February 12, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

To find a pause of peace or the solace of sanctuary: These are not discoveries that most of us readily allow ourselves. Terry is one of the finest teachers around for giving us the permission and the skill sets to make a gentler way of life possible.


The romance we associate with Valentine's Day dates back to a medieval English and French belief that in mid-February, birds begin to mate, as Chaucer writes:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

How much more meaningful the day becomes when we approach it by consciously practicing love, as this feature -- and these ideas about spiritually literate love -- encourage us to do!

More Practices: Birthdays of Sri Ramakrishna and Nikos Kazantzakis

written by Jan Phillips
February 15 - March 14, 2016  

Starting on Monday, please join us for a fascinating journey into melding photography with spiritual practice. Explore photography's healing power, the impact of images, divinity in our midst, new ways to add light to the world, and much more. Share your photos and enjoy those of others.

Lenten E-Courses: It's not too late to sign up for our two Lenten e-courses, if you've meant to do so and are only now finding time:

by Thomas Moore        
February 10 - March 27, 2016

by Thomas Keating, Mary Anne Best, and Susan Rush       
February 10 - March 25, 2016

Directed by Sean Mewshaw

This bittersweet romantic comedy tosses together a widow and her deceased husband's biographer as they awkwardly find their way towards what has been missing from their arsenal of love.

More Films: A War, Rams, Glassland, Mountains May Depart, Where to Invade Next  

Directed by Robert Allers  

Deeply moving and visually imaginative, this adaptation of a spiritual classic addresses questions of the heart asked by ordinary people.

More DVDs: Truth, Suffragette, Bridge of Spies, Breathe, 99 Homes, Grandma, Spectre

Replanting Ourselves in Beauty
By Jay McDaniel and Patricia Adams Farmer 

Where can we find a remedy to the shrinking of our souls caused by people's abuse of the earth? The editors of this compilation believe the answer lies in beauty. 

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 

In Giacometti's sculpture, we see isolated souls who bear witness to the vulnerability and the indestructibility of the human spirit -- even at the edge of the void.


By Darren Polito 
When we're at our wits' end, it's good to remember that "Perhaps it is not failure at all," as Virginia Satir observes, "it is simply feedback." Find more good advice in this gallery designed for you to share on social media.

The Ritual Space
By Darren Polito

Tromping through an apple orchard yields a ritual based on the insight that "my abundance is your abundance."

Other Posts: Spiritual Literacy Blog: The Importance of Hope in a Time of Climate Change, The Benefits of Inspiration
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
We have a great playlist of Love Songs for you to play on Valentine's Day! You can find songs about play, joy, hope, gratitude, and transformation on this page

A Thought to Carry with You  

If you have been fortunate enough to read Etty Hillesum's letters, you may remember what she wrote to her dear friends Jopie and Klaas from Westerbork prison camp:

"The misery here is quite terrible; and yet, late at night when the day has slunk away into the depths behind me, I often walk with a spring in my step along the barbed wire. And then time and again, it soars straight from my heart -- I can't help it, that's just the way it is, like some elementary force -- the feeling that life is glorious and magnificent, and that one day we shall be building a whole new world. Against every new outrage and every fresh horror, we shall put up one more piece of love and goodness, drawing strength from within ourselves."

"Drawing strength from within ourselves." This drawing of resources from an inner well allows us to be right in the middle of the world's misery and, even so, discover love. When we become aware, as Etty did, that all of life is pure gift, we gain access to two essential qualities: peace and wonder. Peace, in knowing that we need not depend on circumstances to bring us happiness. Wonder, in recognizing that our very breath comes to us miraculously, each inhalation another sign that we are loved.

May an extra dose of peace and wonder be yours in the week ahead. And may our appreciation of your being here be strongly heard by your heart.

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