On Being Blog

Trent Gilliss Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 09:26

Pairing this photo of a modernist architectural wonder with words from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, who instructs us to pursue our creative instincts.

Trent Gilliss Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 04:45

Our executive editor's weekly missal sends you postcards from the road, an invitation to sing at our studios, words of wisdom and poetry from Wendell Berry and Parker Palmer, and a journalism student's reflection on breathing.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 05:15

As you read this poem, Parker Palmer asks us to ponder a simple question: "How, then, shall I live?"

Melissah Yang Monday, May 19, 2014 - 05:55

A joyous monk at a meditation center in India teaches a young journalist how to breathe, one breath at a time.

Mariah Helgeson Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 01:40

As the narrative of Noah and the flood resurfaces in pop culture, a poetic midrash by Elie Wiesel.

Parker J. Palmer Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 05:05

Parker Palmer draws inspiration from the words of Wendell Berry on celebrating one's obstacles and the impeded stream that sings.

Mariah Helgeson Monday, May 12, 2014 - 17:56

A poetic photoquote from Rebecca Solnit on meeting moments of arrival, moments of realization, and moments of discovery with open arms.

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."

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Latest Interviews

July 31, 2014

Yoga has infiltrated law schools and strip malls, churches and hospitals. This 5,000-year-old spiritual technology is converging with 21st-century medical science and with many religious and philosophical perspectives. Seane Corn takes us inside the practicalities and power of yoga. She describes how it helps her face the darkness in herself and the world, and how she’s come to see yoga as a form of body prayer.

July 24, 2014

Sculptural artist Dario Robleto is famous for spinning and shaping unconventional materials — from dinosaur fossils to pulverized vintage records, from swamp root to cramp bark. He joins words and objects in a way that distills meaning at once social, poetic, and scientific. He reveals how objects can become meditations on love, war, and healing.

July 17, 2014

Sixteen Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam's holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one's family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.

July 10, 2014

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words speak to all of us navigating the ever-unfolding, unfinished business of civil rights. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief for the 21st century — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

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.