On the Blog

By Courtney E. Martin December 26, 2014

We don't choose our family, as the old saying goes, but we do choose our friends. An encouragement to discover people to surround ourselves with and scout friends who beget our culture.

By Parker J. Palmer December 24, 2014

The Buddhist concept of the "beginner's mind" may offer a way to understand the simple meanings of the Christmas story — and "how can we love one another in ways that midwife their incarnation."

By Esther Cohen December 23, 2014

Forgiveness is at the center of the connection between history and the future. For the final night of Hanukkah, poet Esther Cohen and photographer Matthew Septimus offer this postcard for your reflection.

By Caroline Oakes December 23, 2014

Through learning about Advent’s ancient connection to the Winter Solstice, the author rediscovers the "silky silence" of December’s darkness and the "nascent light" inside each one of us.

By Esther Cohen December 22, 2014

Lighting the candle on the seventh night of Hanukkah, a postcard on the vocabulary of hope and the interconnectedness of two peoples.

By Omid Safi December 22, 2014

Oftentimes it's the hardships in life that are considered a test. But, perhaps, some of the deepest lessons of hardship are learned through all the good fortunes and blessings of our lives too.

By Esther Cohen December 21, 2014

On night six of Hanukkah, poet Esther Cohen and photographer Matthew Septimus light a candle to the woman who lives fully and dances with the valleys.

By Barbara Mahany December 21, 2014

Darkness draws out our deep-down depths. And, in the northern hemisphere, December’s darkness invites us inward. A lesson in wonder, an elegy for light, and a call to pay attention for the unbroken darkness of a December night.

By Esther Cohen December 20, 2014

Night five of our series. A poem inspired by a Harlem church experience by a secular Jew paired with a Septimus photo.

By Krista Tippett December 20, 2014

Krista Tippett on not playing the Christmas game of obligatory gift-giving and the redemptive human need for one another.

By Esther Cohen December 19, 2014

Our photo-poem for this Hanukkah evening, a reflection on the sacred ordinariness of holy people and holy places — even at a supermarket in upstate New York.

By Courtney E. Martin December 19, 2014

The end of year is fast approaching. And with that comes an influx of charitable giving. In this digital age when the basket is now an online form, how do we create a spiritual practice of tithing and discern the "right" way to give?

By Esther Cohen December 18, 2014

"People prefer winners and losers. Maccabees rising against Greeks." The third photo-poem in our series from Matthew Septimus and Esther Cohen on the stories of success we tell each other.

By Esther Cohen December 17, 2014

A prayer for the poet who doesn't pray. The second in an eight-part series from a photographer and a poet exploring the sacred in the mundane.

By Parker J. Palmer December 17, 2014

In a world of fomenting darkness, a poem calls us to be beacons of light in the shadow for others to be guided by.

By Esther Cohen December 16, 2014

The first of eight vignettes by photographer Matthew Septimus and poet Esther Cohen on holy people and holy places that transcend the ordinary.

By Joe DePlasco December 16, 2014

A brother contemplates the loss of his sister to cancer, the place where she searched for home, and the stories that rise up within him.

By Trent Gilliss December 15, 2014

From vignettes pondering time and sci-fi holiday singing to impassioned calls for community, a look into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope.

By Parker J. Palmer December 14, 2014

A tribute to the children and adults who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School honored with a poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. A list we must return to and remember out of love and hope for a safer world.

By Shannon Lynch December 13, 2014

After hearing Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai on the radio, a middle-aged woman from the Midwest reflects on her own life and the courage to choose hope in the face of despair.

By Courtney E. Martin December 12, 2014

Lennon Flowers and Carla Fernandez are creating a national movement of dinner parties for 20-30 year olds that are humanizing grief and creating new communities after loss.

By Omid Safi December 11, 2014

It’s not merely a sin-sick soul that is in need of profound redemption, writes our columnist, it is also our society and structural institutions that call out for being redeemed and transformed. A clear call to question, connect, and transform ourselves and our institutions.

By Trent Gilliss December 10, 2014

Just when you think the holiday season couldn't get any merrier, a Star Trek captain remakes a Christmas classic.

By Parker J. Palmer December 10, 2014

For the introverts in us, winter can be a time of reflection to assess and remember our own inner truths. Includes a poem by David Whyte.

By Trent Gilliss December 09, 2014

A letter from Einstein on the "Negro question" is rediscovered and essays on white privilege and the theology of Ferguson are complemented with ideas about opening up to hope and ourselves.

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