Heartland

Bi-monthly on Saturdays

Heartland is musings on life, spirituality and the great adventure of the soul. Hosts Keil Isham & Rachel Otwell interview people from all walks of life and learn more about how spirituality and matters of the soul integrate in their everyday existence.

Keil Isham is an area native who has lived in Texas, Colorado, New York and even India. He's spent 16 years studying world religions and mythology, symbols of the unconscious, and spiritual practices like tarot and astrology. Isham joins arts & culture reporter Rachel Otwell as they create a conversation for even those who may have never considered themselves ‘spiritual’ -- yet still are concerned with matters close to the heart; finding harmony and balance in everyday experiences, being community-minded, and feeding curiosities about the mysteries of life.

Maryam Moustofi / St. Francis of Assisi Church
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

We visit a historic Springfield location, the St. Francis of Assisi Church. It was built after nuns decided to create a sanitarium to treat tuberculosis patients out in the country side -  it now includes a healing center of a different sort, The Chiara Center. We learn what that is, plus we talk with Maryam Mostoufi, the new president of the local interfaith organization. She was also the first  female Muslim to be inducted into the Association of Professional Chaplains.

Nic Cable / Rachel Otwell

The personal is political on this episode. But that's nothing new, religion and politics have a long and vast history of intersection.

Heartland Ep. 7: Tarot & Energy Healing

Nov 29, 2016
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

In this episode, Rachel & Keil spend a day visiting a "magical penthouse" -- a top-floor apartment in Springfield where Teri Freesmeyer performs various types of healing energy work. They later climbed a steep staircase into Rachel's attic where Keil did a tarot reading for Jenny - who wanted to know how to better address symptoms of anxiety.

Heartland Ep. 7: Tarot & Energy Healing

Oct 29, 2016
Rachel Otwell / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

In this episode, Rachel & Keil spend a day visiting a "magical penthouse" -- a top-floor apartment in Springfield where Teri Freesmeyer performs various types of healing energy work. They later climbed a steep staircase into Rachel's attic where Keil did a tarot reading for Jenny - who wanted to know how to better address symptoms of anxiety.

CNN / Rachel Otwell

On this episode we speak with Will Allen about the film Holy Hell, a documentary released this year. It chronicles the 22 years he spent in a cult headed by one man, it was called Buddhafield.

katebornstein.com/ Santiago Felipe (L) + Rachel Otwell (R)

On today's episode we talk with Sister Simon Campbell, a nun who leads by example when it comes to social justice. She stopped by the statehouse with a bus load of other nuns last week for their 'Mend the Gaps' tour. Also, Kate Bornstein visited Springfield a few years ago and stopped by the NPR Illinois station to discuss her memoir, a Queer & Pleasant Danger. She's on an epic spiritual journey, weaving her way through Judaism, Scientology, Buddhism and Taoism. She talks to us about that, and much, much more. Tune in!

NPR Illinois

Welcome to Heartland, the place where we explore the multitude of ways various people practice spirituality or strive to become more grounded in the world around them and connected to others. 

Rachel Otwell

Since this spring, four churches and congregations in Springfield have met to hold a series of events titled 'Sacred Conversations on Race + Action.' The events were put on by the Faith Coalition for the Common Good.

Rachel Otwell

Right outside of Springfield, in New Berlin, is a rolling landscape of over 100 acres of farmland. The llamas and alpacas are some of the first things you'll see to know you've arrived at Jubilee Farm

Rachel Otwell

This episode, Keil and Rachel head to Jubilee Farm, just outside of Springfield in New Berlin. They meet with the Catholic Dominican Sisters who operate the site which focuses on ecology and spirituality. It's over 100 acres and is home to llamas, alpacas and gardens.

Rachel Otwell

Welcome to our second episode! We have an interview with science editor for The Guardian, James Kingsland. His new book is called: Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment. He also has a blog about neuroscience and Buddhist psychology, called Plastic Brain

Scott Griessel/flickr, user: creatista & trailheadcenter.org

Welcome to the new podcast where we create conversations about spirituality and how it intersects with everyday life. Check out the program page for a little more info, if you wish - but for now, let's dive right in.