Heeding the Call, Stepping Over the Threshold, and Moving Into Mystery

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 3:00 pm

Heeding the Call, Stepping Over the Threshold, and Moving Into Mystery

While celebrating the Fourth of July on holiday, my wife and I read Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States to our two sons each night. It’s a lens on a history I wasn’t taught in grade school, and it debunks some of the hagiographic glory of western European conquerors.

The same could be said of our Founding Fathers and a democratic experiment that has yet to be fully realized. Listen to this refreshing reality check about the forgotten but fascinating history of this country:

“In some ways, the history of separation of church and state illustrates how an idea that once was held by just a few Americans then becomes popular through rather intense prejudices.”

“Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.”

Courtney Martin quotes the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to open her two-part column on avoiding the caricature trap and dehumanizing individuals. In part one, she discusses drawing out the richness of characters. In part two, she gives some helpful tips and examples of how to tell others’ stories better. In the end, it’s just good, sound advice on how to look at and think about the people around you!

“The Sabri Brothers were my gateway to a world of devotion, ecstasy, poetry, and joy.”

The great qawwali singer Amjad Sabri was assassinated on June 22nd. Our columnist Omid Safi mourns his death and shares some of his favorite qawwali music. But, what I admire most is how Omid traces the legacy of this mystical devotional tradition through the rich and often overlooked history of South Asian Islam.

Krista’s going to be taking your questions on Facebook Live on Friday, July 8 at 3pm Eastern (2pm Central). If you have a question about her new book, Becoming Wise, post it in the comments section and she’ll do her best to answer!

[Ed. Note: Krista’s Facebook live conversation has been canceled due to the heavy events of the week. Watch our Facebook page for a rescheduled date.]

“Of course, I’m grateful for the natural world and its amazing gifts. But I’m equally grateful for the gift of language that has a wild beauty of its own…”

Poets and artists often look to nature for solace and consolation. Parker Palmer does too, but he’s having none of it in this week’s reflection on the indifference of nature and the capacity of language.

“Sometimes, the call is an awareness, grief, or longing present in one’s life with a sensibility that seems to speak, ‘This isn’t the life I’m meant to live. There’s something more.'”

You ever have those times when somebody’s words meet you in the right place at the right time? Jim Marsden’s essay on the journey of transformation caught me by surprise, in part, because I opened a collection of poetry not expecting to read prose while participating in a Reboot CEO Bootcamp. For those of you, my friends, trying to figure it all out, Jim’s words aren’t a bad place to start.

“The more we can learn these lessons, the more we will not be running towards our death, but opening to our lives.”

The scientist and mindfulness researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn speaks of the physiological and spiritual potential of being present to every moment of daily life in our latest episode of the Becoming Wise podcast (iTunes). Succinct and poignant.
And, please, let me know what I’m doing right and where I need to improve. Feel free to contact me or anyone on our team with advice, criticism, or feedback at mail@onbeing.org or via Facebook or Twitter.
May the wind always be at your back.

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is the cofounder of On Being and currently serves as publisher & editor-in-chief. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on “The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi” and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent’s reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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