September 22, 2017

What's Happening This Week at

Editors' Pick   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat    
Spirituality is a way of life, and as such, it cannot be separated from our everyday activities. As Malcolm Muggeridge put it, "Every happening great and small is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message." At Spirituality & Practice, we affirm that venues of this divine communication are all around us, in many traditions, places, and especially in our activities. To further integrate spirituality into your ordinary moments, please enjoy these two collections:

"The dynamics of the fall of the year," writes Christopher Hill, "have the sweep of a great symphony or an epic poem." What spiritual lessons and practices are suggested by the coming of autumn? Check out these reflections on balancing darkness with light, letting go, and acknowledging impermanence. (But if you are in the southern hemisphere, celebrate Spring!)
This ten-day Hindu holiday celebrates the Divine Mother and offers a special opportunity to turn to Her for spiritual cleansing, guidance, and enlightenment.
More Practices: Birthdays of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Confucius 

A new e-course by Carl McColman        
October 2 - 27, 2017  
Take a month-long pilgrimage into one of the best examples of everyday spirituality: the poetry, lore, and wisdom of the Celtic tradition. You can expect creative reflections in Monday, Wednesday, and Friday emails; prayers and blessings to weave the Celtic way of seeing throughout your day; an hour-long teleconference; and opportunities to share through a 24/7 Practice Circle. Read more and sign up: 
A new e-course by Sage-ing International, Bob Atchley, and Pat Hoertdoerfer     
October 2 - 27, 2017  
Discover how to reclaim elders' moral voices in our families, communities, and the public square. This e-course explores the call given by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Sage-ing movement: "An elder's work is to synthesize wisdom from long life experience and formulate this into a legacy to bless future generations." Read more and sign up:

Directed by Angelina Jolie  
This remarkable account of the genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia is seen through the eyes of a young girl. Based on a true story, it does not turn away from the ravages and savages of war, yet inspires us as we witness her courage and remarkable resilience.


Directed by Michael Showalter
This dramedy with sweet, rich performances mixes laughter and tears as two young people struggle to work out their love for each other in the midst of familial clashes, religious pressures, health crises, traditional values, and the cultural criticism of young comedians.

More DVDs: The Hero 

Climbing the Rope to God
By Hillary and Bradford Keeney
This companion volume to the Keeneys' other books shares the content, narrative, and messages of their visionary dreams. From them they derived impetus for their teaching on ecstatic healing.
View a related gallery presentation of a practice by the Keeneys called "I Am the Light of the World."  
By Celeste Headlee  
Conversation can draw us towards common ground. But we need to develop certain skills, such as refusing to make arguments personal, acknowledging the limitations of our knowledge, and being a good listener. This is a very helpful book for individuals and groups.

More Books: Llewellyn's Little Book of Dreams, So Much Things to Say, Thank You for Being Late, White Trash  

Praying the New Blog
By Patricia Campbell Carlson  
More than 110 Buddhist teachers from around the world are calling for an end to the systematic violence directed against our Muslim sisters and brothers in Myanmar. In gratitude for their courage in speaking out, we offer a prayer for an increase in compassion.  
Process Musings Blog
By Jay McDaniel
In the beauty of onions and in dicing, crying over, and sharing them, we can find multi-layered insights about the One who may become many, but who also remains simply One.
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Akash Mehta
If we all agree on the basics -- that everyone has a certain set of rights, and that it is our responsibility to help those rights be acknowledged -- should we really let any other disagreements get in the way of making the world a better place? This young writer suggests focusing on similarities and building unity.
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
"By perseverance the snail reached the ark," wrote Charles Spurgeon. Heaven knows a lot of us are needing arks these days, so here are quotes and spiritual practices to help you feel steadfast and hold on for the long run.  
A Thought to Carry with You  

In times of trouble and hardship, we tend to assume that the last thing we should do is relax. So much needs to be done, so how can we do anything except constantly keep our noses to the grindstone?
We forget the origins of the word "relax." We know that "re" means to do something again, as in return, renew, and reborn. "Lax" comes from the Latin laxus, which according to the Online Etymology Dictionary means "wide, spacious, roomy" -- at ease.
Understood in that light, it becomes clear that to relax is even more essential during hardships than during less stressful times. We need to be spacious and easeful enough in spirit to take on greater responsibility. If this counter-intuitive concept is hard to imagine, it helps to remember John Cage's reassuring lines:
"If you let it, it supports itself. You don't have to. Every something is a celebration of the nothing that supports it. When we remove the world from our shoulders, we notice it doesn't drop. Where is the responsibility?"
This week, see if you can lean into ease. Let your cares and responsibilities be held in a larger context than simply your own efforts, so that your actions can flow unimpeded by strain.  
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito