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SpiritualityandPractice.com

November 8, 2019
Editors' Picks
By Frederic Brussat

Within all the spiritual traditions, short and sweet wisdom abounds: from mantras and blessings to 12-step slogans and proverbs, and more. As philosopher George Santayana once said: "To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired." In this new blog, we
take up the quest for small seeds of spiritual wisdom, which can be found everywhere.

A democracy's health is best reflected in examples of how people practice it through their commitments to shared values and virtues. In this blog, we present stories of democracy-in-practice. Learn about a helpful assessment tool for meetings, democracy on the basketball court, socials for community connection, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada.
Practices
By S&P Team

November 9th marks the birth of a pioneer in the advocacy of a "universe story" and the espousal of an Earth-based spirituality. Thomas Berry spent his life studying and teaching ecological living — what he called "the Great Work" of our time — to all who would listen.

More Practices : Dylan Thomas Day, Birthday of Bahaullah, Anniversary of Seeds of Peace UNESCO Prize, Birthday of Isaac Bashevis Singer

Treat yourself to daily inspiration, for free! Our Spiritual Practice of the Day email program delivers wisdom from the world's spiritual traditions along with practical and specific first steps to embrace these ideas in your everyday life. Sometimes these practices are activities to do; other times they are questions for reflection.
E-Courses
A collection of retreat opportunities

From "A Simple Immediacy" by Cynthia Bourgeault to "Advent of the Heart" by Contemplative Outreach, "A Universal Christmas" by Thomas Moore, "Everyday Mysticism" by our S&P Team, and many more, these holiday retreats offer wonderful chances for contemplation -- and they also make great gifts under $50.

Read more and sign up:
By Anne Boynton, Pat Hoertdoerfer, and Joanne Turnbull of Sage-ing International

Be intentional about the seeds you sow as you move through your elder years. Join us for this e-course to explore legacy planning tools, grand-generational mentoring, service to family, community, and the Earth, and much more.

Read more and sign up:
More Online Programs :

Spiritual Direction in partnership with Stillpoint is available to you until (at least) the end of January 2020.

Promises of the Heart , an e-course by Carl McColman, remains open until Friday, November 22, 2019.
Films
Directed by Kasi Lemmons

This moving biopicture follows Harriet Tubman's life from the time she heeded the inner call of freedom to her full stature as a legendary conductor on the Underground Railroad, successfully eluding the planters' and slave catchers' attempts to capture her and those she guided.
By Pedro Almodóvar

Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical masterpiece is a fugue of both regret and resurrection. He exhumes the underlying causes of a film director's physical, emotional, and creative paralysis -- not bleakly, but with a fabulous lightness and brightness within dramatic darkness.

Music has always been a part of movies, but in 2018 – 2019, many movies are actually about music. This collection is a mix of documentaries, histories, and celebrations of the salutary impact of music on people coping with difficult times.

More Films : Adopt a Highway, The Cave, Clemency, Gift, Guest House, It: Chapters I and II, The Kill Team, The Laundromat, Light from Light, The Lighthouse, Midnight Traveler, Mother, Mountaintop, Parasite (Gisaengchung), Queen of Hearts, Serendipity, Saudi Women's Driving School, Steven Universe: The Movie
DVDs
Directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska

This heart-stirring eco-documentary -- the most awarded film at this year's Sundance Festival -- tells the story of Hatidze Muratova, a Macedonian woman who collects wild bees to live in hives she has set up in stone walls.


More DVDs : Ash Is Purest White, Luce, Midsommar, Red Joan, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Books
By Pierre Pradervand

"To bless means to wish, unconditionally, total, unrestricted good ... from the deepest chamber of your heart," writes the author, who believes blessings have great transformative and healing power. He shares original blessings and also ones he has collected from a wide variety of sources.

More Books : Consuming Passions, Galapagos Islands, Patriotism and the American Land, Welcome the Unwelcome, We Are the Weather
Children's Books
By Kwame Alexander

This book by a New York Times bestselling author lauds African American resilience and achievement, capturing what is left out of textbooks because "to truly know who we are as a country, we have to accept and embrace all of our woes and wonders."
By Grace Lin

Any seasoned parent can tell you that preschoolers like to experiment with boundaries. A wise parent strictly enforces rules sparingly, because children need to learn some things for themselves. This book gives us just such a wise mother and a boy of appealingly unfettered spirits.

More Children's Books : Alphabreaths, Hangry, It Feels Good to Be Yourself, Love You Head to Toe, Luca's Bridge (El puente de Luca), Paws and Edward, Sadie and the Silver Shoes, Selkie, The Tallest Tree House, The Thank-You Game, When You're Scared, The World's Poorest President Speaks Out
Arts

This artist and educator said, "It is a huge danger to pretend that awful things do not happen. But you need enough hope to keep going. I am trying to make hope. Flowers grow out of darkness." Learn about her life and work, reflect on a collection of her art, and take time for personal exploration and spiritual practice.

More Arts : Birthday of Claude Monet
Blogs
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Abdullah Sayed
 
Islam is not only a religion of peace, but also a doctrine of humility and discipline, as this high school student eloquently illustrates with stories from his life as the son of immigrants growing up in Queens, New York.
Process Musings Blog
By Jay McDaniel
 
Fame, fortune, and other societal goals cease to matter much when you start measuring life's value by moments of experience, compassion, beauty, and the ongoing journey.
Practicing Democracy Project
By Lucas Hackett-Provenzano

The line of communication that representatives foster with those they are elected to serve should be the main impetus for political action. These spiritual practices aid in the listening process and encourage constructive dialogue.
Practicing Democracy Project: Film
Directed by Jacqueline Olive

The horrific legacy of historical and current anti-black lynching in the United States still mars the country’s troubled history, even as its details are often swept under the rug of "post-racial" hopes. This documentary seeks to uncover those intentions and reveal them in stark light to a society that still doesn’t want to collectively see.

More in the Practicing Democracy Project :

Want to learn more about the Practicing Democracy Project?
From Our Wisdom Archive
A gallery from the film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

From a packed swimming pool in China to a caravan of yaks in Pakistan to a covered market in Haiti and shots of expressive faces, this gallery from the monumental documentary moves us to recall our unity with others around the globe. Read our review and get links to the film on YouTube .
A Thought to Carry with You
In our lifetimes we have seen far too many reminders of this fitting description of human beings in Maya Angelou's poem "On the Pulse of Morning":

"You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance."

"Face down," where we cannot even see the impact of our actions and failures to act. For "too long," because millennia ago we learned that even an ounce of mercy does more for us than a ton of hostility.

What shall we do with this contradictory nature of ours, capable of coming up with such oxymorons as "religious war" and "militant pacifist"? We have every reason to wonder what sanity means when allegedly sane people harm or massacre each other in the name of God.

Sri Swami Satchidananda wrote, "To regain our sanity is our purpose. Let us play with our varieties but not fight about them. ... And never negate anybody in the name of religion or race or color or creed."

Then we will know how to follow Angelou's encouragement: "Do not be wedded forever to fear, yoked eternally to brutishness. The horizon leans forward..."
 
Blessings, 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Margaret Wakeley