John Philip Newell on the Plight of the Rohingya

Image courtesy of the BBC and GETTY IMAGES

In 2014 I wrote a book entitled The Rebirthing of God in which I included a chapter on Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, as a modern icon of compassion. Since then she has become the de facto leader of Myanmar (formerly Burma). Many of you will be aware that, to the surprise and shock of the international community, Suu Kyi has not spoken out against the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims of her own country at the hands of the Myanmar military since 2017. Tens of thousands have been murdered and hundreds of thousands have had to flee as refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh. Suu Kyi rejected allegations of genocide when she appeared at the International Court of Justice in December 2019. And in January of this year the United Nations ordered the government of Myanmar to take measures to protect members of its Rohingya community from genocide. Thus far nothing has changed.
 
Although I have publicly denounced this atrocity since it became known to the world in 2017, I should also have put my judgement into writing. I am sorry that I failed to do so, and I regret any confusion this has caused among my readership. I have asked the publisher of The Rebirthing of God(now Turner Publishing Company in Nashville) to remove the chapter on Suu Kyi from any future sales of the book but have not yet heard their decision.
 
For more information on the plight of the Rohingya people today, click here
 
John Philip Newell

Live-Streaming Webinar with John Philip Newell

“We know things in the core of our being that we have not necessarily been taught, and some of this deep knowing may actually be at odds with what our society or religion has tried to teach us. This book is about reawakening to what we know in the depths of our being, that the earth is sacred and that this sacredness is at the heart of every human being and life-form. To awaken again to this deep knowing is to be transformed in the ways we choose to live and relate and act.”

-John Philip Newell, Sacred Earth Sacred Soul, to be published by Harper One 2021

1:30pm EDT 
Sunday, October 18
Cost: $25

Celebrated author and teacher, John Philip Newell, will give us a preview of his forthcoming book Sacred Earth Sacred Soul and share his vision of waking up to the sacred in all things as the pathway towards new beginnings in our lives and world.

The presentation by John Philip will be followed by a shared online meditation as well as the opportunity to submit questions and comments to the moderator of our livestream gathering, some of which John Philip will be able to respond to during the one-hour session. Participants will be sent the zoom link prior to the program. Unable to attend at that time? Those who register will also have access to a recording of the event.

 

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.
 
 
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.