April 1, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

By KidSpirit Online  

To celebrate our seventh year of bringing you a new poem each day during National Poetry Month, we have a marvelous gift: poems by creative young voices tackling life's big questions together. To kick off April's feast of poetry, join Anya Dunaif for " The Journey of the Mind."


Many different cultures and religious traditions acknowledge the significance of transitional places and times. This is something Frederic and Mary Ann have been thinking about since their cat Merton started sleeping on a threshold in their new home. See how you can make crossing thresholds a spiritual practice.


We salute the inter-species peace ambassador who wrote, "We still have a way to go. But we are moving in the right direction. If we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion, we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution -- and realize, at last, our most unique quality."

Ways to Pray from Around the World
An e-course by Maggie Oman Shannon 
April 4 - 29, 2016

What remarkable ways people pray! We display
prayer flags. Dress in ceremonial costumes. Listen to the resonant sounds of a prayer bowl. Draw mandalas. Count prayer beads. Learn new ways to pray that are hands-on and visual, and share your own. Sign up here:
A new e-course by Joan Chittister        
April 3 - 30, 2016

The quality of mercy is twice blessed, Shakespeare reminds us: It blesses those who give and those who receive. Let this blessing fall freshly upon you and all those you encounter through the sage guidance of a visionary who truly walks her talk. Sign up here:

Directed by Jeffrey D. Brown

This harrowing story of modern day sex trafficking represents one of tens of thousands of instances of young women sold into slavery each year. Learn how you can help protect victims.

More Films:
Catching the Sun, Eye in the Sky, Standing Tall, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, A Space Program, The Brainwashing of My Dad, Hello, My Name Is Doris    

Directed by Peter Landesman

A Nigerian-born forensic pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), risks his career as he demonstrates reverence in a quest for the truth about dementia resulting from blows to a football player's head.

More DVDs: In Defense of Food, Mediterranea, Humans, Nova: Memory Hackers, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, James White, The Letters

Dancing Mindfulness
By Jamie Marich 

Set your spirit free and allow the music to move you! This authoritative paperback makes a very good case for the art of dance as a legitimate form of meditation and a creative path for living your life. 
More Books: Hidden in God, Becoming, Darkness Before Dawn, Clearing Emotional Clutter, 90 at 90
Children's Books   

Over the Hills and Far Away
Collected by Elizabeth Hammill  

This outstanding treasury features best-loved nursery rhymes but also new discoveries from Native American, First Nation, Inuit, and Maori cultures -- on spreads created by 77 artists, many of them award-winning illustrators of children's books. 

By Jim Kalnin and Lois Huey-Heck 
This uplifting book encourages us to open our imaginative capacities, explore the bounties of the human adventure, and see the ordinary as filled with light and beauty.
More Arts: Mandalas: A Coloring Book 

By Darren Polito

Here's the ceremony we and 75 others used to greet Spring, observe our website's 10th Anniversary, and officially open our new Center for Spirituality & Practice in Claremont on March 20. It had three parts because threes invite unlimited perspectives and show us that we are integrally braided into the universe.

Learn about the courtesy practices of adab, experience awe-inspiring beauty, remember the Beloved. These and other blessings of threshold realms come to us from the Sufi path.  

From Our Wisdom Archive   

In this book excerpt, Wes "Scoop" Nisker suggests that we celebrate our foolishness: "that every truth we stumble on will probably be overturned." 

A Thought to Carry with You  

Most of us give ourselves way too little time to look absurdity in the face, so April Fool's Day comes as an essential reprieve. "A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed," G.K. Chesterton tells us, "but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttle-fish." Douglas Adams, with his usual wild wit, says it even more strongly: "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable."

Then he adds, "There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

This week, we invite you to let inexplicability be. If there doesn't seem to be a design making sense of your life at the moment, don't force one.  Remember the art of experimentation and untidiness that children know so well. "Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived," Anne Lamott reminds us. "What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here." Play with the pieces of your life, and perhaps with the aid of a little divine foolishness you can sculpt them into something unexpected, robust, and free.


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