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Woman stares out window with pensive look on face.
A few years ago, when Naomi Shihab Nye was teaching in Japan, one of her students introduced her to the concept of yutori. Though the word is usually associated with an education policy calling for reduced hours and content in Japan’s primary school curriculum, I liked how Naomi and her student discussed it in a more expansive sense:

“It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around.”

I think about yutori when I’m sitting in traffic and hear something beautiful on the radio or when my eyes wander to the paint-chipped edges of a waiting room: What happens when we allow ourselves the time to savor the small things?

Perhaps another way to talk about this story is through Ellen Langer’s definition of mindfulness — as “the simple act of actively noticing things.” How can we create space to take notice meaningfully? I love all the ways this question can live in our lives; in this week’s On BeingMirabai Bush speaks to the richness in our many traditions of contemplation and offers a mindfulness practice for the least expected of places — our inboxes:

“Type out your email. Then stop, take three deep breaths, follow your breath in and out, and in and out, and in and out. Then read the email. Read it from the perspective of the person who is going to receive it. Think about it from that person’s perspective and then either change it or not and then send.”

Our executive producer Liliana Maria has found Mirabai’s advice to be hugely helpful, and perhaps you will too. I’d love to hear how a week of mindful emailing goes — or about any other ways you create space in your life. You can write me at

Kristin Lin
Editor, On Being Studios

P.S. — Beloved biblical interpreter, teacher, and pastor Eugene Peterson passed away last Monday at 85. Krista was so grateful to speak with him in 2016. Our thoughts are with his friends and family — and all the people whose lives he touched.
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Man meditates on the ocean floor.
On Being
Mirabai Bush
“Contemplation, Life, and Work”

Mirabai Bush works at an emerging 21st century intersection of industry, social healing, and contemplative practices. Raised Catholic with Joan of Arc as her hero, she is one of the people who brought Buddhism to the West from India in the 1970s. She is called in to work with educators and judges, social activists and soldiers. Mirabai Bush’s life tells a fascinating narrative of our time: the rediscovery of contemplative practices, in many forms and from many traditions, in the secular thick of modern culture.

Listen on:
From the On Being Blog
Collage of images – Young woman gazes up with pensive look on face, young woman sits by window with eyes closed, man hikes high mountain at sunrise.

Here are three perspectives on how mindfulness can sit in our lives:

“What Does Mindfulness Really Mean Anyway?” by Sharon Salzberg
Mindfulness isn’t just about hearing, seeing, or observing a particular feeling; it’s about doing so in a certain way — with balance and equanimity, and without judgment.

“How Mindfulness Meditation Can Save America” by Robert Wright
We think of it as a spiritual practice, but in truth, mindfulness meditation is an exercise in cognitive self-examination. On the Buddhist practice as a powerful tool for all — for understanding ourselves and our enemies with more depth and compassion.

“To Instruct Myself Over and Over in Joy” by Parker J. Palmer
Cynicism beckons to us with ease at times. But how do we remain open to the good within and around us? A reminder to keep hope alive when the demon inside us bites down — and lyrical lines from Mary Oliver.

© melabee m miller. 

We loved this sketch by Melabee M. Miller of Gregory Orr talking with Krista Tippett at the Dodge Poetry Festival last week. Thank you, Melabee, for capturing such a wonderful moment — and to Chloe Yelena Miller for this lovely reflection to accompany it. 

This fall, we’re delighted to take part in live conversations across the country and would love to meet you in person. We regularly update this section with new and upcoming events.

Logan, UT
Krista Tippett at Utah State University
Wednesday November 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

Krista will be speaking on the adventure of civility as part of Utah State University’s Tanner Talk series. The event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required. You can find more information here

New York, NY
On Being at WNYC’s Werk It Women’s Podcast Festival
with Claudia Rankine

Monday, November 12, 7:00 p.m.
The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College

Krista will be in conversation with poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine. Rankine is the author of Citizen: An American Lyric, a provocative meditation on race in contemporary society that was a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in California and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. You can purchase tickets here.

New York, NY
This Movie Changed Me at WNYC’s Werk It Women’s Podcast Festival
with Justin Sayre

Wednesday November 14, 7:00 p.m.
The Jerome L. Greene Space at WNYC

One fan talking about the transformative power of one movie. This Movie Changed Me offers an unexpected take on pop culture, transporting listeners inside the world of movies by celebrating our intimate relationships with them. Host Lily Percy will be talking with writer, performer, and comedian Justin Sayre about the movie that changed him. You can purchase tickets here

Image: Banner for the Fetzer Institute — "Helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world."

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