A New Ancient Harmony Video Series | John Philip Newell

We are clearly living in an unprecedented time. Like never before there is an opportunity to pause and remember the oneness at the heart of all life and move deeper into spiritual grounding. John Philip Newell’s video teaching series, based on the themes from his republished book, ‘A New Ancient Harmony‘ offers an essential resource in exploring this invitation. The videos below were filmed by Larry Hastings at Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico.

“There is an essential harmony of relationship deep within the matter of the universe. Everything exists in relation to everything else. This is part of the new consciousness that we are being invited to wake up to –
the interbeing of the universe.”
 
-John Philip Newell

The Essential Harmony: Remembering the Oneness

Broken Harmony: Allowing the Tears

Rediscovering Our Original Unity

Listening for the Heartbeat of Life | John Philip Newell

“Do we know that we can reverence the heartbeat of God in one another and in the earth? This practice of intentional listening is a key part of the journey forward. For in listening we become aware of the deep life-force for change that is within us.”

John Philip Newell

For Earth Day: The Wisdom of John Muir

In celebration of John Muir’s birthday on April 21 and to commemorate April 22 as Earth Day, we hope you’ll take a moment to view a teaching from John Philip Newell on the great Scottish-American naturalist, author, and mystic. The teaching was filmed in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland and is a clarion call to care for the earth at this critical time.

"Muir was a prophet... he was committed to announcing the sacredness of the natural world and called his readers to fall in love with the earth."

-John Philip Newell

For Everything that Emerges

For everything that emerges from the earth 
thanks be to you, O God,
Holy Root of being
Sacred Sap that rises
Full-bodied Fragrance of earth’s unfolding form. 
May we know that we are of You
may we know that we are in You
may we know that we are one with You 
together one.
Guide us as nations to what is deepest 
open us as peoples to what is first
lead us as a world to what is dearest
that we may know the holiness of wholeness 
that we may learn the strength of humility 
that together we may live close to the earth 
and grow in grounded glory. 
 
-John Philip Newell, Praying With the Earth, 2011

An Expression of the Universe

by John Philip Newell
 
As we bring to our spirituality a posture of listening, listening to the essential oneness of the universe, placing our ear close to the heart of the earth and the heart of the human soul, what is it we will hear? Julian of Norwich, the fourteenth-century mystic, says that we are not simply made by God. We are made “of God.” This simple but radical statement holds enormous implications. It means that we are not fashioned by a distant Creator, made out of nothing from afar, as it were. Rather we are born from the womb of the One, made of the substance of oneness. This is why Julian likes to refer to God as Mother, as well as Father, because she sees us and all things as coming forth from the heart of the One, as carrying within ourselves the essence of our Source.

"We are not an exception to the universe. 
We are an expression of the universe."

What does it mean to say that we are made of God rather than simply by God? In part it is to say that holy wisdom is deep within us, deeper than the ignorance of what we have done. Sacred creativity is at the core of our being, deeper than any barrenness in our lives or relationships. The divine passion for what is just and right is our true heart’s desire, deeper than the apathies and falsenesses that have disabled us. And above all else it is to say, as Julian does, that the “love-longing” of God is at the core of our being, deeper than any fear or hatred that holds us in separation.
 
We are made of the One. Deep within us, amid our differentiations as individuals and nations and species, is the desire for oneness. This holy longing is found not only in the human soul but in the soul of the universe, at the heart of everything that has being. We are not an exception to the universe. We are an expression of the universe. Our longings are a unique manifestation of the universe’s longings. In listening to the depths of life, within our lives and within every life, we will hear the longings of the One that are deeper than the fears that divide us. 
 
A New Harmony: The Spirit, the Earth, and the Human Soul, 2011

Capacitar Tai Chi

Dear Heartbeat Family,
 
I hope you are coping during this time of COVID 19 and lockdown. My blessings, prayers and thoughts are with you all. I thought this would be an appropriate time to highlight some of the work we’ve done in practicing Capacitar Tai Chi in retreats, which I have co-led with Philip. During these difficult days, it is good to keep exercising and Capacitar Tai Chi is a wonderful way to feel grounded and calm in the midst of all the uncertainties.
Dr Pat Cane, founder of Capacitar became an Honorary Partner of Heartbeat last year. Capacitar is a grassroots organization and international network working in over 40 countries in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. They are especially committed to communities affected by violence, poverty and trauma. At present many are accessing the Capacitar practices online, through video or through video conference as people support each other through the pandemic.
 
Here is a resource, which we filmed in the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, before it closed! Even if you have never tried Capacitar Tai Chi with visualisation, the movements are simple and easy to follow. Feeling connected to the healing spring energy and beauty is helpful when we have to spend more time indoors. The movements and the setting sit well with these words from Philip:
 
Grant us open hearts, O God
open to you
and open to one another
open to the splendour of the earth
and open to its pain and the pain of its people.
Grant us open hearts, O God.  
-Excerpt from ‘Celtic Treasure’ by John Philip Newell
 
Along with the prayers from Philip’s publications which have been posted regularly to strengthen us, I hope the Capacitar practices might be a useful way too of connecting and supporting each other. This can make us strong for the work of compassion in our world right now. 
 
Rev Ali Newell
Associate Chaplain, Edinburgh University

Blessings On This Day | John Philip Newell | Prayer | Celtic Spirituality

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On this day

the blessings of heaven.

On this day

the blessings of earth.

On this day

the blessings of sea and of sky.

To open us to life

to ground us in life

to fill us with life

and with wonder.

On those we love this day

and on every human family

the blessings of heaven

the blessings of earth

the blessings of sea and of sky.

From Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace by John Philip Newell | photo credit: Ben Lindwall

A Message From John Philip Newell

Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th-century Christian mystic, said that we need to fly with two wings of awareness. The one wing is an awareness of life’s glory and beauty. The other is an awareness of life’s pain and suffering. If we try to fly with only one of these, she said, we will be like an eagle trying to fly with only one wing. In other words, we will not truly see. 
 
We are living through a moment in time that invites a new strength of awareness. We are hearing stories from around the world today of terrible suffering and loss. And, at the same time, we are hearing accounts of great beauty of spirit and love. 
 
I pray for all of us these days that we may be strong in our seeing and in our loving of another. As one of the prayers in Sounds of the Eternal puts it,
 
           Let us serve love with our strength this day,
           let us serve love with our strength.
           In heart and mind and body this day
           let us serve love.
 
Many of you have been wondering, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, about the ongoing activities of Heartbeat and the School of Celtic Consciousness. There is of course much uncertainty ahead but for the Spring of this year we have decided to cancel our School of Celtic Consciousness program in Colorado. And we ask that any of you who have registered for the Iona Pilgrimage Week in April should contact the St Columba Hotel directly, if you have not already done so. They will be able to outline for you the options available.
 
With gratitude for you all and blessings,
 
John Philip Newell
Edinburgh
22nd March 2020

Prayer of Thanksgiving & Intercession

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That from our depth new life emerges

thanks be to you, O God.

That through our body

and the bodies of men and women everywhere

heaven’s creativity is born on earth,

children of eternity are conceived in time

and everlasting bonds of tenderness

and forged amidst the hardness of life’s struggles,

thanks be to you.

That in our soul

and the soul of every human being

sacred hopes are hidden,

longings for what has never been are heard

and visions for earth’s peace and

prosperity are glimpsed,

thanks be to you.

For those near to us who are in turmoil this day

and for every family in its brokenness,

for the woundedness of our own life

and for every creature that is suffering,

O God of all life, we pray.

John Philip Newell, Sounds of the Eternal | Photo by Karin Baard

Plant A Seed

In 2009 Drew Cauthorn planted a seed. At the time, I don’t think he would have been able to know what sort of impact that small act of faith would have. It wasn’t a large seed, but it was put in the right place at the right time.
 
Drew was a member of Heartbeat’s founding board and served in this capacity until 2014. Heartbeat’s very first initiative was to provide scholarship funds for young people to attend John Philip and Ali Newell’s Pilgrimage for Change on the Island of Iona in 2011.
 
The gift that Drew made is personal for me because I was one of the participants selected to receive that scholarship. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without that pivotal experience. Having grown up in a constricted faith background, I think it took nothing less than a miracle to find myself on such an incredible journey.
 
Looking back, I’m thankful for the big miracles that start from the smallest of seeds. I’m inspired by Drew and the hundreds of people who have contributed to Heartbeat’s scholarship fund over the last decade. Pilgrimages to Iona in Scotland, the Borderlands of the USA and Mexico, the Camino in Spain, and attendance at the School of Celtic Consciousness have all been made possible for folks like me who otherwise would have been left behind at home. Like many other scholarship recipients, I am still learning from that first pilgrimage experience on Iona. It’s been nearly ten years! It makes me wonder if seeds that are sown as a gift have a tendency to live forever.
 
We hope to continue to provide the needed resources that make Heartbeat offerings accessible to everyone, no matter the financial circumstances. We’ve set a goal to raise $10,000 by the end of the month for our Scholarship Fund. To make this happen, we need all hands on deck.
 
Will you sow a seed with us by making a gift today?
 
Sincerely,
Ben Lindwall
Executive Director, Heartbeat
 
Ps. Please be sure to designate your gift to the Scholarship Fund.
Heartbeat is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.
 
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