May 20, 2016

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

Curated by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat and Patricia Campbell Carlson 

Wouldn't we all like to be flexible and able to improvise in the face of difficulties, to be peaceful in the midst of change, to tread softly on the Earth? Here are books, films, spiritual practices, e-courses, videos, quotes, and more -- drawn from deep wells of Taoist wisdom -- to guide us.  

By Mary Ann Brussat and Ethan Nichtern

How can we practice what Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh calls "interbeing," waking from the illusion of separation from other beings? You can start in your own home, your own neighborhood, your own city, as this personal inventory by Ethan Nichtern demonstrates.


Practicing Spirituality with Anthony de Mello
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat      
May 30 - July 8, 2016

Renowned Jesuit spiritual director Anthony de Mello never tired of reminding people to give time to be aware. You will see a change within a matter of weeks, he said: You will react less, act more, and see things you've never seen before. Read more and sign up here: 
By Thomas Keating and Contemplative Outreach      
June 6 - July 1, 2016

Originally told to seekers in an ancient land, each of Jesus' parables -- packed with clues about the meaning of life -- has as much relevance and resonance as ever for understanding God's mercy amid the struggles of today's fast-paced world.
Read more and sign up here:

Directed by Matt Brown

Even without formal training, Srinivasa Ramanujan could brilliantly see into the beautiful patterns and vast reaches of mathematics. This heartening biodrama tells the tale of his growing friendship with a cerebral scholar who finds the courage to stand up for him in the face of steep opposition and racial prejudice.

Another Film: Margarita with a Straw

Directed by Naji Abu Nowar

In this coming-of-age tale, a Bedouin boy, the son of a sheik, tries to survive and make sense of events after Arab bandits shoot two visitors to his clan -- and then his own brother.

More DVDs:
A Perfect Day  

The Path
By Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh

The authors believe that today's students are open to big ideas that will reframe everything they have been taught. And, as this book shows, Chinese sages have much to teach us about real engagement with the world through spontaneity, creativity, and new possibilities.

More Books: Way of Love, The Awakened Family 
Children's Books   

By Jacqueline Jules and Helen Cann  
Peacock was sound asleep when the world was new and the other birds received their colorful feathery arrays. What happens when he awakens will warm your heart -- and you will also enjoy the "Fun Facts about Peacocks" at the back of the book.


By following her passion at a time when only 20 percent of art students were female, impressionist painter Mary Cassatt helped blaze the way for women artists. 


By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Our prayers are with Rev. John Antal, a U.S. Army Chaplain who has resigned because drone warfare strikes "disproportionately kill innocent people and go against our country's high regard for human dignity."

More Blog Posts:
Spiritual Literacy Blog - Mapping Culture through a TV Competition  
Elder Spirituality Project

A vibrant dramedy, The Lady in the Van; a documentary about Tai Chi's journey west, The Professor; an e-course on "Sacred Presence with the Dying"; a video featuring Jane Goodall: These riches and more are yours to discover on our Elder Spirituality "What's New" page, updated each month.
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

All wisdom sharing is part of a conversation that has been going on for thousands of years in the sayings and writings of sages, scholars, novelists, poets, scientists, and theologians. Here's some wisdom to go for graduates in this age of fast food, fast cars, and fast movies.

A Thought to Carry with You  

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao-Tzu reminds us that the world is sacred, complete:

"Tamper with it:
You'll ruin it.
Treat it like an object:
You'll lose it."

Imagine the bloodshed, heartbreak, and ecological mayhem we humans could have averted if we had steadily listened to him throughout history. Every day we have a fresh chance to put such wisdom into action, but how can we avoid tampering and still get our needs met?

Part of the answer lies in noticing fluctuations in the tides of our lives without feeling obliged to control them. "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven," the wise author of Ecclesiastes tells us. So these further words of Lao-Tzu may sound familiar to you:

"a time for being ahead, 
a time for being behind; 
a time for being in motion, 
a time for being at rest; 
a time for being vigorous, 
a time for being exhausted; 
a time for being safe, 
a time for being in danger."

Can you see these varying times in your own life? In the organizations with which you're connected? In the affairs of nations? This week, cultivate 
an ability to yield when yielding is called for and to stand strong when strength is required. There is great wisdom in letting the right time for every purpose under heaven reveal itself.

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