What's Happening at
SpiritualityandPractice.com

December 30, 2020
Editors' Pick
Directed by Steve McQueen

This anthology series is directed and co-written by Steven McQueen whose 2013 film 12 Years a Slave won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Set in the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, the films pay tribute to those in London's West Indian community who triumph over systemic racism, overt discrimination, and other challenges. Four of the stories are based on historical situations and the people involved in them; the fifth conveys the exuberance of a time and a place through music. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, these moving and inspiring stories are not to be missed!
Community News

2020 has been a difficult year worldwide, so being able to give gifts to those we love and organizations we support is a very special blessing. We invite you to become one of our Practicing Partners and see your gift doubled! A long-time supporter of the website has offered to match all gifts to S&P up to $40,000. This extra funding will be incredibly useful as we plan 2021 programs.

Your gift will help us continue to offer a wide variety of FREE resources to our worldwide audience through our wisdom keeping and special projects. Donate Here.
Practices
By Mary Ann Brussat

2020 has been a sad, scary, and struggle-filled year. Before we say goodbye we really ought to consciously reflect upon its lessons and, yes, even its blessings. This is called "honorable closure." The term comes from Angeles Arrien, a cultural anthropologist. We invite you to engage in an Honorable Closure Ritual by journaling about the four questions here. 

When finished with this practice, you might want to consider our Spiritually Literate New Year's Resolutions.
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

There is a long tradition of house blessing in Christianity. People from other traditions and spiritual independents have also embraced this practice. We like it because it reminds us that our homes are sacred. So this Epiphany (January 6), we will be doing a House Blessing in our home. We invite you to do the same.
Curated by the S&P Team

Grace is a gift of God, but if it is out of our hands, so to speak, how do we practice it? Practice accepting God's love, watch for gifts, read spiritual memoirs and biographies, be aware of synchronicities, and try some of the specific practices linked from this page.


More Practices for Special Days: John Main Day, New Year's Eve, Birthday of E.M. Forster, Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Feast Day of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, George Washington Carver Day, Epiphany, Birthday of Joan Baez, Feast Day of Brother Lawrence, Birthday of Swami Vivekananda, George Fox Day, and Birthday of Albert Schweitzer.
E-Courses
ByJudith Favor
January 3 - December 31

Are you longing for the companionship of a committed group of soul-friends during this time of profound social disruption?

We invite you to consider joining us for an opportunity to practice writing alone and listening together during a year-long community experience. Is it for you? We describe how it will work, offer some "wondering questions" for your discernment, and describe a person who is a "good fit" on the registration page here:

Curated By Roger Housden
January 1 - January 31

Best-selling author, speaker, and writing guide Roger Housden is one of the Living Spiritual Teachers profiled on Spirituality & Practice. For five years, we asked Roger to curate a collection of poems for daily delivery during January. We figured this would be a great way to start the year, and many of our e-course regulars agreed. For 2021, instead of presenting a new course, we want to remind you of the existing ones.

All the courses are available in our on-demand system, so you can do them at your own pace. But you need to sign up and schedule the course from your account page no later than 6 pm on December 31, if you want to begin on January 1.

Special Treat! Sign up for one of these e-courses before December 31, 2020, and we'll send you a free ticket to a poetry recital via Zoom by Roger Housden.


See your options on this page:

By Jon M. Sweeney
January 18 - February 12

Jon Sweeney has shared his home and his spiritual practice time with two kittens, Martin and Rosa, since late April. Of this experience he notes, "This past year, I have found myself learning most of all from my cats. I find that they exemplify lessons and truths that I find echoed in great spiritual traditions and practices, and which resonate for me deeply." Sweeney has identified 12 ways we can imitate the spirituality of cats and linked them to such teachings as surrender in Sufism, the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh on love, the Hasidic master Rebbe Nachman on joy, Christian priest Henri Nouwen and the medieval mystic Christina the Astonishing on foolishness, Hildegard of Bingen on God as sun, the witness of Nuns on the Bus and T’ruah’s “Resisting tyrants since Pharoah” campaign, and more.

Read more about this one-month e-course and register here:

Books

This is a wonderful collection of personal stories revealing the path of everyday spirituality. The author's highest purpose is "to live a sacred life, connected to others, nature, and the divine through love, gratefulness, and acts of service." Neshama describes grace-filled encounters with others which flicker and then flame into portable wisdom.

More Books: A Book about the Film Monty Python's The Meaning of Life by Darl Larsen; Four Threats by Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman; Howard Thurman and the Disinherited by Paul Harvey; The Illuminated Hafiz by Coleman BarksRobert BlyMeher BabaPeter BoothOmid Safiand Others
Children's Book

Here is a vibrant reminder of water's sacredness and our responsibility to safeguard it from harm. Written for 3 – 6 year olds, this picture book nurtures and strengthens an inclination to protect Mother Earth. It offers a vision of people standing together with unbroken spirit.

More Children's Books: Margaret's Night in St. Peters by Jon M. Sweeney; A Whale of a Mistake by Ioana Hobai
Arts
By Brandon Stanton
 
Brandon Stanton's portraits of people on the streets of New York City was a huge bestseller. Now he's followed up by taking his camera around the world. This new collection was put together over five years during which Stanton traveled to more than 40 countries with 200 interpreters to translate stories from his subjects.
Films
Directed by Ashley Avis

This is a splendid remake of the classic story that has sold over 50 million copies and stands as a bold testimony against animal abuse. In this new version, a young woman, grieving the death of her parents, discovers the joy of truly partnering with a horse. The story is told from Black Beauty's point of view through the warm narration of Kate Winslet.

Also Streaming: David Bryne's American Utopia, The Forty Year Old Version, Gunda, Luxor, The Queen's Gambit.

Coming Soon (keep checking the DVD and Streaming page):
Special Coverage of the spiritual dimensions of Pixar's Soul. Plus reviews of Ammonite, The Chronicles of Melanie, Collective, Farewell Amor, Happiest Season, Let Them All Talk, Mank, Midnight Sky, Palm Springs, Roadkill, Sound of Metal, Sylvie's Love, Tiger Within, Time, and more!
Blogs
By Frederic Brussat
 
Every year, the Oxford English Dictionary's expert lexicographers choose a "Word of the Year." Not surprisingly, in a year like 2020, the Oxford people found it impossible to settle on one word. This was a year of enormous turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, protests in support of Black Lives matter, political polarization, economic distress, environmental destruction, and much more.

Process Musings Blog: Blessed Nostalgia by Jay Mcdaniel

Short and Sweet Spirituality Blog: The Challenge of the Crib, The Real Trick in Life, The Sacred Way, Bursting Into Light, Entertaining Yourself with God

By Micah Bucey
 
Micah Bucey is one of S&P's film reviewers. A United Church of Christ minister, he currently serves Judson Memorial Church of New York City. He has been posting short prayers on his Facebook page that touch upon the concerns revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent prayers have been for those who wish they were stronger, for those who have nothing more to give right now, for those who are struggling to understand the heartlessness of some people, for those who just don't know what to do with themselves, and for the Moderna vaccine.
  
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From Our Wisdom Archive
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Many critics only look at a movie's entertainment values or production qualities. But these approaches to movies, while they may be helpful in some cases, are basically adversarial. They assume that people expect a film to prove itself to them. Instead, we recommend the spiritual practice of offering hospitality to the filmmakers and the story itself. We make going to the movies into a spiritual practice. In this article, Frederic and Mary Ann share some tips for more spiritual movie-going.
Spirituality & Practice is multifaith and interspiritual website providing resources for spiritual journeys and spiritual learning opportunities through the Internet. If you support our values, vision, and mission, we invite you to become one of our Practicing Partners.