Skip to Content


An Awake Heart is Like a Sky that Pours Light

I was ten years old when a chance meeting informed my path of thinking, of being in and with the world in ways that I am still discovering at fifty-five. One early spring day, while riding my bike through the woods—a typical ten year old activity in 1970—a most surprising meeting took place. I was  Continue Reading »

Habits of the Heart – A Different Slant on Heart Health Month

February 18, 2014 In honor of American Heart Health Month, we give you a different slant on the heart. In Parker J. Palmer ‘s latest book, Healing the Heart of Democracy, he calls us to embrace how profoundly interconnected we all are — or can be. In this video below, Parker describes each of the five  Continue Reading »

What Do You Need for the Journey?

Karyn Frazier was trying to decide whether to go to seminary. Karyn tells of a moment at Courage & Renewal retreat when people were asking her open, honest questions. What’s holding you back? What is it you need to be able to make the choices you need? “It was like standing in doorway,” Karyn says,  Continue Reading »

Healing is Soulful Work

I came to the Courage & Renewal Health Care Institute because I believe we need companions for this journey. I don’t think we can do it alone. There are just too many forces that are operating to really destroy courage, to destroy the spirit, that we really want to cultivate and nurture in health care.  Continue Reading »

The Truth Told Slant

Every winter I plunge into darkness. As Seattle days shorten to eight hours with clouds covering most of them and the city readies for ten months of showers, my inner world becomes as bleak as the world outside. I burrow through three seasons like a shrew mole through the mud, tunneling deeper to cry, surfacing  Continue Reading »

Civil Discourse, Democracy & the Trayvon Martin Case

As part of his week in Seattle on “Healing the Heart of Democracy”, Parker Palmer joined three other panelists at Seattle CityClub on July 18 at Town Hall. The panel discussed the current political arena, especially the breakdown in civil discourse and how we can change the trend. Moderated by Diane Douglas, Executive Director of  Continue Reading »

Politics from the Heart: An Interview with Parker J. Palmer

After five years as a community organizer, Parker J. Palmer became enamored with the Quaker tradition of social justice. He believes when “we, the people” re-examine connections to beliefs and communities, it creates an opportunity to heal an ailing democracy. I encountered the work of Parker J. Palmer in the early 1990s, when a friend  Continue Reading »

Reclaiming the heart

by Courtney E. Martin On this Valentine’s Day, it seems fitting to revisit one of the most salient parts of Parker Palmer’s writing–the reclamation and reframing of the heart itself. Palmer writes in Healing the Heart of Democracy: “In this book, the word heart reclaims its original meaning. ‘Heart’ comes from the Latin cor and  Continue Reading »