On Being Podcast

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.

Wangari Maathai — Marching with Trees


Wangari Maathai — Marching with Trees

The late Wangari Maathai was a biologist, environmentalist, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was born under British colonial occupation and schooled by Catholic missionar...

Apr-18-2019

[Unedited] Wangari Maathai with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Wangari Maathai with Krista Tippett

The late Wangari Maathai was a biologist, environmentalist, and the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was born under British colonial occupation and schooled by Catholic missionar...

Apr-18-2019

Pádraig Ó Tuama — Belonging Creates and Undoes Us


Pádraig Ó Tuama — Belonging Creates and Undoes Us

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and extraordinary healer in our world of fracture. He leads the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland, a place that has offered refuge since the violent di...

Apr-11-2019

[Unedited] Pádraig Ó Tuama with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Pádraig Ó Tuama with Krista Tippett

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, and extraordinary healer in our world of fracture. He leads the Corrymeela community of Northern Ireland, a place that has offered refuge since the violent di...

Apr-11-2019

[Unedited] Elizabeth Alexander with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Elizabeth Alexander with Krista Tippett

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was bo...

Apr-04-2019

Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois and the American Soul


Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois and the American Soul

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was bo...

Apr-04-2019

[Unedited] Whitney Battle-Baptiste with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Whitney Battle-Baptiste with Krista Tippett

This interview accompanies the On Being episode “Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois & the American Soul.” Find more at onbeing.org.

Apr-04-2019

[Unedited] Arnold Rampersad with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Arnold Rampersad with Krista Tippett

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was bo...

Apr-04-2019

[Unedited] Maya Angelou with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Maya Angelou with Krista Tippett

A prolific writer on sociology, history, economics, and politics, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history. His life traced an incredible arc; he was bo...

Apr-04-2019

‘Becoming Wise’ With Tools for the Art of Living


‘Becoming Wise’ With Tools for the Art of Living

Over the years, listeners have asked for shorter-form distillations of On Being — something to listen to while making a cup of tea. Becoming Wise is this offering, designed to help you reset your d...

Mar-28-2019

Lawrence Kushner — Kabbalah and Everyday Mysticism


Lawrence Kushner — Kabbalah and Everyday Mysticism

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is a long-time student and articulator of the mysteries and messages of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. Kushner says mysticism tends to appear when religion — whatev...

Mar-21-2019

[Unedited] Lawrence Kushner with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Lawrence Kushner with Krista Tippett

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is a long-time student and articulator of the mysteries and messages of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. Kushner says mysticism tends to appear when religion — whatev...

Mar-21-2019

[Unedited] Sharon Olds with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Sharon Olds with Krista Tippett

When the wise and whimsical Sharon Olds started writing poetry over 40 years ago, she explored the subjects that interested her most — like diaphragms. “The politeness and the prudity of the world ...

Mar-14-2019

Sharon Olds — Odes to the *****


Sharon Olds — Odes to the *****

When the wise and whimsical Sharon Olds started writing poetry over 40 years ago, she explored the subjects that interested her most — like diaphragms. “The politeness and the prudity of the world ...

Mar-14-2019

[Unedited] Jean Vanier with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Jean Vanier with Krista Tippett

A philosopher and Catholic social innovator, Jean Vanier is one of the great elders in our world today. The L’Arche movement, which he founded, centers around people with mental disabilities. The d...

Mar-07-2019

Jean Vanier — The Wisdom of Tenderness


Jean Vanier — The Wisdom of Tenderness

A philosopher and Catholic social innovator, Jean Vanier is one of the great elders in our world today. The L’Arche movement, which he founded, centers around people with mental disabilities. The d...

Mar-07-2019

Teju Cole — Sitting Together in the Dark


Teju Cole — Sitting Together in the Dark

Writer and photographer Teju Cole says he is “intrigued by the continuity of places, by the singing line that connects them all.” He attends to the border, overlap and interplay of things — from Br...

Feb-28-2019

[Unedited] Teju Cole with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Teju Cole with Krista Tippett

Writer and photographer Teju Cole says he is “intrigued by the continuity of places, by the singing line that connects them all.” He attends to the border, overlap and interplay of things — from Br...

Feb-28-2019

[Unedited] Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn with Krista Tippett

Béla Fleck is one of the greatest living banjo players in the world. He’s followed what many experience as this quintessential American roots instrument back to its roots in Africa, and he’s taken ...

Feb-21-2019

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn — Truth, Beauty, Banjo


Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn — Truth, Beauty, Banjo

Béla Fleck is one of the greatest living banjo players in the world. He’s followed what many experience as this quintessential American roots instrument back to its roots in Africa, and he’s taken ...

Feb-21-2019

[Unedited] Richard Davidson with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Richard Davidson with Krista Tippett

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is one of the central people who’s helped us begin to see inside our brains. His work has illuminated the rich interplay between things we saw as separate not that l...

Feb-14-2019

Richard Davidson — A Neuroscientist on Love and Learning


Richard Davidson —  A Neuroscientist on Love and Learning

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson is one of the central people who’s helped us begin to see inside our brains. His work has illuminated the rich interplay between things we saw as separate not that l...

Feb-14-2019

[Unedited] Maria Popova with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Maria Popova with Krista Tippett

She has called Brain Pickings, her invention and labor of love, a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.” What Maria Popova really delivers, to hundreds of thousands of people each da...

Feb-07-2019

Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age


Maria Popova — Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age

She has called Brain Pickings, her invention and labor of love, a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness.” What Maria Popova really delivers, to hundreds of thousands of people each da...

Feb-07-2019

[Unedited] Daniel Kahneman with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Daniel Kahneman with Krista Tippett

With his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize i...

Jan-31-2019

Daniel Kahneman — Why We Contradict Ourselves and Confound Each Other


Daniel Kahneman — Why We Contradict Ourselves and Confound Each Other

With his book “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Daniel Kahneman emerged as one of the most intriguing voices on the complexity of human thought and behavior. He is a psychologist who won the Nobel Prize i...

Jan-31-2019

[Unedited] Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach with Krista Tippett

The topic of the day was “courage,” with two singular, admired women (who happen to be married to each other): soccer icon Abby Wambach and writer/philanthropist Glennon Doyle. Abby is an Olympic g...

Jan-24-2019

Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach — Un-becoming


Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach — Un-becoming

The topic of the day was “courage,” with two singular, admired women (who happen to be married to each other): soccer icon Abby Wambach and writer/philanthropist Glennon Doyle. Abby is an Olympic g...

Jan-24-2019

Mary Oliver — Listening to the World


Mary Oliver — Listening to the World

Mary Oliver was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She is often quoted by people across ages and backgrounds — and it’s fitting, since she described poetry as a sacred community ritual. “W...

Jan-17-2019

[Unedited] Mary Oliver with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Mary Oliver with Krista Tippett

Mary Oliver was one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She is often quoted by people across ages and backgrounds — and it’s fitting, since she described poetry as a sacred community ritual. “W...

Jan-17-2019

[Unedited] Claudia Rankine with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Claudia Rankine with Krista Tippett

The poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine says every conversation about race doesn’t need to be about racism. But she says all of us — and especially white people — need to find a way to t...

Jan-10-2019

Claudia Rankine — How Can I Say This So We Can Stay in This Car Together?


Claudia Rankine — How Can I Say This So We Can Stay in This Car Together?

The poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine says every conversation about race doesn’t need to be about racism. But she says all of us — and especially white people — need to find a way to t...

Jan-10-2019

[Unedited] Maira Kalman with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Maira Kalman with Krista Tippett

To be in conversation with Maira Kalman is like wandering into one of her cartoons in The New Yorker. Millions have been prompted to smile and think by her illustrated revision of Strunk and White’...

Jan-03-2019

Maira Kalman — Daily Things to Fall in Love With


Maira Kalman — Daily Things to Fall in Love With

Writer and illustrator Maira Kalman is well known for her books for children and adults, her love of dogs, and her “New Yorker” covers. Her words and pictures bring life’s intrinsic quirkiness and ...

Jan-03-2019

[Unedited] David Whyte with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] David Whyte with Krista Tippett

The poet-philosopher. To ask beautiful questions in unbeautiful moments. “Your great mistake is to act the drama / as if you were alone.” Rest as the conversation between what we love to do and how...

Dec-27-2018

David Whyte — The Conversational Nature of Reality


David Whyte — The Conversational Nature of Reality

The poet-philosopher. To ask beautiful questions in unbeautiful moments. “Your great mistake is to act the drama / as if you were alone.” Rest as the conversation between what we love to do and how...

Dec-27-2018

Walter Brueggemann — The Prophetic Imagination


Walter Brueggemann — The Prophetic Imagination

The great scholar and preacher. “The task is reframing so that we can re-experience the social realities that are right in front of us, from a different angle.” Prophets are also always poets. “A s...

Dec-20-2018

[Unedited] Walter Brueggemann with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Walter Brueggemann with Krista Tippett

The great scholar and preacher. “Reframing so that we can re-experience the social realities that are right in front of us, from a different angle.” The disarming use of language. “A society finall...

Dec-20-2018

Pauline Boss — The Myth of Closure


Pauline Boss — The Myth of Closure

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, yo...

Dec-13-2018

[Unedited] Pauline Boss with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Pauline Boss with Krista Tippett

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, yo...

Dec-13-2018

[Unedited] Rebecca Traister and Avi Klein with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Rebecca Traister and Avi Klein with Krista Tippett

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 t...

Dec-06-2018

Rebecca Traister and Avi Klein — #MeToo Through a Solutions Lens


Rebecca Traister and Avi Klein — #MeToo Through a Solutions Lens

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 t...

Dec-06-2018

Living the Questions: What does civility actually mean, and is it enough?


Living the Questions: What does civility actually mean, and is it enough?

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...

Dec-03-2018

[Unedited] Pico Iyer with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Pico Iyer with Krista Tippett

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. ...

Nov-29-2018

Pico Iyer — The Urgency of Slowing Down


Pico Iyer — The Urgency of Slowing Down

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. ...

Nov-29-2018

[Unedited] Rachel Naomi Remen with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Rachel Naomi Remen with Krista Tippett

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...

Nov-22-2018

Rachel Naomi Remen — The Difference Between Fixing and Healing


Rachel Naomi Remen — The Difference Between Fixing and Healing

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...

Nov-22-2018

Anand Giridharadas — When the Market Is Our Only Language


Anand Giridharadas — When the Market Is Our Only Language

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 impli...

Nov-15-2018

[Unedited] Anand Giridharadas with Krista Tippett


[Unedited] Anand Giridharadas with Krista Tippett

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 impli...

Nov-15-2018

James Doty — The Magic Shop of the Brain


James Doty — The Magic Shop of the Brain

A brain surgeon. “The brain is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” The science of compassion. The baggage of evolution. The two way street of “neural innovation that comes from the ...

Nov-08-2018