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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

If Only We Would Listen

Parker J. Palmer On What We Could Learn About Politics, Faith, And Each Other

There are people on the far Right and far Left who can’t join in a creative dialogue about our differences — say, the most radical 15 or 20 percent on either end. But that leaves 60 or 70 percent in the middle who could have that conversation, given the right conditions. And in a democracy, that’s more than enough to do business.

Sowing Dissent

Lunatic Farmer Joel Salatin Digs In

A farm should be aesthetically, aromatically, and sensuously appealing. It should be a place that is attractive, not repugnant, to the senses. This is food production. A farm shouldn’t be producing ugly things. It should be producing beautiful things. We’re going to eat them.

Loving The Stranger

Rabbi Michael Lerner On The Folly Of Nationalism

The people who preach that “politics is the art of the possible” continually forget that we don’t know what’s possible; we find out by struggling for what’s desirable. Instead of listening to those who tell you to pick goals that can be achieved in the current political landscape, I say pick goals that will create the kind of world you want.

What Ails Us

Gabor Maté Challenges The Way We Think About Chronic Illness, Drug Addiction, And Attention-Deficit Disorder

Consider all the stresses of life in a society where people feel little sense of control and lots of uncertainty all the time; . . . where relationships are often troubled; where parents are not available for their kids because they’re too busy. Under such conditions, you’re more likely to get sick. Nearly 50 percent of American adults have a chronic illness.

Conversations With A Remarkable Man

Honoring The Late James Hillman

Why is there such a vast self-help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.

Water, Water Everywhere

Ran Ortner’s Love Affair With The Sea

If I could convey the ocean’s paradoxes, its ferocity and tenderness, in the same image, I could possibly awaken the viewer to a place where language drops away. By setting these massive, lush paintings in the artificial environment of the contemporary gallery, I intend to make it feel astonishing, to have an impact so immediate that it becomes what Kafka called an “ax for the frozen sea inside us.”

In Their Backyard

Robert D. Bullard On The Politics Of Where We Put Our Trash

We need a system to determine when a community has already shouldered its fair share. Right now, if someone wants to build a hazardous-waste facility, the EPA or state will assess the risk to nearby residents from that new facility only; the risks posed by the three or four or five polluters already in the area aren’t added to the equation. So there is nothing that might trigger the EPA or state to say that this community is overburdened by pollution.

Written On The Bones

Kim Rosen On Reclaiming The Ancient Power Of Poetry

To me a good poem is like a sacred mind-altering substance: you take it into your system, and it carries you beyond your ordinary ways of understanding. I call the nonconceptual elements of a poem — the rhythm, the sound, the images — the “shamanic anatomy.” Like a shaman’s drum, the beat of a poem can literally entrain the rhythms of your body: your heartbeat, your breath, even your brain waves, altering consciousness. Most poems are working on all these levels at once, not just through the rational mind.

The Butterfly Effect

Julia Butterfly Hill On Activism, Tax Resistance, And What She Learned From A Thousand-Year-Old Redwood

Yet I remind people that what’s referred to as a single tree-sitting action was, for me, 738 separate days: twenty-four hours in a day; sixty minutes in an hour; sixty seconds in a minute. It was the moment-by-moment process that transformed me.

Oh Baby

Ina May Gaskin On The Medicalization Of Birth

There is an energy associated with labor and birth. Birth is holy and sacred. But you have to be respectful of mother and baby, or you’ll miss it. If we come to it with a sense of awe and treat the mother with kindness and respect, birth can be a truly spiritual, empowering experience.