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
A Southern woman's searching lament on the hot, boiling silence of Southern grief after the shootings in Charleston — and the inheritance of sorrow.
Women and men so often beat themselves up when it comes to work/life balance. But another story is playing itself out, one about the unacknowledged gifts that help clarify the meaningful choices of being a person, and a parent.
The recent success of Serena Williams and the U.S. women's soccer team in the World Cup is a beacon of light. It's also a reminder that we have a long way to go in recognizing the roles of half our population in sport and religion.
Thomas Merton and Lao Tzu make compelling cases for flowing around obstacles rather than butting up against them. If we do so, we fight inequities in the world with equanimity and make a life worth living for all.
When you think of a name — or your name — what story or memory comes to mind? A post about the pathways and constraints of a name, and a invitation for your stories about our most basic expressions of identity.
Rami, not Rumi. And good reads on living and loving well, male parenting, and not-knowing.
An American writer living in Egypt during the months after 9/11 experiences the beauty of Ramadan in Cairo. She finds unexpected kinship in the rhythms of the culture and its people, reflecting all that is human: piety and gaiety, charity and ostentation, sacrifice and indulgence.
Who is "the other"? A call to cultivate deep curiosity for the lives and struggles and to move away from the "Us-versus-Them" mentality — including a reflective exercise you can perform right now, wherever you are.
To trust our children requires allowing them the room to act differently that we might expect. A mother's argument for placing trust in our children's expansive imaginations and empathic potential.
In times of trauma, modern-day technology connects us instantly. But could it be that genetic memory metabolizes much more slowly? Courtney Martin juxtaposes modern day urgency with a long view of legacy.
Is there room in our seeking for not-knowing? Are our hearts big enough to hold mystery? A prayer and a meditation for the mystery of the last ten nights of Ramadan.
"How can we learn to embrace with love the whole of who we are?" Parker Palmer with three tools to help us show up as we really are and live and love fully as we engage with the world.
Freedom rings this Independence Day with a panoply of sounds and sights to remind us of our burgeoning world!
Mysteries of an expanding universe and other ties to what makes a life worth living.
To celebrate the 80th birthday of the great spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sharon Salzberg recounts her first encounter with him and the importance of his example — in words and in deed.
A longtime yogi sees fatherhood through the lens of the complementary balance of effort and ease, strength and softness.
An inspirational profile of one of those modern-day heroes, SAS, a doctor whose key insights turned the tide of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone — an exemplar of quiet commitment and unending courage who saved thousands of lives by bridging worlds.
Feces can be a powerful thing, but not in the way that you might gather. Before becoming a father, Omid Safi thought love was something you feel or experience, the everyday ritual of changing his daughter's diaper taught him about a love that's stronger than shit.
The act of extending a hand, of seeking, can sometimes leave you humbled by an amazing experience. Watch Abigail Washburn and her band The Village find unexpected rewards at a dinner party with local musicians in China.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July in the States, Parker Palmer contemplates the hope, the promise, and the opportunity of "we the people" with a song from Leonard Cohen.
Our readers and our columnists explore Vincent Harding's question in light of the Charleston tragedy — and how we can reclaim our fears and our hopes in this great experiment. Plus, some things I've been reading this week (for your eyes only).
As we become global citizens and focus on issues around the world, we neglect to look out the window of our back yards and into our local communities. A reminder to be part of the locality where we live too.
Beginning with a quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan, an exploration and a grappling with suffering, parenting, and the nature of love.
The wealth of information curated and articulated — drawing on all our executive editor reads, hears, and sees. From collective silence to the moral quality of action, words of advice and admiration.
A passionate, grounded plea to recognize white privilege and the gut level pushback — the "white fragility" — that happens when talking about race.