On the Blog

On the Blog

By Sande Ramage August 04, 2015

When faced with the inner void, the fear of emptiness can tempt us to refill and restock as quickly as we can. Could an emptying clear the space to experience something else? Set against the background of opera, one woman's gorgeous account of truth breathed into the void.

By Sharon Salzberg August 03, 2015

So often we dwell on our mistakes. Sharon Salzberg helps us step away from this routine and walk a different terrain — with the practice of lovingkindness that develops a flexibility of looking at our own lives.

By Elizabeth Ayres August 02, 2015

Spirit intersects matter everywhere. A poet living in Chesapeake Bay meditates on the sacredness of location and the sense of place reinstated after returning to her childhood landscape.

By Maia Duerr August 01, 2015

To "prioritize intention rather than form" is a the heart of a contemplative practice, whatever that may be. A lay Buddhist monk tells the story of creating a "tree" that's liberated us from narrow ideas of what contemplative practice is and find one (or more) that truly works for us.

By Courtney E. Martin July 31, 2015

We acquire and we accumulate. But why? What is the story we're trying to tell through the possessions we own. Our columnist Courtney Martin considers the multiple philosophies of ownership — and points toward that which is truly valuable.

By Omid Safi July 30, 2015

Extraordinary images of Pluto reveal the vastness and mystery that lies beyond. Omid Safi revels in it all, weaving together the poetry of Rumi and Rabi'a with the "celestial realities mirrored in the human heart."

By Parker J. Palmer July 29, 2015

How might we summon “the better angels of our nature" as political shenanigans ensue? The ever-wise Parker Palmer offers a few suggestions (and a poem, of course!) to reclaim our commons — and our humanity — during this election season.

By Meridian Johnson July 28, 2015

How do we come to truly "know" ourselves? Through a host of childhood memories, and using a George Oppen poem as her guide, a health practitioner suggests a starting place: "Become intimate with discomfort. Pull it closer. Mend nothing first."

By Sharon Salzberg July 27, 2015

In our utilitarian age, meditation is often discussed as a means to increase focus, productivity, and cognition but what about meditation as an engine for kindness? Sharon Salzberg explores the power of compassion and kindness to meet with abundance the suffering of the stranger.

By David Miah July 26, 2015

In a culture of perfectionism, it's rare to be told it's okay to fall short. But what if, as a community, we were to embrace our imperfections? From the vulnerable vantage of a karaoke stage, one man celebrates the connective, communal laughter of missing the mark.

By Mohammed Fairouz July 25, 2015

For the world-weary, cynicism may feel safe. But, in our efforts toward self-protection, what might we be missing? A Millennial reflects on the doubt and distrust he sees in his generation, and suggests a courageous counterpoint: sincere and hopeful optimism.

By Courtney E. Martin July 24, 2015

In a culture of accumulation and hoarding, many are experiencing a growing exasperation with owning things that, as it turns out, aren't necessary. Could the "sharing economy" help restore spiritual calm?

By Omid Safi July 23, 2015

Sometimes we need to be cut open in order to share our sweetest layers.

By Parker J. Palmer July 22, 2015

The imprint a father leaves on his child remains. Parker remembers his deceased Dad and the values he imparted with a poem.

By Michael Steinberg July 21, 2015

At a nondescript ranch house in upstate New York, devotees gather for a practice both incalculably ancient and radically fresh — and in the process, connect with a larger story of the way things have always been: needs and hopes, dangers and joys, smoke and fire. A vivid, rich portrait of Hindu ritual in modern times.

By Sharon Salzberg July 20, 2015

Each one of us has a "constellation of tendencies," but often we identify more strongly with a certain set of responses. By identifying our dominant personality type, we can see these tendencies in their purified and unpurified forms — and find a world of options opening up as we become more aware.

By Debbi Geller July 19, 2015

It is enough to be quiet and still. It’s probably best to be in nature, which is God’s untouched world, but if you can’t get there, just take time to find silence wherever you are. A meditation on stillness at Gethsemani, the abbey of Thomas Merton.

By Holly Haworth July 18, 2015

A Southern woman's searching lament on the hot, boiling silence of Southern grief after the shootings in Charleston — and the inheritance of sorrow.

By Courtney E. Martin July 17, 2015

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.

By Omid Safi July 16, 2015

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.

By Parker J. Palmer July 15, 2015

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.

By Haleema Shah July 14, 2015

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.

By Catherine Ann Lombard July 14, 2015

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.

By Sharon Salzberg July 13, 2015

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.

By Anastasia Hacopian July 11, 2015

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.

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