Parker J. Palmer
Politics can divide more often than unite. But, deep involvement in the civic sphere doesn't mean we have to sacrifice empathy and civility.
Summer's passing and earth's decay can elicit a deepening melancholy for some. A pondering on the "paradoxical dance" of darkness and light and giving oneself over to its endless interplay — with lyrical assists from Rainier Marie Rilke and Thomas Merton.
With the words of Rilke, an encouragement to ask life-giving questions and create new pathways.
The politics of rage so often focuses us on lack of action and despair. But, the broken heart is an important political and personal reality, one that can liberate the mind if exercised properly.
Each summer, our columnist has been making a pilgrimage to one of nature's great treasures: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In his twilight years, he ponders the resurrection that takes place under the most destructive circumstances and the "vast web of life in which body and spirit are one."
Generosity and gratitude don't require extraordinary means, just the gift of time and attention. Parker and Wendell on giving yourself away.
Gardening is replete with metaphors for living well. With the help of a May Sarton poem, Parker Palmer builds on a less-obvious metaphor.
With the words of Rumi echoing loudly, Parker Palmer invites us to explore a "field" of sound ideas and right relationship with one another.
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.
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.
The imprint a father leaves on his child remains. Parker remembers his deceased Dad and the values he imparted with a poem.
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.
"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.
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.
Recent events in the life of the world have made it challenging to engage in trust and hope. Parker Palmer turns to another type of knowing that leads to grace.
Father's Day is just around the corner in the U.S. Parker Palmer shares some of his dad's most humorous gems and a poem by Dana Gioia to celebrate all the men in our lives.
In remembering a great civil rights leader not many know of, Parker Palmer shares a story about a man of few words.
With Gerard Manley Hopkins as his guide, Parker reflects on the sacredness and beauty of life and difference.
Inspired by the words and actions of Thich Nhat Hanh, Parker Palmer asks what it means to hold our differences in ways that open us to possibilities we never would have imagined.
How we ask each other questions can evoke a deeper sense of self. Words of advice from Parker Palmer and a poem by Denise Levertov on the power of asking with good intention, and hearing each other into being.
The word "depression" is used to describe a personal condition as well as large-scale economic collapse. Parker Palmer shares a story of personal story of his last encounter with depression and two interviews that talking about depression and economic crisis.
A trip down the Grand Canyon (and, of course, a poem) reveals a truth and shows us all that we are most whole when we live in the layers of our being.
In silence, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with words. In laughter, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with solemnity. Parker Palmer on shadow and quiet.
We all have one of those transcendent moments when we're immersed in nature and experience the immensity of it all. On this Earth Day, Parker Palmer shares one of those times while camping in the Grand Canyon.
Violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering. But how do we turn the power of suffering toward new life? It depends on our willingness to exercise our hearts so that when suffering strikes, they are suppler and more able to break open to new life.