August 5, 2016

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

Curated by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

"Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as a sorrow or a joy," Henri J. M. Nouwen tells us. "It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate our shared humanity." On this "Topic" page, you will find an array of resources -- art, articles, books, films, music, video clips, and much more -- to encourage your openness to surprise.  

by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

In difficult times, we need each other and we need the strength that spiritual practices provide. If the daily news makes you feel like you want to hunch up in a ball to protect yourself, these ideas are the right medicine.

More Practices: Birthday of Maggie Kuhn, Birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Feast Day of St. Clare of Assisi

An e-course by Mary Ann and Frederic Brussat     
August 1 - September 9, 2016

"Give thanks for unknown blessings
already on their way."
-- Native American Prayer

It's not too late to join us for this treasury of wisdom. Read more and sign up here:
A new e-course by Judith Favor
August 8 - September 2, 2016 

Spiritual journaling helps bring attention, intention, and action together, and amazing things can happen as a result. The clarity you find on the page grants you courage to step into new places, new perspectives, and new powers. This e-course provides journaling tips and prompts. Read more and sign up here: 
Started Sunday, July 31, 2016
Registration open through August 31, 2016

Post your photos, offer supportive feedback to others, and share insights into how photography enhances your contemplative path. Every Sunday, you will receive a short email with the week's suggested theme, including photography tips or quotes chosen to inspire your photographic reflections. Read more and sign up here:

Directed by Mark Osborne
This film takes Antoine Saint-Exupery's imaginative tale about a pint-sized extraterrestrial and overlays a story about a little girl in our times. The new version is true to the original's spirit. Its universal themes -- friendship, wonder, wisdom, creativity, heart, and mystery -- carry appeal for the child in each of us and are reinforced by astonishing animation that mimics some of the water-color illustrations in the book.

More Films:
Café Society, Gleason, Hieronymus Bosch, Neither Heaven nor Earth, Our Little Sister, Richard Linklater, The Tenth Man
Film Feature

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
"You are heir to the dowry of delights on the estate of Earth." This and 14 other spiritual messages from the movie will lift your heart with wonder, reverence, playfulness, and love.

DVDs and Streaming

Directed by Rob Burnett

In this well-done dramedy, a newly certified caregiver comes up with a wild idea which he hopes will give his charge -- an angry teenager who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy -- a new lease on life. The two of them plan a car trip to visit a series of roadside tourist attractions, and on the way they pick up a hitch-hiking runaway teenager and a pregnant woman.

More DVDs and Streaming: The American Side, Dough, Last Days in the Desert, The Lobster, Louder than Bombs, Marguerite, Requiem for the American Dream, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, There Is a New World Somewhere   

Interfaith Leadership
By Eboo Patel

The founder of Interfaith Youth Corp hits high stride in this comprehensive primer. He hopes that new interfaith leaders will be bridge-builders. Among the personal qualities they will need to have are grit, craft, and the ability to build relationships.  
More Books: Buechner 101, Earth Blessings, Sudden Justice 

Man Greeting Woman
By Ken Kiff

"All real life is meeting," the great Jewish scholar Martin Buber stated. In his depiction of a mysteriously open exchange between two human beings, Ken Kiff marvelously captures an intimacy often missing from commercially driven large works.


KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Gracie Griffin

Simplicity. Peace. Integrity. Community. Equality. A young Quaker writes about how living by this SPICE mantra from her tradition helps her use her powers of reflection to search for the truth. 
From Our Wisdom Archive   

The call of service is not always easy or uplifting. Some hazards -- such as misunderstanding, exhaustion, and burnout -- come with the territory. Nonetheless, young and old continue to be buoyed by their experience of community while providing service and by the personal fulfillment of doing something worthwhile for others. Here are 20 of our favorite quotes on service.  
A Thought to Carry with You  

Do you think of yourself as a conspirator? Conspiracy literally means "breathing together" or "blowing together," like musical instruments sounding in unison. It comes from the Latin root spirare -- "to breathe" -- the same source as the word "spirit."

Our being here together practicing spirituality, then, is a conspiracy: a breathing and sounding together. Doesn't that make good sense? Spirituality is inherently counter-cultural, even radical (literally, "rooted"). It leads us to follow an authority more trustworthy than any human leadership. It gives us permission to search and question in societies that are largely lulled into complicity. It puts values like peace and compassion above values like material gain and entitlement.

We needn't get too discouraged, then, when we see how slowly everything changes. Author and speaker Marilyn Ferguson's words still ring in our ears: "Cultural transformation announces itself in sputtering fits and starts, sparked here and there by minor incidents, warmed by new ideas that may smolder for decades. In many different places, at different times, the kindling is laid for the real conflagration -- the one that will consume the old landmarks and alter the landscape forever." And Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy reminds us that "another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." 

As we breathe together with her -- con spirare -- through our daily spiritual practice, we receive a foretaste of that peaceful, compassionate vision and at the same time help form its very foundation.
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito