94 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

    • Philosophy
    • 4.8, 96 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.

    Poetic Nature of Walking with Jonathon Stalls

    Poetic Nature of Walking with Jonathon Stalls

    “The walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours …but it is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day.”

    - Henry David Thoreau

    • 51 min
    Kitchen Music Society of Sorrow and Delight

    Kitchen Music Society of Sorrow and Delight

    A plucked musical movement, hairpin poetic turns, mythical stories in rough harmonics. Baptize me into this Kitchen Music Society of Delights and Sorrows. No time like a pandemic to establish a new society. Perhaps by the end of this, you’ll join the membership.

    To learn more about Contemplify, head over to contemplify.com

    • 18 min
    Building Character that Bends Towards Mystery with Christian Miller

    Building Character that Bends Towards Mystery with Christian Miller

    "Christian Miller teaches us that the road to virtue lies in humility about our own virtue and an acceptance that others are struggling with their flaws. This is a very valuable book at a moment when our society could use a dose of openness and a sense of forgiveness."

    - E.J. Dionne Jr., Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and University Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture, Georgetown University

    visit Contemplify.com for drink pairing and other goodies

    • 58 min
    Manifesto Contemplatio

    Manifesto Contemplatio

    "Be like the fox
    who makes more tracks than necessary,
    some in the wrong direction.
    Practice resurrection."

    - Wendell Berry, Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Front

    In this episode, we’ll explore the God of tree trimmers and the souvenir of deep breathing.

    • 7 min
    Birthday Questions (39 Laps Around the Sun)

    Birthday Questions (39 Laps Around the Sun)

    Birthdays are akin to over-excited neighbors. You either appreciate their intrusions or avoid them like Homer Simpson does Ned Flanders. I treat birthdays like Flanders. I love a good party, cake, and sing-song version of ‘Happy Birthday’, but I am slow to allow the spotlight to turn squarely onto my face. A strange confession for a guy with a podcast. But I do love the birthday questions...

    • 10 min
    Absorbing this World Fully with Todd Davis (Of the Invisible #5)

    Absorbing this World Fully with Todd Davis (Of the Invisible #5)

    "Many poets feel that they know the natural world, Todd Davis has absorbed this world fully into his heart and mind. He is a fine, rare poet."

    - Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 Ratings

mysticlovr ,

Brilliantly curated

Paul consistently brings interesting voices into dialogues that I learn from. Really thoughtful and well done. Wish there were more podcasts like this one!

ALouiseYo ,

Take the journey

I would not say that follow through is my strong suit, however, Contemplify has inspired more follow through in me than any other podcast. Books bought or borrowed, music listened too, poems read, movies watched, space found for a quiet sit. In fact, Paul’s work inspires such follow through, that I have been slow to listen to all of the episodes--but that’s the point, isn’t it? To slow down and take time contemplating the ideas, the art, and the thinkers that Paul introduces.
Of the topics Paul takes up in his ongoing trek across a spiritual terrain, my favorites are the intersections of the ordinary with the contemplative; parenting, family life, work, making coffee, greeting neighbors. Paul invites listeners into contemplative practices, both his own and those of others, with such honesty and vulnerability that the podcast itself stands as an invitation to simply try while also offering us the assurance that the outcome, however imperfect, will be worth it.

Aztxca1 ,

Appreciating the search

Paul creates the feeling of community with this podcast. One of his favorite tropes helps — he asks his guests what drink would go with the interview, which invites the listener to imagine having a cup of green tea or a shot of bourbon with them. Paul dives into the formation of the writer (usually he talks to writers) and the work, which often reflects a spiritual search, another touch point for the listener I’d like to hear more content to illustrate the context, readings from the works they are referencing

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