February 26, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

Curated by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 

Are there ways to lessen our continuing legacy of racial prejudice and the unfathomable suffering it brings? On these pages we explore the use of the moral imagination to provide antidotes to fear and hatred. These books, excerpts, films, prayers, quotes, practices, websites, and questions for personal or group reflection give us a basis to expand our thinking and our hearts.  

Celebrated contralto Marian Anderson believed that "the minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dares to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow." She demonstrated this belief with her life, paving a way for African-American artists to overcome racism.

More Practices: In Praise of Laughter  

Leap into the Contemplative Photographers Practice Group to share your photos, your support for others, and your insights into how photography enhances your spiritual path. Sign up now: Our winter enrollment period lasts only through Monday, February 29. 

Directed by Mark Craig
Excitement, uncertainty, triumphs, and regrets made the alien experience of space travel a very human experience for Eugene Cernan, now an 81-year-old retired naval aviator and NASA astronaut who was the last person to walk on the moon.

More Films: Son of Saul  

Free Webcast
Directed by Stephen Olsson

Enter into the teachings of renowned 13th century Sufi mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi through the insights of Sufi Shaikh Kabir Helminski and film producer and webcast host Parisa Soultani. You can watch a webcast of this program on Sunday, February 28, at the Global Spirit website; the program is also available on DVD.

Directed by Tom McCarthy 

Of the eight 2015 films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, this would be our pick. It's a stinging condemnation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.
More DVDs: Mercy Street, Brooklyn, The Good Dinosaur   

More and more nations oppose the death penalty, viewing it as an extreme human rights violation. Marazziti helps us see this issue through many eyes: those of Death Row chaplains, families of murder victims, current Death Row inmates, and wrongfully convicted Death Row inmates who have been released from prisons.
More Books: A Faithful Farewell  
From Our Wisdom Archive   

The Academy Awards are this Sunday, February 28. Here are our choices for the best films of the year, which we call The Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2015. 
Interested in our criteria for choosing these films? Here are our trade secrets.

And here are our choices for the last 19 years. Happy viewing!  
A Thought to Carry with You  

"Complications are auspicious," the classical Zen "Song of the Jewel Mirror Awareness" tells us; "do not resist them." Why auspicious? Wouldn't we rather bypass complications? In his poem "Earth Verse," Gary Snyder gives us six clues that point towards an answer:

"Wide enough to keep you looking
Open enough to keep you moving
Dry enough to keep you honest
Prickly enough to make you tough
Green enough to go on living
Old enough to give you dreams"

The prickly, the dry, the unsettled: these qualities which we tend to avoid can come as gifts to spur us forward in our life's quest. They strengthen us, make us honest, bring us into more intimate connection with the living earth and her inhabitants.

Snyder must have chosen the last line with special care. The length and breadth of our life experience -- that which makes us old -- is what grants us vision of a course worthy of humanity. A worthwhile vision is sorely needed now. So we will take complications in stride and contemplate what surprising truths they can show us.

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