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! 

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

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

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

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
22nd March 2020

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?
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.
5431 NE 20th Ave
Portland, OR 97211

The Liberating Path of the Hebrew Prophets: Then and Now – A New Must Have Read by Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev

In challenging times, how do we respond with courage, wisdom, and vision?

Rabbi Nahum Ward-Lev – frequent co-teacher and dear friend of John Philip Newell and last year’s Iona Pilgrimage Honorary Partner Awardee – wrote The Liberating Path of the Hebrew Prophets: Then and Now to address that need. In the lineage of liberation theology, this book presents the liberating message of the Hebrew Bible, speaking directly to our lived experience.

The Liberating Path of the Hebrew Prophets shows that exodus, the ongoing journey out of oppression and toward human flourishing, is the true heart of the Biblical story. The book then develops Biblical liberation themes through the writings of contemporary prophets and writers including Martin Luther King, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Buber, Paulo Freire, Gustavo Guttiérez, Beverly Harrison, James Cone, James and Grace Lee Boggs and bell hooks.

Nahum’s book empowers readers of all faiths and backgrounds to understand current challenges through a prophetic lens and to take   their own prophetic action. Learn more about Nahum and his book on his website.

"The two most critical issues facing humanity today, our relationship with the earth and a just response to refugees and the poorest among us, are cogently addressed by Ward-Lev, brilliantly weaving together the two strands. Standing in a long prophetic lineage, he passionately invites us to let the earth bring forth its energies for healing and to summon from the human soul a new vision for justice."
John Philip Newell
Author and Teacher

Other Endorsements

"This wonderfully well-written book inspires us to bring our passion, creativity, and imagination to the sacred work of building a society that supports the flourishing of all."
Parker J. Palmer
Founder and Senior Partner Emeritus
Center for Courage and Renewal
"I finished this book with waves of wonder and gratitude."
Walter Brueggeman
Old Testament scholar and theologian
"We live in an era that is desperate for the voices of the Hebrew prophets. Nahum Ward-Lev’s efforts to awaken us to the prophetic teachings is a great gift at a crucial moment in human history."
Susannah Heschel
Professor of Jewish Studies,
Darthmouth College

Boundless: A Celtic Vision of the Sacred in All Things

In July, John Philip Newell was invited to speak at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. Delivered to a packed house at a free event co-sponsored by First Church of West Hartford and Saint John’s Episcopal Church of West Hartford, John Philip’s talk spoke to the themes of Celtic Spirituality, which celebrates the essential sacredness of all things.

Thanks to our dear friends at Hartford Seminary, the talk was recorded and you are able to view the entire presentation below. We hope you enjoy.

Peregrinación A La Frontera/Border Pilgrimage

Enlace de aplicación próximamente

UbicaciónEl Paso, Texas, EE. UU. / Ciudad Juárez, México
Fechasdel 13 al 19 de noviembre de 2019
Costo de inscripción$650.00
BecasBecas disponibles
Fecha límite de solicitud1 de octubre de 2019

Vive la Experiencia

La peregrinación a la frontera una experiencia espiritual, educativa y orientada a la acción en El Paso, Texas y Ciudad Juárez, México. A través de la oración, el aprendizaje y el voluntariado, el grupo ampliará su entendimiento sobre las comunidades fronterizas, apoyara en solidaridad y se unirá al movimiento por la justicia de los inmigrantes. Nuestros socios experimentados de Hope Border Institute han ayudado a preparar actividades, enseñanzas y diversas oportunidades en ambos lados de la frontera para profundizar en la resolución de abogacía y ayuda humanitaria.

Cada día incluirá un ritmo de práctica contemplativa, entornos aprendizaje e interacción, reflexión guiada y diálogo.


Estamos buscando personas interesadas en la intersección de la espiritualidad y la acción con un enfoque en la justicia de los inmigrantes. Debido a que habrá múltiples cruces internacionales hacia Cuidad Juárez, se requiere un pasaporte válido (válido hasta julio de 2019). Los solicitantes deben tener 18 años de edad o más, deben poder caminar hasta 15 millas y ser capaces de completar las tareas manuales de trabajo moderadas que se requieren durante el voluntariado.


Los participantes aceptados deben llegar al alojamiento en El Paso antes de las 5 p.m. del 13 de noviembre (approx. 20 minutos en automóvil del aeropuerto) para presentaciones, una comida compartida y orientación. El programa y las actividades concluirán antes de las 10 am del 19 de noviembre. Varios ajustes contribuirán a la visión general de este viaje:

  • Formación cultural impartida por Hope Border Institute
  • Visita con migrantes recluidos en el Centro de Detención ICE.
  • Asistir a audiencias de inmigración en el magistrado
  • Voluntario en la Casa de Migrante y la Casa de Anunciación.
  • Conocer a migrantes que viajan a través de la región, así como con defensores de los migrantes y organizadores locales.
  • Visita a Tornillo, TX, sitio del centro de detención de tiendas de niños inmigrantes en el 2018
  • Recorrido por el histórico parque de Hueco Tanks
  • Paseo guiado de peregrinación a lo largo de la frontera.
Sign of solidarity for the children held in the detention camp in Tornillo, TX --- "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Because God is always with you." Joshua 1:9

Líderes de viaje


Ben Lindwall es el Director Ejecutivo de HEARTBEAT, actualmente  ubicado en Portland, OR, y ha liderado viajes orientados en espiritualidad durante más de una década. Está certificado como Director Espiritual y también en Primeros Auxilios. En 2011, Ben realizó una peregrinación a la Isla de Iona en Escocia y desde entonces ha sido asesorado por John Philip y Ali Newell.

Ilka Vega es especialista en desarrollo comunitario en Hope Border Institute y originaria de El Paso, TX y Cd. Zona Juárez, México. Las peregrinaciones son una parte esencial de su educación. Ha realizado cinco peregrinaciones formales a Taizé, Francia e Iona, Escocia y trata de implementar prácticas y reflexiones espirituales similares en sus viajes y en la vida cotidiana en la frontera y en su trabajo por la justicia social.

Ilka Bio Photo

Recaudación de fondos para la Casa Anunciación

Annunciation House/ Casa Anunciación, una organización en El Paso con una larga historia de proporcionar atención y servicios a los migrantes, ha solicitado donaciones financieras para apoyar sus esfuerzos en curso. Parte de la misión de la Peregrinación a la Frontera será responder colectivamente a esta solicitud. Los participantes serán guiados para establecer un objetivo de recaudación de fondos, utilizar sus redes sociales e invitar a apoyar financieramente. Es importante tener en cuenta: los fondos no se utilizarán para los gastos individuales del participante. Heartbeat recibirá donaciones y enviará todos los fondos a la Casa Anunciación.

Cómo aplicar

Favor de seguir este enlace (enlace de aplicación próximamente) para la aplicación y completarla. Un maestro, mentor, asesor o líder religioso / espiritual que pueda comentar sobre la capacidad del solicitante para participar en la experiencia y participar con el grupo también debe completar una referencia en línea.  Se requiere una tarifa de solicitud de $ 10 para todos los no estudiantes. Las becas están disponibles según la necesidad financiera. Indique si está buscando asistencia con beca en la solicitud. 

Costos adicionales, requisitos y avisos

  • Cada participante debe ser mayor de 18 años de edad, ser capaz de caminar hasta 15 millas, y ser capaz de completar tareas manuales de fuerza moderada que se requieren durante el voluntariado.
  • Cada participante debe tener un pasaporte válido hasta julio de 2019.
  • El grupo realizará varios cruces hacia Ciudad Juárez, México y utilizará el transporte en taxi. Todos los solicitantes deben revisar las advertencias gubernamentales relacionadas con el cruce a Ciudad Juárez, México.
  • Cada participante deberá traer dinero para el almuerzo todos los días y dos cenas (un promedio de $ 10 por comida para un total de $ 80).
  • Cada participante deberá comprar un seguro de viaje individual (aproximadamente $ 40).
  • Cada participante necesitará proveer información de su aseguranza medica
  • Cada participante necesitará completar una asignación de estudio antes del viaje que incluye leer artículos y escuchar podcasts.
  • Cada participante necesitará traer el equipo necesario para completar su lista de equipaje
  • Cada participante deberá afirmar nuestros Compromisos de Comunidad Peregrina y el Proceso de Resolución de Conflictos, así como nuestros Compromisos del Código de Conducta si se participa en una manifestación, demostración o protesta.
  • Cada participante deberá leer cuidadosamente y firmar la forma de exención e indemnización de Heartbeat.