A New Path for John Philip Newell

In the midst of the struggles of the pandemic, these months have also been a time of new awareness for many, realising that we don’t simply want to go back to how things were before the virus. It has certainly been a time of new awareness in my life personally, especially in relation to my ongoing work after the pandemic. I have realised that I am essentially a wandering teacher and that in this season of my life I need to return to this essential role in a new way and to travel as lightly as possible. Part of what this means is letting go of Heartbeat, the 501c3 organisation that was established ten years ago to come alongside my work. Ali and I feel enormous gratitude for all of you who have put time and energy into serving and supporting Heartbeat, and especially its board members and staff. But it is time to let it go and focus on my teaching and writing.
 
Heartbeat will be dissolved by the end of 2020. This now gives us over five months to work through the transition and the proper distribution of any remaining funds (such as those designated to special initiatives like Scholarship, Hebridean Treasure, and the Refugee Fund). Importantly it also gives our Executive Director, Ben Lindwall, time to prepare the next major step in his life. He has made great contributions to Heartbeat over the years and has developed many gifts that he will carry with him into his next venture. We wish him the very best in this journey.
 
The Iona pilgrimage weeks will continue, as will my teaching events in the USA and Canada. These will now be called ‘Earth and Soul’ rather than the ‘School of Celtic Consciousness’. We don’t require anything as organisationally formal as a ‘School’. These gatherings will simply be described as a Celtic initiative of study, spiritual practice, and compassionate action. The three-year pattern of study will continue, as will the leadership teams on the ground in different locations across the country. We don’t yet know when physical gatherings will resume, but we are tentatively planning on resuming in 2021. Please stay tuned! I look forward to welcoming you to one of our pilgrimages on Iona or one of our Earth and Soul teaching events in the future or one of our live webinars (two of which we’ve already had now during the pandemic).
 
The Heartbeat website will, after the summer, transition into an Earth and Soul website. We’ll get more detail to you on that in the coming months.
 
With my gratitude to you all and blessings,
 
John Philip Newell

Wisdom in the Pandemic: Episode 6 | John Philip Newell

In this week’s episode we’ll be looking at waking up again to the world with radical amazement. And in this, our final episode, we include Cameron Newell’s new composition ‘Sleep’ and footage of his filming in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland. To explore more of his music, please visit his SoundCloud page.

‘Wisdom During the Pandemic: Conversations in the Garden with John Philip Newell’ are a weekly video series “drawing on wisdom from teachers of the past.” John Philip will be asking, if these teachers were with us during this time, what might they say to us?
 
Music composed and video produced by Cameron Newell.

Wisdom in the Pandemic: Episode 5 | John Philip Newell

In this week’s episode we speak of the urgent need to imagine new ways of being, both individually and collectively.

‘Wisdom During the Pandemic: Conversations in the Garden with John Philip Newell’ are a weekly video series “drawing on wisdom from teachers of the past.” John Philip will be asking, if these teachers were with us during this time, what might they say to us?
 
Music composed and video produced by Cameron Newell.

Wisdom in the Pandemic: Episode 4 | John Philip Newell

In this week’s episode we ask how to prepare for ’the new day’, the day of right relationship with the earth and one another.

‘Wisdom During the Pandemic: Conversations in the Garden with John Philip Newell’ are a weekly video series “drawing on wisdom from teachers of the past.” John Philip will be asking, if these teachers were with us during this time, what might they say to us?
 
Music composed and video produced by Cameron Newell.

Black Lives Matter

Dear Heartbeat Family,
 
We are grieved and enraged by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We stand against all police tactics across the nation that endanger, brutalize and kill members of our communities, especially those who are black men.
 
One of the core concepts from the Celtic lineage, articulated by John Philip Newell is the belief that the heartbeat of the sacred “pulses through all things.” While viewing the video of Mr. Floyd’s murder, I watched as his heartbeat was purposefully and deliberately put to a stop. The sacred life of a beautiful human was ruthlessly taken. It was an action resulting from a systemic pattern of police violence meant to control black people since the dawn of slavery. This is nothing new. John Philip often recounts the story of John the Beloved at the Last Supper. In the Celtic memory it is said that when he laid his head on the chest of Jesus, “he heard the heartbeat of God.” This, John Philip says, is a picture of our listening posture and it has immediate application to our response at this time. If we’re really listening for the heartbeat of the sacred, we’ll come to a deeper understanding of what the black community is experiencing. If we believe in the sacredness of all things, then the way we hold our police accountable matters. The ways in which we allow police to interact with our community matters.
 
Black lives matter.
 
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in times of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” We need to challenge the patterns of racism, bias, and dominant culture in our societies and nations, urgently. And we can do this in how we pray and speak and act. This is not the time to stay neutral. We need to denounce white supremacy in all its forms, now.
 
Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to the friends and family of Mr. Floyd and all who are devastated by police violence. We are with you on this journey.
 
In solidarity,
 
Ben Lindwall
Executive Director, Heartbeat

Wisdom in the Pandemic: Episode 3 | John Philip Newell

This week we speak of George MacLeod and ask ‘How shall we live after the pandemic?’
‘Wisdom During the Pandemic: Conversations in the Garden with John Philip Newell’ are a weekly video series “drawing on wisdom from teachers of the past.” John Philip will be asking, if these teachers were with us during this time, what might they say to us?
 
Music composed and video produced by Cameron Newell.

Wisdom in the Pandemic: Episode 2 | John Philip Newell

Conversations in the Garden with 
John Philip Newell during Covid-19

In this episode, Hildegard of Bingen inspires us to fly with two wings of awareness: awareness of life’s beauty and awareness of life’s pain.

‘Wisdom During the Pandemic: Conversations in the Garden with John Philip Newell’ are a weekly video series “drawing on wisdom from teachers of the past.” John Philip will be asking, if these teachers were with us during this time, what might they say to us?
 
Music composed and video produced by Cameron Newell.

Wisdom in the Pandemic Episode 1 | John Philip Newell

Conversations in the Garden with 
John Philip Newell during Covid-19

We are excited to announce the launch of a new video series – ‘Wisdom in the Pandemic: Conversations in the Garden with John Philip Newell’. Each week John Philip and his son Cameron will be in conversation amidst their garden in Edinburgh, “drawing on wisdom from teachers of the past.” John Philip will be asking, if these teachers were with us during this time, what might they say to us? 
 
In this first episode, they will be speaking of the late William Newell, who calls on us to open our hearts to the pain of the world in order to feel compassion.

Do Not Be Afraid | John Philip Newell

During this time of uncertainty and loss, we encourage you to reflect on the prayer offered below and view the meditative chant performed by Fran McKendree and friends.

Do not be afraid. I am with you always.
(Matthew 28:10, 20)
 
Our heart is comforted
in its awareness of You
Soul within our soul
Life within all life.
Our heart is comforted
in remembering You
Giver of this day
Gift of every moment.
May we be bearers of comfort.
May we be strong in our soul
to cry at the wrongs of nations
to weep with the bleeding earth
to mourn with those who mourn this night
in the loss of life and lands
in the loss of dreams and hope.
May we be strong in our soul this night.
 
-John Philip Newell, ‘Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace’

JPN Meditations, Straight to Your Inbox

Did you know that you can receive regular readings for meditation from John Philip Newell via email? We’ll also send periodic updates from Heartbeat, scholarship opportunities and event news all while being careful not to clutter up your inbox. Click here to sign up and join our community!