December 30, 2016

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat  

From features to foreign-language films to documentaries and animated movies, here are our recommendations of the best cinematic spiritual companions for you. With a single click, you can read a full review of any of the 55 movies listed to see why it is a uniquely excellent expression of our Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.

Donate Now  

As a part of S&P's online community, have you found an inspiring book or film, discovered a new spiritual practice that speaks to what you are feeling, or felt the joy of learning from the comfort of your own home while in the company of a large circle of kindred spirits? If you have had any of these experiences, we invite you to give generously today so that others may also benefit from our "School of Spiritual Life."  

How inspiring to have a moment in the year when we all take a look at what can be left behind to make way for the new! Here are reflections, quotes, and spiritual practices to guide you in bringing 2016 to a close. 

Live in the present moment. Cultivate the art of making connections. Learn from spiritual teachers. These ten resolutions based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy will truly make a difference in your life during 2017. You can also download a pdf of them here; it's suitable for printing and keeping near you for ongoing inspiration.

More Practices: Birthday of E. M. Foster, St. Seraphim of Sarov Day, Feast Day of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, George Washington Carver Day  

A new e-course by Roger Housden (all new poems!)       
January 1 - 31, 2017

Whether you are new to poetry or live in its lyrical orb, Roger's commentaries, audio recordings, suggested practices, and tools for reflection will enhance your appreciation of poems drawn from Mary Oliver, Jelaluddin Rumi, Denise Levertov, and other treasured voices. Starts on Sunday -- New Year's Day -- but you can sign up even after that and easily get caught up. Sign up here: 
A new e-course by Frank Rogers, Sally Taylor, Ted Falcon, Jamal Rahman, Philip Goldberg, and Thomas Moore        
January 16 - February 23, 2017

Representing Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Sufism, Hinduism, and the Spiritually Independent, our six esteemed presenters share with you the ways in which compassion practice is core to their traditions. A two-day a week format gives you extra time to drink in these teachings. Read more and sign up here: 

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

This lovely tribute to the life and times of a young man who savors words and the beauties to be celebrated in poems is one of our very favorite films of 2016. It confirms what we have known for a long time -- there is nothing in the world as important as love!

More Films: Fences, Silence, 20th Century Women  

Directed by Oliver Stone

This insightful portrait of courage and heroism in an age of cyber attacks was relevant when it came out and has only grown in significance since then.

More DVDs: A Man Called Ove

Drawn Together
By Leah Pearlman

Pearlman, the creator and founder of the popular web series Dharma Comics, has collected the favorite comic strips from fans into a funny, clever, and wise collection. And while you're checking out the review, why not enjoy our Laughing Topic

More Books: Becoming a Soulful Educator, Prison Industrial Complex for Beginners, Raising Human Beings
Children's Books   

By Chris Haughton
What can Little Bear do when he is not sleepy and everyone else is heading to bed? This comforting, colorful book will soon have you yawning along with him.

More Children's Books: Creation   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

We pray not only for those who have been killed or injured by weapons sold by companies more concerned with making money than with making peace, but also for those who finance, produce, and sell weapons. May we all be touched by compassion.

Elder Spirituality Project

By Ian Brown 
The diary of this award-winning writer asks all the right questions about the sacred zone of elderhood and provides plenty of wisdom to digest. Visit the Elder Spirituality Project What's New page to discover more resources for and about elders.

From Our Wisdom Archive   

Enter the New Year reverently with these invocations, poems, and benedictions. "When all the strings of my life will be tuned," writes Rabindranath Tagore, "then at every touch of Yours will come out the music of love." 

A Thought to Carry with You  

The end of the year brings us an opportunity to allow time to slow down and make room for memories, a subjective repository that keeps significant moments close to us. As Sam Ishii-Gonzalez wrote in a review of Andrei Tarkovsky's film Zerkalo (Mirror), "an image slowly materializes, makes its presence felt, and then vanishes, but not from the mind's eye where it leaves a permanent impression." Many of these memories we cherish. Others prove more difficult to behold.
For that reason, we find a French poem of Armand Silvestre's a perfect benediction for 2016 and invocation for 2017. Here it is, translated into English by Rob Brezsny and published in his book Pronoia:

"I want the morning to ignore
the name I told the night.
I want it to evaporate silently,
like a tear drop in the dawn wind.

"I want the day to proclaim
The love I hid from the morning.
I want it to bend over my open heart
and set it aflame, like a grain of incense.

"I want the sunset to forget
The secret I told the day,
And carry it away with my love
In the folds of its pale robe."

As we turn the corner to 2017, may we forget what needs forgetting and find the help we need to proclaim our love ... not only with words, but with the very fabric of our lives.

Every blessing for the New Year,

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