Russell James Pyle (russelljamespyle.com) is a national touring Musician and Ecopsychologist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Russell is one of a kind--an ambient folk troubadour, Buddhist, ecopsychologist, flyfisherman, avid hiker, comic book enthusiast, and with deep roots in the Pamunkey tribe. You will find that all of these elements flow through Russell and are expressed articulately through his music. We cover a lot of ground, Russell’s shift into a more contemplative way of being, the appearance of ecopsychology on TV, the joy of hiking alone, how the internal landscape is in relationship to the external and how Russell expresses that through music.
“The thing about Alana [Levandoski] is that she’s gifted. She's not just gifted as a musician, which she is, but she’s gifted as a lyricist...she teased these words, kind of like mantras, highly evocative mantras. She strung them together in a developmental expansion. So it was really a stroke of creative insight. It was really lovely how she brought it together."
- James Finley (via interview with Ordinary Mystic)
After Alana Levandoski attended and graduated from the Living School for Action and Contemplation, Alana experienced a rebirth as an artist, finally opening to a way of integrating her spirituality, her craftsmanship and her lifestyle. Abiding by a monastic rule inspired by her time living with the Benedictines, Alana and her husband Ian have committed to a life of minimalism and sacred simplicity.
Alana released a new album in September 2016. The album is a series of chants and compositions with spoken word in collaboration with contemplative teacher and clinical psychologist James Finley (author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere). It is called Sanctuary ~ Exploring the Healing Path with Alana Levandoski and James Finley. (adapted from alanalevandoski.com)
Stephen Blackmer is founding executive director of Kairos Earth and chaplain of Church of the Woods. Steve comes to this with 30 years of conservation experience, having founded and built conservation organizations including the Five Rivers Conservation Trust, Northern Forest Alliance and Northern Forest Center. A midlife shift led him to Yale Divinity School and ordination as a priest in the Episcopal Church, carrying the question in his heart and mind: “How can being a priest deepen my work to conserve the Earth? What does the Christian tradition have to offer to this work? How can the Christian tradition be re-understood and re-imagined in a time of need? How can the conservation movement recover its understanding of the Earth as holy ground?” (adapted from kairosearth.org)
�Rev. Dr. Peter Traben Haas is the author of several books, including Centering Prayers: A One Year Daily Companion for Going Deeper into the Love of God. Peter is steeped in the Christian contemplative tradition, passionate about bringing the contemplative mind into church communities and the sheer number of books mentioned in this episode could chart the course for your next year (or two) of reading.