July 15, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

By the Contemplative Photographers Practice Group 

"Morning has broken, like the first morning," says the hymn made famous by Cat Stevens, and Rabindranath Tagore observes that "Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." This gallery of photos by members of  the Contemplative Photographers Practice Group brings our awareness back to the cycles of beauty that light up our lives each day.

Where were you on July 20, 1969, when Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on another celestial body? Even if you weren't born yet, please join us in a reverent pause to give thanks for all that went into fulfilling a centuries-old dream.

More Practices: Birthday of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Online Retreats with Your Own Private Group   

Would you like to have a retreat experience with your spirituality circle, church small group, or spiritual direction community that would allow you to go more deeply into your faith life together? Here's an opportunity to create a customized retreat, using the content from one of S&P's e-courses and having your own Practice Circle.
Starts Sunday, July 31, 2016

Open Enrollment has begun for Year 2 of our Photographers Practice Group! Share your photos, your support for others, and your insights into how photography enhances your spiritual path. We invite current members to return and new people, at any level of experience, to join. Please read more about it and sign up here:


Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
This documentary gives a fascinating glimpse into the life of the pioneer who introduced the American public to a new era of television covering controversial issues, and who, at one point in his career, had seven series on the air with more than 120 million viewers each week.

More Films:
At the Fork, The BFG, Dying to Know, Fathers and Daughters, Free to Run, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Indian Point, The Legend of Tarzan, Pervert Park, The Secret Life of Pets, Swiss Army Man

Directed by Ale Abreu

This rite-of-passage parable -- one of the most spiritually literate films of 2015 -- offers a cinematic experience that is both edifying and out-of-the-box.

More DVDs: Children of Syria, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Jia Zhangke: A Guy from Fenyang, Mothers and Daughters, Mountains May Depart, My Golden Days

Hildegard of Bingen
By Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook

Kujawa-Holbrook does a commendable job interpreting the poetical and mystic writings of this accomplished saint. You will find many gems here, including this one sent to the Pope: "May the sweetest fragrance be in you. May you never grow weary on the path of justice."

More Books: Everyday Justice, Learning the Language of the Soul, Life-Cycle Ceremonies

Spiritual Literacy Blog
By Frederic Brussat

Many lonely people just want someone to talk to, to eat dinner with, and to bid them farewell with a tender shake of their hands. A new service in Japan, while not a miracle cure, might be seen as a pressure valve where even synthetic intimacy is better than the isolation and separation that so many Japanese people feel.

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

We pray both for the loved ones of the 137 Black people killed by police officers this year and for the loved ones of the police officers who were killed in the line of duty protecting other citizens.


David Steindl-Rast

Br. David -- Benedictine monk, master teacher of gratefulness, and hospitable pioneer in interfaith dialogue -- turned 90 on July 12th. Celebrate with us by feasting on these video clips, quotes, interviews, book reviews, articles, and e-course choices.

Pema Chodron

If you would like deep insights into the nature of compassion, a healing way to deal with messy parts of yourself, practices for pulling down the barriers that separate you from others, and suggestions about taking responsibility for your emotions and actions, then you will benefit from these resources by and about this renowned Tibetan nun, who turned 80 on July 14th.

From Our Wisdom Archive   

How can we gain a deeper understanding of racism in our world and develop empathy and compassion for its victims? These books, book excerpts, quotes, blog posts, personal explorations, and practices shed light on the divisiveness afoot in our world and help get at the heart of the matter.

A Thought to Carry with You  

As our "Living with Uncertainty" e-course has taken off with a robust registration (hint: you can still sign up!), we have become freshly aware of just how uncertain people feel these days. It's not just uncertainty about politics, economics, race relations, refugee crises, and safety in a world of terrifying and unpredictable violence -- although all of these sure do count high on the list. It is also uncertainty about what we can do to make things better. Some conversations -- about the role of guns in American society, for instance -- garner such contrasting points of view that it's hard to see how to move forward.

At times like this, there may be bold steps to be taken. But let's not rule out the tiny steps that matter. "I think the world is going to be saved by millions of small things," said beloved folk singer and social activist Pete Seeger. Any single one of his songs makes an excellent case for this point of view. And Marion Wright Edelman, who has been an advocate for the disadvantaged for her entire professional life reminds us, "We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."

So if you find yourself swimming in a sea of uncertainty, you might want to pick one thing of which you are certain: a song you can share, a child you can love, a letter you can write that will make a healing difference. Start with what you do know about peace and kindness, with what is small and near at hand, and work your way out from there. 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito