Krista Tippett: “On Being” & Speaking of Faith

Naropa_Mindful_Podcast-Krista-Tippett

The newest episode of our podcast, Mindful U at Naropa University, is out on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, and Fireside now! We are happy to announce this week’s episode features special guest Krista TippettFounder and CEO of The On Being Project, host of the On Being podcast, and Naropa’s 2018 Commencement Speaker.

 play-icon Krista Tippett: “On Being” & Speaking of Faith

“I have been thinking a lot these days in this world we inhabit about how our traditions give us companions and teachers, and that it’s one of the most important things. In Buddhism, there are the lineages of teachers that are just absolutely critical—living and dead—but in Christianity, there is the communion of saints and the cloud of witnesses. It’s the same idea—but my tradition hadn’t given me that. So, I discovered a lot of depth. Theology has a whole different set of questions about our lives and about what happens between people in the world—about our conduct moment to moment. Looking at the world with the eyes of a journalist, but with a theological education, I eventually had this idea for a public radio show, which is how “On Being” started. A show in which the theological part of life would be addressed with intelligence, and that would also be attentive to spiritual depth and the intellectual content of our traditions.” – Krista Tippett

(Full transcript below)

Krista grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, and became a journalist and diplomat in Cold War Berlin. She lived in Spain and England before seeking a Masters of Divinity at Yale University in the mid-1990s. Emerging from that, she saw a black hole where intelligent conversation about the religious, spiritual, and moral aspects of human life might be. She pitched and piloted her idea for a show for several years before launching Speaking of Faith — later On Being — as a weekly national public radio show in 2003.

In 2014, President Obama awarded Krista the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of ​every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.” Krista is now at work on her next book, Letters to a Young Citizen. Her first book Speaking of Faith, published in 2007, is a memoir of religion in our time, including her move from geopolitical engagement to theology. In 2010, she published Einstein’s God, drawn from her interviews at the intersection of science, medicine, and spiritual inquiry. Krista’s 2016 New York Times best-selling Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living opens into the questions and challenges of this century. (via onbeing.org)

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Podcast host David DeVine with Krista Tippett at Naropa University.
Full transcript below
Krista Tippett

“On Being”

[MUSIC]

Hello. And welcome to Mindful U at Naropa. A podcast presented by Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. I’m your host David Devine. And it’s a pleasure to welcome you. Joining the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions — Naropa is the birthplace of the modern mindfulness movement.

[MUSIC] [00:00:46.02]

David:

Hello. Today I’d like to welcome a very special guest to the podcast. And to the Naropa community – Krista Tippett. Krista is the founder and CEO or the “On Being” project and also a host on her podcast “On Being.” She is also an author of a couple books and the recipient of various awards including a Webby award, a Peabody award, and a National Humanities medal from President Barack Obama.

It’s an honor to speak with you today and thank you for coming.

[00:01:12.09]

Krista Tippett:

So glad to be with you and at Naropa.

[00:01:15.09]

David:

Yes, we’re so happy to have you. So, is there anything else you’d like to highlight about yourself? Anything that I missed? I just hit all the basics.

[00:01:22.08]

Krista Tippett:

Oh no that’s fine. Yeah, I find introductions you know — they’re suspect. Because they kind of touch on certain kinds of high points and credentials and accomplishments and don’t actually tell all the story of all the things that went wrong and that were confusing and that might be more interesting to people.

[00:01:41.11]

David:

There might be things in between those things.

[00:01:42.23]

Krista Tippett:

There’s so many things in between life.

[00:01:46.01]

David:

Awesome. So, could you just give me like a quick run down of your journey to where you’ve started and where you are now – seeing it’s pretty unique and just for our listeners who might not know who you are can you just give us like a quick life overview. LAUGHS.

[00:02:01.07]

Krista Tippett:

Ok.

[00:02:01.19]

David:

If that’s possible?

[00:02:02.14]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. And didn’t know that there was much of a world beyond that until pretty soon before it was time to go to college. And I kind of leapt out of Oklahoma and went to the East coast and did a – just too many – I ended up in divided Berlin as a journalist and diplomat even – in a couple of years and – and was working very close to real – you know genuine power – people who were moving whistles around on a map of Europe. And had not been religious at all or taken religion or spiritual life very seriously for about 10 years but started to reconsider those things because there was such a – there – I saw these people with great big – powerful externalized and really impoverished lives. And I was very – you know I was really ambitious and I was in a place that was impressive to other people, but I sensed that this was – this couldn’t go right. You know it couldn’t go right in the world and that the kind of noble reasons that I attached to being part of those activities – that purpose and spirit of – and ethos of things was – would undermined that. And so, that sent me back to start thinking about spiritual life and actually then getting a Master of Divinity because I wanted to study theology and kind of thing through this part of life and myself and in the world.

And when I came out of that I was kind of looking at the world with the eyes of a journalist still but with this theological education and eventually had this idea for a public radio show which is how this started. Where this part of life would be addressed with intelligence and that would also be attentive to spiritual depth and the intellectual content of our traditions. Because you couldn’t find that and it’s still hard to find you know in news – in general media.

[00:03:59.03]

David:

Yeah, yeah, you’re totally right about that. The news feels very external and the – very reactive and there is not this allowing to sit with and understand what is actually going on and to skillfully react or kind of move forward almost. It’s kind of interesting – my next question has to do with your divinity school training. So, you graduated from Yale Divinity School and I am curious with that sort of style of teaching – how has that informed your career and developed you as a person? You spoke a little bit about that – is there anything that the divinity school taught you like wow ok I am seeing things a little bit more clear. I want to move in this direction and that’s where the –

[00:04:39.00]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, oh it was such a gift. I had grown up southern Baptist. I had grown up in a religious world that was very loving – but also very prescriptive and really just about – it was very much about rules to follow. And the threat of what would go wrong if you didn’t.

[00:04:54.11]

David:

Rules.

[00:04:55.00]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah uh – uh so I hadn’t actually grown up with much theology. I hadn’t actually grown up with much ritual honestly. That tradition didn’t have much ritual in it – so and I had not grown up with a sense of kind of the church across space and time. I have been thinking a lot these days in this world we inhabit about how our traditions give us companions and teachers and that that’s like one of the most important things and its actually something our culture doesn’t do you know. So, I had grown up – and of course in Buddhism there – the lineages of teachers right and it’s just absolutely critical living and dead, but you know – and in Christianity there is – there is the communion of saints. There is the cloud of witnesses. I mean you know it’s the same idea – but my kind of you know Baptist you know ultra Protestant tradition hadn’t given me that.

So, I discovered a lot of depth. A lot of depth and – and also, I think theology is – compared to that – political world I had been part of – theology has a whole different set of questions – of our lives and of what happens between people in the world – of our conduct moment to moment. And I found those to be – be powerful questions, right? So, it’s kind of applying that lens of questioning to the world which is very different from the kind of questions that I was asking as a journalist previously.

[00:06:18.10]

David:

Yeah, what you’re answering the question from is different than where you would answer the other questions as well. So, if someone is calling a deeper part of yourself —

[00:06:27.04]

Krista Tippett:

Its addressing a different part of us.

[00:06:28.12]

David:

Yeah. So – I am just curious how would you define contemplative? How does contemplative show up to you?

[00:06:35.13]

Krista Tippett:

Hmmm. Uh – its – I don’t know why that feels so hard. It – well I just —

[00:06:43.20]

David:

It does feel hard.

[00:06:43.20]

Krista Tippett:

It feels hard to define it, right? But uh – it is to honor and dwell with quiet and reflection and kind of attending our interior life as important. Kind of making space for that and cultivating it.

[00:07:02.08]

David:

Yeah, I really like the tending part. It’s like tending a garden. That is not going to grow if you are not tending it. You got to water it.

[00:07:08.08]

Krista Tippett:

But its gentle right. It’s not – it’s not a – I don’t know other words we might use. You know it’s not like taking it on in a kind of act ambitious way that we take on a lot of the other things we do, right? It’s a tending. It’s a quiet care.

[00:07:24.10]

David:

All right. So where do you discover the potential within to become activated in a direction that you want to work towards? Like where does your potential come from and how do you engage with that?

[00:07:34.07]

Krista Tippett:

Do you mean the practices or what – how do I think about the part of myself —

[00:07:39.05]

David:

I would say like inspiration. Like when you’re feeling inspired to – you saw the whole of where there was information not being said that you wanted to fill – where was the potential to move forward in that? How did you activate that to do that?

[00:07:54.14]

Krista Tippett:

I guess – I feel like I have always been — pretty driven to follow what my inner voice was and of course its evolved. And – at times I was listening to it more carefully or less carefully or privileging other kinds of calls. You know I think it’s what how we orient – what we orient towards and how faithful we are to that orientation. That’s something I’ve always paid attention to.

[00:08:23.12]

David:

Ok.

[00:08:23.22]

Krista Tippett:

Because I know it really ultimately matters.

[00:08:26.19]

David:

I like how you said inner voice because the inner voice seems – where the potential comes from. The inner voice is the thing that’s saying ok – check this out – you want to move in this direction – the intuition is speaking to you. Yeah, how would you think that you can nurture the intuition a little bit more? To be more potentially activated?

[00:08:47.01]

Krista Tippett:

You know the Benedictines who were teaches of the mind early on – they speak and listen with the ears of their heart. Right? So that’s — that is also I think connected to like the inner voice. Uh –

[00:08:58.16]

David:

I am going to keep that one.

[00:08:59.06]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, that’s a really – it a great one. Sorry what was the question. LAUGHS.

[00:09:02.12]

David:

So, we’re speaking to inner voice and just how the inner voice —

[00:09:06.10]

Krista Tippett:

How you – well I think listening to it is part of it. You know and listening with the ears and heart – again its attending and also knowing that – this voice in us is in our life – is not going to shout to be heard. So, right – so we – you have to actively lean in. You have to actively listen. And sometimes that means actively you know – cutting through other louder voices, influences. I think it means actually creating the space and structure around listening to that. To —

[00:09:46.20]

David:

Investigation.

[00:09:47.14]

Krista Tippett:

And that’s what contemplation is.

[00:09:49.18]

David:

Yeah, investigation of where the inner voice is actually coming from. Because there is probably multiple inner voices that we have. I really like the fact that you said in our ears too – it’s like we have a voice and we also got the ears. So, we have ingoing filter and outgoing filter. So — how do you experience the contemplative filter being useful while navigating real world issues? So, I guess with the divinity school – the contemplative model and having this new sort of lens on life – how does that shift your reality of seeing the world?

[00:10:22.18]

Krista Tippett:

Uh – it – you know it absolutely shifts it. Again – because it’s a gentle part of us. Uh – its – these are gentle impulses. We have to take care to heed them and to keep listening to them. It’s easy for them to get stilled and muted. I think it also – you know if we are heeding that its always giving us – a different set of questions to be asking in real world situations. Right? And not just what am I doing? And how am I doing? Not just what do I know but the how am I conducting myself in this moment? It asks us to – to think about the effect of our decisions and our thoughts, of our knowledge, of our action. Whether its generative. Whether its compassionate. You know how its landing in other lives.

So, I think those kinds of questions belong in a every moment. In every real world situation.

[00:11:29.19]

David:

Yeah, with the contemplative degree that I received at Naropa – I was a student here a couple years back – I noticed that the model actually allowed me to ask more questions than to discover more answers. And through the – through the more questions there was a lot of self-discovery of developing as a person, as a unique individual and relating to the external life that I am like kind of subjected to and engaged with.

So, cool. LAUGHS. How do you see compassion enhancing everyday lives? How can we use compassion to enhance our lives with our family, with our communities, with ourselves?

[00:12:09.19]

Krista Tippett:

It makes all the difference. I mean – right – it’s just so –

[00:12:14.23]

David:

You’re just like yes.

[00:12:14.19]

Krista Tippett:

Yes. We should. I think what Buddhist psychology is very wise about is that we – that even though this might be what we long for more than anything else – it’s hard. Right? And there is this really tricky piece that we have to uh extend – we often have to extend compassion to ourselves before we can truly extend it to others and for some of us – that’s the hardest thing of all. So, there is words attached to this. There is inner work. There is again this attention, but it is a way of moving through the world and again it’s a way of transforming any situation in which you’re moving through the world. That is – in which you are caring for yourself – and you’re caring for your best self I think – whatever that means and also attending to what is the effect of this moment? How can your effect on other humans or – or other living beings – how can you conduct in this moment be of value?

[00:13:23.16]

David:

Yeah, you said something about the individual compassion being difficult. Where do you think that stems from? I agree with you by the way. I do feel like individual compassion is a little bit more difficult. It feels easier to just kind of give it out.

[00:13:35.22]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah.

[00:13:37.02]

David:

But why do you think it’s just difficult to nurture that?

[00:13:39.05]

Krista Tippett:

It’s just strange human condition. You know —

[00:13:43.01]

David:

Like what’s going on there?

[00:13:44.08]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah. I – it’s one of the puzzling things about us. You should – we’re learning a lot. We’re learning a lot through neuroscience and – and uh – we’re learning a lot – you know science is teaching us a lot about how complicated our brains are and – I think that knowledge will be a form of power, but yeah, we’re just – we are strange. And —

[00:14:05.18]

David:

Very strange.

[00:14:06.13]

Krista Tippett:

But that’s also part of the adventure and the gift of spiritual life is that you find – that it doesn’t function despite that strangeness or overcome that strangeness, but rather through it. And that’s what makes it an adventure.

[00:14:22.09]

David:

Ok. And you’re making me think that the metroplasty of the conditions we – we’ve been conditioned to not be compassionate to ourselves. Or what science is showing nowadays is that we’re learning how to change our brain waves into being more compassionate to ourselves. So, that’s like really interesting to think about – like years and years of being conditioned to not be compassionate to yourself. So, with compassion how does that work for you? How do you replenish your compassion because sometimes there are days where you’re like I’m not really feeling compassionate as much as I normally do? What’s going on? Or how do you sustain that? Is there any practices or techniques that you have?

[00:15:06.10]

Krista Tippett:

I mean I do actually think it’s really important that – that one – you know that I know that I won’t get it right all the time. It’s this ongoing work of like – and I think it actually helps to know that because then when you fall short – you know being able to be forgiving and soft in that moment as opposed to you know embarrassed or mad at yourself – or barreling through. So, actually part of the anecdote is in not being surprised when you’re not as compassionate as you want to be. And I think – I think if you are not surprised then you can also kind of collect yourself.

If you’re surprised by it, you have all these serious reactions and analysis and that gets in the way.

[00:15:53.07]

David:

And if you’re learning to not be surprised about it – that is just being compassionate to yourself. So, you’re actually just feeding back into — the what is working for you.  Awesome.

So, with the practices of trying to replenish compassion – are there any practices you do to create a stronger contemplative lens. So, is there anything that the divinity taught you? Is there anything speaking with other people during your podcast that you’re like oh I really like that technique or the interesting people that you just meet throughout your life. Is there any sort of techniques that you have taken in and developed?

[00:16:31.09]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, well I have – yeah, I have my own practices and I have – and they’ve changed over time. I have always been a reader. You know so I have books that are kind of companions and teachers and you know – Pema Chodron’s, “When Things Fall Apart” is just always with me.

[00:16:47.03]

David:

Oh yeah. She’s a Naropa family member.

[00:16:50.04]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah. I know. I have – I set aside time in the morning – every morning and I do a little bit of reading – and I do some meditation and I also – really integrate prayer into my – into my contemplative morning practice recently. Which was interesting because I – I realized that that is my mother tongue and homeland and that has been actually a really wonderful thing. So, it’s kind of drawing on who I am and some of the best things I’ve learned from others.

[00:17:19.05]

David:

Do you make your own prayers, or do you say prayers from the bible or from the lineage you connect with?

[00:17:25.14]

Krista Tippett:

Well, I do actually like praying with prayer books and there’s one by uh – a wonderful – actually a friend of mine who is Northern Ireland in one of the main communities there, which is a spiritual community which just helped bring peace to Northern Ireland and he’s written just an incredible prayer book. So, I am enjoying that. I actually did also in the last couple of years write a prayer when I was on retreat.

It kind of created my liturgy and I have really found that to be very helpful. Like I don’t think I’ll pray this prayer forever because I will keep growing. But I’ve enjoyed doing that. That’s been good for me.

[00:18:03.03]

David:

And I am just kind of curious – what are you reading right now?

[00:18:06.03]

Krista Tippett:

Uh – well, you mean —

[00:18:09.16]

David:

I am calling you out.

[00:18:09.16]

Krista Tippett:

For my – for my contemplative piece?

[00:18:12.19]

David:

Or just like – like what are you interested in?

[00:18:15.09]

Krista Tippett:

See I read a lot for my work so –

[00:18:18.14]

David:

What do you like to read for pleasure? Like what sparks your mind?

[00:18:21.14]

Krista Tippett:

I read actually – I read a lot of serious – and contemplative things for my work and so I read a lot of novels when I am not working. And I also – I recently have really gotten into kind of British nature writing.

[00:18:35.22]

David:

What’s that?

[00:18:37.08]

Krista Tippett:

Its – books about the natural world and it – I think that the language tends to be so poetic. Which I don’t often find in non-fiction.

[00:18:46.15]

David:

Yeah. And — I actually heard a talk from you where you said you’re bringing in a lot more poetry into – into your like conversations. At Naropa we love poetry. Where we have the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and there is just so many like really creative thoughtful people here and there is something you’re saying about – there is science over here and then there is poetry in how we can quantify things and we – we have this other side of things and I was thinking about how do you distill what love is? Or compassion or these really heart centered feelings. Science can’t really quantify those. You know but poetry can bring them to life kind of like brings out all the colors. Oh, now the fun stuff.

So, the reason you are here at Naropa is because you are giving the commencement speech to the 2018 graduates. Have you ever done a commencement speech before?

[00:19:44.03]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, I have done a couple of commencement speeches over the years, yeah.

[00:19:47.18]

David:

Ok, where have you done those?

[00:19:49.00]

Krista Tippett:

Uh – I think the last one I did was with a medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School. You know I – there is – I feel like there is one before that that I am forgetting – yeah, I’ve just done a couple of them.

[00:20:05.00]

David:

Yeah, it feels like a different kind of art. You’re like speaking to a whole crowd of people and you’re like all right I got to try and inspire all these people. Here I go. So, when you were preparing for this talk – obviously you know we’re a Buddhist inspired contemplative university. How did that show up for you when you were preparing for this talk? Did you have a different lens that you put on or is this kind of – this is your cup of tea. And you are just like these are my people?

[00:20:28.11]

Krista Tippett:

No, I – think a lot and speak a lot – I am working a lot on like this moment we have – inhabit – this cultural and political moment, but I am not interested in the politics so much as in the human drama that is behind all the politics and the cultural events. And so, so giving a commencement speech now – feels like it has to be – you know that has to be in the room. That that’s the world that is everybody heading out into. And uh – what’s been on my mind as a I’ve been – thinking about what I want to say tomorrow is – actually reinforcing that a lot of the – the way of learning here. And a lot of the kind of elemental – ideas and practices that are part of Naropa and a Naropa education are really so exquisitely necessary in this world.

[00:21:23.04]

David:

Yeah. And I’ve heard you say a couple times that you don’t necessarily want to interview politicians or go there and – there is something about the listening aspect of it is they have this idea of what they want to say, and they say it and its harder to listen. So maybe going back to the heart – having ears –

[00:21:43.12]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah. Well they also – politicians can’t – they can’t actually just listen and answer a question honestly. And they are not rewarded for doing so. So, I understand why – it is not an authentic back and forth in a conversation with the politician, but that makes it totally uninteresting to me.

[00:22:03.10]

David:

Yeah, that is not fun. Ok. What advice would you give to students knowing the situations that they are doing and – so say for instance they – they know what they want to do in their lives. They are on this verge of stepping into – being graduates and they are like I know what I want do with my life.  How do I do it? Like how did you do it? Obviously, there was a moment where you saw this void and you’re like I think I can fill that. Now here you are – totally feeling that. How could you uh – inform some students who are going to like start their journey?

[00:22:37.09]

Krista Tippett:

You know – there are going to be as many different wise answers to that question as there are lies in the road. There just – its uh – I do – I do think that we are at this unsettled moment where a lot of the paths that might have seem clearer or more obvious aren’t you know – aren’t so obvious. And I think that that creates hardship. But it also – means that we are going to have to get less focused on you know job titles – and – and you know also people aren’t going to have the same – you know people graduating now from college are going to have so many different twists and turns in their – right this whole new world.

And I – and I think that the – the part of that that is good for us – and that actually being at Naropa I think you are very wonderfully equipped for this is that – it becomes again less important kind of – or you know of course what you do is important, but it’s how you do it. It’s how you’re present in a profession, in a work place and also that I think a sense of vocation is something larger than you know you’re work.

That your vocation is also you know you as a friend and as a community member and as a neighbor and uh – I think we’re going to get value those things more now. And it’s this kind of hierarchy of professionalism comes a part somewhat.

[00:24:12.09]

David:

Feels like emotional intelligence is – is becoming a thing in the work place. Along with the actual skill. And there is more longevity in the workplace. And there is more longevity in the like workflow as well. So, just knowing who are – will never hurt.

[00:24:33.11]

Krista Tippett:

No, in fact knowing who are – I mean that is a work of a lifetime. Knowing who you are but understanding that that’s – that that is central work. At the very beginning of your life of work is – it puts you way ahead of people a few generations ago.

[00:24:49.12]

David:

Yeah, and also realizing that you may never know. And as long as you’re continually working you’re continually developing too. So being ok with not knowing but knowing that you’re ok with that. So, how do you think someone discovers purpose and meaning in their lives? Like where do you think that comes from?

[00:25:12.05]

Krista Tippett:

I think it comes from — having your eyes open. Attending to your experience. Asking these questions. I do think that – purpose and meaning kind of call to us. And it’s no uh – accident that the word vocation you know comes from the Latin for vocari – a calling. I feel that these questions of not just what we will do or who we will be but how we will make a difference in the world. You know I think that those are – yeah, they call to us. They beckon us and – that also is a gentle voice. So – we can walk away from it uh I think if we – if we set an intention of continuing to heed, continuing to listen, continuing to let in the questions it would ask of us and of what we are doing any given moment – then that muscle strengthens right and that becomes more integrated into who are and we become more skilled at following what we are learning.

[00:26:18.09]

David:

Yeah. Awesome. Thank you. So – in 2014, you were awarded the National Humanities Medal by U.S. President Barack Obama. What was it like for you?

[00:26:29.13]

Krista Tippett:

LAUGHS.

[00:26:31.09]

David:

I had to go there. Sorry.

[00:26:32.13]

Krista Tippett:

It was like an out of body experience. It —

[00:26:34.09]

David:

You were just like I was floating.

[00:26:35.07]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah.

[00:26:36.01]

David:

Was it really?

[00:26:36.15]

Krista Tippett:

I really honestly don’t remember very much – it was a beautiful – it was one of the happiest days of my life. It was uh – it was just really amazing. Uh – because I had you know I had just got this call out of the blue one day. And at first when they called me to tell me they said I couldn’t tell anyone and that was just the most excruciating thing.

[00:26:57.14]

David:

What?

[00:26:57.20]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, they said you can’t tell anyone a secret.

[00:27:00.01]

David:

You’re like why did you tell me then?

[00:27:01.01]

Krista Tippett:

I know it’s ridiculous.

[00:27:01.19]

David:

For how long?

[00:27:03.08]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, it was uh – it was just remarkable and uh – I am very grateful for it. And I – something that I was aware of – that felt important to me is the citation was uh for thoughtfully delving into the mysterious of human existence.

[00:27:21.05]

David:

What?

[00:27:21.14]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah. And what I – what I know is when I first in the early years of the 21st century like in 2000. 2000, 2002 when I was walking around this idea for a public radio show. It was just – I mostly met skepticism. And I had to really kind of be a warrior for this thing for many years. And — it did say to me that in these years – we have evolved, and I feel that this is still – we’re still evolving into being more comfortable again with the notion of mystery. And the notion that that we are spiritual beings as much as we are physical beings or political beings. That we’re letting that back in. Taking it seriously and it – that it could even be taken seriously as part of a national humanities medal.

[00:28:15.12]

David:

Awesome. So, you were met with skepticism. Why do you think that is – just people didn’t see the dream? They didn’t believe you. They didn’t think that your information was valid or like they just doubting themselves.

[00:28:28.20]

Krista Tippett:

I was working in uh – in 20th media organizations that have newsrooms at their centers. And news rooms are still just very slowly waking up to this. There has been an idea that you know religion and spirituality are soft and irrational and while politics and economics are not irrational. So, I mean – so what I’ve been aware of – we have been disabused at that notion. You know I mean I don’t think after 2008 you can say oh well – we are acting economically we’re really thinking straight.

[00:29:05.05]

David:

So, you were talking mostly to the people in the like the newsrooms and the working in —

[00:29:07.23]

Krista Tippett:

It was people in newsrooms. So yeah.

[00:29:10.03]

David:

It’s not really economics you’re talking about.

[00:29:11.15]

Krista Tippett:

And it’s not – but also because religion had become so fraught especially a certain kind of Christian voice had become so toxic in the 90s – and journalism like handed them the microphones and cameras because they made for great soundbites. There was a lot of – trauma around that and a feeling that if you put people – with religious and spiritual conviction on the air – it would make people angry or be inflammatory or be proselytizing and I knew it didn’t have to be that way, but I was telling them it didn’t have to be the way. But they kind of had to see it.

[00:29:48.04]

David:

Yeah, I mean throughout my life I’ve met a lot of people with different faiths, religious attachments and just spiritual – as long as your rouge of truth and love – I don’t care where you’re from – like it’s all good. The truth will come out you know and there is always good hearts just beating in multiple different phase, but when we’re giving the microphone or the camera to people who aren’t really holding the torch of what’s real – then it does get a little diluted, but just to know that. The realness is out there. And it starts within you know. So that was kind of like a whole lead up to what does it take nowadays to work in the humanities field? There is a lot of calling for it. We need to do a lot of work in here and it seems like you’re doing that and what does it take nowadays? When people are moving in their lives and they are seeing how they can interact with just to make the world a better place. Like how does that work or – what type of work can you do because there is a lot of movement in the mindfulness world. Naropa is doing a lot of work with that and we are – giving a contemplative edge to our students and graduates to either put the lens over their heart or their mind and to ask more questions and just kind of – you know transform the world, transform yourself sort of vibe. So, I am just curious – what type of work does it take?

[00:31:11.17]

Krista Tippett:

Well, I guess I think that it is us – it is an orientation and a commitment that could actually flow into any kind of work. You know like I don’t think its certain set of sort of professions or a certain path – I think it is an insistence whatever you do, whatever path you pursue. Another thing that has happened in this time is we’ve you know we have these illusions about work places for example. That you know, you could check your personal life at the door. Right? We’ve done that, and we do it in schools.

[00:31:48.12]

David:

We’re emotional beings that don’t happen.

[00:31:49.10]

Krista Tippett:

Yeah, so I think – so as we – start to reintegrate ourselves and you know millennials are just kind of bringing this – they are just saying I am not going to do that. I am going to bring my whole self to work and this is very – whatever that work is right. And this is very – it’s complicated and it’s going to mean that the structures have to change. And the ways things have been done have to change.

But it is ultimately humanizing in ways that I think will ultimately be good for us. And be good for our professions as well.

[00:32:23.14]

David:

And to be honest I really agree with that. You know you’re kind of making me step back from that question, but I really do find there is a lot of uh truth in that answer and it is everywhere. There isn’t a moment where it’s not good to just be a full human. To be in touch with yourself and to know what’s going and – yeah, we can’t check our personal lives at the door when we come to work. And, I think there was a generation that did that, and I feel like its dissolving and they are realizing like wow this doesn’t work. Like having a happy work life – we – we work and sleep a lot. And so, if we’re happy within that we can lead extremely happy lives with each other, with our families, with our communities. So – like why not work towards that. You know – all right.

So, I am just curious. So, what’s next for you – anything exciting coming up? It seems like you travel a lot. Seems like you talk to a lot of people. Is there anything that you’re excited about?

[00:33:25.10]

Krista Tippett:

We’ve had this organization that had this radio show podcast at its heart and we’ve just created what we call the “On Being” project. Uh which is acknowledging that we were doing a lot of other things as well and – and we’ve also created something called the impact lab. Which is going to be lead – actually some people who are young and have been working with networks – they created report a few years ago called, “how we gather” which is kind of how new generations are creating community and also crafting spiritual life and often in the absence of the kind of traditional formation that people used to have. So, I am very excited about that – about creating some capacity organizational to be paying attention to this interplay of inner life and outer presence in the world. And — the great questions of humanity that are also behind our traditions you know what does it mean to be human? How are we going to live? And even the third question of who we will be to each other. This is really the question of this century. Forces us to reckon with. And if we don’t reckon with – we don’t – you know I don’t think we come out of this. Uh – and our traditions are the repositories of working with precisely this inquiry and this challenge. And so, I just – what we are doing with “On Being” is trying to in the show and also in public events and also an impact lab to really that much more forcefully orient towards those questions. And — making them alive in the world.

[00:34:55.08]

David:

Great. I really like that. Especially reaching out to the younger generation. There is – there is a movement that is happening. The voices are strong, and they are passionate, and they are able to shift. And I am really excited to see what will happen and kind of feel like I am on this planet to experience and to help and see the shift within my lifetime. Within a lot of people’s lifetimes. And it feels pretty powerful. Yes. Awesome. I really appreciate you speaking with us today. Is there – so how do people follow you. I am sure some people are going to be like who is this person. I want to like know more about her. I never heard about her.

[00:35:31.22]

Krista Tippett:

Well, you can – we’re on iTunes and all of the podcasts places.

[00:35:35.16]

David:

All those things.

[00:35:37.02]

Krista Tippett:

And our website is on being dot org. I am on and off of Twitter but its @KristaTippett.

[00:35:45.04]

David:

Cool. All right, well you heard that, and you can find here where those places are. It was such a pleasure speaking with you today. And thank you so much for joining me and I look really forward to your commencement speech tomorrow. So, this will be really fun to kind of just see you in a different capacity in front of like the whole entire school other than just me and you in a room.

[00:36:05.13]

Krista Tippett:

Well thank you. It was lovely.

[00:36:07.11]

David:

So, thanks again to Krista Tippett. She is a journalist and author and entrepreneur, founder and CEO of “On Being” project and the host of her podcast “On Being” and becoming wise. Thanks again.

[MUSIC]

On behalf of the Naropa community thank you for listening to Mindful U. The official podcast of Naropa University. Check us out at www.naropa.edu or follow us on social media for more updates.

[MUSIC]

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