What Is The On Being Project?

“Enough of us — across all of our differences — see that we have a world to remake.
We want to orient towards that possibility.
We want to meet what is hard and hurting.
We want to rise to what is beautiful and life-giving.
We want to do that where we live, and we want to do it walking alongside others.”

— Krista Tippett


The people who gather around On Being are part of the generative narrative of our time. In all kinds of lives, in all kinds of places, they are healers and social creatives. At human pace, they are enlivening the world that they can see and touch. In generational time, they are stitching relationship across rupture. If you are here, you are likely already part of this. And if you’d like to know more, start with our Foundations for Being Alive Now.

Our conversations — on-air and off — create openings. In a political and cultural space that rewards fear, ferments argument, and hastens closure, we nourish learning and growth, newness and evolution. In this spirit, our ecosystem of offerings serve a far-flung global web of listeners/practitioners.

  • Studios: On Being and Poetry Unbound podcasts, The Pause Saturday newsletter, the Poetry Unbound Substack newsletter.
  • Gatherings: Convenings and “quiet conversations” to ignite and connect the generative landscape of our time.
  • Lab for the Art of Living: Tools and resources — in service of and informed by our content and convenings — towards embodied wisdom and a life-giving imprint on the world around, breath to breath, and hour to hour. Books, wisdom and pause practice, digital retreats and more in the making.

We tend human wholeness — the life of the mind, the truth of the body, the wild mystery of the human spirit, and our need for each other.

We elevate voices of wisdom and models of wise thinking and living.

We practice moral imagination; we embrace paradoxical curiosity; we sit with conflict and complexity.

We value ecosystem-building over institution-building; we resource accompaniment and shared learning and muscular hope so that the generative people and projects of our time can flourish as the ecosystem the world needs them to be.

We see beauty as a core moral value and a feature of vitality.

We know joy to be a life-giving, resilience-making human birthright.

We meet longings for justice and healing by equipping for reflection, repair, and joy.

We endeavor to make goodness and complexity riveting.

We believe that whole spiritual inquiry propels outside the boundaries of the self, into the world.

We work with questions and conversation as social arts and technologies.

We nurture virtues as moral muscle memory towards sustained new realities, including: words that matter, hospitality, generous listening, humility, patience, adventurous civility.

We honor poets and poetry as necessary companions in mustering words spacious and generous enough to reach across the mystery of ourselves and the mystery of each other.

We understand love as the most reliably transformative muscle of human wholeness, and we investigate the workings of love as public practice.

We envision a world that is more fluent in its own humanity — and thus able to rise to the great challenges and promise of this century.


“Every surface of fracture in our world notwithstanding, all of life is being revealed in its insistence on wholeness: the interplay between our bodies, the natural world, the lives we make, the worlds we create. It is the calling of callings to make that vivid and practical and real, starting inside ourselves and with the lives we’ve been given.”

— Krista Tippett