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1 minutes | Jul 14, 2019
What did you love? What would you like to hear?
Season two of Becoming Wise is a wrap! We’re so grateful you joined us for these months of reflection and recentering. Before we go away to work on our next season, we’d love to hear from you. What did you love? How can we make the podcast even better? Go to onbeing.org/bwsurvey to tell us a little about yourself and what you’d like to hear next. Stay tuned for more episodes when we’re back with season three.
8 minutes | Jul 7, 2019
Releasing Anger as an Act of Self-Compassion | Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman
The last episode of season two. Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg are icons of American Buddhism, and they are joyful, longtime friends. They challenge us to reframe our anger by seeing love for our enemies as an act of self-compassion. “It’s very hard to see love as a force, as a power rather than as a weakness, but that is its reality,” Salzberg says. Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the co-author of “Love Your Enemies.” Her other books include “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness,” “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation,” and “Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace.” Robert Thurman is the president of the Tibet House U.S. and the co-author of “Love Your Enemies.” His latest book is “Man of Peace,” an illustrated biography of the Dalai Lama. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | Jun 30, 2019
Healing Through Story | Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of our wisest models on the territory of reckoning with past wrongs that infuse and haunt the present. In the 1990s, he helped galvanize South Africa’s peaceful transition to democracy after decades of white supremacy as the law of the land. He tells a story from his time chairing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which granted amnesty to those who would fully confess their crimes — of how healing and human redemption unfold. “Human beings can leave you speechless, really. They can leave you speechless by the horrible things they do, but they also leave you speechless with the incredible things,” he says. Desmond Tutu is an Anglican archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He has written numerous books for adults and children — including “The Rainbow People of God” and, together with his good friend the Dalai Lama, “The Book of Joy.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
8 minutes | Jun 23, 2019
The Daily Opportunity in Randomness | Leonard Mlodinow
The physicist Leonard Mlodinow changes how we think about the agency we have in shaping our own destinies. As a scientist, he works with principles like Brownian motion, by which Einstein helped verify the existence of molecules and atoms. As the child of Holocaust survivors, he dances with the experience we all have: that life never goes as planned, and yet the choices we make can matter. “The course of your life depends on how you react to opportunities and challenges that randomness presents to you,” he says. Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist and the author of several books, including “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives,” “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior,” and his latest, “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Constantly Changing World.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
8 minutes | Jun 16, 2019
The Inner Life of Social Change | Ruby Sales
Public theologian Ruby Sales opens up what it was like to be a teenage participant in the civil rights movement — including the impatience she had with religion and how she circled back, through her experiences of the movement, to a sense of the deep reason for inner life and religious groundings. The question she carries with her, “Where does it hurt?”, models new ways for us to understand one another. Sales is the founder and director of the Spirit House Project. She was recently honored at the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | Jun 9, 2019
Empathy Rooted in Action | Terry Tempest Williams
Naturalist Terry Tempest Williams brings meaning and direction to the grief around ecological loss and climate change. She’s a self-described “citizen writer” rooted in the American West, and she draws connections between fierce love and hard work — both in the natural world and the human world. “It all comes down to relationships, to place, to paying attention, to staying, to listening, to learning — of a heightened curiosity with other,” Williams says. Williams is a writer-in-residence at Harvard Divinity School. Her books include “When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice,” “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place,” and most recently, “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | Jun 2, 2019
Who We’re Called to Become | James Martin
Father James Martin is a beloved Jesuit writer and teacher who says desire ultimately is not selfish — and instead a path to understanding our callings in life. He says everyone has a vocation, not just monastics and clergy. And he wants all of us to ask: What moves me? “We all have an image of the person we want to become — more loving, more open, more free. That’s a call,” he says. James Martin is editor at large of “America” magazine. His books include “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything,” “Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life,” and, most recently, “Building a Bridge.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
7 minutes | May 26, 2019
Happiness Is Practice, Not Pleasure | Matthieu Ricard
Matthieu Ricard is helping us redefine happiness in a culture convinced that it’s a passive experience. The French-born Tibetan Buddhist monk reframes happiness not as pleasure but as practice that requires discipline — akin to marathon training or learning chess. He asks, “What are the inner conditions that foster a genuine sense of flourishing, of fulfillment?” Ricard is the author of “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill” and “Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | May 19, 2019
A Planetary Sense of Love | Natalie Batalha
Astronomer Natalie Batalha embodies a planetary sense of what “love” is and means. She says her experience searching the universe for exoplanets — earth-like bodies beyond our solar system that could harbor liquid water and life — fundamentally shifted how she thinks about the human experience on this planet. “You see the expanse of the cosmos, and you realize how small we are and how connected we are,” she says. “And that what’s good for you has to be good for me.” Natalie Batalha is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She served as the project scientist for NASA’s Kepler mission from 2011 to 2017. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
7 minutes | May 12, 2019
Our Lives Can Be Signposts for What's Possible | Vincent Harding
A civil rights elder and speechwriter for Martin Luther King, Jr., the late Vincent Harding brought the wisdom of the movement to young people in hurting places. He offers the image of a “live human signpost” as a guiding light toward the kind of support and mentorship we can offer one another in our work toward a beloved community. “When it comes to creating a multiracial, multiethnic, multireligious, democratic society, we are still a developing nation,” he says. “But my own deep, deep conviction is that the knowledge, like all knowledge, is available to us if we seek it.” Vincent Harding taught at Iliff School of Theology. He authored the magnificent book “Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement” and the essay “Is America Possible?” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | May 5, 2019
Art and Justice Work Together | Rami Nashashibi
Rami Nashashibi champions how art can make humans visible to each other. He brings a new energy to Islam’s core commitment to beauty and humanity — and to the power of stories to heal and electrify us across geography and generation, culture and faith. He founded the Inner-City Muslim Action Network on Chicago’s South Side, where he also lives with his family. “The arts have become the real factor for us in both humanizing each other’s stories, connecting our stories, and revealing to one another the possibilities of what a better world can look like,” he says. Rami Nashashibi was named a MacArthur fellow in 2017 and an Opus Prize laureate in 2018. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
4 minutes | Apr 28, 2019
Nurturing Our Children’s Souls | Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
A rabbi and parent, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso wants us to think about how we might teach our children’s souls, not just their minds. She says nurturing the spiritual lives of our children is the work of understanding for ourselves “what really matters in life, what’s precious, what’s more important than earning a living and going through our daily routine.” Sandy Sasso is rabbi emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, where she was spiritual leader for 36 years. Her wonderful books for adults and children include “God’s Paintbrush” and “Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
7 minutes | Apr 21, 2019
The Everyday Gift of Writing | Naomi Shihab Nye
Naomi Shihab Nye says writing is “an act that helps you, preserves you, energizes you in the very doing of it.” She calls herself a “wandering poet,” and her words point to shining corners of beauty in the world we see every day. A visiting poet all over the world, Naomi Shihab Nye is a professor of creative writing at Texas State University. Her books include 19 Varieties of Gazelle, A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, and Transfer. Her most recent book is The Tiny Journalist. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | Apr 15, 2019
Friendship and the Democratic Process | Kwame Anthony Appiah | Becoming Wise
Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah offers hope for quiet, sustained culture shift through the “endless shared conversation” of friendship. The writer of the New York Times “Ethicist” column studies how deep social change happens across time and cultures. “If you have that background of relationship between individuals and communities that is conversational, then when you have to talk about the things that do divide you, you have a better platform.” Kwame Anthony Appiah is a professor of philosophy and law at New York University. His books include Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers and The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
6 minutes | Apr 8, 2019
Life Beyond the Mind | Eckhart Tolle
“There is a place inside me that is far more powerful than the continuous mental noise,” says Eckhart Tolle. The spiritual teacher began to gain attention with his 1997 book, “The Power of Now.” Millions of people around the world have found pragmatic tools in his vision that fundamentally complicates the notion, “I think, therefore I am.” Eckhart Tolle is the best-selling author of “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
4 minutes | Apr 1, 2019
We Believe Each Other into Being | Jennifer Michael Hecht
“Imagine yourself alone on this planet. Would anything be the same?” Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, philosopher, and historian who wants to change the way we talk to ourselves and each other about suicide and staying alive — starting with her insistence that we believe each other into being. “Sometimes when you can’t see what’s important about you, other people can.” Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It, Doubt: A History, and Who Said. Producer’s Note: Given the focus of Jennifer Michael Hecht’s work, this episode briefly touches on the topic of suicide. Find the transcript at onbeing.org.
5 minutes | Mar 25, 2019
The Pilgrimage of “Who Am I?” | Paulo Coelho
Rediscover the wonder in the mundane and the everyday with writer Paulo Coelho. He reframes the practice of pilgrimage as a journey into the mysterious question, “Who am I?” He says that every day holds “this possibility, this chance of discovering something new.” Paulo Coelho is the author of many books including The Pilgrimage, Veronika Decides to Die, and The Alchemist. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
2 minutes | Mar 11, 2019
Season Two Trailer
A preview of season two, returning on Monday March 25, 2019. Hosted by Krista Tippett. Depth and discovery, in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. Curated from hundreds of big conversations with wise and graceful lives. Reset your day. Replenish your sense of yourself and the world. Learn more at https://onbeing.org/series/becoming-wise/.
10 minutes | Jul 25, 2016
Einstein Speaks to Us About Race | S. James Gates
“His capability to ask the ‘What if?’ question opened the door to the deepest marker of humanity, and that’s empathy.” Physicist S. James Gates celebrates the scientific and social power of Albert Einstein’s imagination. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.
9 minutes | Jul 25, 2016
Trauma and Resilience Land in Our Bodies | Bessel van der Kolk
“Trauma treatment starts at the foundation of a body that can sleep, a body that can rest, a body that feels safe, a body that can move.” Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk on finding resilience in our bodies after trauma. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.
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