Tag: solitude

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August 2, 2017

The value of solitude isn’t simply in retreating from a chaotic world. It’s a discipline that’s different for all of us — and one that we can practice wherever we are.

Waves break off Sunset Beach, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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July 29, 2017

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.

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July 27, 2017

Our columnist gets honest about missing true solitude as a mother of young girls, and reflects on how crucial it is for women to carve out space to nurture no one but themselves.

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July 15, 2017

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.

Three women at a cafe in Le Marais.
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July 12, 2017

We can communicate with almost anybody at any moment and all the time. But are we losing our capacity to be alone, and therefore our ability to think anew? Rediscovering this ability just may be pivotal to the health of democracy.

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February 8, 2017

Animated by solitude in the winter woods, Parker J. Palmer on seeing the hidden and potential beauty beneath what’s superficial in the world we face.

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December 7, 2016

As we turn the seasonal corner to the longest nights of the year, a reflection on the time we spend in the darkness, and what we can learn from it before turning back to the light.

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September 21, 2016

The search for fulfillment feels endless, but what if the answer dwells around and among us? Contemplations on the joyful wisdom embedded in work and in life.

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May 14, 2016

The Camino de Santiago is a well-trodden path for pilgrimage and silent reflection with other wayfarers. But with the increasingly ubiquitous presence of Wi-Fi, is it encroaching on the aspects of what makes the adventure special?

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April 8, 2016

The announcement of our newest podcast offering contemplations on the nature of participation in the world, and opportunities to become inextricable from the questions.

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March 28, 2016

When the demands of daily life drain us, a respite in solitude is exactly what we need. A testament to the power of aloneness to reconnect us with the steady sense of self we lose.

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January 26, 2016

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.

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January 20, 2016

On a retreat at a cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin, Parker Palmer strings together pearls of contemplation on silence and solitude. With the help of Merton and Rumi, he finds the catharsis of being forced to reckon with one’s angels and demons.

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November 29, 2015

With the world at our fingertips, why get dressed and go out at all? Jane Gross on being alone, venturing to the magic of a movie theater, and contentedly being alone in a crowd.

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October 28, 2015

Alain de Botton’s short piece of writing on love and loneliness is elegantly handled in this animated short by Hannah Jacobs and Lara Lee.

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August 25, 2015

We desire to live in meaningful ways, but how do we do so in a rapidly moving modern world? A Benedictine oblate scribes seven principles to help live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.

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July 6, 2014

A veteran outdoorsman finds comfort in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson. For this self-described river rat, nature is the circumstance which dwarfs every other circumstance.

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June 10, 2014

The writer’s words from 1955 resonate even more profoundly today in an era of technological ubiquity. A meditation on the gifts of solitude, loneliness, and silence.

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April 27, 2014

In this final installment of a four-part meditation on the interior emptiness of the East Antarctic ice cap, the author and explore reflects on the impossibility of intimacy in the presence of impermanence.

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April 27, 2014

In this third essay from a four-part meditation on the interior emptiness of the East Antarctic ice cap, the author and explorer navigates the inner life, an elusive and meandering journey, as he contemplates the solipsistic continent.

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April 26, 2014

The second of a four-part meditation on the interior emptiness of the East Antarctic ice cap. In “Absence,” a reflection on how emptiness feeds a strange beauty, an oblivion of white.

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April 26, 2014

The first of a four-part meditation on the interior emptiness of the East Antarctic ice cap. In “Arrival, the author explores the dance between ice and idea, wondering how the ice cap “challenges our notions of place and self.”

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May 12, 2012

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.