October 30, 2018

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editors' Pick   

By Mary Ann Brussat

Shrug off any other discouraging developments, stomp the pavements, and get out the vote, including your own. In preparation for Election Day in the United States, we look at how you can bring practices such as compassion, hospitality, gratitude, kindness, listening, peace, reverence, justice, vision, and hope into the voting booth. You can also make your own Citizenship Vow and participate in a Voting Ritual.

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Bearing witness can be defined as acknowledging that something exists. Berit Reiss-Anderson, who chairs the Norwegian Nobel Committee, observes that women, "who constitute half of the population in most communities, actually are used as a weapon of war, that they need protection and that the perpetrators have to be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions."  
By Micah Bucey

Micah Bucey's October 2018 reflections at the "Blessing of the Animals" service at Judson Memorial Church, New York City, take us on a witty romp through existential questions with a wild wolf in beagle's clothing.
By Patricia Campbell Carlson  

When scholar and eco-feminist Vandana Shiva realized that the biotech industry wanted to take control of seed through patenting, she started her commitment to save seeds and to promote organic, ecological farming in the hands of small farmers.

More Practices: Halloween, All Saints Day, Birthday of Will Rogers, Birthday of Eugene Debs, Election Day

A new e-course by Sage-ing International and Nadya and Victor Gross
November 5 - 30, 2018 
Join us in November for an e-course on the life and thought of Reb Zalman, whose countless contributions and insights into the unfolding of shifts in consciousness and practice inspired a generation of seekers: first in the changing landscape of the American Jewish world and then beyond the boundaries of that tradition to multifaith communities. Read more and subscribe:
An e-course by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
November 12 - December 2, 2018 
We live in a society where hurry sickness is rampant. We have fast food, instant messaging, and overnight deliveries, but we also see more cases of stress, high-blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and substance abuse. And the problem concerns more than our personal lives; even many social justice activists acknowledge the importance of patience as movements are developing and change is being seeded. Read more and subscribe: 

Directed by Alexandria Bombach
This documentary is one of the Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2018. It provides an emotionally engaging portrait of a Yazidi woman from Iraq who has taken upon herself the daunting task of bearing witness to the genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State (ISIS). A 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nadia Murad is speaking not only for her own people, but for women all over the world who have suffered sexual abuse.

More Films: Bikini Moon, Burning (Beoning), Fahrenheit 11/9, First Man, The Guilty (Den Skyldige), Matangi/Maya/M.I.A, Monsters and Men, Private Life, The Sisters Brothers, A Star is Born, Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram  

Directed by  Debra Granik 
With one small act after another, this uplifting drama about a military vet and his daughter moves beyond their fears and affirms the kindness in the world.

More DVDs: American Chaos, The Catcher Was a Spy, Dark Money, Eighth Grade, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again 

Almost Everything
By Annie Lamott    
As in her previous books, bestselling author Annie Lamott wrestles with her feelings of self-dismay and self-destruction. Yet she balances yin with yang, recognizing that "life is way wilder than I am comfortable with, way farther out, as we used to say, more magnificent, more deserving of awe and, I would add, more benevolent -- well-meaning, kindly."   
More Books: Buddhas' Little Book of Life, A Dream Deferred, Guide My Feet, The Love Poems of Rumi, Prayers for Hard Times, Presidents of War, The Problem of Wealth, Radical Dharma, Read and Riot, Rejoice and Be Glad, The Silenced Majority, The Spiritual Poems of Rumi

By Ted Falcon

In response to the stunning and horrific assault on the Tree of Life Jewish congregation in Pittsburgh, Rabbi Ted Falcon reminds us that Anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise, but so are other forms of discrimination. We need to do all we can to change the energies overtaking us.

By Patricia Campbell Carlson

Several experts now point out that we misplace blame by calling extreme weather events "natural disasters," as if humans played no part in creating them. How, then, shall we pray?
Process Musings Blog
By Patricia Adams Farmer

Often, the most intense forms of beauty rise from the ashes of tragedy. Such is the story of how a bombed-out church from the London Blitz ended up in Patricia Adams Farmer's town in Missouri -- restored, renewed, and rehallowed. 
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Aditya Naik
Can something be both creative and destructive? Over the years, Naik's belief in the conflation of these apparently contradictory ideas has only grown stronger.


By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat   
Our treasured e-course partners, Contemplative Outreach, have shared with deep sorrow the passing of Fr. Thomas Keating: "Fr. Thomas offered his final letting go of the body on October 25, 2018 at 10:07 p.m. at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts. He modeled for us the incredible riches and humility borne of a divine relationship that is not only possible but is already the fact in every human being. ..." 

By S&P Team  
Paradoxically, consumerism is cheapening yet costly. It cheapens us by reducing our worth to what we accumulate. It's costly for the environment, our relationships, our integrity, and our sense of self-worth. The spiritual practices, blog posts, books, films, prayers, quotes, and more in this Topic help you understand the dimensions of the problem and find ways to respond.  
The Practicing Democracy Project  

By Eric Klinenberg   
Most of us know the term "infrastructure" in relation to crumbling roads, bridges, and rails. But in this watershed work, Klinenberg reveals that the future of democracy is being nourished and nurtured in our social infrastructure -- gathering spots where people connect, support one another, and work on projects to benefit the community.  
November Selection: A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, by Flannery O'Connor   
Novelist and critic Caroline Gordon wrote: "Miss O'Connor's stories are all about the operations of supernatural grace in the lives of natural men and women. Such operations are infinitely various but so delicate that they have eluded some of the subtlest writers" -- but not O'Connor. Join us for an exploration of democracy in these vivid and uncompromising stories. 
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By William Virgil Davis 
Here for your refreshment is a poem that hints at the mysteriousness of autumn, one of the many treasures that this vast Earth entrusts to our care. Robert Atwan and Rosanna Warren included "Leaves" in their elegiac collection, The Heart of Autumn

A Thought to Carry with You  

"When we bless others, we offer them refuge from an indifferent world," writes Rachel Naomi Remen. Anyone facing into recent news will appreciate the value of her nugget of wisdom. To see another -- whether they be a family member, friend, or stranger -- and silently wish them well in all dimensions of their lives creates a spiritual climate of compassion, healing, and grace. This principle can even carry over to the voting booth, a substantial way to convey our wishes for others' welfare. We cannot live without an atmosphere of blessing any more than we can live without fresh air to breathe.
Thank you for all the ways you contribute to this air of blessing that enfolds and protects the world! In a world where disregard can be seen in too many places, your every gesture of tender concern brings hope.   
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Margaret Wakeley 

P.S. Are you going to the Parliament of the World's Religions in Toronto, Canada, November 1 - 7? Mary Ann Brussat and Patricia Campbell Carlson will be there, along with Habib Todd Boerger, one of our Practicing Democracy Fellows, and Hannah Arin and Hannah Zuckerberg, two interns from Pitzer College. Look for us in the Fetzer Institute's conversation area in the Exhibit Hall. Contact us through the Parliament app, and come to our workshops, "Getting Off the Sideline" and "Loving Your Enemies." We'd love to connect with you!