The On Being Project

Andréana E. Lefton
Andréana E. Lefton

is a writer, traveler, researcher, and educator. She has an BA in International Relations and Education from American University in Washington DC, and an MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy from the London School of Economics. She is also interested in finding connections between education, social justice, and creativity. Andréana has lived and traveled throughout the United States, UK, Europe and the Middle East. She has worked with Ashoka, the Institute for Educational Leadership, Eastside Educational Trust, the European Press Prize, and The Guardian. She has also worked on documentaries for broadcast on National Public Radio and the BBC. She recently designed and taught course at Central European University on “Voice and World” exploring the intersection of self-expression and social justice.

Paring Toward Tenderness: Approaching the Mystery

An unexpected exchange catalyzes a conversation about the essential truths of aphorisms and paring the excess without violating the mystery.

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Paring Toward Tenderness: Approaching the Mystery

Vividity: The Color of Life as Prayer

Like Nature herself, our untamed “inscape” may be fearsome and sublime, but it is also playful. A writer experiences the world, vivid and vibrant — and laced with a sacred vitality.

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Vividity: The Color of Life as Prayer

The Beauty of Shared Silence

A small-town Quaker meeting inspires a meditation on the collective human silence, and the communion that brings points of orientation in a disorienting world.

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The Gifts of Hibernation

Hibernation restores us to our nourishing, grounding source and in so doing, frees us to become a force of reason, reflection, and kindness. A meditation for the gifts of winter and the blessings of solitude and rest.

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The Gifts of Hibernation

Letters to the Living No. 5: On Gentleness, Wrestling with a Wounded Angel

Riding the El train in Chicago prompts this essay on the pervasive grip of harshness and the vitality of gentleness. How can we be gentle with others when we struggle with being gentle with our selves first?

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Letters to the Living No. 5: On Gentleness, Wrestling with a Wounded Angel

Letters to the Living No. 4: Who Is Your Voice?

What is the autobiography of your voice? An invitation to write the story of your voice and allow yourself to be surprised.

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Letters to the Living No. 4: Who Is Your Voice?

Letters to the Living No. 3: What Book Was I Torn From?

A page torn from an ancient woman’s journal prompts this poetic meditation on brokenness and beauty.

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Letters to the Living No. 3: What Book Was I Torn From?

Letters to the Living No. 2: How Can I Reach You Over These Distances?

The power of song on the radio connects three worlds to one woman, ushering her into the eternal present by conjuring up memories of the past.

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Letters to the Living No. 2: How Can I Reach You Over These Distances?

Letters to the Living No. 1: Can You See the Infinite?

How many of us are ready to step into the gaze of someone — including ourselves — who sees us as we really are?

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Letters to the Living No. 1: Can You See the Infinite?

A Dark Privilege: Bearing Witness to Victims and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

A.E. Lefton on Bahá’í leaders being persecuted and imprisoned in Iran — and how they remind her of the sacrifice and the richness of human life.

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A Dark Privilege: Bearing Witness to Victims and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran
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