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Becoming Wise

The Becoming Wise podcast offers depth and discovery in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. Each episode is curated from hundreds of big conversations with wise and graceful lives. Reset your day. Replenish your sense of yourself and the world. On Being Studios is the producer of On Being, This Movie Changed Me, and more to come. Krista Tippett is the author of the New York Times bestselling Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. President Obama honored her with the National Humanities Medal for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence.”

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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.


8 Apr 2019

Rank #1

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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.


25 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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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.


10 Jun 2019

Rank #3

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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.


13 May 2019

Rank #4

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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.


25 Jul 2016

Rank #5

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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.


20 May 2019

Rank #6

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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.


1 Apr 2019

Rank #7

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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.


25 Jul 2016

Rank #8

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Evil, Forgiveness, and Prayer | Elie Wiesel

“When words bring you closer to the prisoner in his cell, to the patient who is dying on his bed alone, to the starving child, then it’s a prayer.” Elie Wiesel, the beloved writer known for his memoir of the Holocaust, “Night,” speaks of the power of prayer and forgiveness in the wake of profound suffering. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.


8 Jul 2016

Rank #9

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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.


22 Apr 2019

Rank #10

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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.


6 May 2019

Rank #11

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I Feel, Therefore I Am | Eve Ensler

“How in our daily lives are we connecting with ourselves and everything around us? Because that’s where real, energetic transformation comes from.” Feminist playwright Eve Ensler speaks of the affirming physicality of our bodies, and of finding true contentment in the lives we already lead. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.


20 Jun 2016

Rank #12

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The Good in the Other, the Doubt in Ourselves | Frances Kissling

“You’ve got to be willing to risk in order to make change. You’ve got to approach differences with the notion that there is good in the other.” Scholar and activist Frances Kissling speaks of good will and understanding, rather than agreement or victory, as bridges between difference. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.


23 May 2016

Rank #13

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Spirituality Is Enfolded Into the Act of Living | Sylvia Boorstein

“Sometimes the pain of the world seems incomprehensible. And if there’s anything that balances it, it’s wonder at the world, the amazingness of people.” Mindfulness meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein gives counsel on finding joy and spiritual practice embedded in the rhythms of everyday life. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.


31 May 2016

Rank #14

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The Universe Participates in the Mystery of God | Guy Consolmagno and George Coyne

“If you’re sure about something, you don’t need faith. It’s when you have the doubts that faith kicks in. And that’s true in science as well as anything else.” Vatican astronomers Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father George Coyne on the joy of discovery and delighting in what we don’t know. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.


27 Jun 2016

Rank #15