100 episodes

The Contemplify podcast kindles the examined life through artful musings with scholars, creatives and master teachers.

Contemplify seeks to glean wisdom from master contemplatives across the ages (Thomas Merton, Simone Weil, Lao Tzu, Ralph Waldo Emerson to name a few) by those who know them best—the scholars who have devoted themselves to studying, embracing and teaching the contemplative’s life and work in the world. Interviews with creatives and master teachers shine a light forward on engaging meaning and depth through subtle, artistic means and exploring beyond the current boundaries of thought to make way for a more sustainable frontier.

Each episode delivers a subtly intoxicating* exchange on the contemplative lifestyle with practical takeaways to emulate in daily life. Contemplify gladly joins the creatives, thought leaders and scholars ringing the bell in the ivory tower for the pleasure of those robbing a moment of contemplation on the backporch.

Ring the bell. Rob the moment. Contemplify.

Host, Paul Swanson, is a husband, father and contemplative educator at the Center for Action and Contemplation's Living School**.

*Contemplify is best served with a pint in hand. Please listen responsibly.

** All shenanigans, tom foolery and bally-hoo posted on Contemplify are my own. Contemplify is not representative of the Center for Action and Contemplation or Richard Rohr on any matter.

Contemplify Paul Swanson | Contemplative Shoveler

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 136 Ratings

The Contemplify podcast kindles the examined life through artful musings with scholars, creatives and master teachers.

Contemplify seeks to glean wisdom from master contemplatives across the ages (Thomas Merton, Simone Weil, Lao Tzu, Ralph Waldo Emerson to name a few) by those who know them best—the scholars who have devoted themselves to studying, embracing and teaching the contemplative’s life and work in the world. Interviews with creatives and master teachers shine a light forward on engaging meaning and depth through subtle, artistic means and exploring beyond the current boundaries of thought to make way for a more sustainable frontier.

Each episode delivers a subtly intoxicating* exchange on the contemplative lifestyle with practical takeaways to emulate in daily life. Contemplify gladly joins the creatives, thought leaders and scholars ringing the bell in the ivory tower for the pleasure of those robbing a moment of contemplation on the backporch.

Ring the bell. Rob the moment. Contemplify.

Host, Paul Swanson, is a husband, father and contemplative educator at the Center for Action and Contemplation's Living School**.

*Contemplify is best served with a pint in hand. Please listen responsibly.

** All shenanigans, tom foolery and bally-hoo posted on Contemplify are my own. Contemplify is not representative of the Center for Action and Contemplation or Richard Rohr on any matter.

    Engaged Contemplation in a Heartbreaking World with Fr. Adam Bucko

    Engaged Contemplation in a Heartbreaking World with Fr. Adam Bucko

    Father Adam Bucko has been a committed voice in the movement for the renewal of Christian Contemplative Spirituality and the growing New Monastic movement. He has taught engaged contemplative spirituality in Europe and the United States and has authored Let Your Heartbreak be Your Guide: Lessons in Engaged Contemplation, and co-authored Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (with Matthew Fox), and The New Monasticism: An Interspiritual Manifesto for Contemplative Living (with Rory McEntee). His work has been has been featured by ABC News, CBS, NBC, Harper’s Magazine, New York Daily News, and Sojourner Magazine and he currently serves as a director of the Center for Spiritual Imagination and the Cathedral of the Incarnation serving Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island in New York.
    Follow Adam on social media: Twitter | Instagram
    Visit Contemplify.com

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Heathen

    Heathen

    Musing from November 9th, 2022 inspired by by reading Chris Dombrowski's The River You Touch
     
    Visit contemplify.com

    • 7 min
    Vitality Out of Emptiness with Fr. David Denny

    Vitality Out of Emptiness with Fr. David Denny

    Fr. David Denny is a lifelong  seeker whose commitment to the unfolding mystery of life has brought him to explore the deserts of place and soul.  In 1975 Fr Dave entered the Spiritual Life Institute, a contemplative monastic community rooted in the Carmelite tradition. And in 2005, he left that community to co-found the Desert Foundation with Tessa Bielecki. A writer, a poet, retreat master and teacher, Fr. Dave now hangs his hat in Tucson, Arizona. 
    In our conversation, Fr. Dave and I talk about the roundabouts, the striking insights, the totality of the journey of his life that lead him to be an urban hermit. Fr. David Denny has co-authored Seasons of Glad Songs: A Christmas Anthology, Desert Voices: The Edge Effect and is a part of the collection The Nature of Desert Nature edited by Gary Nabhan.
    Visit Fr. Dave’s website: sandandsky.org
    Visit contemplify.com

    • 1 hr
    The River You Touch with Chris Dombrowski

    The River You Touch with Chris Dombrowski

    I have been waiting years to have this conversation with author, poet, and fly-fishing guide Chris Dombrowski. There is a kinship I feel with Chris's lens on life. He is a top-shelf writer to boot.
    The River You Touch: Making a Life on Moving Water comes out October 11th, 2022. I have read it and pre-ordered multiple copies for friends and family. If you are a longtime listener, you know I do not ever do a hard sell. Buy this book for yourself. And another for any friend who seeks to live a mindful and creative life in the throes of responsibility to family, self, community, and a little plot of land on the planet. Published by the fine folks at Milkweed Editions, they will ship The River You Touch for free when your order from milkweed.org before October 11th, 2022.
    Alright, I am getting off my soapbox. 
    Chris Dombrowski is a poet, author, teacher, and fly-fishing guide. His nonfiction debut, Body of Water: A Sage, A Seeker, and the World’s Most Alluring Fish (Milkweed Editions, 2016), was hailed in The New York Times Book Review and drew comparisons to Gary Snyder and John McPhee in the Wall Street Journal; and Orion magazine called it “a spiritual memoir in the tradition of Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek". I loved Body of Water and I think Dombrowski's latest book, The River You Touch is even better. It runs its hands through the currents of place, vocation, creativity, and community. In our conversation Chris and I talk about parenting, the calling of a place, poetry of children, accepting the complex humanity of mentors, and the intricacies of sparkling water. 
    Buy this book. You will reread it and gift it to those who understand that "in a life properly lived, you are a river"*. 
    Visit Chris’s website at cdombrowski.com to keep tabs on his work in the world
    Follow Chris on social media: @dombrowski_chris
    Visit Contemplify.com

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Inarticulate as Watercolors, Brazen as Graffiti

    Inarticulate as Watercolors, Brazen as Graffiti

    Musing from September 16, 2022
    visit contemplify.com

    • 6 min
    Nine Poems from Coffin Honey by Todd Davis

    Nine Poems from Coffin Honey by Todd Davis

    I asked Todd Davis if he could read some of his poems from his latest collection called Coffin Honey. And he generously said yes. Take a beath, find a comfortable seat, preferably out of doors and let the poetry of Todd Davis seep in through your pores and raise forth the best of you.
    **Before we get started, I want to note that in this episode of poems from Todd Davis include content about sexual assault and self mutilation. If that sounds like poetry you are not comfortable listening to, we sure understand. Take care of yourself.**
    All of the poems included here are from Todd’s latest book of poems, Coffin Honey.
    Visit Todd’s website at todddavispoet.com to comb through and order all of his work of poetry. 
    Enjoy the work of Todd Davis.
    Visit contemplify.com

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
136 Ratings

136 Ratings

hermit thrush ,

A touchstone in my week

This podcast brings poetry, meditation, music, theology, and the big questions together in a way that makes me feel like I’m on a hike in the woods with curious open-hearted friends. Discovering Contemplify has helped me feel less alone in my own contemplation. Thank you for the gift of these interviews, questions, and musings.

Va Jan ,

Food for the soul

Genuine, uplifting interviews.

reefon ,

Thoughtful conversations

Richard Rohr said, “The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.” Paul’s podcast is a good place to learn the practice of the better. I appreciate the hopeful conversations.

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