On Being

On Being

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On Being with Krista Tippett takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Updated every Thursday, a new discovery about the immensity of our lives.More from On Being »

Most Recent Episodes

Jean Berko Gleason — Unfolding Language, Unfolding Life

Jean Berko Gleason is a living legend in the field of psycholinguistics — how language emerges, and what it tells us about how we think and who we are. She has helped to illustrate the remarkable ordinary human capacity to begin to speak, and she's continued to break new ground in exploring what this may teach us about adults as about the children we're raising. We keep learning about the human gift, as she puts it, to be conscious of ourselves and to comment on that. For her, the exploration of language is a frontier every bit as important and thrilling as exploring outer space or the deep sea.

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[Unedited] Jean Berko Gleason with Krista Tippett

Jean Berko Gleason is Professor Emerita of psychology at Boston University. This interview was edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Jean Berko Gleason — Unfolding Language, Unfolding Life." Find more at onbeing.org.

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B.J. Miller — Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don't Control

"Let death be what takes us," Dr. BJ Miller has written, "not a lack of imagination." As a palliative care physician, he brings a design sensibility to the matter of living until we die. And he's largely redesigned his sense of own physical presence after an accident at college left him without both of his legs and part of one arm. He offers a transformative reframing on our imperfect bodies, the ways we move through the world, and all that we don't control.

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[Unedited] B.J. Miller with Krista Tippett

B.J. Miller is executive director of the Zen Hospice Project, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and an attending specialist for the Symptom Management Service of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "B.J. Miller — Reframing Our Relationship to That We Don't Control." Find more at onbeing.org

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David Steindl-Rast — Anatomy of Gratitude

Now nearing 90, Brother David Steindl-Rast has lived through a world war, the end of an empire, and the fascist takeover of his country. He's given a TED talk, viewed over five million times, on the subject of gratitude — a practice increasingly interrogated by scientists and physicians as a key to human well-being. He was also an early pioneer, together with Thomas Merton, of dialogue between Christian and Buddhist monastics. In this conversation from our visit to the Gut Aich Priory monastery in St. Gilgen, Austria, he speaks of mysticism as the birthright of every human being, and of the anatomy and practice of gratitude as full-blooded, reality-based, and redeeming.

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[Unedited] David Steindl-Rast with Krista Tippett

Brother David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk, teacher, and author. He is the founder and senior advisor for A Network for Grateful Living. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Br. David Steindl-Rast — Anatomy of Gratitude." Find more at www.onbeing.org.

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Stephen Batchelor — The Limits of Belief, The Massiveness of the Questions

Stephen Batchelor's "secular Buddhism" speaks to the mystery and vitality of spiritual life in every form. For him, secularism opens to doubt and questioning as a radical basis for spiritual life. Above all, he understands Buddhism without transcendent beliefs like "karma" or "reincarnation" to become something urgent to do, not to believe in.

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[Unedited] Stephen Batchelor with Krista Tippett

Stephen Batchelor is a teacher and writer. His books include "Buddhism Without Beliefs," "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist," and "The Faith to Doubt." His newest book is "After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age." This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Stephen Batchelor — The Limits of Belief, The Massiveness of the Questions." Find more at onbeing.org.

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Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois & the American Soul

One of the most extraordinary minds of American and global history, W.E.B. Du Bois penned the famous line that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." He is a formative voice for many of the people who gave us the Civil Rights Movement. But his passionate, poetic words and intelligence continue to enliven 21st-century life on the color line and beyond it. We bring Du Bois' life and ideas into relief — featuring one of the last interviews the great Maya Angelou gave before her death.

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[Unedited] Whitney Battle-Baptiste with Krista Tippett

Whitney Battle-Baptiste is a historical archaeologist and an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of "Black Feminist Archaeology." This interview accompanies the On Being episode "Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Alexander, and Arnold Rampersad — W.E.B. Du Bois & the American Soul." Find more at onbeing.org.

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