A sacred space doesn't have to be a cathedral or a mosque or a synagogue. For our guest essayist, it's a city square she shared with a friend with cancer. Read this lovely essay and then tell us what is your sacred space?
“Another level of your life opens up when you recognize that you have a life that is inside.”
~Roshi Joan Halifax
The Zen Buddhist monk and medical anthropologist talks to Krista Tippett about her life, Buddhist faith, inspirations, and the vast concepts of death, compassion, grief — and neuroscience.
How do we respect the depth of a Christian snake handler's faith — and talk about it without caricaturing or lauding his life?
"I'm not unhappy about becoming old. I'm not unhappy about what must be. It makes me cry only when I see my friends go before me and life is emptied. I don't believe in an afterlife, but I still fully expect to see my brother again. And it's like a dream life. But, you know, there's something I'm finding out as I'm aging that I am in love with the world."
“I would just like people to believe that humility — listening to the other person and trying to understand the other person — and forgiving are important.”
"What shall we do about the elderly dying with dementia, losing who they are — how do we help them 'die well'?"
“I’ve been more than blessed with people, with miracles, with angels all around. When I’ve been in trouble and couldn’t get up the stairs, along came a neighbor, and she just said, ‘Can I help you?’”
We heard from so many people asking about the StoryCorps audio of Annie and Danny Perasa who ended this week's show. Here's an extended, animated short of the lovely couple talking about love and dying. An absolutely moving five minutes.
Recently I spoke to a class of college students — by way of Skype — in southern Minnesota. We talked about how religion is portrayed through news media. As often in my experience, this was a critical discussion about the narrow and often inflammatory way religion comes up, and usually in the context of politics.
Richard Rorty's lament reminds us of the solace of poetry.
A story of learning and friendship and circles of learning in which each person is a teacher — of learning how to live with death and learning how to live.
Last fall the idea to visit the family graveyard came to mind for the first time in ages. Día de Los Muertos seemed like the perfect excuse to make the journey. I allowed life and distance to keep me away, however, and I never went.
I am not Latina, but I did develop a strong appreciation for Mexican culture while studying midwifery on the Texas/Mexico border. When I moved home to Georgia, I kept a piece of Mexico in my heart. Since the first idea to celebrate my ancestors Mexican-style entered my mind last year, the urge had only grown stronger. So as November approached this year, I resolved to do it. I invited my two sisters. One said she’d bake a casserole and we planned to picnic at the cemetery. On October 31st, they both cancelled on me. I was determined, however, and went anyway.
On Samhain, the veil between the worlds separating the living from the dead grows thin and permeable. Guest contributor Peg Aloi explains Hallowe'en and reflects on its popular hold on our contemporary culture.
Image by Charis Tsevis/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
It took me by surprise that I cried when Steve Jobs died. I was surprised to feel so moved by the loss of someone who was essentially a modern industrialist. But of course, his acumen as a businessman was not what I was mourning. Jobs’ work has moved us in ways that the work of his contemporary Bill Gates never has. Gates’s influence on our culture has been just as powerful, but has not touched as profoundly. Why?
The vast digital domain that we think of when we imagine information technology is essentially non-physical in nature. It is, by definition, incorporeal. But like all incorporeal things – our thoughts, our dreams, our faith, our souls – it relies on bodies for manifestation in the physical world. The digital needs the analog to express itself.
On my first day as a chaplain at Calvary Hospital, a palliative care facility in the Bronx — a place where every patient was near death — I was overwhelmed.