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The language of vocation comes from the Latin “vocari”: “calling.” It is a word we use often at On Being as a pointer for the way forward. In Western culture, vocation has long been equated with work and with job title. But each of us is called not merely to be a professional, but to be a friend, neighbor, colleague, family, citizen, lover of the world. We are called to creativity and caring and play and service for which we will never be paid — or never be paid enough — but which will make life worth living. And each of us imprints the people in the world around us, breath to breath and hour to hour, as much in who we are and how we are present as in whatever we do. Just as there are callings for a life, there are callings for our time. Every surface of fracture in our world notwithstanding, for us all of life is being revealed in its insistence on wholeness: the organic interplay between our bodies, the natural world, the lives we make, the worlds we create. It is the calling of callings to make that vivid and practical and real, starting inside ourselves and with the lives we’ve been given.______________Consider picking up a journal, or something to record with, when you sit down or step out to listen to this episode. Take it, and the prompts below, as a companion in listening and your life beyond listening. Also: you might invite someone(s) to join you.Ponder:Begin to make a list, to muse and write about what in your life is in the category of vocation — your multitudinous callings as a human being. Perhaps as a professional person, but also as a friend, colleague, family, citizen, creative, lover of the world. How would you begin to name and work through your calling for our time?Practice:Open wide your imagination, your heart, your energy, your will, to the possibility of wholeness. Walk through your days looking around for and making note of emergent visions and practices of wholeness and wisdom even amidst fracture.Every surface of fracture in our world notwithstanding, all of life is being revealed in its insistence on wholeness.______________Talk to us:Instagram: @onbeing Twitter: @kristatippett Email: artofliving@onbeing.org
There is no subject more intriguing than time, and time is so much stranger and more dynamic than the clocks, deadlines, goals, and schedules we live by. In this third offering of ways of seeing and living that have emerged across two decades of On Being, we explore manifold understandings of how time works, and how change happens, that animate lives of wisdom and grace. Deep time. Kairos time. The “200-year present.” The quality of “critical yeast” before and after critical mass. We step into this mystery: a long view of time has a power to replenish our sense of ourselves and the world. It renews us to turn back to the raw materials of our lives in the here and now.______________Consider having a journal nearby as you listen. Return to the prompts below, if you’re so inclined, and take them as companions in pondering and living in the days ahead. Maybe invite someone(s) to join you.Ponder:Map your 200-year present as an entry point to sinking into time’s capaciousness. It begins with the year of the birth of the oldest person you knew when you were a child, and joins with the hundredth birthday of the youngest person you have held in your arms. For most of us, that’s going to be about two centuries that touch our lives directly and that we directly touch.Practice:What does it mean, might it mean, for you to be critical yeast in your world of friendship, work, kinship, community? Live the question. Are you part of yeasty “small groups of people in unlikely combinations, in a new quality of relationship”? Where to begin?This is all another way to talk about planting and growing the generative story of our time: in a noisy, hyper-reactive world, fermenting a “quiet before.”______________Talk to us:Instagram: @onbeingTwitter: @kristatippettEmail: artofliving@onbeing.org
It is a deep truth in life, as in science, that we are shaped as much by the quality of our questions as by our answers. Those moments in our lives when a new question rises up in us, stops us in our tracks, are pivot points. They are openings for discovery and new possibility to break in. Yet it’s easy to forget this in a world that is in love with the form of words that is an opinion and the way with words that is an argument.The notion of revering the power of questions — holding them, loving them, living them — is inspired by a phrase of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. It has become a discipline woven all the way through Krista’s way of seeing the world and the community of conversation and living that is On Being. And it is as relevant as ever before in the post-2020 world. All of the great challenges before our species — ecological, racial, economic, political — are vast, aching, open questions for which we will not have anything like shared answers anytime soon. The deep wisdom behind the notion of living the questions offers both nurture and pragmatic instruction for meeting the callings before us — towards inner grounding, presence to the world, and the possibility of recreating our life together.______________Consider picking up a journal, or something to record with, when you sit down or step out to listen. Take it, and the prompts below, as a companion in listening and your life beyond listening. Also: you might invite someone, or a few others, to join you.Ponder:Turn some curiosity and reverence to the questions that are alive in you, as questions for both yourself and for the world.Practice:Take up living the questions as a practical and spiritual discipline.  Formulate a pivotal question that is rolling around in your life, at that boundary between what is personal and what is public and civilizational. Write it down, hone it, and make a commitment to take it as a companion and guide. Keep it over your shoulder, in your ear, as you move through your life for the time ahead. And find some ritual for staying attentive to what it invites you to see and to move away from and to move towards.If you are faithful to living a question, it will be faithful back to you.______________Talk to us:Instagram: @onbeingTwitter: @kristatippettEmail: artofliving@onbeing.org
We are fluent in the story of our time marked by catastrophe and dysfunction. That is real, and it is grave — but it’s not the whole story of us. Here’s what this phrase — the generative story, the generative narrative of our time — is insisting on: that there is also an ordinary and abundant reality of learning and growth that is happening, of dignity and care and social creativity and evolution.The great challenges of this century call us to rise to our highest human capacities. They need the landscape of generative people and projects to act like an ecosystem: sharing what we are learning, joining our vulnerabilities, and joining our flourishing.Calling out this reality, naming that there is a generative story of our time, is in fact a way to begin.__________________Consider picking up a journal, or something to record with, when you sit down or step out to listen. Take it, and the prompts below, as a companion in listening and your life beyond listening.Ponder:How would you start to tell the generative story of the world you can see and touch?Practice:Set out to become alert and somewhat reverent of what is good and life-giving in the ordinary encounters of your days: what you read, what you focus on, what you look for and notice in people close to you, and also what you notice in strangers. Let that shape the larger picture of the world that you’re working with.__________________Next time: Living the QuestionsFollow us, and talk to us:Instagram: @onbeingTwitter: @kristatippett Email: artofliving@onbeing.org
A new season of big On Being conversations is coming in the new year. But for the next few weeks, we are pulling back the veil on how we’re getting grounded for that. On Being Foundations are words and ideas — ways of seeing the world and walking through it — a few tethering understandings towards imagining and walking our way into our callings for now and the future. These have emerged across 20 years of conversation. They are shaping how The On Being Project meets the world that is now unfolding: Seeing the generative story of our timeLiving the questionsTaking a long view of time, and becoming “critical yeast”Calling, and wholenessEach of the four offerings is short, less than 15 minutes — more wisdom and practice than podcast episode, and meant to be interactive if you’re game. Before you sit down or step out to listen, grab something to write with. Every session comes with an invitation that you can weave through the ordinary interactions of your life, your every day. And the notes to each episode have prompts to support that. As you move through this, let us hear from you: Instagram: @onbeingTwitter: @kristatippettEmail: artofliving@onbeing.orgLet the adventure begin.
Three years ago, Krista texted Pádraig Ó Tuama with a simple question: what if he were to start a poetry podcast that listened as much as it shared? Not long after, Poetry Unbound was born, and it keeps going from strength to strength. Pádraig likes to say that poems are interested in the people who listen to them. And so, as the next season of On Being takes shape for release in early 2023, why not take Poetry Unbound as a listening companion and ritual this fall?Season six of Poetry Unbound just started, and we’re sharing the first episode around David Wagoner’s beloved poem “Lost” in this feed, the only episode we’ll feature here this season. You can listen to the rest on Apple, Spotify, at poetryunbound.org, and wherever podcasts are found. And be sure to subscribe to the show to receive a new episode every Monday and Friday through mid-December.
Krista returns from her summer in Berlin, where her present-day self reunited with the 25-year-old of the 1980s, at large in the divided city. Hear the reflections that emerged from her season of creative rest, and her beloved practices of contemplative reading and journaling.Pull on the thread of emergence with Krista and our Pause newsletter community as the next season of On Being takes shape: onbeing.org/newsletter. You can read the transcript of Krista’s letter in our September 17 edition of The Pause.
In some languages, there are words for goodbye that are also a promise of a future "hello," and that's the kind of farewell this is. Krista offers this “see you later” with a parting poem as she and the full team at On Being get a bit restored and dream and make some new things. We are so grateful for your listening.Our podcast feed will be in a period of repose until the fall. In the meantime, join us this summer at onbeing.org/staywithus.
A special offering from Krista Tippett and all of us at On Being: an incredible, celebratory event — listening back and remembering forwards across 20 years of this show in the good company of our beloved friend and former guest, Rev. Jen Bailey, and so many of you. We offer it here as an audio experience, and we think you will enjoy being in the room retroactively. You will hear the voices of wise and graceful lives — of former guests, and of listeners from far-flung places. You may also catch references to things seen and witnessed throughout the event — including a stunning opening poem by our dear friend Maria Popova, composed of On Being show titles — which you can take in fully by viewing the recorded celebration in its entirety on our YouTube channel.Krista will be back next week to send us off with a poem and short farewell — a “see you later” while we rest and dream and make some new things. In the meantime, we will be sharing offerings beyond this podcast. Join us at onbeing.org/staywithus.
“What a time to be alive,” adrienne maree brown has written. “Right now we are in a fast river together — every day there are changes that seemed unimaginable until they occurred.” adrienne maree brown and others use many words and phrases to describe what she does, and who she is: A student of complexity. A student of change and of how groups change together. A “scholar of belonging.” A “scholar of magic.” She grew up loving science fiction, and thought we’d be driving flying cars by now; and yet, has found in speculative fiction the transformative force of vision and imagination that might in fact save us. Our younger listeners have asked to hear adrienne maree brown’s voice on On Being, and here she is, as we enter our own time of evolution. This conversation shines a light on an emerging ecosystem in our world over and against the drumbeat of what is fractured and breaking: working with the complex fullness of reality, and cultivating old and new ways of seeing, to move towards a transformative wholeness of living.--In this time of new suns here at On Being, we are in learning mode — listening to the world, and listening to you.Would you take a few minutes to visit onbeing.org/survey and answer a few questions that will help us know who you are and how On Being can accompany you in the time ahead?We would be so grateful… 🙏--adrienne maree brown is the author of wildly influential books including Emergent Strategy, We Will Not Cancel Us and Pleasure Activism, as well as a workbook for facilitation and mediation, Holding Change. She is the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood and co-hosts several podcasts, including Octavia’s Parables and How to Survive the End of the World. She is the writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, which she founded. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
“What a time to be alive,” adrienne maree brown has written. “Right now we are in a fast river together — every day there are changes that seemed unimaginable until they occurred.” adrienne maree brown and others use many words and phrases to describe what she does, and who she is: A student of complexity. A student of change and of how groups change together. A “scholar of belonging.” A “scholar of magic.” She grew up loving science fiction, and thought we’d be driving flying cars by now; and yet, has found in speculative fiction the transformative force of vision and imagination that might in fact save us. Our younger listeners have asked to hear adrienne maree brown’s voice on On Being, and here she is, as we enter our own time of evolution. This conversation shines a light on an emerging ecosystem in our world over and against the drumbeat of what is fractured and breaking: working with the complex fullness of reality, and cultivating old and new ways of seeing, to move towards a transformative wholeness of living.--In this time of new suns here at On Being, we are in learning mode — listening to the world, and listening to you.Would you take a few minutes to visit onbeing.org/survey and answer a few questions that will help us know who you are and how On Being can accompany you in the time ahead?We would be so grateful… 🙏--adrienne maree brown is the author of wildly influential books including Emergent Strategy, We Will Not Cancel Us and Pleasure Activism, as well as a workbook for facilitation and mediation, Holding Change. She is the co-editor of Octavia’s Brood and co-hosts several podcasts, including Octavia’s Parables and How to Survive the End of the World. She is the writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, which she founded.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "adrienne maree brown — ‘We are in a time of new suns’." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.
We are in the final weeks as On Being evolves to its next chapter — in a world that is evolving, each of us changed in myriad ways we’ve only begun to process and fathom. So it felt right to listen again to one of our most beloved shows of this post-2020 world. In fact, Krista interviewed the wise and wonderful Ocean Vuong right on the cusp of that turning, in March 2020, in a joyful and crowded room full of podcasters in Brooklyn. Yet what’s most stunning is how presciently and exquisitely Ocean spoke, and continues to speak, to the world we have since come to inhabit — its heartbreak and its poetry, its possibilities for loss and for finding new life.--LISTENING TO OUR LISTENERS - Please take our short (but important) survey! This summer, we’re entering creative recharge and learning mode. Would you visit onbeing.org/survey and answer a few questions about who you are and how On Being can accompany you in the time ahead? We would be so grateful 🙏.--Ocean Vuong is a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at New York University. His new collection of poetry is Time Is a Mother. He is also the author of a novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, and the poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Whiting Award. He was a 2019 MacArthur Fellow. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired on April 30, 2020.
We are in the final weeks as On Being evolves to its next chapter — in a world that is evolving, each of us changed in myriad ways we’ve only begun to process and fathom. So it felt right to listen again to one of our most beloved shows of this post-2020 world. In fact, Krista interviewed the wise and wonderful Ocean Vuong right on the cusp of that turning, in March 2020, in a joyful and crowded room full of podcasters in Brooklyn. Yet what’s most stunning is how presciently and exquisitely Ocean spoke, and continues to speak, to the world we have since come to inhabit — its heartbreak and its poetry, its possibilities for loss and for finding new life.--LISTENING TO OUR LISTENERS - Please take our short (but important) survey! This summer, we’re entering creative recharge and learning mode. Would you visit onbeing.org/survey and answer a few questions about who you are and how On Being can accompany you in the time ahead? We would be so grateful 🙏.--Ocean Vuong is a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at New York University. His new collection of poetry is Time Is a Mother. He is also the author of a novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, and the poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Whiting Award. He was a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ocean Vuong — A Life Worthy of Our Breath." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired on April 30, 2020.
Amidst all of the perspectives and arguments around our ecological future, this much is true: we are not in the natural world — we are part of it. The next-generation marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson would let that reality of belonging show us the way forward. She loves the ocean. She loves human beings. And she’s animated by questions emerging from those loves — and from the science she does — which we scarcely know how to take seriously amidst so much demoralizing bad ecological news. This hour, Krista draws out her creative and pragmatic inquiry: Could we let ourselves be led by what we already know how to do, and by what we have it in us to save? What, she asks, if we get this right? This conversation was recorded at the 2022 TED Conference. You can hear all of the talks coming out of the conference by following the TED Talks Daily podcast, wherever podcasts are found.Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, and co-founder of the Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities. She’s one of the creators of the podcast, “How to Save a Planet,” and she co-edited the wonderful anthology All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. She’s also the co-founder of the All We Can Save Project.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.
Amidst all of the perspectives and arguments around our ecological future, this much is true: we are not in the natural world — we are part of it. The next-generation marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson would let that reality of belonging show us the way forward. She loves the ocean. She loves human beings. And she’s animated by questions emerging from those loves — and from the science she does — which we scarcely know how to take seriously amidst so much demoralizing bad ecological news. This hour, Krista draws out her creative and pragmatic inquiry: Could we let ourselves be led by what we already know how to do, and by what we have it in us to save? What, she asks, if we get this right? This conversation was recorded at the 2022 TED Conference. You can hear all of the talks coming out of the conference by following the TED Talks Daily podcast, wherever podcasts are found.Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, and co-founder of the Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities. She’s one of the creators of the podcast, “How to Save a Planet,” and she co-edited the wonderful anthology All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. She’s also the co-founder of the All We Can Save Project.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ayana Elizabeth Johnson — What If We Get This Right?" Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.
The conversation of this hour always rises as an early experience that imprinted everything that came after at On Being. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the wise people in our world. She trained as a doctor in a generation that understood death as a failure of medicine. Yet her lifelong struggle with Crohn’s Disease and her pioneering work with cancer patients shaped her view of life. Becoming whole, she teaches, is not about eradicating our wounds and weaknesses; rather, the way we deal with losses, large and small, shapes our capacity to be present to all of our experiences. That arresting notion, and the distinction Rachel Naomi Remen draws between curing and healing, makes this an urgent offering to our world — of healing we are all called to receive and to give.--YOU ARE INVITED!A Listening Party.Celebrating the first 20 years of On Being with Krista.All are welcome — bring friends and family.Visit onbeing.org/staywithus to register and learn more.--Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness and a Professor of Family Medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Ohio. She’s also a Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family and Community Medicine at UC San Francisco School of Medicine, that’s where she developed “The Healer’s Art,” her course for medical students. Her beloved books include Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. And in September, 2022, she will publish her first book for children: The Birthday of the World: A Story about Finding Light in Everyone and Everything.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired in August 2005.
The conversation of this hour always rises as an early experience that imprinted everything that came after at On Being. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is one of the wise people in our world. She trained as a doctor in a generation that understood death as a failure of medicine. Yet her lifelong struggle with Crohn’s Disease and her pioneering work with cancer patients shaped her view of life. Becoming whole, she teaches, is not about eradicating our wounds and weaknesses; rather, the way we deal with losses, large and small, shapes our capacity to be present to all of our experiences. That arresting notion, and the distinction Rachel Naomi Remen draws between curing and healing, makes this an urgent offering to our world — of healing we are all called to receive and to give.--YOU ARE INVITED!A Listening Party.Celebrating the first 20 years of On Being with Krista.All are welcome — bring friends and family.Visit onbeing.org/staywithus to register and learn more.--Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness and a Professor of Family Medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University in Ohio. She’s also a Clinical Professor Emeritus of Family and Community Medicine at UC San Francisco School of Medicine, that’s where she developed “The Healer’s Art,” her course for medical students. Her beloved books include Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings. And in September, 2022, she will publish her first book for children: The Birthday of the World: A Story about Finding Light in Everyone and Everything.This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Rachel Naomi Remen — How We Live With Loss." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired in August 2005.
It has ever and always been true, David Whyte reminds us, that so much of human experience is a conversation between loss and celebration. This conversational nature of reality — indeed, this drama of vitality — is something we have all been shown, willing or unwilling, in these years. Many have turned to David Whyte for his gorgeous, life-giving poetry and his wisdom at the interplay of theology, psychology, and leadership — his insistence on the power of a beautiful question and of everyday words amidst the drama of work as well as the drama of life. The notion of “frontier” — inner frontiers, outer frontiers — weaves through this hour. We surface this as a companion for the frontiers we are all on just by virtue of being alive in this time.David Whyte is the author of many books of poetry and prose. He grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. He holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has worked as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. His books include The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, and The Bell and the Blackbird. His latest collections are David Whyte: Essentials and Still Possible.Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.This show originally aired in April, 2016.
David Whyte reads his poem, “Everything is Waiting for You.” This poem is featured in David’s On Being conversation with Krista, “Seeking Language Large Enough.” Find more of his poems, along with our full collection of poetry films and readings from two decades of the show, at Experience Poetry.David Whyte is the author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, and The Bell and the Blackbird. His latest collections are David Whyte: Essentials and Still Possible.
David Whyte reads his poem, “Working Together.” This poem is featured in David’s On Being conversation with Krista, “Seeking Language Large Enough.” Find more of his poems, along with our full collection of poetry films and readings from two decades of the show, at Experience Poetry.David Whyte is the author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, and The Bell and the Blackbird. His latest collections are David Whyte: Essentials and Still Possible.
Comments (46)

Martha Morrison

I read the title of this & wondered what it meant. Now I read it as, Seeing the *Generative* story of our time. I understand it with focus on generative. It was helpful to hear that focus on trouble & scariness is a natural function of problem solving. Makes me feel better about it, & I can go about practicing taking in the Good.

Nov 14th
Reply

Martha Morrison

I couldn't find on being on Instagram. What is the name, there?

Nov 1st
Reply

ID24358571

You must let It find you . . .

Oct 22nd
Reply

Jesse Burgardt

Art and voice and kindness and decency collide

Jun 27th
Reply

Jeramy Jasmann

I loved, loved, loved this show and will follow up with reading Wintering by Katherine May. I choose to raise my family in Colorado and love the change that comes with snow here each year. #wintering #onbeing

Jan 11th
Reply

Mahtab Na

deeply insightful

Nov 15th
Reply

Kate Pruitt

I think you will find this heartening!

Oct 24th
Reply

melania trump

castbox awersome idea example here cafefeedback

Jul 28th
Reply

Bill Stankiewicz

Thank you for sharing the great podcast, played it for 43 students this afternoon. Regards, BILL STANKIEWICZ , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBu5urd-8fM

Mar 24th
Reply

James Wheeler

So helpful. Thankyou!

Jan 15th
Reply

it

wow, amazing poetry, thought, feel

Oct 4th
Reply (1)

Keeks-shmeeks

Love this ✨

Sep 27th
Reply (1)

it

I love that we can hear the unedited versions!

Aug 21st
Reply (1)

Ruba Ali Al-Hassani

What if there is, in fact, intelligent life out there, but doesn't define intelligence the way Earthlings do? What if "they" know better than we do, live without technology that would destroy their planet; their part of the cosmos? Why define intelligent life by technology, despite realizing that our technology has contributed to the destruction of our planet?

Mar 1st
Reply (1)

Shannon Compton

I cant help but wonder how far this extends. I am thinking in particular to our insecurities. Can we decide to change our minds about an insecurity and manifest a different paradigm that changes even how others perceive us?

Feb 24th
Reply

Em

So "Hello!" would be meaningful. Exactly!

Sep 29th
Reply

Buddy Whisler

d GB a FCC 0i de facto a

Aug 18th
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Em

love on being and Krista but this interview is a mess. it feels like the whole show is the guest asking Krista to repeat the question again and again

Aug 3rd
Reply

Suzanne Dicker

Great interview! It was a revelation for me when after talking about how her husband knew that a person was improving after being tortured or imprisoned in solitary confinement, he told her, "when you can once again take risks". Fascinating!

Aug 2nd
Reply

ollie

@1:55

Jul 8th
Reply
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