On the Blog
On the Blog
The prophetic voice is one that challenges, adapts, and evolves alongside history. Omid Safi reminds us of the sermon Dr. King never gave and invites us to live up to his hopeful invitation to create an America that is yet to be.
External "oughts" and "shoulds" can create impossibly high aspirations — and equally high levels of guilt about falling short. A personal exploration sharing the delicate experience of "befriending" depression and ways of reframing our expectations of self.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?
Sometimes we need to be cut open in order to share our sweetest layers.
The imprint a father leaves on his child remains. Parker remembers his deceased Dad and the values he imparted with a poem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.