On Being with Krista Tippett
On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives — updated every Thursday. Hosted by Krista Tippett. Discover more at onbeing.org. On Being Studios is the producer of On Being, Becoming Wise, Creating Our Own Lives, and more to come.
Xavier Le Pichon, one of the world's leading geophysicists, helped create the field of plate tectonics. A devout Catholic and spiritual thinker, he raised his family in intentional communities centered around people with mental disabilities. He shares his rare perspective on the meaning of humanity — a perspective equally informed by his scientific and personal encounters with fragility as a fundament of vital, evolving systems. Le Pichon has come to think of caring attention to weakness as an essential quality that allowed humanity to evolve.
Xavier Le Pichon is Honorary Professor at Collège de France in Paris. He founded La Maison Thomas Philippe that provides retreats for families, including those struggling with mental illness. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Xavier Le Pichon — The Fragility at the Heart of Humanity." Find more at onbeing.org.
The Vietnamese Zen master, whom Martin Luther King nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, is a voice of power and wisdom in this time of tumult in the world. We visited Thich Nhat Hanh at a retreat attended by police officers and other members of the criminal justice system; they offer stark gentle wisdom for finding buoyancy and “being peace” in a world of conflict, anger, and violence.
Larry Ward is co-director of the Lotus Institute in Encinitas, California and an ordained Baptist minister. He also owned a management consultant firm for Fortune 500 companies. He co-authored a book with his wife, "Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Thich Nhat Hanh, Cheri Maples, and Larry Ward — Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism." Find more at onbeing.org.
Cheri Maples served in the criminal justice system for 25 years, including as an Assistant Attorney General in the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and as a police officer with the City of Madison Police Department. She is a licensed attorney, a clinical social worker, and co-founder of the Center for Mindfulness and Justice in Madison, Wisconsin. She was ordained as a dharma teacher by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2008. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Thich Nhat Hanh, Cheri Maples, and Larry Ward — Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism." Find more at onbeing.org.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen monk, poet, and peacemaker. He co-founded the An Quang Buddhist Institute, the Van Hanh Buddhist University in Vietnam, and Plum Village, a Buddhist training monastery in France. He is the author of many books, including "Being Peace," "The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation," "The Art of Communicating," "Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals 1962–1966," and "The Long Road Turns to Joy — A Guide to Walking Meditation." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Thich Nhat Hanh, Cheri Maples, and Larry Ward — Mindfulness, Suffering, and Engaged Buddhism." Find more at onbeing.org.
Her name is synonymous with her fantastically best-selling memoir Eat Pray Love. But through the disorienting process of becoming a global celebrity, Elizabeth Gilbert has also reflected deeply on the gift and challenge of inhabiting a creative life. Creativity, as she defines it, is about choosing curiosity over fear — not to be confused with the more familiar trope to "follow your passion,” but rather as something accessible to us all and good for our life together.
Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of seven books, including "Eat Pray Love," the novel "The Signature of All Things," and most recently "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Elizabeth Gilbert — Choosing Curiosity Over Fear." Find more at onbeing.org.
In life as in song, Joe Henry says "we're really called not to dispel mystery but to abide it, to engage it." He brings an inward wisdom to the art and craft of making music. Cherished by fans and fellow musicians alike, he’s produced a dozen albums of his own and for an array of artists, including Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, and Billy Bragg. And he’s written songs together with Rosanne Cash and Madonna. With Joe Henry, we probe the mystery and adventure of discovering life through music.
Joe Henry is a Grammy Award-winning producer and singer-songwriter. He's recorded 13 albums and produced dozens of other artists. He's the co-author of "Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him." His albums include "Invisible Hour" and the forthcoming "Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad" — a collaboration with Billy Bragg.
There is no such thing as closure. Family therapist Pauline Boss says that the idea of closure in fact leads us astray — it’s a myth we need to put aside, like the idea we’ve accepted that grief has five linear stages and we come out the other side done with it. She coined the term “ambiguous loss,” creating a new field in family therapy and psychology. And she has wisdom for the complicated griefs and losses in all of our lives and in how we best approach the losses of others — including those very much in our public midst right now.
Pauline Boss is Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of "Loss, Trauma and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss," "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia," and "Ambiguous Loss." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Pauline Boss — The Myth of Closure." Find more at onbeing.org.