By Courtney E. Martin October 30, 2015

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.

By Heather McRae-Woolf October 03, 2015

In an increasingly frenetic world, emptying the mind in intentional silence can feel impossible. By returning to the Quaker tradition, one mother rediscovers the solace of communal stillness and embracing the busyness of her thoughts.

By Andréana E. Lefton September 26, 2015

Like Nature herself, our untamed “inscape” may be fearsome and sublime, but it is also playful. A writer experiences the world, vivid and vibrant — and laced with a sacred vitality.

By Esther Cohen September 13, 2015

For the Jewish High Holy Days, two poems by Esther Cohen paired with photography from Matthew Septimus. They offer words that sound like music, and postcards that become visual prayers and emblems of hope.

By Dena Simmons August 18, 2015

For this Tuesday morning, a poem from Dena Simmons that might make you see things differently on your commute to work.

By Eric Nelson August 11, 2015

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.

By Debbi Geller July 19, 2015

It is enough to be quiet and still. It’s probably best to be in nature, which is God’s untouched world, but if you can’t get there, just take time to find silence wherever you are. A meditation on stillness at Gethsemani, the abbey of Thomas Merton.

By Omid Safi June 04, 2015

A viral post showing images inside the sacred site in Mecca inspired awe and adoration from Muslims around the world, and controversy. But Omid Safi finds power in the revelation of the center, the heart of the Ka'ba, and an opportunity to turn inward to the beloved.

By Dennis S. Ross May 02, 2015

"Ritual does for behavior what poetry does for words." When the hope of youthful enthusiasm turns grim and gray and the spiritual challenge of uncertainty beckons, a rabbi finds hope in ritual as poetry in action, recognizing the spirituality in the routine, recapturing the sacred in the mundane, and rediscovering beauty in the ordinary.

By Parker J. Palmer April 29, 2015

In silence, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with words. In laughter, there is a depth of communion that trumps what we can achieve with solemnity. Parker Palmer on shadow and quiet.

By Katrina Kenison April 20, 2015

A meditative petition to sit in stillness, to choose trust over doubt and forgiveness over stubbornness when the difficulties in life take hold.

By Mariah Helgeson February 07, 2015

Mary Oliver's poems often feel like prayers as much as poems. In her own voice, she recites one of our favorites that feels like an incantation.

By Omid Safi January 25, 2015

How can we recover virtue and integrity in a world of insult and violence? And how do we respond? A commentary from a man searching for models of illumination and compassion who bring light into the world — and finding them in Dr. Du Bois and the Prophet Muhammad.

By Trent Gilliss January 19, 2015

This past week has been one of extreme darkness and anxiety. But how do we, individually and collectively, think through and deal with these moments of our lives? A survey of writers on finding our way and building the beloved community we aspire to.

By Omid Safi January 16, 2015

In response to Duke University's decision to not allow the Muslim call to prayer from the chapel, Omid Safi offers an open hand invitation to see a Duke (and an America) that has room for all of us.

By Trent Gilliss December 28, 2014

Thomas Merton is one of those monastics who continues to inspire so many. Here, the Jesuit Jim Martin reads one of his favorite passages from his book, Thoughts in Solitude.

By Esther Cohen December 18, 2014

"People prefer winners and losers. Maccabees rising against Greeks." The third photo-poem in our series from Matthew Septimus and Esther Cohen on the stories of success we tell each other.

By Esther Cohen December 17, 2014

A prayer for the poet who doesn't pray. The second in an eight-part series from a photographer and a poet exploring the sacred in the mundane.

By Rachel Lopez Rosenberg November 09, 2014

A daughter reflects on her ailing father and her right to petition God to deliver a World Series victory for their team.

By Mariah Helgeson July 10, 2014

Flannery O'Connor's prayer journal offers a rare glimpse into the life of a brilliant writer, colored by doubt and uncertainty, preoccupied with both magnificent grace and the mundane absurdity of everyday life.

By Rahim Snow July 01, 2014

With all the focus on fasting, a Muslim man from Atlanta tells us that the sustenance of Islam's holiest month lies in focusing on letting God in.

By Christy Shake June 17, 2014

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.

By Shelly R. Fredman March 08, 2014

In our increasingly secular lives, we find ways to get at a purer distillation of who we are at the broken center of ourselves. A meditation on paying attention and finding prayer in quiet places and through unlikely sources.

January 13, 2013

From Kabbalah to comfort, curiosity to a prayer from the Prophet Muhammad. Our roundup of ideas and stories at On Being this week.

July 02, 2012

The word "selah" in the biblical Psalms helps one woman reflect and listen to the song before her — whether in verse or in place.