One of our columnist's most influential teachers passed away this spring. Sharon Salzberg with a reflection and an homage to "a man who completely walked the talk of his values."
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.
Beloved Irish poet John O'Donohue on beauty's true grit, and finding it in the transformational edges of our daily lives.
When a beloved celebrity dies, collective grief can be a strange, sacred place. A Minneapolitan celebrates Prince, and what his life can teach us about becoming fully and uncompromisingly ourselves.
When loss is unexpected, grief is complicated. Zaha Hadid will be remembered for her dazzling feats of architecture, Mohammed Fairouz contemplates the profound loss of the work that is now unknowable.
Homelessness is present on the streets of Denver each day. So are stories of resilience, compassion, and dignity even through life's most difficult trials. A live-in volunteer at a Catholic Worker house realizes that we find home in those with whom we journey through our toughest moments.
From an eloquent and soul-touching tune, to testaments of moving forward from complex suffering, our executive editor shares demonstrations of the boundless and surprising bravery of which we are all capable.
How do you know when it's time to say goodbye? For pets and people both, it’s not always clear when the time has come. Jane Gross on watching her dog die and reckoning with the decision of when to let go.
Our sense of connection to each other can feel lost, but support and goodwill come to the fore when we need it most. Returning from a mournful period of loss, our executive editor shares his wonder at the spaces in our lives where the warmth of kinship and community still shine through.
In the waiting room of a doctor's office, the dramas of life and death play out quietly. A reflection on the power of paying attention to the stranger, and to the burdens we all carry.
To love life in its fullness is the key to wise living. Parker Palmer with a poem on transforming suffering and restoring life.
What happens when we open ourselves to the gift of vulnerability? Profound voices on public displays of emotion in politics, the making of identity, the inspiration of wilderness, and advice from a classical pianist on pursuing what moves you and being glad in others' good fortunes.
Each year brings the loss of a life we loved. But what if our grief served as a conduit to community and creating a more thoughtful, interconnected world?
The loss of mobility as we age does more than hamper one's movement. It separates us from the things we love. Jane Gross on grieving the temporary loss of her dog after suffering a concussion.
How do we continue to bear witness when violent loss becomes cyclical? How do we mourn? An educator grapples with her own struggle to uphold the memories of the victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting, in a time when we have started to become numb to tragedy.
The daughter of the renowned Hindi poet Kailash Vajpeyi turns to ancient rivers and archaic rituals to find comfort in the uninterrupted thread running through her past, present, and future.
There is no handbook for grief. With grace, kindness, and gentleness, a daughter candidly shares her experience of mourning after the unexpected loss of her father.
When teaching about 9/11 and the dignity of all lives, a professor encounters a student in class who lost her father in the World Trade Center attacks. Her kind response is a reminder that we must sometimes reconcile our advocacy for, and anger towards, others with compassion for our fellow human beings.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son's loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
Forgiveness is not easily granted. But, summoning the deepest compassion for ourselves and others may allow both parties to move on without bitterness. Through the bittersweet story of her friend, Sharon Salzberg imparts a lesson about the shifting course of relationships and a path to peace.
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.
A trip down the Grand Canyon (and, of course, a poem) reveals a truth and shows us all that we are most whole when we live in the layers of our being.
A winding path that flows from experiencing the grace of wholeness and seeking the ineffable to seeing the hidden systems in plain sight, and the otherness and belonging necessary for all of us to thrive.
Some of the best things of the week: on quiet nobility, thin places, the fist of fate, severed friendships, and Malcolm X.