To be confronted with a serious illness is to be confronted with a fear of death for most of us. How do we balance hope with realism? And how do we age with grace? Drawing on Atul Gawande's book, Mary Jo Bennett highlights some ways our culture is evolving in its relationship with death.
Suffering can be a backstop for unexpected joy. A lyrical "Rumi"ination on shadow, gratitude, and the light of the stranger.
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.
With the near-constant news of extra-judicial police killings and mass shootings, it would be easy to live in a constant state of fear. Faced with his own fragile mortality, a Buddhist contemplates our collective fear and grief. For him, meditation is not about relaxation but about awakening to life — in its wonder and in its sorrow.
A Southern woman's searching lament on the hot, boiling silence of Southern grief after the shootings in Charleston — and the inheritance of sorrow.
Beginning with a quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan, an exploration and a grappling with suffering, parenting, and the nature of love.
So often in the West we believe that the most genius works of art are created with suffering and torment. But, the Dalai Lama might say happiness is the foundation of great creativity of all kinds.
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.
A bevy of useful, interesting things to chew on and contemplate. Sure to make your mind sing!
Zayn Malik's announcement crushed millions of fans' hearts, including that of our columnist Omid Safi. Despite the comforting scenario painted by Stephen Hawking, Omid prefers this one universe, this one place we call home.
Everyone suffers, silently or obviously, one way or the other. Once you see that connection, tenderness follows. A cancer survivor's meditation on gratitude and the marvel that is being alive.
To truly meet each other "that mysterious junction of suffering and love could well be the most truthful and potent place."
Metaphors of light and reflection abound. But what about the metaphors of mirror and mirroring. Omid Safi holds that image with palms up and open.
We are inextricably entwined with each other. Omid Safi sees the pain and suffering of two tragedies — in Nepal and in Baltimore — and appeals to all of us to embody the ethics of a natural tragedy, reaching out in compassion, when we're faced with man-made destruction and systemic corruption.
How do we sit with suffering? A lyrical pondering on how things fall apart — and worlds open anew.
From our gatherings in Louisville to the ekphrastic poetry for Yom HaShoah, a wealth of reading and exploring this week.
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.
A story from Rumi's masterpiece Masnavi illuminates the paths we all travel from brokenness to healing, from spiritually feeling worthless and cut off to being wholehearted. In the wisdom of the saints, Omid Safi reveals the goal of the spiritual path: not reaching divinity, but achieving full humanity.
The spring festival of Nowruz and an invitation from the First Lady allow our columnist to see the White House as “the people’s house” and a place that honors the diversity — and promise — of America.
A potpourri of thinking on joy, letting suffering speak, writing poetry, and the wisdom of children — as curated by Trent Gilliss.
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.
We rarely know the pain and suffering that envelops the people closest to us. In this loving tribute, the poetic structure of an Auden poem serves as a frame to remember a neighbor who loved dogs but couldn't hang onto life.
Oftentimes it's the hardships in life that are considered a test. But, perhaps, some of the deepest lessons of hardship are learned through all the good fortunes and blessings of our lives too.