August 26, 2016

What's Happening This Week at

Editor's Pick   

Directed by Kamala Lopez

In 1971, at Rep. Bella Abzug's behest, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as "Women's Equality Day" -- but how has this inspiration actually progressed? Today there will be screenings across the U.S. of Lopez's illuminating documentary, followed by panel discussions about the state of Women's (In)Equality to bring to light one of the greatest human rights violations of our time.  

By Mary Ann Brussat, Penor Rinpoche, and Tano Pesso 
How can you reach out to all the human beings in the world who are suffering? Tibetan Buddhists encourage us to see all other human beings as our mother and accordingly to send them radiant white light.
By Patricia Campbell Carlson

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war," wrote Dr. Montessori, who was nominated for two Nobel Peace Prizes. These quotes of hers and a spiritual practice based on her work help you be fully present to the dignity of children and others in your care.

Ways to Love the Life You Have
By Roger Housden      
September 5 - October 24, 2016

One of our favorite e-course presenters, Roger Housden, is back: this time to lead a discussion group about his new book, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have. Weekly emails draw you into the book's themes and a lively conversation in an online Practice Circle open 24/7. Read more and sign up here:
By Sylvia Boorstein with James Kullander      
September 5 - 30, 2016

Sylvia Boorstein, one of the world's most esteemed teachers of Buddhist wisdom, offers a summation of her years as a preeminent teacher of lovingkindness meditation. Her inimitable teaching style is chock-full of timeless wisdom woven into her own, unique insights, and delightful stories. Read more and sign up here: 
Enrollment period ends on August 31, 2016

Open Enrollment for Year 2 of our Photographers Practice Group will be open for a few more days. Share your photos, support others, and enhance your spiritual practice. People at any level of experience and with any kind of camera can join. Read more and sign up here.


Directed by Ira Sachs

Jake and Tony, best friends, enjoy hanging out, playing video games, and zipping around Brooklyn together. But how can they respond when a feud breaks out between their families because Jake's parents hand Tony's mother a new lease that triples the rent on her dress shop?

More Films:
Complete Unknown, Fatima, Indignation, Mia Madre, The Sea of Trees  

Directed by Jen Senko

This fascinating documentary maps the alarming change in Senko's father from a Kennedy Democrat to a right-wing talk show addict who shocks his family with rage fed by conservative media mavens. Senko shows how right-wing strategists successfully carried out a take-over of the media through the concerted creation of think tanks, advocacy groups, and media outlets.  
More DVDs: Maggie's Plan, Sunset Song  

Creativity Unzipped
By Jan Phillips and Ruth Westreich

Taking a cue from the inimitable artist and spiritual writer Frederick Franck, the authors probe the creativity we utilize as "artists of being alive." They profile an impressive mix of creative people and the communities and organizations they have brought about through a magical blend of imagination, art, and healing. 

Blessed Mother Teresa  
The Albanian religious sister who became known as the "angel of the slums" will be canonized as a saint on September 4. In celebration, we offer these resources for deepening your understanding of her mission:

A Call to Mercy, an outstanding collection of never-before-published teachings by her and tributes to her, inspires us to put love into action. The subtitle -- Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve -- says it all about the intention and follow-through of this immersive work.

Mother Teresa: No Greater Love presents her thoughts on prayer, love, giving, being holy, work and service, forgiveness, suffering and death, and much more. For example: "It is the intensity of love we put into our gestures that makes them into something beautiful for God."
Birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, part of our Naming the Days series, allows you be drawn into her compassionate form of spiritual practice through quotes, books, and films. Her birthday is today, August 26.


By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Dakota Access, a non-Native American company, plans to construct a 1,172 mile pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois that would transport up to 500,000 barrels of fracked crude oil per day. Our prayers support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who peacefully protest this threat to their water supply, their lands, and their well-being. 
From Our Wisdom Archive   

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Is "the temple of 'my personal opinion' ... the real 'established church' in modern America," as editorial writer Molly Worthen concluded in 2012? Here are ten books exploring the changing landscape of religion in the United States.

A Thought to Carry with You  

Have you noticed that there's a difference of only one letter between "inferiority" and "interiority"? Both originally referred to land. In the early 15th century, "inferior" referred to land that was in a lower position; it also came to mean lower in degree or rank. "Interiority" referred to land that was distant from the coast and came to mean the quality of being inward or reflective.

Most of us -- even and perhaps especially those who present themselves as completely in control -- have feelings of inferiority. The reason for that inferiority is counterintuitive: As Thomas Merton writes in New Seeds of Contemplation, it takes "heroic humility to be yourself" and no one other than the person that God intended you to be. Sifting out our true measure from our pretenses takes lifelong practice.

And that is where interiority comes into the picture. The discovery that we are not of low rank can never be superficially conferred. As Jesus taught (Luke 12:32), it is the Holy One's good pleasure to give us the whole realm of wondrous gifts. Our worth, then, must be immeasurable. But this understanding can only take root in us when we turn by contemplation and prayer to those places that lie far from external stimuli, accolades, and addictions.

This turning within and rediscovery is not merely an individual matter. We look within to find our rootedness in the divine and find our neighbor's deeply rooted dignity intertwined with our own. Comprehending those shared roots is at the very heart of unity, peacemaking, and compassion, those superior qualities that let our divine inheritance shine. 
Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Darren Polito