On the Blog

Featured Commentary

BY November 17, 2017

Sharon Salzberg’s advice for difficult conversations with family at Thanksgiving? Practice listening from a place of generosity and love — whether you agree or not.

On the Blog

BY November 3, 2017

Models and data show what’s happening to our planet, but are our conversations about climate change really about something deeper? A biologist poses a challenge to the scientific community, and to all of us: to infuse our debates not only with factual rigor, but with empathy and compassion, too.

BY November 2, 2017

We equate adulthood with “having our shit together” — but there’s just as much clutter and confusion behind every successful grown-up we admire.

BY November 1, 2017

A Harvard dean lists his five essential questions of life. Our editor-in-chief shares his key readings on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one’s hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age.

BY November 1, 2017

To feast on Mom’s home cooking is its own blessing — but sometimes, traveling with it is a different story. On the particular frustration of traveling while brown and Muslim, and on food as a vehicle for love, not judgment.

Porterville, California, resident Manuel Dominguez, who has no running water, plays guitar in his living room on April 23, 2015.
BY October 31, 2017

For when the world’s trouble starts to overwhelm, a poem from William Stafford on savoring and safeguarding the refuge of life’s quiet, peaceful moments.

BY October 31, 2017

“Trunk or treats” are happening in church parking lots across the country in an attempt to make #Halloween rituals safer and less scary. On upholding the macabre lineage of All Hallows’ Eve — and welcoming both the risks and rewards of neighborliness.

BY October 30, 2017

Something dark lurks in the shadows of Kao Kalia Yang’s childhood memories. Two spectral encounters, unsettling and unexplained.

BY October 27, 2017

To change another to better fit our own ideals is not love; it is domination. Instead, to truly love is to engage joyfully in our differences and to bring out the best in our unique potential — in personal relationships, and in community.

BY October 26, 2017

The fruit of working for racial justice lies in the discomfort and the mess — but only if we acknowledge the lessons those tensions have to teach us. On negotiating the tricky path of making change with authenticity and constant self-reflection.

Demonstrators argue during a national protest against the social welfare reform bill introduced by the government of President Michel Temer, which seeks to extend the years of contributions and raise the minimum age for retirement, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 31, 2017.
BY October 25, 2017

It’s easy to respond to vitriol in kind. But, our columnist asks, what if we looked to examples of our better nature and chose to reflect back a spirit of kindness, instead?

BY October 24, 2017

Parker finds comfort in a poem from Carrie Newcomer — on learning how to occupy our space in the world with the wholeness and grace of trees.

BY October 23, 2017

Hip-hop’s spiritual lineage stretches back to long before the Golden Era of BDP and De La Soul. On bearing fearless witness to the black struggle, black courage, and black being — in Chance the Rapper’s era, and in Job’s.

BY October 22, 2017

Who we’re not considering when we talk about guns, from Dorit Price-Levine. Courtney Martin on #metoo as an opportunity to heal masculinity. And Omid Safi’s frustration at a seemingly innocuous question. Incisive and insightful words on the deeper truths in our daily encounters — from our columnists and new voices, too.

BY October 20, 2017

A joyful group of international students puts on an unlikely production of a classic in American theatre — and discovers the power of storytelling to embody our surprising sameness across culture, geography, and time.

BY October 19, 2017

#MeToo testimonies are flooding our social media feeds. And for men, realizing complicity can be uncomfortable. Our columnist sees this collective discomfort as a spiritual challenge — one that men must meet earnestly, first in themselves, and then in each other.

BY October 18, 2017

We might laugh at the clumsiness of the question, posed so often to people with brown skin in the U.S. But Omid Safi asks us to consider what we’re really saying when we ask this question — and how we might expand our imagination about what American identity is.

BY October 17, 2017

Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around.

Rami Nashashibi speaks at the 2017 Festival of Faiths.
BY October 17, 2017

Guns. American identity. Trap yoga. Rami Nashashibi winning the MacArthur “genius” grant. Highlighted writing on the fruitful chaos of living together from David Brooks, Anita Little, Carolina González, Omid Safi, and Courtney Martin.

BY October 16, 2017

On coming together in that space with openness and trust, and creating something greater than the sum of our parts.

BY October 13, 2017

On questioning the habit of vilifying “gun people” for a fundamental part of their lives and identities — and on the deeper understanding that might bring us closer to the solution to violence that we all seek.

BY October 12, 2017

From college dorms to cohousing communities, living with other people can be chaotic and messy. Our columnist considers that these tensions may actually be healthy and essential to building resilient community.

BY October 11, 2017

Asking for help in hard times can be difficult, sometimes accompanied by shame. Our columnist offers practical tools for sharing and lifting the burdens of loved ones who have fallen on hard times.

BY October 10, 2017

A poetic reminder for writers: that the simplest words can be the most powerful.

Asia Nichole Jones leads a class at Uhle Fitness Studios in Chicago.
BY October 9, 2017

Black women are blazing a new trail for yoga —  one that shatters the barriers of race, culture, and class that previously excluded them. How women of color are embracing the strength of their bodies and spirits through vinyasa flows set to Future and Gucci Mane.

BY October 7, 2017

In the midst of chaos and anxiety, a selected list of restorative words on death and love in the wake of a hurricane, on the art of risk-taking, and on stepping back and looking at our actions and reactions anew.