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Contemplify

The Contemplify podcast kindles the examined life for contemplatives in the world. Through artful musings 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**. *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.
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Now displaying: August, 2018
Aug 20, 2018

“Tessa said something that completely change my path and my life. She said that 'falling in love with life was the first step on the a mystical path.'"

- Adam Bucko

I first met Tessa Bielecki as I was exiting a port-a-potty. Let me explain. A few years back, I was at an arts and spirituality festival. As I departed a port-a-potty, I made a crack about it being a cramped prayer cell (or some such nonsense) to the woman next in line, and she let out an infectious belly laugh while held the grimy door open. Looking back, this was the right way to meet Tessa. See Tessa Bielecki is a contemplative on the roads of the world. She is familiar with the ditches, the biways and the old desert roads that take you to the end of what you know. And she’s gracious enough to share her wisdom of these roads with us today.

Tessa Bielecki has written a number of books, I recommend them all, and most heartily Holy Daring: The Earthy Mysticism of St. Teresa, the Wild Woman of Avila. Tessa dipped into a contemplative way of being early in her life and has followed that thread all the way up to the present moment. She been a part of many groundbreaking contemplative initiatives, and I’ll highlight one now. The Desert Foundation was founded by Tessa with her pal Fr. David Denny ‘an informal circle of friends exploring the spirit of the desert, its landscape and soulscape, with a special focus on peace and reconciliation among the Abrahamic traditions: Jews, Christians, and Muslims.’ You’ll get a mighty wash of that spirit of the desert in our conversation today, which holds the bearings for a rhythm of life that incorporates contemplative practices, the insights gleaned from re-reading formational books in your life, why the stories of Ernest Shackleton might just be the marker for transforming a season of life and so much more. 

To learn more about Tessa's work, visit desertfound.org.

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