This special To The Best of Our Knowledge collection contains 13 interviews: Embracing Your Life: Tara Brach is a psychologist, Buddhist meditation teacher, and author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. The Gift of Silence: Parker Palmer is a Quaker writer, educator, activist, and author of Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. Alone in a Cave: Tenzin Palmo was one of the first Western women ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Divine Music: Jazz singer Kurt Elling talks about reaching for the divine through his music. In Praise of the Wild: Pattiann Rogers tells Jim Fleming that naming things is the way to notice and appreciate them. Evening Blessings: M.J. Ryan wants to revive the custom of saying grace before meals. The Path of Gratitude: Gregg Krech talks about the Japanese tradition of Naikan-conscious thankfulness for everything that positively impacts your life. The Town that Talks to the Dead: Christine Wicker talks about the small upstate NY town that has the world's largest community of Spiritualists. Love Never Dies: Justine Picardie's book chronicles her efforts to contact her sister Ruth's spirit in the year after Ruth's death from breast cancer. Life Without God: Novelist Jim Crace (Being Dead) says he's an atheist and wanted to find a way of talking about death that doesn't depend on God. A Leap of Faith: Yann Martel (Life of Pi) says researching his book turned him into a churchgoer. Redemption: Jimmy Santiago Baca was illiterate and in a maximum security prison when he fell in love with poetry. Living a Good Life: Rabbi Harold Kushner says that people need to believe their lives are meaningful.More
Every episode of To the Best of Our Knowledge revolves around a theme, so think of this as an uber-episode. It's a collection of the show's finest interviews, not so much on religion as on the nature of spirituality.
As is always the case with To the Best of Our Knowledge, the range of subjects is eclectic (and, in this case, ecumenical): life after death, atheism, meditation, grace. Each of the 13 interviews is a thoughtful gem. But what is especially striking is that each one focuses on the positive. This is not the place to hear heated, I-can-shout-louder-than-you debates on religion. It is the place to learn how novelists, poets, musicians, a rabbi, a nun, even an ex-con look outward and inward.
And there's something about host Jim Fleming, something about his voice that's both soothing and inquisitive, like he's hanging out in your kitchen having coffee and talking over a favorite book!
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