February 1, 2016

What's Happening This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Editor's Pick   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat   

Congratulations to the authors and publishers of these exceptional contributions to today's spiritual renaissance! These are books you won't want to miss.


February 1 - February 7, 2016

The need to spread messages of tolerance among the followers of all the world's religions, faiths, and belief systems only continues to grow. Help harness the collective might of the world's second-largest infrastructure (places of worship) for world peace.
More Practices: Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Imbolc, Birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer , Superbowl Sunday, Birthday of Martin Buber, Ash Wednesday

by Thomas Moore        
February 10 - March 27, 2016

Thomas Moore brings us selections from the Gospels rendered to capture their essential spirituality, in an e-course about raising your level of understanding and participation in life based on the principles of love and respect for all beings. 
by Thomas Keating, Mary Anne Best, and Susan Rush       
February 10 - March 25, 2016

Those who appreciate internationally renowned teacher Fr. Thomas Keating will find riches to ponder in this Contemplative Outreach e-course based on his videos about the gift of life in all its phases and his meditations on the meaning of the Cross for Holy Week. 
written by Jan Phillips
February 15 - March 14, 2016  

Back by popular demand: Even though we ran this e-course last summer, we learned that many of you had missed it and heard such good things about it that you'd like to take it along with kindred spirits. Here is your chance, whether you're brand new to the art of photography or a seasoned pro.

Directed by Laurie Anderson
Whether talking about the surveillance state we are living in, the antics of her beloved rat terrier, or the attachments that weigh us down, in Heart of a Dog Laurie Anderson proves herself to be a poet and a prophet, a spiritual teacher and a wise Tibetan Buddhist adept.

More Films: Requiem for the American Dream, Rabin, the Last Day, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Theeb    

Directed by Morgan Matthews 

If you were inspired by Rain Man and A Beautiful Mind, you will feel the same way about A Brilliant Young Mind, the coming-of-age story of an English boy with autism, a mathematics wizard learning about hope and self-worth.

More DVDs:
The Assassin

Caravan of No Despair
By Mirabai Starr

In this memoir, interspiritual teacher Starr struggles with devastating grief as she undergoes a series of losses that shatter her heart. She tutors us in some of the practices that grow out of desolation.

More Books: The Heart of the Matter, Changing the Subject, The Spectators, The Reason for Flowers, A Fearless Heart, Between the World and Me
Children's Books   

By Scott Menchin, illustrations by Harry Bliss  

A boy decides that his grandmother should be in a museum because of her beauty, humor, and uniqueness, but his inventive idea gets turned down by the art museum. He has to invent his own imaginative way to make his dream come true.

More Children's Books: The Day the Crayons Came Home


Enjoy these splendid samples of creative insight from our Contemplative Photographers Practice Group:

Gallery 1: 
What does it mean to be a Contemplative Photographer? Circles, Lines, and Curves

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

The vast majority of federal and state felony cases are resolved through plea bargaining. How come?  Many of these cases involve poor people of color who don't have enough money for a substantive legal defense.
 Another Post: Do You Need a Purpose in Life?  
From Our Wisdom Archive   

Are you going through poetry withdrawal as Roger Housden's "Poetry to Nourish the Soul" e-course comes to an end? Or perhaps simply needing a February lift? This spiritual practice feature suggests ways to incorporate sacred poems into your devotions. Be sure to check out the links to our collections of sacred poetry under "Also Recommended" in the right column of the article.

A Thought to Carry with You  

Whether you call it Candlemas, Groundhog's Day, Imbolc, or the Feast of St. Brigid, mid-winter is the moment when the growing light has gathered such strength that signs of spring become irrepressible. Though the groundhog may warn us of weeks of cold to come, look! There's a hint of green hiding under that mound of snow. Listen! Which birds have begun to find their way back to your area in anticipation of nesting not too long from now?

This vastly encouraging phenomenon varies from climate to climate, of course, and it won't happen for another six months for our friends in the southern hemisphere. But any one of us can be on the lookout for it within ourselves. The frozen places, the eddies of inner darkness, hear the onrush of a warmer wind and feel the rays of the divine Sun restoring hope. Our hearts respond as if something deeper than logic knows that we can take courage now.

How appropriate for this time of year, then, is this traditional prayer to St. Brigid of Ireland, whose Feast Day is February 1. We offer it here to bring you warmth and strength:

May the mantle of your peace
cover those who are troubled and anxious,  
and may peace be firmly rooted
in our hearts and in our world. 
Inspire us to act justly
and to reverence all God has made.

Brigid you were a voice
for the wounded and the weary. 
Strengthen what is weak within us. 
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens. 
May we grow each day into greater wholeness
in mind, body, and spirit. 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito