October 14, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick

Through his art and the lens of faith, John August Swanson advocates for people and the Earth in arenas like water quality, hunger, immigration policy, nuclear weapons, solitary confinement, the death penalty, environmental degradation, sustainability, and peace. Here are vibrant, colorful images which he has given you permission to share on your social media accounts. 

Kim Rosen suggests ways you can develop an intimacy with one special poem that at first infatuates you but in time comes to calm, center, and profoundly encourage you. We go on to provide sacred poetry resources to help you find your way with this practice.

More Practices: Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila, World Food Day


Teilhard for Our Times
A new e-course by Cynthia Bourgeault      
ber 31 - December 2, 2016

Teilhard de Chardin was a mystic, whose deeply questing spirit drew him to be ordained as a Jesuit. He was a scientist, earning his Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of Paris. And he was an exile, sent by his superiors first to China, then to New York City. Yet in his enforced intellectual isolation, he birthed a stunningly comprehensive and profound worldview. Read more about this unprecedented e-course on his teachers and sign up here:
A new e-course by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat        
October 31 - November 20, 2016

"In the middle of the world's pain and sorrow, the contented person has perhaps the greatest lively virtue of them all," writes Robin R. Meyers. "She is neither embittered, nor compulsive. She does what she can, planting a few seeds, and then waits upon that mysterious thing the ancients called 'the fullness of time.' " Our 21-day exploration amidst online community helps build this essential quality into your life. Read more and sign up here:

Directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack

This stirring portrait conveys Maya Angelou's perseverance that allowed her to triumph over tragedy. She became a poet, actress, dancer, film director, activist, educator, historian, and author, even though whenever she reached for her pen to write, she had to -- in her own words -- scrape it across her scars.

More Films: Aquarius, Being 17, Coming through the Rye, U.S. Go Home, Haramiste 

Directed by David Yates

More than just another adventure story, this mythic film with extraordinary cinematography brings us into the realm of Loren Eiseley's observation: "Do not forget your brethren, nor the green wood from which you sprang. To do so is to invite disaster. . . ."


Little Pieces of Light
By Joyce Rupp

How do you learn to befriend the darkness of suffering, fear, and abandonment as a holy experience? In this revised and expanded edition of her classic book, Rupp affirms an ever-growing assurance that "the unwelcome parts of life hold the possibility of being catalysts for spiritual transformation." An excerpt gives you a personal ritual for those times when you feel separate from God. 

More Books: Broadcasting Happiness, Life on Purpose 

By Kevin Macdonald 

In this fascinating documentary, Chinese environmental artist Cai Guo-Qiang literally explodes on to the contemporary art scene with inventive lightshows that are visual feasts of movement, color, and beauty.


KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Naomi Chasek-Macfoy

The beauty of song is intensely spiritual: a rare communion with the divine. It grants relatively dry prayers new vitality. It joins collections of disparate believers (or doubters) into communities, complete with all of the attending strength and animation.

From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic Brussat

October has been designated as "Emotional Intelligence Month," a time to ponder and practice the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. We have combed through our quotes database and large archive of book excerpts to find thought-provoking material for each day in October -- or any month!

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 writes, "To regain our sanity is our purpose. Let us play with our varieties but not fight about them. Let us be together as beautiful children of that one supreme God. ... 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..."

Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Patricia Campbell Carlson
Darren Polito