Suffering can be a backstop for unexpected joy. A lyrical "Rumi"ination on shadow, gratitude, and the light of the stranger.
At the age of 18, a young woman goes into a coma and faces a near-death experience. For nearly four years, she's hospitalized and tries to find peace and God — in a well-lit intensive care unit — in her dreams. A story of faith, hope, and gratitude for the landscape of dreams.
When faced with the inner void, the fear of emptiness can tempt us to refill and restock as quickly as we can. Could an emptying clear the space to experience something else? Set against the background of opera, one woman's gorgeous account of truth breathed into the void.
Mysteries of an expanding universe and other ties to what makes a life worth living.
To be faithful and to practice faith in the Buddhist sense of the word, one must walk a path of doubt — one of honest questioning and active investigating. An enlightening column from Sharon Salzberg.
A meditative petition to sit in stillness, to choose trust over doubt and forgiveness over stubbornness when the difficulties in life take hold.
Experiencing the ineffable is a winding path, a journey with as many pivots and tacks as straight lines. And sometimes you find your course in a dentist's chair, contemplating why the this matters and realizing you just need to show up.
When age and experience dwindle our capacity for wonder, the books of our childhood may be our salvation and our "thin places" where the boundary between the material and the magical opens ourselves to wonder all over again.
A sampling of our best picks of the week on everything from vocation to multitasking, honoring teachers and Alzheimer's patients. And some ways to join On Being in the studio or on your iPad.
As part of a conversation with the Church of Ireland about the question of human sexuality, our special contributor confesses his "gay agenda": to love the gospels; to love repentance; to love words and courage and my partner; and to show love to each other on our great endeavor.
A daughter reflects on the quiet, unassuming ways of her father — and how being "rooted in the physical" helps her and her son connect without the use of words or a faith in something larger than what's in front of them.
In Barbara Ehrenreich's latest book — and first memoir — she asks the age-old questions at the center of human life. A self-described atheist, she leans into the word "mystical" and encourages more cosmic wandering.
In the debate between scientific fact and religious faith, the author wonders if we, as skeptical people living in an age of science, have the capability believing in myth. Or, do we prefer living in a meaningless world.
How has your religious identity changed? Does faith still play an important role in your life? Are you concerned that young people are leaving religious institutions? Join John Hockenberry today (Friday, October 18) at 2:00 pm ET to participate in a live online chat. Whatever questions or comments you have, we hope you add your voice to the conversation.
Why are atheism and agnosticism on the rise? And what does it take to go against your family's faith? Three young atheists discuss how they began to question their faith and what it was like to leave the church.
Three young Muslim-Americans — Kamran, Tasneem, and Zahra — struggle to reconcile their "Muslim" and "American" identities. Why don't we hear more of this in the media?
Watch Stephen Colbert's moving tribute to his mother, offering insights into his mother's Roman Catholic faith and her deeply held values of gratitude, family, and fun.
In this photo essay, Joy Ladin reflects on how gender is a covenant she has broken "with others and a covenant with myself."
When one's pen goes silent for three years, what's the first line to come out. Christian Wiman tell us. Listen to his beautiful reading of "Every Riven Thing" too.
In Ireland, former Catholics are rediscovering their religious beliefs and Irish heritage in pre-Christian spirituality. Shweta Saraswat and Tricia Tongco's story on the reemerging presence of Pagan spirituality in Dublin.
Audio clips of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author on how we humans need to accept our role as an exceptional species and encountering the sacred in others through Calvinist thought.
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.