June 10, 2017

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 

The annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, now in its 28th edition, bears witness to human rights violations and empowers audiences with awareness that personal commitment can make a difference. Here are seven films worth knowing about: Their reviews and trailers, included here, are eye-opening even if you cannot make the June 9 - 18 New York City screenings or get to one of the other 12 cities hosting the festival this year.

Freedom from Bitterness

Spiritual teachers often encourage us to visualize peaceful scenes. This practice, in contrast, works by having us visualize some of the worst that could happen so that we begin to acquaint ourselves with a "heroic armor of patience."

More Practices: Anniversary of the Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, Birthday of Anne Frank, Feast Day of St. Anthony of Padua, Birthday of Issa

A new e-course by Jamal Rahman        
May 29 - June 23, 2017

Discover not only beauty and wisdom but also joy in this heart- and mind-opening course. You are welcome no matter what faith you follow. Learn through written reflections, videos, practice ideas, a teleconference, and a 24/7 online forum. Read more and sign up:
Soulful Aging
A new e-course by Thomas Moore     
June 5 - 30, 2017

If you have ever wondered how to mature well or to help others do so, then this e-course is for you. Twelve written sessions, four substantial videos, a one-hour teleconference, and a 24/7 online Practice Circle make this course an excellent value. Read more and sign up:

Directed by Brett Haley
Sam Elliott shines in the role of a 71-year-old actor known for starring as a cowboy hero. He wins our empathy as he tries desperately to move beyond his failings, regrets, and broken dreams.

More Films: Beatriz at Dinner, Paris Can Wait 

Directed by Ritesh Batra  

This compelling drama about an elderly man trying to come to terms with his past will connect with anyone who has tried to achieve closure for a relationship or a set of disappointments.

More DVDs: Beauty and the Beast, A Good American, Handsome Devil, The Last Word, A United Kingdom  

A Little Book of Mystical Secrets
By Maryam Mafi

"Until you give yourself up completely to your task, it seems most difficult, even impossible. But the minute you give yourself unconditionally, the difficulties vanish altogether." Such observations of Rumi's beloved mentor, Shams of Tabriz, make this a soul-stirring book.

  Rumi's Little Book of the Heart
By Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin

These translations of Rumi's poems about the joy of friendship and the agony of loss reflect the universal longing for connection and love.

More Books: The Gospel in Gerard Manley Hopkins, T
he Happiest Kids in the World, The Physics of Everyday Things, Spirit of the Earth, Zen Echoes  
Children's Books   

By Meg Fleming, Alastair Heim, and Karen Lechelt  

Children and their caregivers can never experience too much love. Three recent books offer different angles on the subject. I Heart You explores many verbs that express the shades of this feeling. Love You Too engages readers in playful rounds of call and response. And What Do You Love About You? helps children explore what they love in themselves and in those around them.


KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Gracie Griffin

Praying is both the most complex and the most simple action for humans. It must come from within, from a part of yourself that is twisted and complicated and beautifully, organically you.
By Frederic Brussat

Did you know that the Portuguese word "desbundar" means to shed one's inhibitions in having fun? Such "untranslatable" words offer us a chance to enrich our language and expand our appreciation of cross-cultural meanings and insights.  
From Our Wisdom Archive   

Enjoy this curated content -- books, children's books, DVDs, quotes, excerpts, prayers, and organizations defending them -- a fine sample of the many ways to appreciate and protect these marvelous mammals.

A Thought to Carry with You  

If you have read the Old Testament prophets, you may have felt their words to be extreme. Take, for instance, these lines from Jeremiah:

"Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
be shocked, be utterly desolate ...
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns,
that can hold no water." (2: 12-13)

But wait: In these times, those words cut through to the heart of the matter. Not that there is any one religion's G-d our world has forsaken, but rather, we ignore at our peril "the fountain of living waters," that ever-flowing reality that we actually know and understand in our heart of hearts to be merciful, gracious, just, the very source of our courage.

Responses like Jeremiah's are needed in our times -- one glance at the news can convince us of that. Is there really any doubt that moral standards of integrity, dignity, decency, and kindness are more desirable than a culture of loathing, violence, and degradation? Writing in the dialect of a character in her best-selling novel, Jubilee, Margaret Walker observes: "Now when you hates you shrinks up inside and gets littler and you squeezes your heart tight and you stays so mad with peoples you feels sick all the time like you needs the doctor." 

Let's continue to discover our calling in the opposite: caring more and more so that our hearts open to the vast reality of our interrelationships.
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito