May 27, 2017

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

Mirabai Starr is known for making connections between the perennial teachings found at the heart of all the world's spiritual paths, in an effort to engage in a life of conscious service. She also has personal experience of devastating loss, making her guidance as a bereavement counselor profound and genuine. Here are books, articles, videos, and other resources of hers to explore.

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts," wrote marine biologist, conservationist, and author Rachel Carson. Her heroic efforts to challenge the notion that we can control nature by chemical assault initiated the current ecological movement.

More Practices: Ramadan Mubarak, Birthday of G.K. Chesterton, Memorial Day, Wisdom to Go (the graduation speech we'd like to give) 

A new e-course by Jamal Rahman       
May 29 - June 23, 2017

This e-course begins on Memorial Day and is open to all those with interest in the timeless insights that can be gleaned from reflection on verses in the Qur'an. Enjoy teaching stories, guidance of Islamic sages like Rumi and Hafiz, sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, and other illuminating wisdom. We warmly invite you to join us! Read more and sign up: 
A new e-course by Thomas Moore     
June 5 - 30, 2017

This e-course begins on the first Monday in June. It focuses not on the externals of aging -- finances, physical health practices, and retirement arrangements -- but on the inner ones -- spirituality, eroticism, meaningful work and retirement, and especially the emotional and character developments that make you a real individual. Read more and sign up: 

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
In this fetching drama, twelve restless adventurers explore the delights, fissures, and follies of life in an urban commune. In their midst, one couple vividly conveys the disappointments and regrets of mid-life.

More Films: Handsome Devil, Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

Directed by Pascal Plisson   

This unusual documentary reminds us, "Too often we forget how lucky we are to go to school." The young people portrayed trek long distances and face dangerous obstacles to get an education.

More DVDs: Africa Civilizations, All Governments Lie, Dheepan, Lovesong, Unlocking the Cage  

The Five Longings
By David Richo

With considerable psychological clout and practical suggestions, Rico explores the far reaches and intimate nature of our longings -- for love, meaning, freedom, happiness, and growth. The excerpt explains the many ways that going on a pilgrimage expresses our yearning.

More Books: Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Becoming Curious, Flavor, The Sleep Solution, Wild Nights  
Children's Book    

By Madalena Moniz  
Sometimes we might feel Free and Heroic and other days, we might feel Grumpy, Jealous, Nervous, and Yucky. This book covers a whole alphabet of feelings, brought to life by watercolor and india ink illustrations.


Quotations on Touch
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

"Paradise is attained by touch," wrote Helen Keller, who knew even better than most people because this sense opened the world of language to her. Delve into Paradise with these many angles on the only sense experienced throughout our bodies.


KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Husnaa Hashim

Now, more than ever, we need to reflect upon the teachings of all of our various traditions in order to cultivate respect. Daring to understand makes the human condition easier to bear.
Spiritual Literacy Blog
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Buddhist scholar and activist Robert Thurman and former model Nena von Schlebrugge took marriage vows despite the fact that they were once voted by their friends as the couple least likely to succeed. They have now been married 50 years and offer clues about how they reached that milestone. 
From Our Wisdom Archive   

In 2017, the holy month of Ramadan runs from the evening of Friday, May 26 until the evening of Saturday, June 24. In honor of this holy month when Muslims fast and intensify their spiritual practices, we offer this extensive collection of books, films, quotes, spiritual practices, video clips, and more.

A Thought to Carry with You  

Even though you can always find stories of heroism or hope in world news, much of it is heartrendingly brutal. How can we remain informed yet caring? In Awake Mind, Open Heart, Cynthia Keen suggests having heart, but not in the sense of being weak or sentimental:

"When we say a person has heart ... we mean they are willing to be exposed, willing to be touched nakedly by the world. ... In this sense heart is the one hundred percentness of experience. It is a strength and fullness in you that come from putting your awareness in the actual experience you are experiencing. This is true even of negative experiences. With a strong heart you are able to be gentle and sympathetic to all your experiences, not only the pleasant ones."

Harboring sympathy and gentleness towards even terrible experiences -- our own or those of others -- does not mean, however, that we need to absorb shock after painful shock. Sufi teacher Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan used to recommend visualizing a permeable barrier completely surrounding you. You are the one who determines what crosses the barrier and what does not. By filtering in this way, your mind and your heart work together so that you protect yourself from that which could be toxic to you and take in experiences to which you can wholeheartedly respond.

In the face of the world's brutality, may we continue to teach each other how to be kind, genuine, wise, and human. This knowledge may turn out to be the saving grace of civilization. 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito