Rituals provide structure for the full spectrum of our emotional lives - but for those who don't identify with an organized religion, how are rituals developed? Courtney Martin ponders the "muddy, sacred" experience of creating rituals.
Pediatric oncologists and parents alike are searching for someone to help them bear the suffering they must witness. An essay reflecting on doctors, Dante, and treating children with cancer.
An unexpected moment on the Katie Couric show instills an awareness of the fruits of mindfulness, a deep sense of lineage, and an inexpressible peace for our columnist.
New horizons yield new sunsets, as does this round-up of awesome things to read, listen to, and see!
This year commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. An Armenian-American woman contemplates the periphery of pain, the legacy of silence and suffering — inviting the Armenian diaspora and "the world to listen with us."
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.
The intellectual rigor of scientists' training often fails to prepare them for the human emotions that accompany the work. And there are consequences for that objectivity. Faith Kearns is a young scientist who makes a compelling argument for integrating the emotional lives of scientists with their vocation.
A look at some of the best pieces of the week, including nature at work, saying no, and expressions of men and grief.
Our executive editor wraps up the week with stories to help you think about MLK differently and the horrors happening in the news. Also, he shares our new iPad app and some openings at On Being for you to consider!
How do we reckon with horror and injustice in the wake of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh's killing by ISIS. Omid Safi on remembering and honoring the man, and not the horrible video effigy being shown over and over.
From vignettes pondering time and sci-fi holiday singing to impassioned calls for community, a look into our most interesting worlds of curiosity and hope.
Lennon Flowers and Carla Fernandez are creating a national movement of dinner parties for 20-30 year olds that are humanizing grief and creating new communities after loss.
With the decisions about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, powerful words from a Holocaust survivor and essays dealing with grief and loss, systemic solutions, and polls that polarize.
With the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown, a school of children's uncommon silence in New Mexico leads the way to expressing grief and finding a role for our anger.
For International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a suicide survivor asks us open ourselves to loss and allow each other the space to mourn and grieve without shame. If we support the healing of the soul, she writes, we may begin to celebrate our inner resilience and the divine spark in us all.
Sometimes a song can help us through the darkest hours of our lives. Reflecting upon the loss of her father, Jen Raffensperger shares Josh Ritter's "Lantern" as her greatest musical moment for the Your Audio Selfie project.
Listen to this virtuosic performance of Bach's much-heralded chaconne for solo violin — a complicated, messy, transcendent portrait of grief, at once personal and universal.
Autumn reminds our Quaker columnist about the beauty of the Earth and the death that is to come. Through the words of Rilke, an exploration of the wellspring of gratitude.
Krista dishes on cooking with the BBC. We remember Roger Ebert's smile. And thoughts on fear and grieving, the coming spring, and a culture of advocacy.
The Zen abbot walks a live audience through this guided meditation on encountering grief. Download and share with your friends and family.
This week we feel especially privileged to do the work that we do. A brief post by our senior editor about the decision-making behind this week's show and why it matters to us.
"The trade of chemist (fortified, in my case, by the experience of Auschwitz), teaches you to overcome, indeed to ignore, certain revulsions that are neither necessary nor congenital: matter is matter, neither noble nor vile, infinitely transformable, and its proximate origin is of no importance whatsoever. Nitrogen is nitrogen, it passes miraculously from the air into plants, from these into animals, and from animals into us; when its function in our body is exhausted, we eliminate it, but it still remains nitrogen, aseptic, innocent."
A moving site in New York City today as family members of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks visit the South Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during tenth anniversary ceremonies.