Radical Love in Our Country

By Jenara Nerenberg

Omid Safi is a celebrated academic, Islamic scholar, On Being columnist, and author of several books including his latest, Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition. With a strong focus on contemporary movements and linking mystical traditions of Islam with the work of Dr. King and Malcolm X, his new book renews and refreshes our sense of hope and…

An Enlightened Approach to Politics

By Garrison Institute

We recently presented a conversation between Robert Wright and Reverend Dr. Serene Jones at the 92nd Street Y in New York City about the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment. A lightly edited version of their conversation—focusing on the political implications of this topic—appears below. Wright is the author of the acclaimed books The Evolution of God, Nonzero, The…

The Responsibility to Change

By The Garrison Institute

Buddhism shares with science the task of examining the mind empirically; it has pursued, for two millennia, direct investigation of the mind through penetrating introspection. Neuroscience, on the other hand, relies on third-person knowledge in the form of scientific observation. In this conversation, which appears in the recent book Beyond the Self: Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience, Matthieu Ricard, a…

Elucidating the Nature of Human Consciousness Through Art

By Linda Codega

After receiving his doctorate in neuroscience in 2011, artist Greg Dunn made an unconventional decision: to dedicate himself to his art. A long time observer of human consciousness, his images of the human brain have been displayed in museums all over the United States, including the Franklin Institute. He recently spoke with the Garrison Institute about his art, philosophy of the…

The Play of Voices

By Theresa Sullivan 

Gregory Pardlo is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Totem and Digest, which won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He is also the author of Air Traffic, a memoir in essays to be released next year. His writing challenges the borders of identity and form, deftly blending the personal and familial with pop culture, history, literary allusion,…

Be Here Now… And in Deep Time

By Sam Mowe

According to paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara, we can learn a lot about what it means to be human today by looking back to when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. In his first book, Why Dinosaurs Matter, he makes the case that geological literacy and an understanding of deep time can help us consider “the multiple, simultaneous existential crises facing humanity.” Lacovara recently…

Preserving Solitude

By Sam Mowe

In his new book, Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World, journalist Michael Harris argues that solitude has become a limited resource as a result of our constant connection to others through our devices and social media platforms. As a consequence, we miss out on the three elements that make up a rich interior life: fresh ideas, self-knowledge, and,…

Why Do We Turn to Poetry at the Important Moments in Our Lives?

By Garrison Institute

When it comes to commerce, poetry is marginal relative to other art forms. And yet, at the big moments in our lives — birth days, graduations, weddings, and funerals — we turn to poetry again and again. We recently asked poets Marie Howe and Ellen Bass to have a conversation about the power of poetry during moments of transition. Marie Howe:…