I first met Phileena Heuertz at the New Contemplative Exchange in Snowmass, CO, in August 2017, and I knew immediately that I had to interview her for Contemplate This!   I have seen firsthand, and experienced myself, how her warmth and compassionate presence draws people to her as a safe haven.  I think you’ll experience a taste of that yourself in listening to this interview.

Phileena is a founding co-director of Gravity Center: a Center for Contemplative Activism (in Omaha, NE), along with her husband Chris.  She has spent her life in social justice work among the world’s poor. A member of the New Friar movement, for nearly 20 years she and her husband Chris served with Word Made Flesh in more than 70 countries building community among victims of human trafficking, survivors of HIV and AIDS, abandoned children and child soldiers and war brides.

Author, spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker and retreat guide, Phileena is passionate about spirituality and making the world a better place. With a rare gift for communicating the dynamics of the inner life, Phileena gracefully guides others toward growth and transformation.

Phileena has led contemplative retreats for a number of faith communities including: Word Made Flesh, World Vision International, Compassion International, as well as churches from various traditions and non-faith and interfaith groups in leading cities across the nation.

She has spoken at a number of universities and seminaries including: Asbury University, Asbury Theological Seminary, Biola University, Creighton University, Eastern Nazarene College, Fuller Seminary, George Fox University and Midland University; and conferences such as Q, Catalyst, Urbana and the Center for Action and Contemplation.

Phileena and Chris founded Gravity in 2012 to support the development of consciousness by making contemplative practice accessible to individuals, communities and organizations who engage the challenging social justice perils of our time. Phileena’s work includes public speaking, teaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, facilitation of contemplative retreats, and spiritual direction.

Learn more about Phileena and Gravity Center

Gravity Center Homepage

Phileena’s Speaker Kit

Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life (IVP Press, 2017).

She has a new book, forthcoming from IVP Press, Mindful Silence: The Heart of Meditation

Finally, if you find yourself inspired by Phileena’s model of contemplative activism, you might also enjoy “Igniting Compassion”