After an exchange with an angry man, a poem about a woodland encounter bestows unexpected guidance — about how acknowledging the spaces we share can be what closes the gaps between us.
When the weight of the world is heavy, music can be a balm. A musical offering for this uncertain moment, for mercy and the courage to walk together toward the beloved community.
In our latest Becoming Wise podcast, wanderer and writer Pico Iyer tells of a lifetime of discovering outer stillness as an essential catalyst to a rich inner life.
Waiting for test results in a hospital can be a solitary event. And unexpectedly quiet in certain waiting rooms. Jane Gross on the silent solidarity of women forged while waiting for the results of their mammogram tests each year.
The catharsis of living up to challenge, in all walks of life — essays on powering through the hardest miles in a marathon to facing a crowd of unfamiliar strangers, to reckoning with one’s best and worst selves while reflecting in the solitude of the woods.
How do we reckon with different parts of our lives seemingly in opposition? Neighborliness and fear, togetherness and silence, embracing uncomfortable truths — examinations of finding growth and hope in life’s tensions.
It’s when we sit with our silence that the world opens before us, in ways large and small. Parker Palmer reflects on Gunilla Norris’ poetic words and the regrounding silence brings.
Feeling ill-equipped as a Yankee living in the South, a teacher in Charleston, South Carolina grapples with talking about race with her students and exploring the multiplicity of narratives we so often ignore.
In an increasingly frenetic world, emptying the mind in intentional silence can feel impossible. By returning to the Quaker tradition, one mother rediscovers the solace of communal stillness and embracing the busyness of her thoughts.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son’s loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
This week, our executive editor shares readings on the healing and revealing power of tranquility; inspiration to live with hopeful resilience; and other pieces to inspire us to appreciate the simple beauty in everyday life.
As a society, we tend not to prioritize silence. When we take a moment to listen and to notice, we make space to be amazed. A meditation on silence, slowing down, and paying attention to allow us to be astonished and the people we want to be.
It is enough to be quiet and still. It’s probably best to be in nature, which is God’s untouched world, but if you can’t get there, just take time to find silence wherever you are. A meditation on stillness at Gethsemani, the abbey of Thomas Merton.
The wealth of information curated and articulated — drawing on all our executive editor reads, hears, and sees. From collective silence to the moral quality of action, words of advice and admiration.
In silence, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with words. In laughter, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with solemnity. Parker Palmer on shadow and quiet.
Take a break from all of the talk about the planet on this Earth Day and spend a few moments listening to it.
In a somber week, Omid Safi offers a powerful reminder to remember the humanity at stake in world news, Reza Aslan provides needed context, Parker Palmer reflects on the illuminating power of Thomas Merton’s words, a writer muses on our discomfort with death, and Courtney Martin pens a love letter to the shared silences that join us together.
So often it’s the quiet moments with someone that cements and deepens a relationship. An acknowledgement (and a bit of a love letter) to the silence that joins us together.
Darkness draws out our deep-down depths. And, in the northern hemisphere, December’s darkness invites us inward. A lesson in wonder, an elegy for light, and a call to pay attention for the unbroken darkness of a December night.
With the grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown, a school of children’s uncommon silence in New Mexico leads the way to expressing grief and finding a role for our anger.
Poets and philosophers may be the mystics of our day, bridging the two worlds and bearing witness to seen and unseen.
On this Mother’s Day, in some odd way, I can think of no more fitting tribute than to listen to Ms. Boorstein reciting these lovely lines from Pablo Neruda.
A lyrical essay in which Gordon Hempton reminds the reader of what we can find inside ourselves through nature and how it makes us better listeners too. A must-read.
Silence, as Gordon Hempton experiences and seeks to preserve it, is not a vacuum defined by emptiness. It’s not an absence of sound, but an absence of noise. True quiet has presence, he says, and is a “think tank of the soul.” It is quiet that is quieting.
“You can listen to silence Reuven. I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it.”
—Chaim Potok from The Chosen.
A Twitterscript recap of our interview with the man who is trying to preserve the last quiet places.
Every time we air this interview with Matthew Sanford, people write and express such deep gratitude. It’s the best part of producing public radio.
Remembering that the celebrations of Holy Week are not about cataclysmic resurrections, but about bravely entering into loneliness with a small spring of consoling company.
A magical description of the primordial silences of people and places outside urban corridors by Taline Voskeritchian.
(photo: Tarah Dawdy/Flickr) Growing up in the thirties and forties, we engaged in the universe at our doorsteps. Summer was…