Minor White, Moencopi Strata, Capitol Reef, Utah, 1962. Courtesy of The Minor White Archive, Princeton University.

The Power in Obstacles

Last week, a group of us talked about what happens when we face obstacles and difficult situations.   We agreed that no one escapes such things, and that often what happens is inside is fear, which […]

Lee van Laer, "Red tailed hawk," Piermont, NY

Intelligence and Service

Like the rest of the Parabola readership, I’ve been watching the developments on the borders of Europe — the influx of desperate refugees, the corpses of children — in a mixture of astonishment and horror. […]

Bonfire, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A Formal Feeling Comes

“After great pain, a formal feeling comes,” writes Emily Dickinson.  “The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs.” After a great shock or loss or change, a stillness comes. We sit still and receive life without leaning […]


Minor White, "Barn and Clouds," 1955

On Unknowing, by Pamela Travers

It is not ignorance. Rather, one could say, a particular process of cognition that has little or no use for words. It is part of our heritage at birth, the infant’s first primer. And the […]

Georgia O' Keeffe, "Black Iris," 1926

Through Beauty, Rebecca Robison

“There are moments in our lives that stand still in time while all the frantic hours and years surrounding them have blurred into an obscurity of grayness. One such moment remains vivid in my mind […]


Writing with Light, by Paul Caponigro

“For a craftsman, it is important to gather and use the materials lovingly, and this attitude allows the materials and the technique to teach one their ways. Along with the inner attitudes, the art of […]




In the autumn of 1971, John G. Bennett inaugurated the International Academy for Continuous Education at Sherborne House, Gloucestershire, England. …

Web Exclusives

Alfred Eisenstaedt, "Children at a Puppet Theatre," Paris, 1963

Gifts for Gifted Children

Each summer I teach creative writing classes at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. It’s a wonderful job for many reasons: my colleagues are uniformly, eccentrically brilliant, I’ve taught at campuses all over the […]

Insight Out: A Review of Pixar’s "Inside Out," by Jess Napp

Insight Out: A Review of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” by Jess Napp

J.M. Barrie once said, “Growing up is such a barbarous business, full of inconvenience… and pimples.” In Pixar’s latest cinematic creation, Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) is a typical 10-year-old living in a small Midwestern town. She loves her family, friends, hockey and goofing around. …

Spiritual Intelligence, by Gerald Epstein

Spiritual Intelligence, by Gerald Epstein

Intelligence is a quality available to choose, as a function of mind that can live itself through us. In this article, I will focus on spiritual intelligence as understood within the Western Monotheistic traditions. Here […]

Book Reviews

Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper

Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper

More than three-quarters of the way through this extraordinary biography (though that label barely captures this book’s breadth and richness) of the scholar of religion Huston Smith …

The Caretakers Of The Cosmos

The Caretakers Of The Cosmos

Ever since human beings discovered that we live in an expanding, evolutionary universe with billions of other galaxies, it has become increasingly fashionable to suggest that human existence is essentially meaningless …

The Third Striving

The Third Striving

The nature of wisdom is necessarily esoteric, because it subsists on a level which both transcends and is internal to, anything we can directly observe. …


Kealaikahiki Point, Kaho‘olawe, HI 1994

Portfolio: David Ulrich

Can my inner work towards stillness and consciousness be reflected in images? Perhaps the moments of presence I, at times, experience can be extended outward to you, the viewer.

Portfolio: Brian English

Portfolio: Brian English

Brian first studied the history of photography and Black & White printing in 1985 with Teacher and Mentor William Abranowicz at Parsons New York City. …

Portfolio: James Whitlow Delano

Portfolio: James Whitlow Delano

James Whitlow Delano has lived in Asia for 17 years. His work has been awarded internationally: the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica’s Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, Photo […]


The Rosette Nebula, Emil Ivanov

The Rose, by Malcolm Guite

A white rose opens in a quiet arbour
Where I sit reading Dante, Paradise
unfolding in me, opens hour by hour, …


Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

Zen Moments, by Pamela Travers

We sit on our heels on the tatami, the Japanese woman and myself, telling the stories of our lives. One can do this with a stranger. Too near, and the perspective is lost. Only the […]