The feeling of being stuck is one we all have experienced at one time or another. Beleaguered by writer’s block, Parker Palmer calls upon his beginner’s mind and encourages us to move forward with hope.
American democracy is illumined by multiple voices calling us to pursue questions of personal, communal, and political meaning. A Quaker reminds us to vigorously question those who say the U.S. is a Christian nation.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Parker Palmer highlights the importance of “wounded healers” and what we can do to let heartbreak open ourselves to suffering and the kindness necessary for social change.
There are those people who know how to get ahead of the train wreck and those folks who are called to their senses after the collision has happened. But, catastrophe, too, can be a contemplative path if you choose to accept it.
The metaphors we use matter. Parker Palmer claims the metaphor of seasons to gently remind us that we’re not in charge, that we’re not alone, that it’s possible to transform and be transformed in this world.
Summer’s passing and earth’s decay can elicit a deepening melancholy for some. A pondering on the “paradoxical dance” of darkness and light and giving oneself over to its endless interplay — with lyrical assists from Rainier Marie Rilke and Thomas Merton.
External “oughts” and “shoulds” can create impossibly high aspirations — and equally high levels of guilt about falling short. A personal exploration sharing the delicate experience of “befriending” depression and ways of reframing our expectations of self.
How might we summon “the better angels of our nature” as political shenanigans ensue? The ever-wise Parker Palmer offers a few suggestions (and a poem, of course!) to reclaim our commons — and our humanity — during this election season.
Thomas Merton and Lao Tzu make compelling cases for flowing around obstacles rather than butting up against them. If we do so, we fight inequities in the world with equanimity and make a life worth living for all.
How we ask each other questions can evoke a deeper sense of self. Words of advice from Parker Palmer and a poem by Denise Levertov on the power of asking with good intention, and hearing each other into being.
The word “depression” is used to describe a personal condition as well as large-scale economic collapse. Parker Palmer shares a story of personal story of his last encounter with depression and two interviews that talking about depression and economic crisis.
In silence, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with words. In laughter, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with solemnity. Parker Palmer on shadow and quiet.
We all have one of those transcendent moments when we’re immersed in nature and experience the immensity of it all. On this Earth Day, Parker Palmer shares one of those times while camping in the Grand Canyon.
Violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering. But how do we turn the power of suffering toward new life? It depends on our willingness to exercise our hearts so that when suffering strikes, they are suppler and more able to break open to new life.
We are born baffled. Acknowledging this can be key to becoming a writer or a person who seeks to understand the world around you better. Parker Palmer muses on a writing life and distills his experience into three principles of living deeply and richly within this world.
Inspired by a mother’s observation of her toddler’s awe of the world, Parker Palmer reflects on the mystery of the world and the grace of wholeness — delighting in the gift of life as a septuagenarian.
Cynicism beckons to us with ease at times. But how do we remain open to the good within and around us? A reminder to keep hope alive when the demon inside us bites down. And, lyrical lines from Mary Oliver!
No matter what decade of your life you’re in, your journey to find a fulfilling work life is one often clouded with worry and self-doubt. Parker Palmer writes this helpful story about finding the way — not by what opens in front of you but by what closes behind you.
There are few more influential writers than the Trappist monk Thomas Merton. His writings continue to inspire, mentor, and impact new generations of readers. Our columnist Parker Palmer remembers when he first met Merton’s words and how they continue to shape him today.