Becoming Wise

The Becoming Wise podcast offers depth and discovery in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. Each episode is curated from hundreds of big conversations with wise and graceful lives. Reset your day. Replenish your sense of yourself and the world. On Being Studios is the producer of On Being, This Movie Changed Me, and more to come. Krista Tippett is the author of the New York Times bestselling Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. President Obama honored her with the Na...more


  • Friendship and the Democratic Process | Kwame Anthony Appiah | Becoming Wise

    Apr 15 2019

    Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah offers hope for quiet, sustained culture shift through the “endless shared conversation” of friendship. The writer of the New York Times “Ethicist” column studies how deep social change happens across time and cultures. “If you have that background of relationship between individuals and communities that is conversational, then when you have to talk about the things that do divide you, you have a better platform.” Kwame Anthony Appiah is a professor of philosophy...more

  • Life Beyond the Mind | Eckhart Tolle

    Apr 08 2019

    “There is a place inside me that is far more powerful than the continuous mental noise,” says Eckhart Tolle. The spiritual teacher began to gain attention with his 1997 book, “The Power of Now.” Millions of people around the world have found pragmatic tools in his vision that fundamentally complicates the notion, “I think, therefore I am.” Eckhart Tolle is the best-selling author of “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now.” Find the transcript at onbeing.org.

  • We Believe Each Other into Being | Jennifer Michael Hecht

    Apr 01 2019

    “Imagine yourself alone on this planet. Would anything be the same?” Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet, philosopher, and historian who wants to change the way we talk to ourselves and each other about suicide and staying alive — starting with her insistence that we believe each other into being. “Sometimes when you can’t see what’s important about you, other people can.” Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It, Doubt: A History, and Who S...more

  • The Pilgrimage of “Who Am I?” | Paulo Coelho

    Mar 25 2019

    Rediscover the wonder in the mundane and the everyday with writer Paulo Coelho. He reframes the practice of pilgrimage as a journey into the mysterious question, “Who am I?” He says that every day holds “this possibility, this chance of discovering something new.” Paulo Coelho is the author of many books including The Pilgrimage, Veronika Decides to Die, and The Alchemist. Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

  • Season Two Trailer

    Mar 11 2019

    A preview of season two, returning on Monday March 25, 2019. Hosted by Krista Tippett. Depth and discovery, in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. Curated from hundreds of big conversations with wise and graceful lives. Reset your day. Replenish your sense of yourself and the world. Learn more at https://onbeing.org/series/becoming-wise/.

  • Einstein Speaks to Us About Race | S. James Gates

    Jul 25 2016

    “His capability to ask the ‘What if?’ question opened the door to the deepest marker of humanity, and that’s empathy.” Physicist S. James Gates celebrates the scientific and social power of Albert Einstein’s imagination. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Trauma and Resilience Land in Our Bodies | Bessel van der Kolk

    Jul 25 2016

    “Trauma treatment starts at the foundation of a body that can sleep, a body that can rest, a body that feels safe, a body that can move.” Psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk on finding resilience in our bodies after trauma. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Evil, Forgiveness, and Prayer | Elie Wiesel

    Jul 08 2016

    “When words bring you closer to the prisoner in his cell, to the patient who is dying on his bed alone, to the starving child, then it’s a prayer.” Elie Wiesel, the beloved writer known for his memoir of the Holocaust, “Night,” speaks of the power of prayer and forgiveness in the wake of profound suffering. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • We Are the Beloved Community | John Lewis

    Jul 05 2016

    “I discovered that you have to have this sense of faith that what you’re moving toward is already done.” Civil rights leader John Lewis on living as if the “beloved community” were already our reality. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • The Universe Participates in the Mystery of God | Guy Consolmagno and George Coyne

    Jun 27 2016

    “If you’re sure about something, you don’t need faith. It’s when you have the doubts that faith kicks in. And that’s true in science as well as anything else.” Vatican astronomers Brother Guy Consolmagno and Father George Coyne on the joy of discovery and delighting in what we don’t know. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • I Feel, Therefore I Am | Eve Ensler

    Jun 20 2016

    “How in our daily lives are we connecting with ourselves and everything around us? Because that’s where real, energetic transformation comes from.” Feminist playwright Eve Ensler speaks of the affirming physicality of our bodies, and of finding true contentment in the lives we already lead. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • We Reclaim Abandoned Spaces | Shane Claiborne

    Jun 13 2016

    “There’s something magnetic about a group of people that say, ‘Hey, we don’t have it all figured out, and we need each other.'” New Monastic and Simple Way founder Shane Claiborne on bridging the gap between the structures we are raised in and the human needs around us. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • We Choose Our Own Tribes | Seth Godin

    Jun 06 2016

    “The challenge of our future is to say, are we going to connect and amplify positive tribes that want to make things better for all of us?” Entrepreneur and digital wise man Seth Godin on our capacity to use connection to elevate and advance the human spirit. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Spirituality Is Enfolded Into the Act of Living | Sylvia Boorstein

    May 31 2016

    “Sometimes the pain of the world seems incomprehensible. And if there’s anything that balances it, it’s wonder at the world, the amazingness of people.” Mindfulness meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein gives counsel on finding joy and spiritual practice embedded in the rhythms of everyday life. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • The Good in the Other, the Doubt in Ourselves | Frances Kissling

    May 23 2016

    “You’ve got to be willing to risk in order to make change. You’ve got to approach differences with the notion that there is good in the other.” Scholar and activist Frances Kissling speaks of good will and understanding, rather than agreement or victory, as bridges between difference. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • The Inner World Is a Great, Undiscovered Terrain | Pico Iyer

    May 16 2016

    “The point of gathering stillness is not to enrich the sanctuary or the mountaintop, but to bring that reality into the motion, the commotion, of the world.” Wanderer and writer Pico Iyer on outer stillness as an essential catalyst to a rich inner life. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Present to Life, Moment by Moment | Jon Kabat-Zinn

    May 09 2016

    “The more we can learn these lessons, the more we will not be running towards our death, but opening to our lives.” Mindfulness researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn on the physiological and spiritual potential of being present to every moment of daily life.

  • The Paradox of Suffering and Love | Kate Braestrup

    May 02 2016

    “The question isn’t whether we’re going to have to do hard, awful things. The question is whether we have to do them alone.” UU law enforcement chaplain Kate Braestrup tells the story of a police woman who embodies the both/and of love and new life, and crime and death. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Enriched by Difference | Jonathan Sacks

    Apr 25 2016

    “That’s how we are as a people. It’s the authentic, the unique, the different that makes us feel enriched when we encounter it.” Rabbi and philosopher Jonathan Sacks on difference as expansive and unifying, rather than a force for division. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • The Hidden Hand of the Equations | Brian Greene

    Apr 18 2016

    “Call it the hidden hand of God; I would simply call it the hidden hand of the equations. And that gets us from the beginning to here.” Physicist Brian Greene on the hidden nature of reality, and the power of science to reveal beauty we can’t observe. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • The Desire to Know Each Other | Elizabeth Alexander

    Apr 11 2016

    “Are we human beings who are in community, do we call to each other? Do we heed each other? Do we want to know each other?” Poet Elizabeth Alexander speaks of our need for language to understand our neighbors. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Compassion for Our Bodies | Matthew Sanford

    Apr 04 2016

    “Your body, for as long as it possibly can, will be faithful to living. That’s what it does.” Matthew Sanford, an innovator of adaptive yoga, on taking a new orientation to our physical change and pain, and the outward healing that can result.

  • Beauty Is an Edge of Becoming | John O'Donohue

    Mar 18 2016

    “Beauty isn’t all about just niceness, loveliness. Beauty is about more rounded, substantial becoming.” Beloved Irish poet John O’Donohue on beauty’s true grit, and finding it in the transformational edges of our daily lives. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Mapping Meaning in a Digital Age | Maria Popova

    Mar 18 2016

    “Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. But hope without critical thinking is naïveté. I try to live in this space between the two.” The creator and editor of Brain Pickings on the pratfalls and promise of knowledge-sharing in the digital age. Find more at onbeing.org/becoming-wise.

  • Courage Is Born from Struggle | Brené Brown

    Mar 18 2016

    “Hope is a function of struggle.” Brené Brown, a researcher and scholar, on the value and power of adversity to give rise to the astonishing strength of which we are all capable.