Author Archives: Andrew Merz

Andrew Merz
Andrew Merz is Contemplative Programs Director at the Hemera Foundation (, where he oversees grantmaking in the field of contemplative practice and Hemera’s Contemplative Fellowships Program, providing financial support for educators, health care professionals, and artists to attend meditation retreats at centers around the US.

Embracing the Practice of Presence


Before beginning my career in philanthropy, I spent several years completing a master’s degree in divinity and training to become an interfaith hospital chaplain. Contrary to the images that might come to mind—solemn priests giving last rites or quoting scripture at the bedside, for instance—at its core, chaplaincy is a relational practice of presence and reflection.

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