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This week’s Pause is written by Krista:
Dear Beloved On Being People,
Here are a few sentences that describe me right now:
I want to meet this moment in the life of the world with my highest humanity.
I want to face what is hard and hurting and rise to what is beautiful and life-giving.
I want to do that as a matter of the everyday, and to grow alongside others.
I suspect that these sentences may also describe you. It has been such a gift to experience this aspiration, these qualities, in the far-flung universe of humans who have gathered around On Being across the years. And with greater urgency this year, we’ve been pondering how to meet the request that has long come at us, for other ways to experience our content and integrate it into life. We’ve heard the desire to take the insights from the conversations further, and to feel more closely accompanied by us at On Being and by the guests on our show who feel like mentors and family.
So I am thrilled to announce that in just a few weeks we will be launching a new adventure: the Wisdom App. This will be a new interactive On Being home to carry around in your pocket. It will turn listening into community and the teachings that our marvelous guests present into accessible learning and practice. Starting with a 20-session course, Hope Is a Muscle, this will be a place to explore and reflect and be accompanied in the art of living wisely — a place to progressively deepen our presence to ourselves and each other and the world, from the inside out and back again. We’ll draw on the heart of conversations I’ve had with “live human signposts” of hope — to invoke a phrase of Vincent Harding — including Vincent himself, as well as Bryan Stevenson, Ai-jen Poo, Ross Gay, Maria Popova, Ocean Vuong, Jane Goodall, and wonderful others.
Creating the hope course has been replenishing and energizing at a moment in which my spirits, like many of our spirits, have been drained and tested. It’s shown me a way to curate what we’ve been learning all these years in shorter form (10-15 minute Wisdom Practices!) without sacrificing depth. I’m experiencing this technological platform as an unexpectedly creative space for the intersections we tend between spiritual inquiry and science; moral imagination and social courage; ideas and experience. It’s inviting me to dig into the part of myself that is a learner in every conversation, but also to step up as a teacher. The course sessions join teachings with practical and contemplative exercises that can be folded into your own daily rituals of meditation, prayer, walking, journaling, or silence, or used to create a new rhythm of practice.
You could think of it as spiritual and moral calisthenics, with a discipline of delight and elegance. I’ve loved watching our creative team deepen the hospitality of the teachings and the vitality of the experience with artistry and design.
As a bonus, the Wisdom App will also be a calm, dedicated place to listen to each week’s show, and makes it easy to tag and share favorites in both the episodes and the courses.
Most important of all, perhaps: we are going to build a community of accompaniment around this. Our social healing team that has been expanding and gestating across the last tumultuous year is ready to make this real. We will offer online gatherings, ways to check in, to ask questions, to meet others, and to hear your thoughts on future offerings. We are endlessly excited about the courses we can create moving forward, and other innovations that might unfold.
We are not launching this with splashy marketing. We are instead inviting close friends and partners and Pause subscribers to begin at the beginning and shape this together with us. We hope that this can become a way to receive more, to engage with us and each other more meaningfully, and to support all that we’re doing in a manageable, ongoing way. There will be an annual contribution for membership of $99. It is an investment to do this well, and we have gathered excellent partners. This is a new model for our non-profit. But we will not turn anyone away who cannot pay, and we are creating paths for generosity so that those who can will be able to support others in becoming members.
The Wisdom App is an experiment. But I hold the highest, most muscular, of hopes for it. It is a promising new tool for some of the audacious aspirations we’ve always held around here — for nurturing, emboldening, and accompanying the generative story of our time. For being faithful, as we walk out of the catharsis of the past year, to the learnings and challenges it has laid down.
We have a world to remake.
We are called to this, each with the particular circumstances and gifts and location of our very own lives.
We are up to this.
P.S. – You'll be able to download the Wisdom App as soon as it's available in Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store. We expect that to be after July 4 — we will let you know when it becomes available and how to find it.
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Shaping the Wisdom App Together
We invite you to take a moment and complete this five question survey about the Wisdom app. This is an opportunity to suggest curated content, forms of engagement, and other insights into ways we can do this well, together. You can also sign up to be notified when it launches and share your thoughts with us.
This Week at The On Being Project
Our Latest Episode
On Being with Krista Tippett
“How We’re Wired for Goodness”
How friendship, love, and teaching have evolutionary force. Also, “the deep irony that, in order to be social, we have to first be individual.”
“After the Goose that Rose Like the God of Geese”
After the exhaustion of bereavement, a poem about a cathartic moment feeding birds in the park.
“Gimaazinibii’amoon (A Message to you)”
A poem sung in two languages — Anishinaabemowin and English — about land and memory and the space between people.
"A Conversation with Margaret Noodin"
Linguist Margaret Noodin speaks about art, Anishinaabemowin language, and the story behind her poem, “Gimaazinibii'amoon (A Message to You).”