Suffering can be a backstop for unexpected joy. A lyrical "Rumi"ination on shadow, gratitude, and the light of the stranger.
It’s not easy to genuinely know who we are. The stories others tell about us and the labels society heaps upon us only add to that confusion. But, when we disentangle ourselves from these narratives, we may choose courage over fear and take new risks.
Gardening is replete with metaphors for living well. With the help of a May Sarton poem, Parker Palmer builds on a less-obvious metaphor.
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.
We spill something on ourselves, and then we postpone the inevitable: the cleaning. We often do the same thing with the pain and anger we inevitably experience. Omid and Rumi have something to say about stain-treating our hearts.
The task of the healthy is to be willing to see the same wholeness in those who aren't, to help them understand that they are needed and wanted and complete. A documentary film helps one man ponder how Jesus might frame our understanding of our potential role in modern-day healing.
So often we dwell on our mistakes. Sharon Salzberg helps us step away from this routine and walk a different terrain — with the practice of lovingkindness that develops a flexibility of looking at our own lives.
For the world-weary, cynicism may feel safe. But, in our efforts toward self-protection, what might we be missing? A Millennial reflects on the doubt and distrust he sees in his generation, and suggests a courageous counterpoint: sincere and hopeful optimism.
Sometimes we need to be cut open in order to share our sweetest layers.
A Southern woman's searching lament on the hot, boiling silence of Southern grief after the shootings in Charleston — and the inheritance of sorrow.
Women and men so often beat themselves up when it comes to work/life balance. But another story is playing itself out, one about the unacknowledged gifts that help clarify the meaningful choices of being a person, and a parent.
"How can we learn to embrace with love the whole of who we are?" Parker Palmer with three tools to help us show up as we really are and live and love fully as we engage with the world.
Feces can be a powerful thing, but not in the way that you might gather. Before becoming a father, Omid Safi thought love was something you feel or experience, the everyday ritual of changing his daughter's diaper taught him about a love that's stronger than shit.
Our readers and our columnists explore Vincent Harding's question in light of the Charleston tragedy — and how we can reclaim our fears and our hopes in this great experiment. Plus, some things I've been reading this week (for your eyes only).
With a vivid retelling of a story from the sage poet Rumi, Omid Safi on the wisdom of chickpeas and going from a state of hardness to one of softness — and being on fire.
Father's Day is just around the corner in the U.S. Parker Palmer shares some of his dad's most humorous gems and a poem by Dana Gioia to celebrate all the men in our lives.
A metaphorically rich reminder that the "hard" values we so often revere and strive for in this modern world often supplant the necessary gentleness required to cultivate relationships, understanding, and love of one another.
A collection of what we're reading and publishing — from Lord of the Rings and love to Springsteen's tribute to Townsend!
A powerful lesson on the allure of the ego and the mystery of love expressed through the mythology of the Lord of the Rings and the poetry of Rumi.
What it would be like to build, one glance at a time, a beloved community? Inspired the defaced churches in Cappadocia, Omid Safi appeals to the loving glances that acknowledge the sacred beyond in each one of us.
A bevy of useful, interesting things to chew on and contemplate. Sure to make your mind sing!
To truly meet each other "that mysterious junction of suffering and love could well be the most truthful and potent place."
Becoming a mother can be a startling experience — a belonging to a communion of motherhood and the stark reality that one's identity will never be the same again. For this upcoming Mother's Day, Courtney Martin contemplates the fragility, fierceness, and myopia of motherhood and the ineffable beauty of being a mother.
So much can terrify us in the world today. Fear is a natural response. But the path of love, Omid Safi writes, is not the absence of fear but a notion made possible through vulnerability.