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
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.
With Gerard Manley Hopkins as his guide, Parker reflects on the sacredness and beauty of life and difference.
A small-town Quaker meeting inspires a meditation on the collective human silence, and the communion that brings points of orientation in a disorienting world.
With a mix of banjos and bedlam, a review of on what we're reading, writing, and printing this week — all good for the sharing.
With news reports swirling about the fallibility of structures, the Buddha's teachings on volition point us to the crucial importance of our own intentions, the responsibility in our actions, and therefore for our own freedom. An outlook on a way forward to our own accountability.
Rather than grieve for the loss of “normalcy,” a mother of a child with refractory seizure disorder chooses to exult in her being exactly the way she is. Weaving in the Four Noble Truths, she marvels at the gifts of intimacy, false notions of power and control, and the hope and humor that follows.
A mother reflects on curating an updated library of children's literature for her daughter to read — one that speaks to "the full spectrum of brown and black folks to mitigate the future onslaught of ubiquitous whiteness" and people she could imagine being.
A powerful lesson on the allure of the ego and the mystery of love expressed through the mythology of the Lord of the Rings and the poetry of Rumi.
Inspired by the words and actions of Thich Nhat Hanh, Parker Palmer asks what it means to hold our differences in ways that open us to possibilities we never would have imagined.
Pediatric oncologists and parents alike are searching for someone to help them bear the suffering they must witness. An essay reflecting on doctors, Dante, and treating children with cancer.
The Magic Hedge is an oasis on the outskirts of Chicago renowned for its excellent birdwatching. With the hopes of sighting of a rare bird, two friends venture forth to encounter small miracles, the warmth of unexpected community, and the blessings of stillness.
An unexpected moment on the Katie Couric show instills an awareness of the fruits of mindfulness, a deep sense of lineage, and an inexpressible peace for our columnist.
More than 25 percent of us may be jeopardizing the "good life" by blindly pursuing more to keep up with the Joneses? Courtney Martin on operating on income autopilot and re-interpreting our financial wealth.
While preparing for our live show with Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn in Nashville, their cover of “The Final Countdown” goes viral. So fun to watch!
What it would be like to build, one glance at a time, a beloved community? Inspired the defaced churches in Cappadocia, Omid Safi appeals to the loving glances that acknowledge the sacred beyond in each one of us.
How we ask each other questions can evoke a deeper sense of self. Words of advice from Parker Palmer and a poem by Denise Levertov on the power of asking with good intention, and hearing each other into being.
A mother contemplates her own addictive need to fix things with her daughter. Using mindfulness as a tool for recovery she answers compulsive behavior with the opportunity to be present in ever-deepening self-awareness, and the ability to witness emotional weather without engaging or reacting to it.
A bevy of useful, interesting things to chew on and contemplate. Sure to make your mind sing!
The act of letting go is a popular idea — but it isn't easy. It's a practice requiring time, patience, and a good deal of steadfastness. Words of wisdom on acknowledging an experience and changing our relationship to it.
Rilke asks us to live the questions. Socrates says the unexamined life is one not worth living. But, staying awake to the moral complexities of one's actions is not a quiet prospect.
What happens when two millennial Jesuit podcasters interview Krista Tippett? Practical wisdom on the way millennials do religion and a whole host of Jesuit humor.