On Being with Krista Tippett

On Being with Krista Tippett

By: On Being Studios, Krista Tippett

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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.

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Steeped in cutting edge research around the social lives of networked teens, danah boyd demystifies technology while being wise about the changes it’s making to life and relationship. She has intriguing advice on the technologically-fueled generation gaps of our age — that our children’s immersion in social media may offer a kind of respite from their over-structured, overscheduled analog lives. And that cyber-bullying is an online reflection of the offline world, and blaming technology is missing the point.

Recent Episodes

The family therapist who created the field of “ambiguous loss” — loss without closure. Complicated grief: parents, divorce, addiction, dementia, aging. “You love somebody. And when they're lost, you still care about them. You can't just turn it off.” There is no such thing as closure. In fact, Pauline Boss says, the idea of closure 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. She has wisdom for the complicated griefs and losses in all of our lives and for how we best approach the losses of others. 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.” She has also pioneered a global online course with the University of Minnesota called “Ambiguous Loss: Its Meaning and Application.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The family therapist who created the field of “ambiguous loss” — loss without closure. Complicated grief: parents, divorce, addiction, dementia, aging. “You love somebody. And when they're lost, you still care about them. You can't just turn it off.” There is no such thing as closure. In fact, Pauline Boss says, the idea of closure 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. She has wisdom for the complicated griefs and losses in all of our lives and for how we best approach the losses of others. 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.” She has also pioneered a global online course with the University of Minnesota called “Ambiguous Loss: Its Meaning and Application.” 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.

The feminist journalist and the psychotherapist. “It’s partners and lovers and spouses…fathers and brothers and sons and friends.” The difference between apology and forgiveness. “Men are used to trying to fix things.” Trauma, and also healing. What we are naming with the impetus of #MeToo is, at best, an opening to a long-term cultural reckoning to grow up humanity; to make our society more whole. We explore this with psychotherapist Avi Klein, who works with men and couples, and feminist journalist Rebecca Traister. In a room full of journalists, at the invitation of the Solutions Journalism Network, we explored how to build the spaces, the imaginative muscle, and the pragmatic forms to support healing for women and men, now and in time. Rebecca Traister is a writer for “New York Magazine” and a contributing editor at “Elle.” She is the author of “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “All the Single Ladies,” and “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.” Avi Klein is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. He practices in Manhattan. His 2018 “New York Times” Op-Ed piece is titled “What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy.” Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The feminist journalist and the psychotherapist. “It’s partners and lovers and spouses…fathers and brothers and sons and friends.” The difference between apology and forgiveness. “Men are used to trying to fix things.” Trauma, and also healing. What we are naming with the impetus of #MeToo is, at best, an opening to a long-term cultural reckoning to grow up humanity; to make our society more whole. We explore this with psychotherapist Avi Klein, who works with men and couples, and feminist journalist Rebecca Traister. In a room full of journalists, at the invitation of the Solutions Journalism Network, we explored how to build the spaces, the imaginative muscle, and the pragmatic forms to support healing for women and men, now and in time. Rebecca Traister is a writer for “New York Magazine” and a contributing editor at “Elle.” She is the author of “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “All the Single Ladies,” and “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.” Avi Klein is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. He practices in Manhattan. His 2018 “New York Times” Op-Ed piece is titled “What Men Say About #MeToo in Therapy.” This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Rebecca Traister and Avi Klein — #MeToo Through a Solutions Lens." Find more at onbeing.org.

A question from Kevin: “I have been hearing a lot of deconstruction of the word ‘civility.’ The debate around this word has become, like so many other things, binary. ‘Civility’ is either a tool of oppressors to silence those on the margins, or it is something that is necessary for every single conversation and dialogue. I’d love to hear something about this word — what it actually means, in what contexts can it be helpful, in what contexts can it be used as a tool to silence anger.” Takeaways from the podcast: — What is the inner work of civility that goes deeper than the surface of our encounters with each other? — What is the goal of civility? — “My concern for a while has been that the word is too meek; that it’s about being nice and tame and safe, and I don’t think stepping into any of the dark places and the fraught places right now can be nice or tame or safe. I always reach for other words to attach, like ‘muscular’—it has to be muscular, it has to be robust—this language we use in the Grounding Virtues, ‘adventurous civility.’ It needs to be an adventure.” — “To use civility to silence anger is using a simplistic, binary understanding of civility as a kind of passive-aggressive weapon. And that’s not what I mean when I use the word.” — “Civility is internal work that each of us needs to do.” — “A question we fail to ask, so much, in American life is not just, what do I want to happen here; what do I have to say; what do I care about; what is at stake? But, what is the most effective way that my words can be heard? What is the most emotionally intelligent way, which is also going to be a productive way, that I can embody and represent and give voice to what I care deeply about?” — “Creating spaces and experiences of robust, adventurous civility is actually very strategically effective because what you’re doing is you’re creating a space in which it is reasonable to ask people, smart people, complicated people who’ve been through complicated things, to let themselves get uncomfortable in the presence of a stranger.” — “I am passionate about what I am passionate about. I’m scared about what I’m scared about, or I’m angry about what I’m angry about. And I know there are things I don’t understand, and I don’t want to stay this way forever, and I don’t want us to stay stuck here forever. So, I want to change and grow, and I invite you to be with me in that spirit too, and let’s see what happens.” About the Living the Questions series, from Krista Tippett: "I think of a good conversation as an adventure. You create a generous and trustworthy space for it, and prepare hospitably for it, so the other person will feel so welcome and understood that they will put words around something they have never put words around quite that way before. They will give voice to something they didn’t know they knew — and you will be a witness to thinking, revelation, in real time. This is one reason that radio/podcasting is such a magical medium: Everyone who listens joins that room, becomes a witness, the moment they push ‘play.’ They are also there for the revelation. It’s a form of time travel. And if the conversation is edifying (one of my favorite, underused words), we all sync up in some mysterious way across time and space and grow a little together. In recent years, I’ve discovered that I really like being on the other side of a conversation too. Maybe because I’ve experienced that thrill of revelation so many times, I approach someone asking questions of me with great anticipation of what they will draw out of me that I can’t draw out of myself. So, last summer on social media, my colleagues and I asked for questions you’d want to throw at me. We received, and continue to receive, such a bounty." Find more at

Absorption as a definition of happiness. "To bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world." Traveling not in order to move around but in order to be moved. His friend Leonard Cohen. Stillness & silence as a recharging station for the soul. Pico Iyer is one of our most eloquent explorers of what he calls the "inner world" — in himself and in the 21st century world at large. The journalist and novelist travels the globe from Ethiopia to North Korea and lives in Japan. But he also experiences a remote Benedictine hermitage as his second home, retreating there many times each year. In this intimate conversation, we explore the discoveries he's making and his practice of "the art of stillness." Pico Iyer is a journalist and writer. He's written over a dozen books including "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home," "The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama," and "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." He has two books on Japan upcoming in 2019: "Autumn Light" and "A Beginner’s Guide to Japan." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Pico Iyer — The Urgency of Slowing Down." Find more at onbeing.org.

Absorption as a definition of happiness. "To bring that calm into the motion, the commotion of the world." Traveling not in order to move around but in order to be moved. His friend Leonard Cohen. Stillness & silence as a recharging station for the soul. Pico Iyer is one of our most eloquent explorers of what he calls the "inner world" — in himself and in the 21st century world at large. The journalist and novelist travels the globe from Ethiopia to North Korea and lives in Japan. But he also experiences a remote Benedictine hermitage as his second home, retreating there many times each year. In this intimate conversation, we explore the discoveries he's making and his practice of "the art of stillness." Pico Iyer is a journalist and writer. He's written over a dozen books including "The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home," "The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama," and "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." He has two books on Japan upcoming in 2019: "Autumn Light" and "A Beginner’s Guide to Japan." Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

The wise physician and lyrical author. How our losses actually help us to live. Perfection as the booby prize in life. "Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten." "Stories are the flesh we put on the bones of the facts of our lives." Listening Generously. Rachel Naomi Remen’s lifelong struggle with Crohn’s disease has shaped her practice of medicine, and she in turn is helping to reshape the art of healing. "The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else," she says. And each of us, with our wounds and our flaws, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI), clinical professor of family medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and professor of family medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. Her beloved books "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and "My Grandfather's Blessings" have been translated into 24 languages. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Rachel Naomi Remen — The Difference Between Fixing and Healing." Find more at onbeing.org.

The wise physician and lyrical author. How our losses actually help us to live. Perfection as the booby prize in life. "Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten." "Stories are the flesh we put on the bones of the facts of our lives." Listening generously. Rachel Naomi Remen’s lifelong struggle with Crohn’s disease has shaped her practice of medicine, and she in turn is helping to reshape the art of healing. "The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else," she says. And each of us, with our wounds and our flaws, has exactly what’s needed to help repair the part of the world that we can see and touch. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is founder of the Remen Institute for the Study of Health and Illness (RISHI), clinical professor of family medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, and professor of family medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. Her beloved books "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and "My Grandfather's Blessings" have been translated into 24 languages. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

We Americans revere the creation of wealth. Anand Giridharadas wants us to examine this and how it shapes our life together. This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like "win-win" — and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us. Anand Giridharadas is a journalist and writer. He is a former columnist and foreign correspondent for "The New York Times" and a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He is the author of "India Calling," "The True American," and "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Anand Giridharadas — When the Market Is Our Only Language." Find more at onbeing.org.