A Charm Against the Language of Politics Say over and over the names of things, the clean nouns: weeping birch, bloodstone, tanager, Banshee damask rose. Read field guides, atlases, gravestones. At the store, bless each apple by kind: McIntosh, Winesap, Delicious, Jonathan. Enunciate the vegetables and herbs: okra, calendula. Go deeper into the terms of some small landscape: spiders, for example. Then, after a speech on compromising the environment for technology, recite the tough, silky structure of webs: tropical stick, ladder web, mesh web, filmy dome, funnel, trap door. When you have compared the candidates’ slippery platforms, chant the spiders: comb footed, round headed, garden cross, feather legged, ogre faced, black widow. Remember that most short verbs are ethical: hatch, grow, spin, trap, eat. Dig deep, pronounce clearly, pull the words in over your head. Hole up for the duration.
On the Blog
Politics can divide more often than unite. But, deep involvement in the civic sphere doesn't mean we have to sacrifice empathy and civility.
On the Blog
We are in need of a new vision and visionaries who remind us not of the “greatness” of America, but of its goodness writes Omid Safi. A call for forgiveness, but one that's rooted in love and justice — and for an America that is yet to be.
Bill Siemering, a founding member of National Public Radio, will be speaking at On Being on Loring Park tonight at 5:30pm. Join us for a live stream!
Recent events in the life of the world have made it challenging to engage in trust and hope. Parker Palmer turns to another type of knowing that leads to grace.
The fear inside us presents itself in the most unlikely and perhaps unexpected ways. But how do we engage that feeling and let go?
With nine out of ten family dinners, little of consequence occurs. But, during the tenth mealtime, something sparks. A father's case for the unscheduled magic of the family dinner.
A father of young children contemplates the messages and the survival skills passed from father to son on how to live with the burdens and the suffering of human life.
What training did we give to our fathers? A reflection on inventing, rather than inheriting, the type of father a man wants to be — for himself and his children.
The collective experiences of Black Americans can result in generational trauma that is "stored in the body." With the stories of McKinney, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina as a backdrop, a man calls for us to retrain our brains and break free from our limiting perceptions of one another to heal these divides.
When the crush of a beige cubicle and endless meetings deaden creative impulses, a newborn baby girl prompts an explosion of creativity — and the celebratory, enthusiastic person the author's dream job had taken away.
Fortified by forward-looking Muslim leaders and thinkers in the United States, a Jewish man seeks to "hear truth from whatever source it comes" even, and perhaps especially, those with whom he may never see eye-to-eye with about faith itself.
With a vivid retelling of a story from the sage poet Rumi, Omid Safi on the wisdom of chickpeas and going from a state of hardness to one of softness — and being on fire.
Father's Day is just around the corner in the U.S. Parker Palmer shares some of his dad's most humorous gems and a poem by Dana Gioia to celebrate all the men in our lives.
Gandhi once said, “To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” And, gardening, our author says, can be a precise mirror for the soul. A story of friendship, vigil, and tending and depending upon the Earth from the bucolic fields of the Italian countryside.
From being spiritually bold to praising softness, perspectives on exploring life from inside and out.
To be faithful and to practice faith in the Buddhist sense of the word, one must walk a path of doubt — one of honest questioning and active investigating. An enlightening column from Sharon Salzberg.
With an unexpected, unfolding kinship with her horse, a yoga instructor finds a path to revealing — and healing — old wounds. An arresting essay on the wondrous beauty of relationship.
Compartmentalizing can be a useful tool — whether dealing with the empty voids of our working lives, or the prolonged absence from the ones you love — in making it possible to live a whole life.
A metaphorically rich reminder that the "hard" values we so often revere and strive for in this modern world often supplant the necessary gentleness required to cultivate relationships, understanding, and love of one another.
In remembering a great civil rights leader not many know of, Parker Palmer shares a story about a man of few words.
Who was Vincent Harding? A story of an encounter that happened but was never realized as one man focused on success while ignoring the outstretched hand of a quiet legend.
So often in the West we believe that the most genius works of art are created with suffering and torment. But, the Dalai Lama might say happiness is the foundation of great creativity of all kinds.
A collection of what we're reading and publishing — from Lord of the Rings and love to Springsteen's tribute to Townsend!
How can we encourage our children (and ourselves) to work hard at mastering skills that evade us? Courtney Martin on delaying judgment, giving time to develop grit and resilience, and flailing at those things we're not naturally good at.
A viral post showing images inside the sacred site in Mecca inspired awe and adoration from Muslims around the world, and controversy. But Omid Safi finds power in the revelation of the center, the heart of the Ka'ba, and an opportunity to turn inward to the beloved.