A constellation of reading and listening for early autumn from our editor-in-chief.
A poem of observation and petition to usher in these ten Days of Awe for year 5778.
It’s scary to surrender control, but good can come from letting the chips fall where they may.
As the air starts to cool and the days shorten, a poetic reflection for this liminal time — on the hidden potential that lies in the season ahead.
A journey of collective mindfulness with the Vietnamese Zen master, crystallized in verse.
Reflections to hearten life amid chaos and pain — from a new take on efficiency to the breaking and remaking that shape our grief.
A loving ode to ancestral land — and to the body of the earth from which we all come and to which we all return.
From remembering police captain and dharma teacher Cheri Maples to soliciting perspectives on solitude and being alone, our editor in chief’s list of the week’s most compelling commentaries on motherhood, solitude, eldering, male vulnerability, and exile.
We can’t take wilderness retreats every time we feel caught up in the world’s madness, but a poem can be a momentary reprieve.
An ode to a sentence from the legendary poet on recognizing and honoring the sacrifices of generations past to get us where we are — and on “paying it forward” as the best way to pay them back.
What’s your three feet of influence? Rumi’s renewed appeal thanks to Bey & Jay. Breaking open one’s heart. Happiness as human flourishing and more ideas from our editor-in-chief.
A poem on letting go of our “known way of being” and discovering the wisdom of letting things unfold around us.
Be the first to try out our new On Being discovery tool for exploring hundreds of conversations in our archives! And, excellent writings on privilege, solitude, and productivity to accompany your listening.
A poem from Gregory Orr on the silver lining of a heart shattered open: the knowledge that our broken places are where beauty comes from.
A woman finds the gift of stories to ground us and give shape to our suffering — by teaching creative writing to in-patient adolescents on the psychiatry floor of Johns Hopkins Hospital.
An antidote from Margaret Atwood for the hubris that leads us to claim ownership over the living lands that nourish us.
Our Letter from Loring Park opens our application process for the inaugural On Being Gathering. And, articles on the complexities of family and love, giving up on the myth of perfection, grappling with inherited prejudice and being recognized for who we are, and on a revolution that starts within.
How our tech is distorting our attention; wisely examining places where we might grow, rather than scrutinizing our strengths; acknowledging each other’s full identities structurally and spiritually; and revisiting the visionary work of theologian and sociologist Peter Berger.
A monk with a “wicked sense of humor” inspires our columnist to pack his bags when it comes to attaining perfection.
A woman’s evolving understanding of mortality, identity, and letting go — through a poem that has accompanied her through life and loss.
Mary Oliver’s knack for finding the grace in life’s big questions, and reflecting on them with the calm and clarity of an afternoon on a quiet pond.
The extraordinary is revered and celebrated, but where does that leave the ordinary? On rediscovering the meaning of awe, and finding it in the quiet majesty of the daily grind.
A poem to honor the commonalities that run deeper than our cultural divides — from the San Francisco of the Beat Generation to a modest dive on the Jersey Shore.
The questions of who matters and what’s really important run through each entry in this week’s edition of Letter from Loring Park.
Omid on recognizing that the path we’re on is the right one; Courtney with mental trickery to uncover our creative confidence; and Turkish-American poet Adnan Onart on finding the kinship of faith during Ramadan — in a Dunkin Donuts.
The poet’s grounded counsel on living a life of generosity and integrity — and a touch of healthy rebelliousness.
Inspired by the quiet eloquence of Hafez and Naomi Shihab Nye, Parker puts forth an appeal for the deliberate, loving care that public life requires of us in these times.
Parker takes up Jane Kenyon’s gentle challenge: trust in the natural cycles of light and dark, waking and sleep, life and life’s end.
Heartened by the resilience of nature, Omid reflects on our own capacity to soften and grow, even from the hardest places.
Our columnists’ vision for a brave future of masculine tenderness; a green-thumb approach to business; and a traveling reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”
An unlikely spring poem from Mary Oliver turns the dazzling darkness of nature into a lesson on embodying simple gratitude for the gifts we’re offered each moment.
The companionship of Thomas Merton; an inspiring faith in our nation’s potential; and the spiritual work of environmental care.
Do trees photosynthesize the soul as well as sunlight? With a poem by W.S. Merwin, an appreciation for trees and the spiritual wisdom they impart.
52 regular folks read Walt Whitman’s poem, “Song of Myself” — a profound and deeply humanizing portrait of American life.
It’s a hard time to be human. But that doesn’t mean our good work has no value. Parker and Ellen Bass on the beautiful paradox of our smallness and our consequence in the world.
How your personality changes over a lifetime; a tribute to the unbreakable spirit of a legendary poet; the virtue of not getting exactly what you want; and hiring not just minds, but hearts, too.
The human soul is a thing to name and celebrate, no matter how we understand its fickle, mysterious nature.
When a listener asks a question, a new conversation emerges. And other ideas on the harm of literalism in family life, the virtue of truth-telling, transforming anger, praise for an unappreciated generation; and others.
A tribute to Maya Angelou for her birthday — with a reflection on her poem “Still I Rise,” a fiery assertion of self.
Layli Long Soldier reads her poem “38,” written to and for the 38 Dakota men who were hung under the orders of President Abraham Lincoln as a result of the Sioux uprising, which came at a time when their land was reduced and their people were starving.
Reflections, recalibrations, and resources to help us temper our anger, and find space for a constructive, healing civic life.
From the wrestling mat to challenging conversations in our own living rooms — the virtue of facing our deepest discomforts head-on.
A poem from Maya Spector is an encouragement to push open the doors that hold us in when the light of spring breaks.
In the resonant voice of Valarie Kaur, Omid Safi finds hope for the painful but fruitful path that we must take forward as a nation.
Parker stands in awe at the extraordinary patience of nature. What if we centered as much care and attention on its grandeur as we do on our own selves?
There’s a profound solitude in asking the challenging, radical question. A Muslim reformer finds a deep and consoling truth in the face of this reality in the voice of a poet.
A simple invocation amid the world’s frenzy: that we maintain the quiet discipline of seeking delight hiding in plain sight.
Parker looks fondly on the moments he spent as a child with his grandfather — whose life-giving hands brought forth craft and nurtured a little boy into the world with a fierce and stoic tenderness.
What if we thought of hip-hop lyrics as sacred texts? Toki Wright speaks about the power of language and the spiritual responsibility of hip-hop for young people.
A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.