The Contemplative Corazón Nov 27, 2023
I discuss the theme of Season 4 and its timing in my life. I also preview conversation topics my guests and I will be discussing this season and my hopes for what listeners may gain.
30. Staying present, grounded, and open
I was fortunate to record this bonus episode for Season 3 with longtime friend and colleague Ignacio Ferrey.
Ignacio Ferrey is a husband, son, daddy/papi and advocate committed to eliminating health and educational disparities as they impact communities of color. His “fatherhood journey” started with the birth of his first child in 2001, and often reflects on how his family and career have grown up together. Ignacio has 20+ years of experience in health, education, leadership development, as well as father and family services throughout California. Ignacio is a Certified Professional Coach (co-creator, Water & Fire Coaching) and works with Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, with a focus on school health partnerships and expanding fatherhood services. Before joining Alameda County, Ignacio expanded fatherhood services and teen programs at a family service agency and before that, eight years overseeing program and strategic planning at a Federally Qualified Health Center. As a first-generation student, Ignacio has earned a BA in Sociology from San José State University, a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Arts (MA) in Latin American Studies from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is an active member in the following: Alameda County Fathers Corps, National Compadres Network, Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity and International Coach Federation and on the Board of Dads Evoking Change and African-American Latino Action Alliance. Ignacio is married to his lifelong partner, Laura, and enjoys outdoor music festivals, barbecuing, cultural events, traveling and creating experiences for family and friends.
Season 4 Trailer
"Weathering Storms", the 4th season of The Contemplative Corazon, will explore the quest for peace in the face of life's challenges. Listen to conversations with guests as we discuss how we protect, nurture, and heal our corazones. Coming Winter 2023
29. Peaceful hours
Recently, I experienced a spiritual retreat/nature day while spending time in Santa Clara. I share reflections from that special day. I also thank our Season 3 guests and announce our fall hiatus. The Season 4 trailer is coming soon. The podcast will return in November.
To learn more about Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara:
28. Nurturing Spirit
I reunite with my dance sister Tyler Brewington-Mathis.
Tyler Brewington-Mathis is an author and chaplain from Los Angeles, CA. Tyler finds joy in the creative arts and contemplative spiritual practices. She draws strength and inspiration from her experiences within diverse, justice-oriented Christian communities. In her free time, Tyler enjoys reading for pleasure, dancing samba, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Tyler's book and her recommendations are available via:
27. Holding space for healing
I am reunited with my longtime friend and colleague Ashanti Branch as we discuss his work with young men and his realization that radical self-care and rest are ways to replenish and resist.
Ashanti Branch, was raised by a single mother on welfare in Oakland, went on to study engineering at California Polytechnic - San Luis Obispo. A Civil Engineer in his first career, Ashanti found his passion for teaching while tutoring struggling students. In 2004, as a first year teacher, Ashanti started The Ever Forward Club to provide a support group for African American and Latino males, who were not achieving to the level of their potential. The Ever Forward Club has helped 100% of its members graduate high school. Branch is on a mission to change the way that students interact with their education and the way schools interact with students. After being featured in The Mask You Live In documentary, and Fellowships at the Stanford d.school, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and The Gratitude Network, Ashanti has launched the #MillionMaskMovement to connect people all over the world in a self-reflective experience that helps people visualize and realize, “I am not alone.”
To learn about Ashanti's organization, The Ever Forward Club:
26. Finding what is sacred to self
I have had the privilege of knowing Nicole Elliott since I was in eighth grade. We later reconnected as work colleagues at our alma mater and have since maintained a collaborative connection. In honor of Mother's Day, I share this poignant episode.
Maya Angelou says, “At our best, we’re all teachers.” Nicole strives to learn from the many teachers in her life as well as offer her own lessons from her time as a 20-year public school teaching veteran and from her last ten years as a teacher educator for the Center for Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University and at the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning. Nicole is a mother to two young men and an author who recently published her first memoir, Nothing's Missing: A Year of Reckoning, Release, and Remembering Who I am. Her podcast, "Copy Room Conversations," aims to serve the treasured humans who are our country's educators.
25. Into the heart of a labyrinth
During Holy Week, I battled a cold but spent time reading Julian of Norwich by Amy Frykholm. This short book is subtitled A Contemplative Biography and provides an introduction into the medieval mystic's life. On Good Friday, I took a labyrinth walk. I was grateful for the opportunities to reconnect with long-cherished practices.
The labyrinth I visited is located near the East Entrance of Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center, 2500 Merced Street in San Leandro.
You can find labyrinths near you (or all over the world)via https://labyrinthlocator.com/
You can buy Amy Frykholm's book via https://paracletepress.com/ or https://bookshop.org/wishlists/1a7bf1fae498aab8ec870d1f822ad53f2c0cd940
or through your local independent bookseller
24. Sensitivity, curiosity, divinity
I meet with my longtime friend Rainia Noble, fellow Moon Child and dancer, and discuss how her sensitivity and curiosity led her on a career path and nurtured her own healing and spiritual journey. Rainia Noble, BA, MA, AMFT , was born and raised in Oakland CA. Currently, she works as a Behavioral Health Clinician for children 7-21 years old within Alameda County. Rainia bring 8 years of experience working as a Psychotherapist within various schools , Acute Psychiatric Hospitals (crisis milieu), Community Mental Health Programs; and 2 years’ experience working as a Social Worker for the Children and Family Services for Alameda County. Rainia's four passions are dismantling the stigma around Mental Health Awareness within communities of color, educating her clients on holistic treatment options to improve their overall wellness goals, traveling, and music. Rainia holds a MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, a BA in International Relations, with an emphasis in Latin American and Caribbean Culture Studies, and is an initiated Lucumi priest. Aside from working as a Psychotherapist, Rainia is an avid international traveler who has traveled, studied, and lived in over 10 countries.
23. Reclaiming happiness and health
In conversation with one of my dear mestras, Leticia Imehana, she shares how she reclaims her happiness and health and how she mentors other women to do the same healing work.
Raio de Luz Samba Studio is led by Founder and Creative Director Leticia Imehana. Her samba home is the proud recipient of the 2022 San Francisco Carnaval Spirit Award. As a Certified Health Education Specialist, Leticia brings a unique spin and passion to dance teaching by advocating for physical and mental well-being.
She earned her Bachelor of Psychology with an emphasis in Neuroscience and Ethnic Studies from the University of San Francisco and her Master's thesis at Columbia University centered on community resilience. As a full-time Equity Officer she evaluates diverse Bay Area programs and policies centered in health equity and social justice. She has also devoted 30 years of her life to multi-cultural dance apprenticeship and performance.
To learn more about Raio de Luz, visit
22. Seeds of light
My conversation with Alan Frishman contained many seeds of light as we discussed his journey into teaching and spiritual practice. Born and raised in Miami, with both bachelors and masters degrees from Yale, Alan Frishman has served as a teacher, principal, consultant, trainer, and leadership coach since 1968. Currently, he is a leadership coach at UC Berkeley and a teacher at the College of Marin. He has also been a teacher and student of A Course in Miracles for 47 years.
To learn more about Alan's current course, please visit:
21. Seeking Compassionate Corazones
I reflect back on the early days of my journey towards healing in contrast to where I am today. I describe the present-day struggles of being an educator which inspired the focus of Season 3. I preview upcoming conversations with guests.
Season 3 Trailer
The third season of The Contemplative Corazon, Into the Heart of a Healer, will premiere in January 2023. I will be in conversation with community leaders who are helping to heal others through the arts, education, and spirituality. I hope you will join us.
20. Traveling the Long Road
In the season 2 finale, I summarize this long but fruitful season. The theme of traveling with others was fitting as the season spanned several months. I thank my wonderful guests and preview Season 3.
19. Walking into clarity
This hybrid episode features live recordings from a walk in nature I did recently. Walking in nature is one of my favorite ways to gain clarity especially during these busy and challenging times. A nature walks is one of my go-to spiritual practices.
18. Standing powerfully
I am joined by Queen Mawuta, a teacher, dancer, choreographer, mother, and friend. She shares the value of being true to ourselves and our ancestry. We share stories about working with young people, raising children, and finding what heals our spirits.
17. Rough Road
This past summer, my daughter and I experienced what many might consider a nightmarish road trip. I share about the lessons learned and an important realization I had.
16. Capturing the Light
Listen in on my conversation with my dance sister Christine. Christine is a licensed therapist, doctoral student, photographer, and artist. We talk about her work with others and how she takes care of her mind and spirit through creativity. She also shares her experience withi the practice of labyrinth walks.
15. Tending the Spirit Through Motion
I welcome my second guest of the season, my dance sister Gigi, as we discuss her contemplative journey. She shares about her love of hiking trails and how dance helped her face grief and health challenges. She also connects her tending to her spirit to her work as an educator and her life as a wife and mother.
14. Thousands of corazones
Season 2 has explored the theme of community in contemplative practices. I share about my experiences at three different large events that have touched my heart.
13. Finding peace within a parade
Last season, I explained how I find dance to be a contemplative practice. In this episode, I share my experience dancing in Carnaval and how a parade can be a place to get in touch with our corazon.
12. Envisioning Legacy
Our first guest of Season 2 is Russell Sato, a proud dad of two, his district's 2021 Teacher of the Year, and a dear friend. He shares about his Buddhist roots, parenting, and thoughts on legacy as we explore the impact of attending to our spirit.
11. Travel Companions
I open Season 2 with an explanation of the new season's theme and by sharing a story about a unique experience during a long time tradition.
10. Reflections on Season 1
Season 1, The Beginning, has come to a close. I share about a hectic day during January's omicron surge and share how contemplative practices have helped me move through challenges.
Season 2 Trailer, Fellow Travelers
In Season 1, I shared how contemplative practices provide stability in my busy life. Join me for Season 2, Fellow Travelers, when I will be joined by several friends as we continue to explore the gifts of contemplation and community.
9. Hearing the Heartbeat
Before COVID-19 changed our lives, my life was changed by a retreat with Father Ron Rolheiser. After suffering a terrible loss, I needed to reconnect with myself and the world around me. The retreat helped me embrace my contemplative journey.
8. The gift of retreat
A more traditional contemplative practice is going on a retreat. I give a brief history of the Christian retreat tradition and describe a typical retreat. I then highlight three retreat centers in the Bay Area.
7. Dance as contemplation
Episode 7 describes how one of my favorite activities, dancing, has led me into contemplation. I share my history as a dancer and include fellow dancers in my family. I discuss the mind-body connection. I explore how the joy of dance can lead me to the peace of contemplation.
6. Running as contemplation
Running is great exercise but it is also an opportunity for mindfulness and contemplation. I discuss how running is a contemplative practice. I describe my recent experience completing a half-marathon. I also take a moment in honor of Thich Nhat Hanh.
5. Class Reunion
I reunite with the former members of Queen of All Saints, a chapter of the Legion of Mary to which I belonged many years ago. These women became my lifelong friends and taught me so much about my faith and were important in my contemplative journey. We reminisce about our childhood as cradle Catholics, our adult journeys into faith and spirituality, and provide advice on where to begin a journey into contemplative practices.
4. Practicing in a pandemic
While some might think the pandemic shutdown was an ideal time for contemplation, I found it created new challenges. I go back to the early chaos of quarantine and then discuss two positives that came out of that troubled time. I also mention how a mentor's reflection on one of my character traits inspired me to make this podcast a reality.
3. Roots and resources
I continue to share the roots of my journey and offer resources that have helped me explore contemplation.
2. The Contemplative Commute
Have some time on your way to work? I discuss how I have shifted my commute from a time of stress and worry to a more contemplative, calming time. I describe a typical Monday and what could have been a terrible commute and how I use the contemplative commute to get centered.
1. Origin Story
I provide my definition of contemplative, tell the story of the call to deepen my practices, the inspiration for this podcast, and preview next episode and this season
Coming soon: I explore my journey as a contemplative while balancing my roles as a mom, educator, and writer. I will share my story while also exploring contemplative practices