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What Happens When You Really Listen: Practicing Empathy for Leaders

“Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing.  It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us.  When we listen we offer sanctuary for the homeless parts within the  Continue Reading »

The Courage to Accept and Love Others In Spite of Our Fears

The past several days I have been in retreat with my colleagues and leadership of the Center for Courage & Renewal. Hence, no internet access. It is a discipline to unplug and be out of touch. As difficult as it is to disconnect from the voices of our every day, this simple act of self-care  Continue Reading »

Joan Halifax on Compassion and Complacency

What is compassion? How does compassion serve us? And how can we make compassion a priority—for ourselves, our children, our communities and places of work? In the video below, Roshi Joan Halifax, a world-renowned Zen Buddhist peacemaker, shines the light of her wisdom on these vital questions. This talk was filmed at the Wisdom 2.0  Continue Reading »

Approaching Integrity

We work so hard to get somewhere, to realize a dream, to arrive at some destination, that we often forget that though some satisfaction may be waiting at the end of our endurance and effort, there is great and irreplaceable aliveness in the steps along the way. We are always approaching integrity, never arriving at  Continue Reading »

Nelson Mandela: Courage and Humanity

We share the spoken words of Dr. Maya Angelou reciting her tribute poem for Nelson Mandela, His Day is Done As Dr. Angelou says, “We lift our tearful voices to say thank you!” We honor Nelson Mandela’s life, legacy and hopeful vision lived out in the midst of injustice and suffering. He was a man  Continue Reading »

Young Women Speak the Unspeakable in New Anthology

Excerpt from the introduction of Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith (White Cloud Press, Oct 2013), co-edited by Erin S. Lane and Enuma Okoro I was a graduate student of theology when word of her actions reached me. During a seminary class on preaching, her professor had warned students not to wear  Continue Reading »

Building Trust in Congregations

After attending several Courage to Lead weekend retreats, I wanted to introduce circles of trust in my congregation. I hoped my congregation would experience the gift of being deeply heard and trusting their inner teacher, but I was afraid that if I tried creating something on my own, I wouldn’t maintain the integrity of the  Continue Reading »

Welcome to Betty’s Diner

Where does the spirit of goodness move through our lives? Maybe it’s in the daily and unexpected places. Parker J. Palmer talks with Carrie Newcomer about her song, Betty’s Diner, and how it illustrates the second habit of the heart Parker writes about in Healing the Heart of Democracy. Visit with the folks in Betty’s  Continue Reading »

Must intruder lockdowns be part of our children’s curriculum?

In a classroom of fourth- through sixth-graders, I am visiting as a university supervisor observing a student teacher. The host teacher is my former student, Jill. She is direct, funny, smart, and articulate. It’s easy to see in her the passionate student I first knew. A few minutes into a geometry lesson, an announcement comes  Continue Reading »

To listen…in Portland

This past weekend I sat with several teachers. This group I am in gathers monthly, and teaching always comes up in our trusting conversations. We all know the power of inviting quiet and calm into our work with young people, and we hold the journeys of our students with great care. We all have sat  Continue Reading »