In the absence of a religious tradition, is there a fundamental need for prayer? Courtney Martin on finding comfort in praying to her late, burly grandfather rather than a god to whom she couldn't relate.
Alain de Botton's short piece of writing on love and loneliness is elegantly handled in this animated short by Hannah Jacobs and Lara Lee.
From small kindnesses to a classic love song reimagined and singleness to transformation, Trent Gilliss poetically curates an intermingling of murmurations and ideas — including a remembrance of the legendary Grace Lee Boggs.
When asked about love, people frequently use the word "need." Sharon Salzberg analyzes this intermingling and why we should find a way to disentangle them to better understanding of real need, and real love.
"In their love, their tenderness, and their hope, there is hope for all of us." Inspired by a moving photo of a pair of Syrian refugees, Omid contemplates how love can motivate us to take a treacherous path in hopes of reaching a brighter future.
One woman's journey to a L'Arche community in Kolkata inspires these portraits of caregiving and tenderness in spite of extreme hardship and poverty.
In the aftermath of her brother's untimely death, a sister contemplates life's darkness — as well as the ever-accessible, unfaltering light which illuminates the path. A call to help recover lost light for those who are in darkness, and for ourselves.
When asked how long they'd been married, Aljosie Harding named their time together down to the minute. Omid Safi marvels at the unexpected and profound love that infuses our world at any stage of living — and it's awe-inspiring power to provide hope in the face of grief.
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.