January 27, 2017

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

A new 21-day program
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
February 5 - 25, 2017
Would you like to explore spiritually literate counter-cultural ways to see things differently? This 21-day program provides readings and practices to help you reframe your experiences, turning adversity into advantage, disillusionment into blessings, and stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Daily emails for three weeks will help you not be overwhelmed by the immense negativities afoot in our world today. Learn more and sign up here:

This celebration during the first week of February spreads the message of tolerance among the followers of all the world's religious and spiritual traditions. Let's use it as another opportunity to uphold the best in humanity.

More Practices: Birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Mohandas K. Gandhi Day; Birthday of Thomas Merton; Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Imbolc

Open registration through February 28, 2017   

Through the end of February, we are inviting new people to join this group of contemplative photography buffs -- at all levels -- who explore together images that restore our hearts and our world. For an example of what these creative people have been doing, here's a gallery that gives you a  sampling of how they explored the theme of "Confusion or Chaos?":
Practice Group 2 Gallery: Confusion or Chaos?

Read more about this supportive, engaging group and sign up here: www.spiritualityandpractice.com/ContemplativePhotographers2
A new e-course by Frank Rogers, Sally Taylor, Ted Falcon, Jamal Rahman, Philip Goldberg, and Thomas Moore   
January 16 - February 23, 2017

Join this relevant and vital discussion! When you sign up, you will find Christianity and Buddhism sessions archived on your account page, and you can read the dynamic conversations already taking place in the Practice Circle from a worldwide online community. Judaism with Rabbi Ted Falcon is coming up next, followed by Islam and Sufism, Hinduism, and Spiritually Independent sessions.

Directed by Asghar Farhadi

This Oscar-nominated foreign language film features layered and nuanced performances. It focuses on a devastated husband whose kindness crumbles into vengefulness when he tries to protect his wife after she is sexually assaulted.

More Films: The Daughter, Julieta, Midsummer in Newton, The Age of Consequences

Directed by Amy Hardie

This heart-affecting documentary about people at a Scottish hospice gives us a view into the importance of deep listening and music's healing balm as people face life's impermanence. It debuts Monday, January 30, 2017, on the PBS television series POV (Point of View)


Directed by Susannah Bier

This six-part miniseries based on John le Carre's 1993 novel brilliantly portrays how deals in the world arms trade are put together in the post-Cold War era. In this story, the dealers are even aided by corrupt English intelligence officers.

The Light between Oceans, The Vessel

Books for Living
By Will Schwalbe

This impressive treatment of books as blessed life companions will no doubt give you a few titles to add to your reading list. Twenty-six books are recommended on such themes as slowing down, searching, recharging, and finding friends. 

More Books:
The Distressed Body, Language at the Speed of Sight, EMDR and the Universal Healing Tao, Moon Wisdom  

Spiritual Literacy Blog
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

And now the good news! We respond to reports from unconventional New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who takes a look at some global advances that according to important metrics made 2016 one of the best years in history.

More Blogs: A Commonplace Book: My Collage Art 

New Addition to the Living Spiritual Teachers Project
Donald Altman believes that it only takes a few grains of mindfulness each day to deepen enjoyment in daily life. Here are links to reviews of his books, articles, interviews, quotes, video clips, and websites about his practical teachings on making positive changes, one moment at a time.
From Our Wisdom Archive   

Unity is about affirming commonalities. This can be as simple as acknowledging how you are like another person. These books, films, personal explorations, quotes, teaching stories, videos, suggested actions, and much more guide you in the vital endeavor of making unity a reality in our times.

A Thought to Carry with You  

"The splendid discontent of God / With chaos, made the world," writes Ella Wheeler Wilcox in her poem "Discontent," putting the word "chaos" into a different light than we usually perceive. Most of us like some sense of knowing what's coming, of order, of security. But at times in most lives -- and over the course of history -- we instead encounter churning uncertainty. It's what we do with it that matters.

Wilcox refers to the chaos of Genesis 1:2; in the beginning, the earth was "formless and void," or, in Hebrew, tohu wa-bohu, which can also be read as "chaos." God's calling forth of the light, separating light and darkness, separating water and sky, making a place for dry ground, and so forth -- that is, God's superabundant creativity -- brings everything into a magnificent order, crafted from the chaos.

That may be why Septima Poinsette Clark proclaimed: "I have a great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift." 

That may also be why it is not Pollyannaish to maintain hope in these chaotic times. Whatever is coming to the surface needs to be observed in the light of all that we understand from our many years of being human. Through experience and spiritual practice, what have we learned about what matters? Let's take that and apply it now to making something awesome from chaos.
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito