On the Blog

Featured Commentary

May 15, 2011

"The skills gap is a reflection of what we value. To close the gap, we need to change the way the country feels about work." ~Mike Rowe

On the Blog

By Trent Gilliss September 08, 2015

We're officially back into the full swing of production! Amidst the flurry of exciting work, we're grateful for the chance to reflect on the centering power of daily ritual, facing mortality with hope, and defining our lives by the quality of our actions.

By Marie Sambilay September 08, 2015

For the producers here at Loring Park, it's important to perform every aspect of our work with deliberate thoughtfulness. Here, we offer a behind-the-scenes peek at all that's involved in a seemingly small task: selecting a photo to represent the week's episode.

By Katherine Hauswirth September 08, 2015

In the aftermath of her brother's untimely death, a sister contemplates life's darkness — as well as the ever-accessible, unfaltering light which illuminates the path. A call to help recover lost light for those who are in darkness, and for ourselves.

By Elizabeth Ayres September 07, 2015

Scientists say there is no such thing as an objective observer. One poet celebrates the participatory, interactive, relational aspects of reality with poetry inspired by John Keats.

By Mihee Kim-Kort September 06, 2015

Fitness events and organizations are popping up and deepening community in powerful and unexpected ways, which many consider spiritual. A mother and Presbyterian minister tells the story of entering one of those muddy races and finding camaraderie in a manner she longs to experience in her own church.

By Erika Munson September 05, 2015

"The Book of Mormon" made its way to the heart of LDS country, Salt Lake City. Using parody and sarcasm to challenge people and power structures can be a noble one. A practicing Mormon willingly goes to see a well-known musical which ridicules her faith — and emerges unashamed.

By Courtney E. Martin September 04, 2015

The frenetic pace of life can be overwhelming, making ritual even more necessary. But it doesn't have to be religious, or even spiritual in nature. Daily tasks can ground and center us, clearing our minds and helping us focus on the profundity in the seemingly mundane of this world.

By Omid Safi September 03, 2015

When asked how long they'd been married, Aljosie Harding named their time together down to the minute. Omid Safi marvels at the unexpected and profound love that infuses our world at any stage of living — and it's awe-inspiring power to provide hope in the face of grief.

By Parker J. Palmer September 02, 2015

Each summer, our columnist has been making a pilgrimage to one of nature's great treasures: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In his twilight years, he ponders the resurrection that takes place under the most destructive circumstances and the "vast web of life in which body and spirit are one."

By Trent Gilliss September 01, 2015

We closed down studio for two weeks, but that doesn't mean we took it easy! We built ofuros and traveled and crafted some incredible reflections on the importance of making space in our lives for contemplation, generosity, and serendipity.

By Sharon Salzberg August 31, 2015

Terms such as Jubu and Nones may be inadequate labels to describe a person's faith journey. Sharon Salzberg with a reminder that what you call yourself may not be as important as how you live.

By Lea Gibson Page August 30, 2015

A home can be a sacred space for children if adults give it the attention necessary. A mother's essay on modeling devoted action, fostering a healthy will, and creating structure through chores as a powerful, stabilizing force in the household.

By Mary Jo Bennett August 29, 2015

To be confronted with a serious illness is to be confronted with a fear of death for most of us. How do we balance hope with realism? And how do we age with grace? Drawing on Atul Gawande's book, Mary Jo Bennett highlights some ways our culture is evolving in its relationship with death.

By Courtney E. Martin August 28, 2015

Does destiny and fate truly exist? An age-old question, to be sure. Courtney Martin ponders that question and traces how each of our paths may be shaped by willful action and serendipitous encounters along the way.

By Omid Safi August 27, 2015

Suffering can be a backstop for unexpected joy. A lyrical "Rumi"ination on shadow, gratitude, and the light of the stranger.

By Parker J. Palmer August 26, 2015

Generosity and gratitude don't require extraordinary means, just the gift of time and attention. Parker and Wendell on giving yourself away.

By Trent Gilliss August 25, 2015

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.

By Christine Valters Paintner 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.

By Sharon Salzberg August 24, 2015

It’s not easy to genuinely know who we are. The stories others tell about us and the labels society heaps upon us only add to that confusion. But, when we disentangle ourselves from these narratives, we may choose courage over fear and take new risks.

By Danielle van de Kemenade August 22, 2015

Society has come to value achievement over all else. But what would happen if we began to place less value in doing, and more value in simply being? One woman shares her personal path to fulfillment, and invites us all to a better way of being.

By Terri Schanks August 22, 2015

The stories of a person, a family, a culture, a country hold and bind us in ways that are potentially fruitful or harmful. They also give us an identity. A meditation on who we are, how we become, and the stories we tell ourselves along the way.

By Courtney E. Martin August 21, 2015

In an age of iPhone and Instagram ubiquity, we capture and curate in ways unimaginable only a few decades ago. And this connects us in unexpected ways. But, it also can have a cost, one that pulls us out of the moment.

By Omid Safi August 20, 2015

That moment of homecoming has a depth of perspectives and meanings. Through the story of babysitting and a mother's return, Omid Safi sees an opportunity for seeking, finding — and to "be blissful."

By Parker J. Palmer August 19, 2015

Gardening is replete with metaphors for living well. With the help of a May Sarton poem, Parker Palmer builds on a less-obvious metaphor.

By Trent Gilliss August 18, 2015

We're heading into a brief break here at Loring Park, but before we go — an unexpected flood of canine appreciation, the catharsis of letting go and looking forward, and rising above difference to meet in Rumi's field.