Courtney offers up a fear- and judgment-free space, and draws forth the perspectives of women who don’t have kids, by choice or otherwise.
What if we considered our nation not as factions at war, but as members of a strained and troubled family? A look through the lens of the three stories that broken families tell — and what that marginalized, third story reveals about the echo chambers we’ve been called to step out of.
Whether to have children is one of the most life-defining decisions we will make. And there is joy and meaning to be found on either path — as well as endless challenges and frustration. Courtney Martin on why the best place to turn for guidance is inward.
The stories we tell about love and life are the root of dreams and frustration, alike. Sharon Salzberg on how “unstitching and reweaving” the narratives we hold can lead to a more generous understanding of our relationships, and ourselves.
A Muslim man reflects on the pain of citizenship in this moment and the fragile hope he holds from the nation he and his loved ones call home.
A writer turns away from what’s toxic on social media and chooses self-care in this cultural moment.
Courtney shares the practical insight of a wise elder — on the tumultuous history we’ve lived through, and the work we must do to shape our future differently.
In the light of a New Year’s sparkler, a metaphor for the illuminating capacity we hold within, despite our fleeting existence.
A lesson on trusting on trusting our gut about the lives we’re called to lead, and the unexpected ways that might manifest.
Paul Elie navigates the winding path of Advent, and finds quiet ways to start anew in the meeting of ritual and the rhythms of everyday life.
The twilight season of Advent reveals a quiet source of hope — in the rhythms of the earth and the instinctual embrace of darkness by our animal bodies.
A brush with that fleeting, transcendent gratitude that only comes when we stand on the edge of losing what we treasure most.
When going about our business, could we pay more attention to what we’re leaving behind for others in our wake?
Sometimes the refuge we need is not an escape, but a safe place to grapple with our hardest questions, and to challenge ourselves to be better.
Wise minds grapple with the tensions of faith and community, honor the resilience of a movement, and remember the love of family we often take for granted.
A Thanksgiving reflection on scarcity and abundance, and the sacred work of inviting our neighbors and strangers alike to the table.
With so much pain and anger and fear after the presidential election, an expression of kindness. The son of an Ojibwe mother and a Jewish father, who survived the Holocaust and found refuge in America, welcomes all who feel marginalized into his home — including Trump supporters.
t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…
Real love for our nation calls us to look at ourselves, as citizens, whole. A long view on the future of a beloved and broken America, and our potential to shape it moving forward.
There is beauty in what makes us human, but also in what reveals us as creatures. A woman shares her evolving perspective on the animal nature of family life, and the raw freedom she finds therein.
If you could speak to a passed friend or family member, what would you say? An exploration of the healing that can happen when we stay in relationship with the ones we love, even beyond the end of life
Like all of us, Courtney Martin wants the best for her family, and rightly so. But from education to strollers, the best is often only accessible to a certain group. She reimagines responsible parenting as embodied care for one’s own, as well as for the families of strangers.
Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason’s new memoir and turning toward what’s uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel.
The human experience is rife with messiness and frustration, especially in our relationships with others and with ourselves. Trent Gilliss shares thoughts on embracing the turmoil and finding ways to grow from it.
To be part of any family is to bear witness to its joy, as well as its dysfunction. For Rosh Hashanah, Sharon Brous explores the intimate link between family healing and social responsibility at the heart of Jewish faith.
Some emotional wounds need closure to heal, but there are times when the best way forward is to let go. Courtney Martin on mending our deepest relationships by embracing the paradox of love and imperfection.
Unwavering gratitude can be an intimidating ideal. Sharon Salzberg examines gentle attention to the positive as a generous alternative to our negativity bias.
The world as we know it is undergoing a profound transformation. Courtney Martin scrutinizes our most dearly-held defaults and finds an abundance of innovators challenging the traditional model of success.
Our culture has a profound discomfort with walking openly through grief. An exploration of the healing power of companionship and openness after loss — embodied in groundbreaking gatherings for millennials longing to heal together.
One of the hibakusha, the survivors of Hiroshima, reflects on life after the bombing in frank words: to honor the lives destroyed, and hope that her experience with death imparts a lesson about the preciousness of life.
The final days of expectation can bring surprising clarity. Courtney Martin pauses in this suspended space, and marvels at the end of the wait for new life, in all its gritty wonder.
A gift of verse as we reach the close of the season of Ramadan — testaments to the comfort of faith across a lifetime, from the safety of home to the surprising kinship of a stranger.
Often the most valuable lessons are fathers’ teach us are the ones we didn’t realize we were learning. A son of Korean immigrants expresses gratitude for a lifetime of tough-love education from his wartime father.
“Sometimes the pain of the world seems incomprehensible. And if there’s anything that balances it, it’s wonder at the world, the amazingness of people.” Mindfulness meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein gives counsel on finding joy and spiritual practice embedded in the rhythms of everyday life.
When grief or hardship strike, they are best borne out in solidarity. Trent Gilliss serves up readings on our collective sorrow and celebration in the passing of our heroes, and taking a new perspective on the grit of beauty, nature, and family.
Entering the home stretch of her pregnancy, Courtney Martin takes a closer look at the bizarre phenomenon from which we are all brought forth into the world.
Even with years of experience, the parenting journey is one of constant learning — about a budding life, and about oneself. Courtney Martin gives thanks for the grit and grace of new motherhood.
Nature cannot erase grief, but makes it easier to bear. A woman holds fleeting memories of familial warmth as she visits mid-coast Maine, and finds solace in the brave journey of the alewives from sea to lake and back again.
The daughter of refugees pens an open letter to her mother. She reflects on the inheritance of suffering, offering this ode to the resilience of the human spirit and gratitude for the opportunity to flourish.
Our corrective actions can have radiating effects, placing a burden on those who don’t deserve it. A moving revelation of the extended trauma of mass incarceration — farther reaching than we might imagine.
The architecture around us inhabits the vernacular of our lives. Our executive editor with this week’s letter from Loring Park welcoming our new columnist Sarah Smarsh, who joins a collective contemplation of where and how we navigate our lives in faith, family, and citizenship.
Pope Francis had an extraordinary week issuing a seminal document on love and family, travelling to a refugee “hot zone,” and meeting Bernie Sanders in Rome. The common thread: the pope’s willingness to accompany people where they’re at and walk alongside humanity, whether it be a Syrian refugee or a U.S. presidential candidate.
To put the children first is a parent’s most basic instinct. But when does self-sacrifice become self-destruction? Omid Safi offers a new understanding of the importance of self-care.
Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not.
When the demands of daily life drain us, a respite in solitude is exactly what we need. A testament to the power of aloneness to reconnect us with the steady sense of self we lose.
Paul Kalanithi’s latest book spurs a pregnant mother to recognize the myth of meaning-making. Our columnist on reckoning with ambiguous endings, and the spectrum of imperfection on which we must all live and thrive.
Each year in New York during the marathon, an intimate gathering of Holocaust survivors come together. A tapestry of memory unfolds, telling the powerful stories of the survivors and the courageous people who protected them.
What happens when we go too far in pushing against the “other” — whether in asserting our identity or in protecting ourselves from danger? Reminders that we must also open ourselves to the vulnerability of acknowledging our dignified differences and common ground.
Our names are rife with meaning, stories we claim and others we discard. Listen to this group of “audio selfies,” including one with Parker Palmer, exploring how our identity is formed by the names we’re given, the ones we take, and the ones we long for but never quite materialize.
The love that siblings share is complex, and something that perhaps only they can understand. Jane Gross with a note of appreciation, frustration, perplexity, and profound love for her little brother — and the wayward path they’ve walked together.