February 23, 2017

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

Directed by Amma Asante

This touching historical drama tells the true story of the marriage of the heir to the throne of the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) to an office worker in London. In every way, they stand together and stand tall, seeking a life in deep love as a stay against "the world's ugliness."

By Caren Goldman and Patricia Campbell Carlson

If you have ever had a hard time parting with a cherished possession, you will understand the brilliance of this ritual, which brings you both freedom to choose and companionship during the process.

More Practices: Birthday of Marian Anderson, Ash Wednesday, Birthday of Dr. Seuss  

A new e-course by Cynthia Bourgeault       
February 27 - April 10, 2017

Starts Monday! If you believe that what our world desperately needs right now is a more expansive viewpoint, you have come to the right course. Join us to renew your vision of what a human being is really intended to be and of a planetary baseline for a shared morality. Read more and sign up:
A new year-long series by Contemplative Outreach
Registration deadline: February 28

Now is your chance! Tuesday is the last day to sign up for this year-long series. Three e-courses with weekly reflections woven between them help you deepen your contemplative practice in the company of a worldwide community of kindred spirits. Read more and sign up:

Signing up for the series automatically enrolls you in "The Transformation of Suffering: A Lenten Journey," which starts on Ash Wednesday, March 1. You can also register only for this Lenten e-course, if you wish. Read more and sign up:

Directed by Pablo LarraĆ­n

This sophisticated biographical drama, with Natalie Portman giving an Academy-Award caliber performance as Jackie Kennedy, delves into spiritually illuminating issues like why God allows horrors to happen.  

More Films: In Dubious Battle, The Red Turtle 

From Moonlight to Hacksaw Ridge to La La Land and many more, here are the  2016 choices we think ought to be rewarded on Oscar night. Want more? You will also find  links to our favorite films going all the way back to 1997. 

Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig 

Emotional authenticity and characters who engage us with their vulnerability and resilience are the hallmarks of this teen comedy about friendship, betrayal, and how to survive being stranded in an unfriendly world.

More DVDs: Arrival, Blood on the Mountain, Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester by the Sea, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Seasons  

Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye
By Marie Mutsuki Mockett
Still mourning the death of her beloved father, Mockett travels to Japan to bury her grandfather's ashes at the Zen Buddhist temple run by her family. But the island nation is in chaos after the 2011 tsunami, and her trip turns into a poignant pilgrimage full of spiritual and cultural insights.

More Books:
Darling, I Love You; Passing Time: An Essay on Waiting; See Your Way to Mindfulness; 365 Ways to Live Generously  
Children's Books   

Wake Up, City!
By Erica Silverman 
The city is fast asleep and street lights still aglow as a father and his young daughter leave the house. Her day begins with all that they see and experience on this attentive walk to her school.

More Children's Books:
Triangle, What Will Grow?

A Commonplace Book Blog
By Frederic Brussat

"Do not lose heart. We were made for these times," advises poet, Jungian analyst, and trauma recovery specialist Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her words and those of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Joanna Bourke, and more bolster our spirits and inspire us to carry on.
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Ariana Resauladin

As a girl growing up in a Baha'i community, this young writer always had the feeling that the Baha'i faith is one of the few religions in which women, girls, and all children can share their opinion and be respected.

For Carl McColman, the heart of the contemplative life is fostering a loving stance through daily practice of silence, prayer, and living simply. Our profile of him in the Living Spiritual Teachers Project points to articles, quotes, videos, interviews, books, and websites that will support your adventure of growing closer to God.
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Feeling stressed? Distracted? The practice of attention can be practiced anywhere at any time and keeps you alert to moments of grace, opportunities for gratitude, evidence of our connections to others, and signs of the presence of Spirit.
A Thought to Carry with You  

What comes to your mind when you hear the words "a rite of passage"? Many important transitions -- such as starting school, getting a driver's license,  marrying, giving birth, grieving a death -- are commonly acknowledged in our culture. But if we look only at these recognizable moments, we miss the importance of much of the waxing and waning of our days.

In her book Being with Dying, Roshi Joan Halifax describes how other shifts in consciousness tend to go unnoticed, not appreciated as the rites of passage that they are: "Long, sleepless hours, high pressure, and the presence of suffering, death, and the mysterious unknown are ingredients in such rites. ... But what rituals do we have in our culture that denote and legitimize such transformative passages? Practically none. Our society does not view catastrophe as a passage." If you lost a job, or if you are holding on to one because you do not know where to go next; if you wrestle with your own or a loved one's addictions; if you are overwhelmed by trying to make a stand amid political upheavals; if there's a loss in your life which you feel you cannot move beyond -- all these things and many more can be passages, even if not seen as such by many around us.

"Strange to say," continues Roshi Joan, "but catastrophe is usually the circumstance that liberates strength, wisdom, and kindness from within the suffocating embrace of fear." This week, keep your eyes open to the ways that a breakdown or series of breakdowns can open the way to insight and courage that could be attained in no other way. 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito