April 11, 2017

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

By Anne Lamott 

This is the kind of writing we yearn for during these scary and unsettling times. Anne Lamott has been to hell and back many times and carries within herself survival character qualities that we cherish: resilience, wisdom, faith, and humor. In this new book, she defines mercy as radical kindness and encourages us to risk being changed by it.


"Only a heart broken open -- one that can have compassion for those who suffer -- can truly appreciate the new life represented by Easter." Here are two perspectives on the significance of Jesus' suffering on the cross on Good Friday.
Easter: Resurrection as a Spiritual Practice

Easter is more than just a day. What happens when we think of it as a verb? Then the resurrection becomes a spiritual practice in daily life. We offer you 37 possibilities based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.

More Practices: Birthday of Leonardo da Vinci 

A new e-course by Drew Leder       
May 1 - 26, 2017

There are many angles from which to consider breath: in healing, language ("it takes my breath away"), politics (the slogan for the Black Lives Matters movement, "I can't breathe"), ecology, inspiration (literally "breathe into"). We will look at all of these and more with the able guidance of Drew Leder, one of S&P's Living Spiritual Teachers. Read more and sign up here:
An e-course by James Kullander        
May 1 - 26, 2017

"We are pulled in so many directions and distracted by so many things that we are skipping across life like a flat stone over water," says James Kullander. "The result is that we are lonely for ourselves; we are lacking a real connection to what's truly meaningful to us. Only when we find that ... will we begin to alleviate our isolation from ourselves and others." Read more and sign up here:

Directed by Cesc Gay

Two long-time friends, Julian and Tomas, reminisce about the past and try to come to terms with Julian's impending death. This film is insightful, sensitive, and pitch perfect in its coverage of a difficult topic.
Directed by Terence Davies

Director Davies hits high stride with this biopicture of extraordinary poet Emily Dickinson, mixing laughter and tears with family life, feuds, passion, illness, religion, and the ever-changing quest for love and a life of meaning and purpose.

More Films:
The Death of Louis XIV, Karl Marx City, Salt and Fire

Directed by Werner Herzog 

In this true-to-life drama, explorer, scholar, archaeologist, and cross-cultural pioneer Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) escapes the constraints of her gender and travels widely, exploring and mapping deserts of the Middle East. Her exotic life and nonstop work over 28 years earns her the name "Queen of the Desert."

More DVDs: Hidden Figures, Lion, Paterson  

Wendell Berry and the Given Life
By Ragan Sutterfield

This rounded and enlightening book celebrates the wisdom of this sage who has been aptly called a "contemporary St. Benedict." Given the needed worldwide attention to climate change, food, and sustainability, Berry's words hit the mark.

More Books:
101 Mindful Ways to Build Resilience, The Stranger in the Woods, The Zen of You & Me  
Children's Books   

By Akiko Miyakoshi  

A young bunny rests peacefully cradled in his mother's arms as she carries him home through the dark streets of the city, full of enchanting sights, sounds, and smells. For those with a good imagination and a grateful heart, some nights are very special.

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

There is nothing glamorous or unusual about this plain woman, not the way she is dressed, the room she sits in, or the table and the pot and cup before her. And yet by elevating the ordinariness of the scene the painter makes a modest moment into something very lovely.


Spiritual Literacy Blog
By Frederic Brussat

Talking about weapons of war as objects of beauty, using war language to describe every disagreement and political conflict, and accepting the increasing escalation of linguistic weaponry is not going to help us find peace or even survive.
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Fareeha Shah

For this young Muslim writer, the feeling of spirituality only comes about when she knows what the truth is, and searching for the truth -- which illuminates the darkness -- is an integral part of her religious experience. 

More Blogs: A Prayer to Hear the Cries of the World

"Through the simple practice of seeing our own goodness, we undo the deeply rooted habits of blame and self-hate that keep us feeling isolated and unworthy," writes psychologist and Buddhist teacher Tara Brach. Her books and lectures abound in wisdom about breaking free from "the trance of unworthiness" and expressing compassion in action. Read more about her in our profile in the Living Spiritual Teachers Project. 

From Our Wisdom Archive   

Whether you celebrate Passover, Holy Week, or Spring's arrival, this time of year evokes reverence, expressed here in 14 songs ranging from "Adagio for Strings" and "Ave Maria" to "Garden Song" and "Ripple." 

A Thought to Carry with You  

Have you ever been on the ocean's edge on a stormy day when tides are shifting? If so, you will remember that it is hard to tell which way the waves are moving: This breaker glides all the way up to your toes in the sand, but now you see another crashing back out, barreling into the distance. The turbulence baffles, frightens, and amazes you all at once.

The same can be said for our times. The minute you think you are witnessing a new wave of civility and technical advances, you turn on the news and hear of one more bomb tearing apart lives or of glaciers melting as greenhouse gases increase. The minute your hopes plummet over this news, you talk to a friend who just spent her vacation in Indonesia building houses with Habitat for Humanity, or you hear about a new community-supported farm delivering organic food in your neighborhood, or you watch a video about a Syrian doctor making a trip to the U.S. to raise humanitarian aid before returning to her native land, her people, and the horrific dangers they face daily. You wonder which tide to believe: one of disaster or one ushering in hope? In the Christian tradition, the proximity of Good Friday to Easter brings these different forces into focus as well.

The truth is that they're part of the same ocean: We ignore either one to our peril. This week, when you hear distressing news, look for -- or, even better, create -- its hopeful counterpart. Andrew Harvey, when asked how we can find our life's calling, suggested getting up at 3 a.m. and asking, "What is causing my heart to break?" Let your life be about healing that break, and you will indeed turn tides.
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito