December 16, 2016

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

By Thomas Moore  

Embrace the mystery. Ponder Christmas as an archetypal event. Meditate on the nativity scene. Enjoy carols, the abiding angel music of this season of good cheer. This gem of a book imparts these and many more ways to ponder the sacred and soulful dimensions of Christmas. Read an excerpt on why Santa is a holy figure.

"Let us invite our hearts to be glad for the courage winter proclaims." Delve into these poems, prayers, readings, and practices to usher in the year's deepest quietude and longest night.  
More Practices: Birthdays of Jane Austin, Bede Griffiths, and Paul Klee

A new e-course by Roger Housden   
January 1 - 31, 2017

Communion with nature. The intersection of time and the timeless. Abandoning yourself to love. Finding what is in your heart to be lived. Roger Housden, one of our favorite e-course presenters, has chosen all-new poems on these and other themes to give you a fresh boost for the New Year. Read more and sign up here:

Looking for a meaningful, convenient, last-minute gift? Treat a friend or loved one to a treasury of wisdom through our selection of close to 200 e-courses. You will find themes for everyone's tastes, everything from "As It Is: Spiritual Journaling" to "Zen and Everyday Life." We have four gift-certificate options available, starting at as little as $21.  
Send an E-Course Gift Certificate!  

Directed by Kenneth Lonergan

Casey Affleck gives one of the most impressive performances of the year, conveying the guilt, depression, and isolation of a working-class New Englander undone by past tragic events.

More Films: Collateral Beauty, Miss Sloane, Moana, Neruda  

Directed by Ezra Edelman  
This immensely ambitious television documentary not only covers O.J. Simpson's career and murder trial but also far-reaching themes like police brutality, domestic violence, the high-wire act of fame, and racial prejudice in the criminal justice system. As journalist Celia Farber says, "We talk about O.J. as though the story is O.J. The story is O.J. and us."
More DVDs: Little Men; Hooligan Sparrow; Life, Animated

Sacred Ecstatics
By Bradford and Hillary Keeney 
Over the years, the Keeneys have been invited to join and lead ceremonies on the Kalahari dance ground, the seiki benches of old Japan, the praise houses of the Caribbean, and the holiness black churches of America. Here they encourage you to call a greater immensity into your life. Read an excerpt on handling spiritual fire and enjoy this gallery that takes you step-by-step through their practice "I Am the Light of the World."  
More Books: Act Justly Love Tenderly, But What If We're Wrong, Silence and Beauty  
Children's Books   

Before Morning
By Joyce Sidman  

This book written and illustrated by Newbery and Caldecott honorees takes the form of an invocation -- a poem that invites something to happen -- and gives children and all of us permission to wish for what's soothing and strengthening.


By Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre

This sensational eight-hour documentary taps into the energy, creativity, and emotional vibrancy of recorded music in a golden age when musicians and the technological breakthroughs available to producers combined to create pioneering sounds.


By Frederic Brussat

Lakota spiritual leader and medicine man Chief Leonard Crow Dog and Standing Rock Sioux spokeswoman Phyllis Young were among several Native elders who thanked U.S. veterans for standing with them during Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Then veterans addressed the elders, asking for forgiveness for the long brutal history between the United States and Native Americans.


"For a Buddhist, enlightenment is the development of the faculty of the imaginative vision that enables us to see the world in a transfigured way." Learn from the quotes, videos, books, and more of this Soto Zen roshi and founder of the Everyday Zen Foundation.
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Poetry, meditations, journaling, crafts, a scrapbook, and observation of nature all help open your eyes and ears so that you can discover Winter as a wonderland. 

A Thought to Carry with You  

Emily Dickinson's poems often pose unforgettable questions that settle into our consciousness like Zen koans. Take this one, for instance:

The Infinite a sudden Guest
Has been assumed to be --
But how can that stupendous come
which never went away?

Mystical theologian Meister Eckhart put it this way: "God is at home; it is we who have gone out for a walk." What kind of a walk? Well, Paula D'Arcy in Sacred Threshold mischievously created a checklist called "Guaranteed Ways to Miss the Hidden God." Among her tongue-in-cheek "suggestions" are live your life at high speed, stay scattered and distracted, and don't laugh, especially at yourself. You can read her whole list here.

After you're through being charmed and humbled by D'Arcy's perceptive observations, pause and return to Emily Dickinson's question, "How can that stupendous come which never went away?" Let these words sink into your memory, or write them out on a piece of paper to carry with you. Then let them remain with you as a reassuring reminder -- one that helps you not miss that steady, unfailing Presence. 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito