On Being Blog

Trent Gilliss Monday, May 12, 2014 - 17:07

The best of the week — including an invitation to communal song, forest music from Schumann, words of gratitude and grace from Mary Oliver, and the manifold gifts of a storyteller.

Heather McIlvaine Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 19:13

What is the value of retreating? A life-long retreat-goer thinks about the value of solitude, togetherness, seeking, and the sacredness of close human relationships.

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 19:50

In this photoquote of the day, Annie Dillard reminds us to ride the "monsters down deep."

Mariah Helgeson Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 10:23

Join us at 1:00PM (CT) today for a live video stream of our inaugural live event at On Being Studios. It's sure to be a rich discussion about science and religion between two great thinkers.

Parker J. Palmer Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 09:10

Parker Palmer turns to a famous Mary Oliver poem to remind him to be grateful for the "family of things."

Trent Gilliss Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 03:50

Our executive editor's weekly roundup of all things beautiful and intriguing. This week, an esoteric essay on the Antarctic, magical photography from Iran, and an engaging narrative on the process of dying in India.

Mariah Helgeson Monday, May 5, 2014 - 06:15

A mesmerizing collaboration between Memphis-born street dancer Lil Buck and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. A moment of transcendence that stops you in your tracks and begs to be noticed.

Rosalie Murphy Sunday, May 4, 2014 - 12:10

When an aspiring journalist attends a meditation resort in India for a class assignment, she finds herself in an awkward role. Her commentary on experiencing Osho dynamic meditation and finding comfort in her Roman Catholic faith.

Mariah Helgeson Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 11:58

If you didn't know it, Krista's a Trekkie. And so was one of our guests. A meeting of two Trekkie minds makes for an endearing few moments between interviewer and interviewee. Listen in.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - 05:52

A vexing question receives a profound answer. And Parker Palmer asks: "What task is calling you — at home, at work, in the larger world — that you need to embrace even though it's impossible?"

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Latest Interviews

July 3, 2014

For the Fourth of July, a refreshing reality check about the long road of American democracy. We remember forgotten but fascinating, useful history as we contemplate how we might help young democracies on their own tumultuous paths now.

June 26, 2014

We tend to frame our cultural conversation about science and religion as a debate — two either/or ways of describing reality. With mathematician Jim Bradley and philosopher Michael Ruse, we trace a quieter evolution of science and religion in interplay — not a matter of competing answers, but of complementary questions with room for humanity, nuance, and humor.

June 19, 2014

Who knew that we learn empathy, trust, irony, and problem solving through play — something the dictionary defines as "pleasurable and apparently purposeless activity." Dr. Stuart Brown suggests that the rough-and-tumble play of children actually prevents violent behavior, and that play can grow human talents and character across a lifetime. Play, as he studies it, is an indispensable part of being human.

June 12, 2014

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.

June 5, 2014

As the daughter of Johnny Cash, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash describes her life as "circumscribed by music." But, it's through her love of language and quantum mechanics that she's finding new sources of creativity and mathematical ways to think about the divine. The mother of five shares her perspectives on being present, Twitter as a "boot camp for songwriters," and how she wrestles with love and grief through her music.

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