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Krista Tippett, David Gushee, and Frances Kissling at On Being's "Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Pro-Dialogue"Krista Tippett speaks with David Gushee and Frances Kissling at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute. Photo by Matt Johnson

More than 500 people witnessed a thoughtful exchange between two people who come at the abortion issue from decidedly different perspectives. What they heard was a civil exchange based upon mutual respect. As one listener points out, it has a lot to do with the way Krista framed the conversation:

"I intend to use Krista's questions about exploring what makes you uncomfortable on your own side, what you admire in the other, to probe more deeply into areas in which I'm so sure I'm right. The answers were wonderfully open, vulnerable, and honest. I hope I can use the openness as a model and find others who want to dialogue in this way. They're not easy to find."

And this conversation continues next week. This Tuesday, Krista is leading a discussion at the Brookings Institution with former Republican senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, an economist who headed the Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Budget Office.

Boundary Waters Vacation ReadingAfter watching the first presidential debate, many of us recognize the need for new ways to have civil conversations about the debt crisis and fiscal policy. We'll be live streaming this dialogue. Watch along online or, if you're in the Washington DC area, join us in person. If you do, please stop by and say hello (looking forward to meeting you Chris Abraham and Stephanie Dahle!).

But, before this...

In D.C. (well, Bethesda) for the Religion Newswriters Association gathering. I'm interviewing Eckhart Tolle tomorrow.

As Krista tweets above, she's talking to the influential spiritual teacher in front of her fellow religion journalists. We decided not record this conversation since she interviewed him in 2008 for our show, The Power of Eckhart Tolle's Now"The Power of Eckhart Tolle's Now." Even then, hundreds of people responded with powerful testimonials about how his books and philosophy impacted their lives — like this reflection from Barbara Harrington:

"I recently was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, completed chemo, and found his books invaluable during the long winter months of this year. While the chemo was beating the cancer, I had to find ways to beat that incessant "monkey mind," which was anxiety-filled about the future and certainly not wanting to stay in the "now." Learning how to lean into this difficult and yet growth-filled time in my life was a challenge and Eckhart's wisdom, so steeped in Buddhism, was amazingly calming and joyous for me."

And on Wednesday, Krista and the team will dash back to Minneapolis and conclude the CCP series with a public event centering on the future of marriage. As our civilization struggles with how to define marriage, Krista will speak with two men who have been on both sides of the gay marriage debate and see a way beyond acrimony. Perhaps they can provide ideas and tools for healing our fractured civic spaces around this contentious issue. Like all our other events, you can reserve your seat at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, or watch the live video stream with Jonathan Rauch and David Blankenhorn.

I'd be remiss if I didn't end on a bit of a lighter note and share some of my favorite tweets from Krista (@KristaTippett), such as this this reflection on 140 characters:

My first two weeks on Twitter. A revelation that so many of my thoughts are just this size.

Lulav and Etrog at Zucotti ParkShe also recommended a number of articles to read — from a piece in Slate...

Something sweet for Sunday then Twitter Sabbath until tomorrow: TY @DianeWinston for Cookies and the Human Condition

...to a commentary by Steve Coll:

Refreshing clarity on the meme of "Muslim Rage" in The New Yorker. A must read.

Beck Does Philip GlassFrom On Being's Twitter stream (@Beingtweets), a delightfully unexpected confluence of two fantastic musicians:

Beck doing a 20-minute remix of Philip Glass. How can we not listen?

And, continue to send us your feedback about our shows. Share your suggestions and critiques on Facebook or Twitter (@beingtweets, @KristaTippett, @TrentGilliss).

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2 Comments

What a relief to hear a polite, thoughtful conversation on this topic! Thank you for presenting this series of Civil Conversations. They expand my perspectives and give me hope.

Haha..this " Happiest Person in the world" is surely a suicbjteve one for just 2 months ago I read an international newspaper article about a mongolian-faced monk, he also specifically located in Nepal to be the happiest person alive.

apples