probably heard of the new ministry venture they are starting, with Word Made Flesh’s financial support, which is Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism. Over the next year they will imagine what the Center can become and together we will discern the relationship the Center will have with Word Made Flesh as we all move forward on our journeys.”

Ms. Sapp further concluded that there is no evidence of any conduct consistent with the allegations while at Gravity. Ms. Sapp was able to speak with nearly all of the past and current employees and interns of Gravity and found that they speak very fondly of Phileena and Chris. None of them reported being manipulated, abused, subjected to unhealthy crossing of boundaries or grooming behaviors. They said there were no inappropriate jokes or flirtations and that there was no chaos, confusion, self-doubt, tokenism, manipulation, or bullying. They felt supported and encouraged by both Chris and Phileena and all except one were “shocked” by the allegations when they heard them.

It is clear that there remains much pain and hurt surrounding the final years of Chris’ nearly twenty-year tenure as an employee at WMF. We are hopeful that there may be an opportunity for healing to occur, and we affirm Marion Gilbert’s invitation in her post “A Call for Reconciliation”. Chris and Phileena have expressed their commitment to reconciliation with those willing, and we offer our full support for efforts made to that end.

In light of the findings of our inquiry, and as it pertains to our fiduciary obligation to Gravity, we consider this matter concluded and we look forward to continuing the important work of the organization going forward.

For questions, please contact inquiries@gravitycenter.com

A Statement from Gravity’s Board of Directors

This statement is being released by the current Board of Directors of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism.

For nearly a decade, Gravity has committed to creating a work environment that models humility, vulnerability, growth, and transformation. Gravity takes seriously the responsibility to lift up and value vulnerable people and communities, and therefore, our organization has a zero tolerance policy regarding harassment or discrimination of any kind. 

We have recently learned of allegations made in an internet blog post regarding Chris Heuertz during his tenure at Word Made Flesh. Because we take allegations of this nature with the utmost seriousness, we formally began a due diligence process at the guidance of our legal counsel and with the unanimous support of the board. In order to ensure that all parties are properly heard and any necessary action is subsequently taken, and in order to guarantee a fair and unbiased reporting of the facts, this inquiry will be conducted by a third-party with no personal or financial ties to or conflicts of interest with Gravity or our staff.

Both Chris and Phileena have requested a voluntary sabbatical while the inquiry into these matters is conducted. With the approval of the board, they will step away from their active roles as directors of Gravity effective immediately and until the satisfactory conclusion of this process. 

It is the board’s intent that the process moves forward in the spirit of full transparency, which means that all perspectives and accounts will be heard. The board will provide further updates as they become available.

For questions, please contact inquiries@gravitycenter.com

 

A Statement from Gravity’s Board of Directors

This statement is being released by the current Board of Directors of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism.

For nearly a decade, Gravity has committed to creating a work environment that models humility, vulnerability, growth, and transformation. Gravity takes seriously the responsibility to lift up and value vulnerable people and communities, and therefore, our organization has a zero tolerance policy regarding harassment or discrimination of any kind. 

We have recently learned of allegations made in an internet blog post regarding Chris Heuertz during his tenure at Word Made Flesh. Because we take allegations of this nature with the utmost seriousness, we formally began a due diligence process at the guidance of our legal counsel and with the unanimous support of the board. In order to ensure that all parties are properly heard and any necessary action is subsequently taken, and in order to guarantee a fair and unbiased reporting of the facts, this inquiry will be conducted by a third-party with no personal or financial ties to or conflicts of interest with Gravity or our staff.

Both Chris and Phileena have requested a voluntary sabbatical while the inquiry into these matters is conducted. With the approval of the board, they will step away from their active roles as directors of Gravity effective immediately and until the satisfactory conclusion of this process. 

It is the board’s intent that the process moves forward in the spirit of full transparency, which means that all perspectives and accounts will be heard. The board will provide further updates as they become available.

For questions, please contact inquiries@gravitycenter.com.

 

 

A Springtime Winter: Learning to Be During COVID19

“Winter preserves and strengthens a tree. Rather than expending its strength on the exterior surface, its sap is forced deeper and deeper into its interior depth. In winter, a tougher, more resilient life is firmly established. Winter is necessary for the tree to survive and flourish.”

Thomas Merton 

It is March 20, 2020 and we have officially entered the season of Spring.  Spring promises blossoming flowers, sunny days, new life.  Yet we are in midst of uncertainty, fear, and feelings of death.  Fear of actual death, and the death of what we hold on to for our security and comfort – for our survival.  Schedules, routines, income, jobs, health, hobbies, toilet paper, purpose.  What was normal yesterday can’t even be accessed today.

We cannot control the situation, others’ reactions, our employers’ responses, our financial investment, our family’s well-being, etc. 

So we sit.  And wait.  And hunker down. And pray.

This week our spring break trip to the mountains got cut short.  So now that I am home, I am finding that I am mindlessly scrolling through social media, not sure what I am looking for.  I have feelings of guilt and laziness as I see other yoga instructors offer online classes, or at least words of wisdom.

But the truth is, I am tired.  I am uncertain. And I am not motivated to tell the story otherwise.

And, I believe in what Merton said above.  Because I have experienced it.  The only way to flourish, is to go deep in the winter time.  To reflect.  To rest.  To be.  

I don’t believe God caused this virus to occur.   But I do believe God works through all things.  So I will attempt to trust the pace of slow, give my soul what it needs to rest, sit in the reality of this winter time we are experiencing, and look for signs of spring.  The sun shining.  A fish jumping.  My dog snoring.  A laugh with my kid.  A deep conversation about theology and politics with my teen.  

I will “be”.  I will not strive to “do.”  Because from a place of being, when it’s time, we can do immeasurably more than we ever imagined.  

Before we were evacuated from Colorado this week, I took a walk in the snowy pine-tree filled forest.  Some of the pine trees were dead.  A few years back a pine beetle struck the rocky mountains hard – and many beautiful pine trees suffered.  Yet, to my surprise, there were several new baby pine trees coming up through the snow.  Where there was death, new life begins.  

I will believe that on the other side of this is not just a life of survival, but of flourishing. 


Angie Winn has spent over 25 years consulting, coaching, and training leaders and organizations to thrive.  Although her experience is in both for-profit and non-profit realms, Angie’s passion is to work with individuals, leaders, and teams living out their call and engaging with vulnerable communities.  Through a framework she designed called “stability in motion”, Angie offers coaching, consulting, workshops, yoga sessions, and retreats to individuals, leaders and teams in both her Orlando and Colorado-based retreat spaces, as well as at client locations.  Angie is a follower of Jesus, has a heart for social justice, and has a family of two teen boys, a lab, and a husband. Connect with her at winnsummitstrategies.com and loftonmain.com, Facebook, Instagram, and at her blog.


*header photo credit: Fabrice Villard 

Poetry for Perspective During COVID19

by Lynn Ungar

 

What if you thought of it

as [an unexpected] Sabbath

—the most sacred of times?

 

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world 

different than it is.

 

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

 

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

 

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

 

Know that our lives are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

 

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

 

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

 

Promise this world your love

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

Spiritual Gifts Amidst COVID19

by Mark Kutolowsk

 

In every life circumstance, there are spiritual gifts, freely given to those who are able to perceive them. This outbreak is no different. What then, are some of the spiritual opportunities of this pandemic?

 

  1. To recognize and honor the instinctual self: Everyone has both a material body and a psyche that are finite. They will die when we die. Yet, these parts of our selves desperately do not want to die. Our instinctual, animal inheritance is a finite self that is committed to survival at all costs, even though its inevitable end is death. When we acknowledge this aspect of self and honor its feedback, we can see it for what it is. Even more importantly, we can recognize that we are not this self. It is a part of who we are, but it is not us. It is totally natural for this aspect of self to feel great fear in the face a threat to its survival—like a global pandemic and social instability. Allow yourself to feel these fears, identify their source (the instinctual self), and do not confuse them for your true self.

 

  1. To remember our eternal nature: Each of us also possesses an aspect of ourselves that is eternal—our spirit that abides in union with God. We can each call to mind peak experiences—moments where we were caught up in great love or wonder, all fear dropped away, and we tasted something timeless and liberating. Those moments are break-throughs of the Spirit. In a time of great cultural fear and uncertainty, we are invited to re-connect with this aspect of our being—the tremendous inner resource of our self that is hidden in God. From this source comes a peace, freedom, and stability that allows us to face the dangers of the present with equanimity. This inner self united with God allowed the early Christians to sing joyfully as they went to be torn apart by wild animals in ancient Rome. They were living from the realm of God where death has no power—so they were fearless in the face of the present threats to their lives. Remembering and living from the Spirit is so important that any exterior loss or hardship can be seen as a blessing if it awakens awareness of the Spirit. That’s why many alcoholics who have found God in their recovery refer to their alcoholism as a blessing.

 

  1. Accurate feedback as to the state of our soul: One spiritual gift of a scary situation like the coronavirus outbreak is that it provides accurate and clear feedback as to the state of our souls in each moment. Are you feeling afraid and overwhelmed? That’s a sure sign you have identified with the finite/instinctual self. Are you feeling fear as an emotion, but have access to a deeper wellspring of timeless peace? That’s a sure sign you are living in the Spirit. The greater the external strive, the more intense and direct is this feedback as to the state of our inner identification at each moment.

 

  1. A reminder of the fragility of life: Material life is finite. Each of us will die, our culture will collapse, and even our planet will eventually cease to exist. Yet our culture—with its obsession with youth, growth and success—encourages a constant forgetfulness of this basic truth. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing illness, deaths, and strain on social systems can be a wakeup call to remember this basic truth. There’s a reason why many spiritual traditions (Christianity and Buddhism included) have included meditation on death as valuable spiritual practices.

 

  1. A revelation of systems of injustice: In this crisis, as in any time of societal stress, it is inevitably the poor and the marginalized who suffer the most. While the coronavirus illness itself may play no favorites, it is the wealthy who are least affected by the social fallout. The working poor, those tied into the ‘gig economy,’ and those who depend on tips will bear the brunt of the ensuing economic hardship, while the salaried will likely continue to be paid even when they are not able to work. Keep your eyes open to the social world and notice how power and wealth make their presence known in the responses to the outbreak. To have patterns of injustice revealed opens us to see reality more clearly and can open the door of the heart to compassion.

 

  1. An invitation to prayer and action: When we are faced with acute suffering in our communities and world, we can choose to respond with love. There may be practical ways we can serve our neighbors in their physical needs of food and basic supplies. In this time, with greater social isolation, phone calls and emotional support are invaluable. Even if our own means are very limited, each of us can pray—opening our hearts to both the source of infinite love and to the suffering of our brothers and sisters among us.

 

  1. Practice of sabbath: For many of us, the immediate effect of the coronavirus outbreak is that many of our work-related, academic and social activities are cancelled. We are asked to stay home. This can be an occasion for disappointment, feelings of isolation, or boredom. Or, it can be an opportunity to practice sabbath rest. Use the extra time to pray, to observe the natural world, to deeply rest. Allow yourself to let go of the need to control and build. Instead, rest in the grace of letting things be as they are.

 

Let us turn to God in this time—in love and trust.

 


 

Mark Kutolowski is a centering prayer teacher, spiritual director and wilderness guide. He and his wife Lisa homestead and run Metanoia of Vermont , a nonprofit whose mission is to nurture the Way of Christ through work and prayer in relationship with the land.

 


*header photo credit: Milada Vigerova 

A Call to Solidarity During COVID-19

 

by Chris Heuertz

 

I’ve been pretty sad for a couple weeks given the assault on our collective consciousness’s peace of heart & mind.

Lots of us aren’t going to be able to adjust to the new reality without each other.

So right now, let’s make an intention of hope & resiliency for those out there aching the uncertainty of how vulnerable we all are—specifically for some of the most susceptible among us:

You’re not alone.
We’re in this together.
We’ll do everything we can to help.

For the parents of newborns who feel the sadness of not being able to introduce their babies to friends and family because of social distancing.

For retired folks who are already struggling to get by but now watching their shaky financial futures vaporize with every hit the stock market takes.

For everyone getting married over the next few months, try to remember you’re not celebrating alone even if your community can’t be there for the ceremony.

For the refugees trying to make sense of of this chaos in a foreign country and a language that’s often difficult to comprehend.

For the small business owners who are forced to close shop out service to our collective health but will struggle to stay in business once this has all passed.

For single parents who were already under-supported and over-worked.

For the 20+ million kids in the US who need public school meal assistance just to get one or two hot meals a day + their parents who are suffering the pain of seeing their kids go hungry.

For the activists, charities, and non-profit organizations fighting to build a better world one donation at time while watching their funding thin out.

For our elders in assisted living communities who fear they may never see their family again.

For the authors, artists, musicians, speakers, and everyone else in the gig-industry whose livelihood is dependent on events that have been cancelled.

For the immunosuppressed and immunocompromised who fear running down to the market to buy the basics so they can get by one more day.

For the undocumented who have been illegalized by an unjust and unwelcoming system who fear applying for assistance at the risk of deportation.

For those who are incarcerated and concerned for their own health in their isolated communities or worried they may lose loved ones they’ll never see again.

For the flight attendants and local grocers who graciously serve all their customers while making themselves vulnerable.

For the hospice workers who wrestle with the risks of showing up or not showing up to care for their patients, and the difficult consequences of either choice.

For the chefs, bartenders, delivery folks, dish washers, host/esses, line cooks, servers, & all the hospitality industry who’ve prepared & provided meals for us but about to lose their jobs.

For parents whose employers won’t make concessions for you to stay home with your children who aren’t able to attend school.

For the health care professionals who put themselves in risk to care for the suffering bodies of our collective humanity.

For every single one of us who will lose a loved one, a friend, a family member, or a partner to this virus and will be forced to grieve alone.

You’re not alone.
We’re in this together.
We’ll do everything we can to help.

 

photo credit: Camilo Jimenez

#coronavirus #COVID19

Plant with Purpose

Podcast: Plant with Purpose
Host: Philippe Lazaro
iTunes

For a long time, a complicated relationship has existed between Christianity and efforts to care for the environment- at least in the Western Church. However, those who have worked at the intersection of faith and sustainability have realized that these two things go hand-in-hand. Caring for creation fulfills a biblical mandate God has given humanity. Taking care of the Earth can also draw us closer to God. So why the tension?

We talk to Phileena Heuertz on how contemplative spirituality can help us connect with God amidst challenging environmental crises.

Amplify Radio

Podcast: Amplify Radio
Host: Msgr. Ronald Lengwin (host) or Krista Clayton (IVP)

Listen

Father Ron Lengwin is joined by guest Phileena Heuertz and the two discuss her book, “Mindful Silence – The Heart of Christian Contemplation.”

Faith Conversations

Podcast: Faith Conversations
Host: Anita Lustrea
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Phileena Heuertz joins me this week on Faith Conversations. She is founding partner of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism. She is a spiritual director, yoga instructor, speaker, and retreat guide. We talk about what a pilgrimage of the soul looks like. As we look at Phileena’s book Pilgrimage of a Soul, we look at what our awakening might look like as well as some of the darkness we can face while on the journey of transformation. We wrap our time by talking about what Union with God really looks like.

Good True Beautiful

Podcast: Good True Beautiful
Host: Ashton Gustafson
iTunes

Our fast-paced lives are filled with distractions, frequently leaving us disillusioned and dissatisfied―with ourselves, with others, and even with God. Spiritual practices that used to sustain us fall short when life circumstances bring us to the limits of our self.

Phileena Heuertz’ latest book, Mindful Silence, illuminates some of the fundamentals of contemplative spirituality, drawing from a wellspring of wisdom from the tradition and Phileena’s personal experience.

Are You Real

Podcast: Are You Real
Host: Jon Fuller
iTunes

On Episode 131 of Are You Real purpose we talk to Phileena Huertz. Phileena grew up as a pastor’s daughter, graduated college, and joined a non-profit group for 20 years along with her husband, Chris Huertz. During this time she worked alongside others, and did intense social justice work. Phileena explains what it means to have a daily contemplative practice, and the importance of that. She says there are things we must “unlearn to know.” This is a very thought provoking, and inspiring episode you don’t want to miss!

CBF Conversations

Podcast: CBF Conversations
Host: Andy Hale
iTunes

American culture has been trending upward with a greater proclivity toward spirituality over the last decade, according to Pew Research study. The spirituality industry has never seen better days with more opportunities for personal development through classes, fitness groups, books, podcasts, smartphone and smartwatch apps, retreat centers and digital media.

Yet, we live in a paradox. We crave a deeper spirituality and we are the busiest creatures that have ever walked the earth. We seek a deeper mindfulness while speeding by it to get to the next thing on the schedule. Maybe Søren Kierkegaard labeled this correctly, “A paltry mediocrity.”

“Contemplative prayer practice effectively keeps us humble and honest. Humility and honesty are essential to building a just world,” said Phileena Heuertz. “The more of us who commit to such practice, the more peaceful our world will be.”

Phileena Heuertz spent the first portion of her journey serving alongside orphans, child soldiers, and those being trafficked in Africa with Word Made Flesh. In more recent years, Heuertz has been a part of the New Friar Movement and the Gravity Center.

We sat down with Phileena to discuss her new book, Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation.

Contemplify

Podcast: Contemplify
Host: Paul Swanson
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Eleven years ago I was a work intern at the Center for Action and Contemplation. A season of life that would unknowingly tether me to the contemplative journey. As a work intern, I lived in community with 6 other interns. If that weren’t enough, we were also the guest house for retreatants. One evening as we were settling into our dinner, there was a knock on our door. I hustled over to welcome our unknown guest, who happened to be Phileena Heuertz. Over the course of the meal we would come to learn about Phileena’s work with folks living in poverty and on the margins. She had just completed the pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago, and regaled us with stories of that experience. It was over the course of that meal that I first recognized the depth of Phileena’s being and presence.

I’m grateful for my friendship with Phileena and the ways our paths have crossed over the years. Phileena has written a book that will surely find its place in the new contemplative canon, Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation. In Mindful Silence she weaves her story, contemplative themes and teachers alongside practices, with the invitation always at hand to take another step into greater healing and wholeness by embodying the contemplative way. In our conversation we sink into the themes of Mindful Silence, how her dog Basil has been a contemplative guide, the passing of one of her mentors Fr. Thomas Keating, and how on a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy Phileena had an unexpected experience that continues to impart wisdom into her journey.

Phileena is a founding partner alongside her husband Chris of Gravity: A Center for Contemplative Activism. A spiritual director, retreat leader, writer, yoga teacher and exactly the type of person you want to find yourself in conversation with. Head over to mindfulsilence.org to learn about Phileena’s book. Get a copy for yourself and a friend. This is the type of book that is resonates when read alone and relished when read alongside fellow travelers.

You can learn more about Phileena Heuertz’s work at mindfulsilence.orggravitycenter.com and phileena.com

Otherwise

Podcast: Otherwise
Host: Casey Tygrett
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Today, in one of the last two episodes of this season we talk with author, activist, and spiritual director Phileena Heuertz, author of the new book Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation.

Phileena is the author of Pilgrimage of a Soul and a founding partner of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism. For nearly twenty years she and her husband, Chris, codirected an international nonprofit in more than seventy countries, building community among victims of human trafficking, survivors of HIV and AIDS, abandoned children, and child soldiers and war brides.

Spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker, retreat guide, and author, Phileena is passionate about spirituality and making the world a better place. She has led contemplative retreats for a number of faith communities, including Word Made Flesh, World Vision International, and Compassion International. In addition, she is sought after as a speaker at universities, seminaries, and conferences such as Q, Catalyst, Urbana, and the Center for Action and Contemplation. Phileena was also named an “Outstanding Alumni” by Asbury University and one of Outreach magazine’s “30 Emerging Influencers Reshaping Leadership.”

Ordinary Mystic

Podcast: Ordinary Mystic
Host: Mark Longhurst
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 This is, above, a conversation with Phileena Heuertz of Gravity: A Center for Contemplative Activism. Phileena has just released a powerful book entitled Mindful Silence. Through her own personal journey, contemplative practice, and study of the mystics, Phileena leads readers to encounter the possibility and power that silence has for people today.

The Contemplative Light

Podcast: The Contemplative Light
Host: Clint Sabom
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I talked with Phileena Heuertz, whose new book is out this month. Mindful Silence: The Heart Of Christian Contemplation presents a process-oriented framework of great value to Christians looking to deepen their spiritual lives. Phileena’s husband Chris will be on the podcast later this month to discuss his book The Sacred Enneagram.