June 28, 2019

What's Happening at   

Editors' Pick 
By The Practicing Democracy Project Team
When the  director of Columbia Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic witnessed firsthand the migrant children's detention center in Clint, Texas, she called the conditions "the most degrading and appalling [ones] you can imagine." Here are ways you can help.

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat     

Say a prayer for discernment and insight.
Ask yourself how you're connected to the candidates. Explore open-mindedness. Watch for surprises. We offer these and many other suggestions as ways of bringing spiritual awareness to your experience of the U.S. presidential debates. 
More Practices : Birthday of Muhammad Yunus, Birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Birthday of E. B. White


A new e-course by Donald Altman
July 1 - 26, 2019 
Donald Altman is a psychotherapist, award-winning writer, former Buddhist monk, and past Vice President of The Center for Mindful Eating, where he still serves on the Advisory Council. He has taught thousands of mental health clinicians around the country and internationally. We welcome him back for this e-course -- his third at S&P -- on cultivating deeper awareness, compassion, and connection. He offers a simple, accessible, and transformative practice to use throughout the day.
Read more and subscribe: 
An e-course by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
July 15 - August 23, 2019 
Thich Nhat Hanh is a world renowned writer, spiritual leader, scholar, poet, peace activist, and Buddhist monk. In this virtual sangha -- where participants can encourage and support each other -- you receive an email daily for 40 days with a brief reading from his prolific writings as well as a practice suggestion based on his teachings.

Directed by John Chester

Riding the surf of idealism and hope, a hard-working couple decides to farm in harmony with nature. A consultant urges them to trust biodiversity, but will having a mix of predators and prey protect the farm in the long run?

Directed by Joe Talbot

This gentle love letter and scathing elegy examines San Francisco's dying spirit and prophetically cries out for the renewal and restoration of what home really should be.

More Films: Ever After (Endzeit), The Lavender Scare, Little Woods, Our Time (Nuestro Tiempoa), The Tomorrow Man


Directed by Christian Petzold 
This puzzle box of a film, on the surface a simple story of refugees awaiting transit to their next stops, becomes a thriller in which the threat is the existential rot that takes over when people feel directionless.

More DVDs: Gloria Bell, The Hummingbird Project, The Mustang, Tea with the Dames, Us, A Whale of a Tale   


By David Brooks  
In this persuasive toolkit of ideals, the "second mountain" serves as a metaphor -- beyond the first mountain of the buffered self -- for personal and societal growth propelled by purposeful commitments to others.

By Donald Altman       
The practice of reflection "shines a laser-like beam of clarity on all our deeds, perceptions, and thoughts," writes Altman, who challenges us to focus on the mundane and the sacred as we go about our daily activities.  
More Books: Forest Bathing, The Last Unknowns, The Source of Self-Regard, The Zen Book of Life


By Martin Scorsese 
This rambling and rousing rock documentary takes us on the 1975 road tour with Bob Dylan, who later won a Nobel Prize in Literature "for having created new poetic expressions within the great America song tradition."  

B logs
Praying the News Blog
By Mary Ann Brussat
Crop fires have become a weapon of war in Iraq and Syria. Farmers were looking forward to the best harvest since war began across the region, but now once golden fields have been destroyed. We share the people's despair.
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Ameena Naqvi

After periods of oppression and suffering, individuals display resilience through artistic expression. Creation presupposes destruction and destruction foreshadows creation, and the rift between them forges new art.
Process Musings Blog
By Patricia Adams Farmer

This heartfelt apology to Generations X, Y, and Z from a Baby Boomer saddened by unfettered capitalism suggests that young adults have a vital role to play in saving life on Earth. 


By The Practicing Democracy Project Team   
Is character personal or impersonal -- or more than personal? Does it come by grace or by our own efforts? What can we do to develop it? These questions can be approached from many angles, which we explore through the multitude of resources in this topic. 

Practicing Democracy Project 

By Sarah Vowell 
These personal essays capitalize on America's foibles; but underneath the (at times) laugh-out-loud funniness of Vowell's prose is a sincere attempt to wrangle into language her complex romance with her country. 
Practicing Democracy Films
By Christopher Keyser 
This 10-part YA drama, now streaming on Netflix, serves an invaluable purpose by reminding us of what is needed to build and sustain a functional community, starting more or less from scratch.  
An accompanying Values & Visions Guide invites you to explore themes of Democracy, Leadership, Fear, Chores and Challenges, Dissent, Community, and Choices.  
More Practicing Democracy Films: The Edge of Democracy
Practicing Democracy Books

By Joseph J. Ellis  
Ellis encourages Americans to examine the founding fundamentals of democracy. "Our goal," he explains, "is to learn more about our origins in the fond hope that doing so will allow us to frame the salient questions of our time with greater wisdom than we are currently able to muster on our own."  
More Practicing Democracy Books: Can I Get a Witness?, Ghost of Gold Mountain, Liberty and Freedom 

From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat   
Making poetry pebbles, going barefoot, tending your garden, and setting up a wonder table are among the suggestions in this set of 31 spiritual practices to revitalize you this summer. 

A Thought to Carry with You  

Integrity has come to mean high morals, but it arises from the Latin  integer , which means whole. Fundamentally, integrity is a sense of wholeness that allows for our need to continue growing in compassion, courage, and other aspects of soul.  
" To be whole," writes Harold S. Kushner in How Good Do We Have to Be?, "means to rise beyond the need to pretend that we are perfect, to rise above the fear that we will be rejected for not being perfect. And it means having the integrity not to let the inevitable moments of weakness and selfishness become permanent parts of our character."
Try putting into a poem some details about the parts of your life that seem incongruous, perplexing, or flawed, painting word pictures line by line. You can add lines about what's going well and making sense, too, if you wish. Then see how the whole of the poem encompasses these details, symbolizing a totality in which even ambiguities, losses, and faults have a place in a larger scheme.
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Margaret Wakeley