March 29, 2019

What's Happening This Week at

Editors' Pick   

By S&P Team

In our new topic on Community, you will find articles, blog posts, books, book excerpts, e-courses, discussion guides, films, personal explorations, poetry, prayers, program plans, quotes, rituals, spiritual practices, and more to draw you into a concentric circle of connections capable of transforming the world for the better.  


By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat    

In the clatter and clamor of our lives, we need ways to connect deeply with our souls. Whenever we feel depleted, our favorite poets invariably refresh and refuel us. As Carolyn Forche observes: "Poetry is the voice of soul, whispering, celebrating, singing even." 

April is National Poetry Month. We invite you to enjoy a poem a day from our collections.  

More Practices: April Fool's Day, Birthday of Jane Goodall, Golden Rule Day, Birthday of Ram Dass, Birthday of Paul Robeson, Teilhard de Chardin Day, Birthday of Dolores Huerta

A new e-course by Thomas Moore
May 6 - 31, 2019 
Explore the many metaphors and extended meanings in fairy tales with Thomas Moore, author of the New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul and 24 other books about bringing soul to personal life and culture, deepening spirituality, humanizing medicine, imagining sexuality with soul, and finding meaningful work. Moore invites you to bring your current concerns to the course, to make this a worthwhile experience. Find out what fairy tales he will be talking about and subscribe:
A current e-course by Roger Housden
March 6 - April 22, 2019 
Celebrate National Poetry Month in April with Roger Housden's gently paced e-course exploring the secret of life that allows us to rise again when circumstances have pressed us down. When you sign up, you will find in your Spirituality & Practice account all the sessions that have gone out already; you can read them online or resend them to your inbox. Read more and subscribe:
A current e-course by Contemplative Outreach
March 11 - April 18, 2019
There's still time to make your Lenten practice Centering Prayer, through this contemporary invitation to make the contemplative teachings of earlier times available to anyone experiencing a hunger for a deeper life of prayer and for a support system to sustain it. Fr. Thomas Keating described it as "a process of interior transformation, a conversation initiated by God and leading, if we consent, to divine union." Read more and subscribe:  

Directed by Kent Jones

This deeply spiritual film is about a caregiver who reaches out again and again to people suffering from a variety of ailments. She shows that caring for those in need is a powerful way to manifest love.

More Films: Apollo 11, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, The Brink, Gloria Bell, The Hummingbird Project, The Kindergarten Teacher, The Mustang, Out of Blue, Saint Judy, Tigerland, Woman at War

Directed by Peter Farrelly

This drama about how a friendship can be forged across the barriers of race and class won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Best Picture Academy Award in 2019.

More DVDs:
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Favourite, Free Solo, If Beale Street Could Talk, Of Fathers and Sons, On Her Shoulders, The World Before Your Feet

The Practice of Finding
By Holly W. Whitcomb      
This exceptional spiritual book delivers spunk and grace in equal measure, helping us "recognize with humility and wonder that the universe contains possibilities beyond our power to imagine." Whitcomb explores many aspects of the spiritual practice of finding, which she explains is an antidote to chronic seeking.
More Books:  Order of the Sacred Earth, Radical Generosity, Free Spaces
Children's Books   

When I Found Grandma
By Saumiya Balasubramaniam      
Maya wishes her grandmother lived nearby and could pick her up from school, but when her grandmother flies from India to visit, she's not the way Maya expected her to be. How can they get past this disappointing gap?
More Children's Books:  The Biggest Puddle in the World; Good Night, Wind; Look and Be Grateful; Rosie and Rasmus; Stonewall

KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Himadri Agarwal

A teenager asks people what makes them happy, and their responses confirm that "it does not take a perfect life to bring a perfect smile."

Process Musings Blog
By Jay McDaniel
Faith-nourished trust is not trust that God intended our friends to have Alzheimer's or that our caring for them is part of a divinely ordained plan. It is trust that God is with them and us no matter what happens, as a fellow sufferer, and that God is embracing them and us in redeeming ways at every moment.
More Blogs: A Prayer for Awareness of Sanctity of Life
The Practicing Democracy Project 

Books about Community
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat     
To celebrate the new Community topic (see Editors' Pick above), we are republishing reviews of classics from our archives:
Community and Politics of Place by Daniel Kemmis contends that present-day issues such as voter participation, wilderness and farm policy, and economic development strategies all cry out for individuals to work together to renew civic culture.
The New Community: A Portrait of Life Together in Words and Pictures by Elizabeth O'Connor describes the mission of the Christian church as creating liberating communities of caring.
The Spirit of Community: Rights, Responsibilities, and the Communitarian Agenda by Amitai Etzioni, the founder of the Communitarian movement, outlines recommendations to improve civic life.
Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal by Andrew Hacker marshals an impressive array of statistics to establish a case of ongoing discrimination against blacks, as evident in racial differentials for family life, earnings, employment, education, and crimes.
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere and the first day of Autumn in the southern hemisphere are newly behind us, ushering in days of beauty. Enjoy what you see and share it with others through the awareness, spontaneity, appreciation, and wonder that photography brings to the fore. 
A Thought to Carry with You  

Perhaps as a child -- or as caregiver for a child -- you have had the opportunity to read Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic The Secret Garden. If you were fortunate enough to do so, you may remember these lines:

"At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done -- then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts -- just mere thoughts -- are as powerful as electric batteries -- as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison."

As you gaze into a new season, allow yourself to envision wondrous and unexpected turns of events, especially ones that, through envisioning, you can help bring to pass. These could be healings of torn relationships, kindnesses to our generous Earth, advocacy for people on the margins, creative projects that restore faith in beauty, or even compassion for your own very human vulnerability. You will find that (quoting again from Hodgson Burnett) "where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow."
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Margaret Wakeley