December 2, 2016

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

By Kent Nerburn 

Describing the Native American way of seeing and living, Nerburn writes, "They do not build, they listen. They seek harmony, not mastery. They value connections, not distinctions." He fills this book with stories about his experiences with his Native teachers, showing us the depth and breath of Native American spirituality.


For millions of people around the world, December means going to malls and shops and online stores to purchase gifts for family and friends. To help you make this experience more meaningful, we've created 20 spiritual practices for you to try next time you shop.


A new program from the S&P Team   
November 27, 2016 - January 5, 2017

Pave the way for Christmas by exploring Advent themes of waiting, patience, and hope through the eyes of a variety of authors. Then turn to the theme of joy for the twelve days of Christmas. Read more and sign up here:
A new e-course by Contemplative Outreach
November 25 - December 23, 2016

"As the divine light grows brighter, it reveals what it contains, that is, divine life; and divine life reveals that the Ultimate Reality is love," writes Fr. Thomas Keating. Join us for scripture, art, music, and good company, with seasoned presenters from Contemplative Outreach. Read more and sign up here:   

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

A heady philosophy professor proves her resiliency as she squares off against some harrowing life changes, like having to move her mother to a nursing home and her husband leaving her for another woman. The film's beautiful images of the French countryside and Donovan ballads are worth savoring.

More Films: Bobby Sands: 66 Days, I Am Not Your Negro  

Directed by Yves Simoneau

This horrifying and heartbreaking HBO drama is about a concerted campaign by the U.S. government to wrest away land from the Indians and destroy their culture. Crazy Horse of the Ogalala Sioux reminds us that "One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk."  For more insights into Native American history and culture, see this collection of films.

More DVDs: The BFG, Pete's Dragon

The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions
By Greg Marcus

This sturdy and substantive spiritual curriculum rooted in the Jewish practice of Mussar nourishes the soul and creates a gateway for more balance, happiness, trust, and love to enter your life.

More Books:
How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness, Light When It Comes, Liturgy of the Ordinary
Children's Books   

By Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen  
The children's picture book crafts a compelling case for empathy and its relative, imagination. Put them together and you have a skill that not only builds bridges but serves as a glue that improves all kinds of relationships.

More Children's Books: The Friend Ship, The Journey  

By Frederic Brussat

Old people are said to be in the twilight of their lives as they move slowly toward death. But who are we really when we reach this elder stage of life with our memories, our yearnings, our supplications?


Curated by the S&P Team; designed by Darren Polito

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing," Helen Keller reminds us. These 12 illustrated quotes unzip the ordinary to reveal our countless opportunities for an exciting, colorful, enjoyable life.


Spiritual Literacy Blog
By Frederic Brussat

In this era of Brexit and Donald Trump, Oxford Dictionaries has tellingly chosen "post-truth" for Word of the Year. It's used in describing circumstances where objective facts are less influential than appeals to emotion. This word and some of the runners up may come in handy in your own speech -- check them out!

From Our Wisdom Archive   

Traditions Native American
Curated by Frederic Brussat and Patricia C. Carlson

If you would like to live sustainably and with intention, respect the life in all aspects of nature, and consider your ancestors and descendants as you make choices about how to act, then this tradition can truly guide you, just as it is now causing many to stand together against the Dakota pipeline.

A Thought to Carry with You  

Religion, in its original root, isn't something you believe; it's how you live. The word comes from the Latin religio, meaning an obligation or a bond. You can think of it as being actively bound or dedicated to certain time-honored values and the guides, sacred texts, and community from which they spring.

But do different religions have shared values from which to draw? The Editorial Committee of the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago thought so when they wrote Declaration Toward a Global Ethic and A Call to Our Guiding Institutions. Here is a small piece of that grand document:

"Opening our hearts to one another, we must sink our narrow differences for the cause of world community, practicing a culture of solidarity and relatedness. ... We must strive to be kind and generous. We must not live for ourselves alone, but should also serve others, never forgetting the children, the aged, the poor, the suffering, the disabled, the refugees, and the lonely. No person should ever be considered or treated as a second-class citizen, or be exploited in any way whatsoever. ...."

We know this sacred obligation in our hearts. Let us, then, seek all available means to mold ourselves into the kinds of people and communities who express such sentiments in every thought, word, and deed. Let us be all the more fierce in our commitment when gales blow against us.  

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