The greatest threat to American democracy doesn’t come from outside but from within. Parker Palmer serves up three traits to look for in a fascist leader — and words and a poem from Abraham Lincoln and W.H. Auden.
Life, like verse, contains beauty, grit, and uncomfortable truth. Inspired by a couplet from Thoreau, our columnist reflects on the journey of life as an artistic, creative craft, in the vein of lyrical composition.
On a retreat at a cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin, Parker Palmer strings together pearls of contemplation on silence and solitude. With the help of Merton and Rumi, he finds the catharsis of being forced to reckon with one’s angels and demons.
A serendipitous typo inspires our columnist Parker Palmer to come up with a list of five “revolutions” for the New Year, resolutions to counteract grim realities in order to regain our humanity in 2016.
Remembering a passage from the Christmas services of his childhood, Parker Palmer finds counsel for living an honest and genuine life. We must, he says, allow the good words we speak to become incarnate in our actions.
The feeling of being stuck is one we all have experienced at one time or another. Beleaguered by writer’s block, Parker Palmer calls upon his beginner’s mind and encourages us to move forward with hope.
American democracy is illumined by multiple voices calling us to pursue questions of personal, communal, and political meaning. A Quaker reminds us to vigorously question those who say the U.S. is a Christian nation.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Parker Palmer highlights the importance of “wounded healers” and what we can do to let heartbreak open ourselves to suffering and the kindness necessary for social change.
There are those people who know how to get ahead of the train wreck and those folks who are called to their senses after the collision has happened. But, catastrophe, too, can be a contemplative path if you choose to accept it.
The metaphors we use matter. Parker Palmer claims the metaphor of seasons to gently remind us that we’re not in charge, that we’re not alone, that it’s possible to transform and be transformed in this world.
Summer’s passing and earth’s decay can elicit a deepening melancholy for some. A pondering on the “paradoxical dance” of darkness and light and giving oneself over to its endless interplay — with lyrical assists from Rainier Marie Rilke and Thomas Merton.
Each summer, our columnist has been making a pilgrimage to one of nature’s great treasures: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In his twilight years, he ponders the resurrection that takes place under the most destructive circumstances and the “vast web of life in which body and spirit are one.”
External “oughts” and “shoulds” can create impossibly high aspirations — and equally high levels of guilt about falling short. A personal exploration sharing the delicate experience of “befriending” depression and ways of reframing our expectations of self.
How might we summon “the better angels of our nature” as political shenanigans ensue? The ever-wise Parker Palmer offers a few suggestions (and a poem, of course!) to reclaim our commons — and our humanity — during this election season.
Thomas Merton and Lao Tzu make compelling cases for flowing around obstacles rather than butting up against them. If we do so, we fight inequities in the world with equanimity and make a life worth living for all.
How we ask each other questions can evoke a deeper sense of self. Words of advice from Parker Palmer and a poem by Denise Levertov on the power of asking with good intention, and hearing each other into being.
The word “depression” is used to describe a personal condition as well as large-scale economic collapse. Parker Palmer shares a story of personal story of his last encounter with depression and two interviews that talking about depression and economic crisis.
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.
We all have one of those transcendent moments when we’re immersed in nature and experience the immensity of it all. On this Earth Day, Parker Palmer shares one of those times while camping in the Grand Canyon.
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.