Henri Nouwen wrote that when we can be with our own loneliness, we can begin to understand the suffering that underlies all of humanity.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Mother and Poet' is a lamentation of a mother's grief over losing her only two sons in battle.
Louise Glück's essay condemns current trends of pathological optimism, as well as the tendency towards 'the pornography of scars.'
Chris Alaimo's Lovely Kid is an expression of grief for the freedom and innocence through which we explore ourselves in exploring the world in childhood.
Ada Limón's poem, Wife, examines the secret pitfalls of marriage from a woman's perspective; poignantly, from the point of view of a newlywed, of someone entering unchartered territory that has been laid out and defined for her by the generations that preceded her.
Tim Desmond writes about his wife's terminal illness, and his revelation about the way in which his deep love for his wife was manifesting as anxiety, and because of it he was missing their shared moments of beauty.
Why is self-acceptance so hard and self-criticism so deeply wired in us? Psychologist and teacher of meditation Tara Brach reminds us that self-love is one of the most neglected areas of our psychic landscapes.
Charlotte Joko Beck was an American Zen teacher who insisted that Zen training must directly address our conditioned reactions, and that meditative awareness was the key to understanding the emptiness of ego. She also underlined the value of bringing practice insights into daily life by living compassionately and with recognition of the interconnectedness… Continue reading Wandering in the Desert: This is our Life
"Is it right to boil a sentient creature alive just for our gustatory pleasure?" David Foster Wallace asks in the course of his brilliant essay on eating and ethics, Consider the Lobster. An article originally commissioned by Gourmet magazine back in 2004 meant to cover the Maine Lobster Festival, DFW's assignment quickly went off track… Continue reading Stop Avoiding the Uncomfortable Questions – David Foster Wallace
Anyone who has embarked on a prolonged meditation retreat will know that the experience is often a far cry from the blissed out enlightenment we thought we'd signed up for. In his book, Teach Us To Sit Still, Tim Parks gives a candid, humorous and humane account of his own trajectory from disbelief and pain… Continue reading The Asbestos-Clad Stove of Burning Coals – Tim Parks on Why Meditation Can Be Painful