July 28, 2017

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

Directed by Aisling Walsh  

One of the year's most quaint and moving stories, Maudie shows the transformation of a creative young woman crippled by rheumatoid arthritis who through determination and bold choices becomes one of Canada's most famous folk artists.

A film feature curated by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat  
From Artemesia to Waste Land, these feature, foreign-language, and documentary films draw us into the lives of artists who are trailblazers, activists, luminaries, and resilient human beings facing tremendous obstacles to their creativity.


By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

"Trees do not force their sap," the poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote, "nor does the flower push its bloom."
To whet your appetite for the e-course on Letting Go, we offer this article on the value of various kinds of release: of fixed ideas, control, worry, hurry, and more.

More Practices: Birthdays of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Maggie Kuhn, Raoul Wallenberg, and Louis Armstrong; Isaac Luria Day; Anniversary of Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

A new e-course by Ron Pevny    
July 31 - August 25, 2017 (Starts Monday!)

Transition is allowing change to change us: to expand our awareness, open our heart, broaden our thinking, deepen our connection to what is most authentic in us, increase our aliveness, and strengthen our resilience. To explore the essential wisdom of endings, in-between times, and new beginnings, read more and sign up:
An e-course by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat    
August 6 - 26, 2017

Recovery programs say that it takes three weeks to break a habit or establish a new practice. So this program consists of 21 daily emails with nuggets of spiritual wisdom and related exercises to help you practice letting go. Read more and sign up:
Contemplative Photographers Practice Group - Year 3
August 6, 2017 - July 29, 2018     

Looking through a camera lens is "a mighty opportunity for a magical exchange," writes award-winning writer, photographer, and multimedia artist Jan Phillips. After her enriching 2015 photography e-course, we created an online group for anyone who wants to share and grow as a contemplative photographer. We're excited to be starting Year 3! Read more and sign up:

Directed by Christopher Nolan

This spectacular war movie takes the audience inside the experience of the WWII battle at the beach in Dunkirk, France, vividly depicting the senselessness, the fear, and the randomness of death by land, air, and sea.

More Films:
Brave New Jersey, The Fencer, Menashe, The Wrong Light 

Directed by Marc Webb
This well-acted drama about a family clash over custody of a seven-year-old math prodigy has emotional vibrancy, authenticity, and touches of wonder.

More DVDs: The Circle, Obit, The Ottoman Lieutenant, Wakefield

Holy Daring
By Tessa Bielecki

Teresa of Avila had that mysterious quality which the Spanish call duende -- a kind of raw, tempestuous energy. Bielecki honors her as her spiritual mentor, a doctor of the church, and a saint for all seasons.

More Books:
How to Bury a Goldfish, Inspiring Courage, Loving-Kindness in Plain English, Mature Interspirituality  
Children's Books   

By Sandy Eisenberg Sasso 
The light of the first day, according to the biblical tale brought alive by Sasso's colorful and magical book, made possible all the other days of creation. And it is still showing up in present-day hugs and the faces of newborn babies.

By Eleanor Goetz

A young woman reflects on how personal and varied our private views of God are. "Our personal concept of God is ever-changing because we change and the world we live in changes." 
More Blogs: Spiritual Literacy Blog - Discontented Baby Boomers 
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
With more than 40,000 web pages, our website has a lot of content on spiritual practices. For this toolkit, we chose one explanation for each of 260 tools, ranging from activism and affirmation to writing and yoga.

A Thought to Carry with You  

The eleventh-century Zen master Setcho Joken, in the Hekigan Roku (Blue Cliff Record), comments:

"Give up regret! How limitless is the pure wind circling the earth!"

This perception touches into the Arabic metaphor 'Afat-ir-reeh ul-'athar, which is an image of a desert wind blowing across the sands, erasing all tracks without a trace. It is related to the Sufi phrase Ya 'Afuw, invoking a special kind of clean-slate forgiveness, with no traces of resentment. This is not the only form of forgiveness, of course, but it is one worth recalling every so often.

A third version of this thought comes from the Chippewa people, translated here by Robert Bly:

"Sometimes I go about pitying myself,
and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky."

This week, look for ways that you can allow traces of regret, blame, and self-pity to be erased from your life. That may be by sitting quietly with one of the above three images, or by writing yourself a letter of pardon, or by getting back in touch with someone from whom you've been alienated, if the time is right to do so. Whatever you choose, let the winds blow through, and do not try to make it happen. This form of freedom comes as a gift.  
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito