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The On Being Project

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Living + Loving Well; Parenting Masculine; Not Knowing + Loving When Knowing; HHDL Turns 80; Quick Reads for the Week

Living + Loving Well; Parenting Masculine; Not Knowing + Loving When Knowing; HHDL Turns 80; Quick Reads for the Week

Two new colleagues joined the On Being team this week! Annie Parsons (@hootenannie1) and Maia Tarrell (@tarrelling) moved to Minneapolis from Denver and Melbourne, Australia, respectively. The first’s week’s been an absolute joy and we’re excited for the years to come.

(Roberta Tancredi)

“Wholeness is the goal, but wholeness does not mean perfection. It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. The sooner we understand this, the better. It’s a truth that can set us free to live well, to love well and, in the end, to die well.”

Parker Palmer’s column, “Fierce with Reality: Living and Loving Well to the End,” tapped into something deeply rooted in so many people. He offers three things to help us embrace the whole and show up as we really are. (I think my favorite comment came from Sandi Siegel, who used the word “gooey” in her response.)

The author’s husband with their child. 

Vying for most shared and passed around honors was Rachel Meyer’s guest submission on what masculinity looks like. A longtime yogi, she sees fatherhood through the lens of the complementary balance of effort and ease, strength and softness:

“Like every naïve couple with a baby registry, we thought we were prepared. But parenting is the hardest yoga we’ve ever done. We practice in stolen moments, squeezing in half-assed headstands during breakfast and unrolling the mat late at night, the baby monitor standing sentinel at the top.”

Like Rachel, we welcome your essays and commentaries, photo essays and reports. Submit them here and we just might publish alongside our columnists!

(Roberta Tancredi / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).)

“What if we knew something wonderful was going to happen, but not when? What if you knew that you would be blessed, but not through whom? Or how? What if a heart would be opened for you, but you knew not whom?”

The blessing of not knowing. That’s the title we gave to Omid Safi’s latest column. As he celebrates the final nights of Ramadan, he invites us into the mystery of “not-knowing” and reflects on the wonder of unseen realities and Laylat al-qadr, the “Night of Power.”

Prisoner Sara Gul changes her baby’s diaper inside the women’s prison in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Sara has been in prison for six months after running away from her home to escape her husband. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images.)

Now pair that with his previous column, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned by Cleaning Up My Daughter’s Poop” (which he suggested titling “Love Is Stronger Than Shit”), and I think you get to experience the fullness of Omid Safi:

“It’s about love. There is a love that is stronger than ‘like.’ You love through the shit. It does not mean that we ‘like’ every person, or like what they do, or like all of their qualities. It simply means that we love, with a strong, unrelenting, and fierce love that refuses to stop at the shitty parts of their personality — or our own.”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama meditates whilst sitting for a portrait by British artist Chris Levine. His Holiness rarely sits for formal portraits. However, on this occasion he agreed to do so as the artist will donate all proceeds to charities working with communities affected by the recent earthquakes in Nepal. The limited edition print can be ordered through http://www.himalayaprayer.org. (Chris Levine / Getty Images.)

To celebrate the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg recounts her first encounter with the great spiritual leader and the importance of his example — in words and in deed. And how about this portrait (above) of His Holiness by Chris Levine? He’s donating all proceeds from sales of the portrait to charities involved in the Nepalese relief effort.

And, if you only have a few minutes, here are a few quick reads and sees for you:

Write me a note. Let me know how I can make this newsletter better! My email address is [email protected] and my Twitter handle is @trentgilliss.

May the wind always be at your back.


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