The On Being Project

Parker J. Palmer
Parker J. Palmer

is a columnist for On Being. He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal. His books include A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. His book On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old will be published in June.

Happiness Is a Hard and Joyous Path

by Parker J. Palmer

To age with grace and humor is to be continually open to the wonder, mystery, and difficulty of our world.

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Happiness Is a Hard and Joyous Path

To Be at Peace with Our Essential Loneliness

by Parker J. Palmer

The dread that comes with charting unknown territory is also an opportunity to embrace new forms of self knowledge — to experience what Wendell Berry calls “our essential loneliness.”

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To Be at Peace with Our Essential Loneliness

Life Is a Found Poem

by Parker J. Palmer

Life is complexity and mystery; so is the poetry and beauty we find in it.

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Life Is a Found Poem

What If We All Stopped for a Moment?

by Parker J. Palmer

The constant and unrelenting motion of life can make us forget to notice the richness of stillness, of pause. A poem from Pablo Neruda to help you remember.

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What If We All Stopped for a Moment?

Tracing the Constellation of Your Inner Life

by Parker J. Palmer

The galaxy of your inner life is as rich as the sky, as deep as the universe. Parker Palmer shares a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.

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Tracing the Constellation of Your Inner Life

The Poetry of Silence

by Parker J. Palmer

A reflection on living and aging through the poetry of Mary Oliver.

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The Poetry of Silence

To Watch the World and Then Each Other

by Parker J. Palmer

When mornings and evenings roll along, watch how they open and close, how they invite you to the long party that your life is.

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To Watch the World and Then Each Other

A Love Letter Before Spring Arrives

by Parker J. Palmer

As spring approaches — a reminder to open the love letters that nature sends us — in every season.

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A Love Letter Before Spring Arrives

A Prayer for When We Wake Up Empty and Frightened

by Parker J. Palmer

A reminder for beauty and gratitude in a time when gun violence is at the heart of our public consciousness.

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A Prayer for When We Wake Up Empty and Frightened

Never Forget What You Can Do

by Parker J. Palmer

The depth of understanding that diversity can bring is rooted in each of our commitment to never forget our own, small contribution to the world.

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Never Forget What You Can Do
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