What's Happening at

September 11, 2020
Editors' Pick
A Zoom Retreat with Susan Carpenter
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Join us on Saturday, September 26, for a Zoom retreat to learn and practice time-tested communication tools that you can use when speaking with people of differing experiences and opinions. One goal will be to show ways to build and preserve relationships over divides. Our retreat guide is Susan Carpenter, a mediator and writer who has spent the past 45 years mediating complex public disputes and training others to handle conflict productively. The day will alternate between presentations by Susan and opportunities to practice specific skills in small groups. Read more and sign up:
By S&P Team

"You have got to own your days and name them, each one of them, every one of them, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you," wrote Herb Gardner in his play A Thousand Clowns. In this section of the S&P website, we highlight special days and suggest ways to "name" them through rituals, readings, spiritual practices, and special activities.

Coming up soon, for instance, are these days to name: Steven Biko Day, National Grandparents Day, Isadora Duncan Day, The Birthday of Greenpeace, Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen, Rosh Hashanah, Dag Hammarskjold Day, Birthday of Upton Sinclair, Jim Henson and the Muppets, International Day of Peace, Birthday of Leonard Cohen, Autumn: Reflections on the Season, Birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
By Jan Phillips

Join us for an opportunity to develop a deeper spiritual practice, leading to clarified insight about what you are being called to do. Multimedia artist and internationally known speaker Jan Phillips will cover these and other topics: rethinking our role as creators, renegotiating our relationship with time, understanding the role of desire in our life, undoing guilt and shame, and clarifying what we believe and why we believe it.

Read more and sign up:
By Contemplative Outreach

The Welcoming Prayer helps us discover our capacity to take appropriate action as freely and lovingly as possible in any situation that presents itself. This e-course provides step-by-step instruction to build and strengthen this profound practice, whether you are new to it or would like a refresher.

Read more and sign up:
DVDs and Streaming
Directed by Charlie Kaufman

Each of us is comprised of a ragtag band of identities, roles, and personas. This psychological thriller taps into that complexity, exploring family, memory, the relativity of time, and much more.

More Films: The Argument, The August Virgin, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Burnt Orange Heresy, Critical Thinking, Fatima, Made in Bangladesh, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, Robin's Wish, Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

From persevering through interracial challenges to improvising when one partner faces illness to navigating long-lived relationships, the themes of these films range from poignant to jubilant.
By Sharon Salzberg

The seasoned Buddhist meditation teacher and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society explores links between activism and the practices of mindfulness and lovingkindness. Don't miss the excerpt on how to cross a flood of obstacles, and be sure to try the spiritual practice cultivating equanimity.

More Books: The Joy of Simplicity
Short & Sweet Spirituality Blog
By Frederic Brussat
"Remember," Rabbi Nachman of Breslov encourages us: "Nothing begets wholeness in life better than a heartfelt sigh." Music lyrics, humor, poetry, and more convey wisdom about getting along in the world.

More Blogs: A Commonplace Book: The Color Orange
Practicing Democracy Project
By Ezra Klein

Negative partisanship has reshaped the political landscape in the United States. Voters are not driven by who they favor but by anger against the opposition. How did this happen? Klein's polished and multidimensional writing makes this book one of the best explanations we've seen of America's political divisions.

A democracy's health is best reflected in examples of how people practice it through their commitments to shared values and virtues. In this blog, we share stories of democracy-in-practice. New since our last newsletter: Big-Hearted Democracy by Judith L. Favor and Presidential Campaign Slogans by Frederic Brussat.

Welcome to those of you who are new to our e-newsletter! You may also want to sign up for alerts about upcoming e-courses and retreats, daily boosts of wisdom from the world's spiritual traditions, and updates from our Practicing Democracy Project. Sign up and choose how you'd like to keep in touch with us on this page .

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From Our Wisdom Archive
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Nineteen years ago this afternoon, S&P's co-founders, then living in New York City, wrote a poem that soon went viral called "Rest in Peace." On the 10th anniversary of that day, we asked some of the teachers in our Living Spiritual Teachers Project to offer practices and readings to help us reflect on that tragic day, and many graciously responded. We have included their suggestions in this curated topic with art, books, films, poetry, and more. You will find that many of these resources are still relevant today. May they guide you as you work with emotions that surface in the present precarious global situation.
A Thought to Carry with You
If you have read the Old Testament prophets, you may have felt their words to be extreme. Take, for instance, these lines from Jeremiah:

"Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
be shocked, be utterly desolate ...
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns,
that can hold no water." (2: 12-13)

But wait: In these times, those words cut through to the heart of the matter. We ignore at our peril "the fountain of living waters," that ever-flowing reality that we know and understand in our heart of hearts to be merciful, gracious, just, the very source of our courage. And if our habit patterns -- our "hewed out cisterns" -- aren't rooted in authentic spiritual practice, they will leave us porous, unable to hold on to that which is life-giving.

Warnings like Jeremiah's are needed in our times -- one glance at the news can convince us of that. Is there really any doubt that moral standards of integrity, dignity, decency, and kindness are more desirable than a culture of loathing, violence, and degradation? Writing in the dialect of a character in her best-selling novel, Jubilee, Margaret Walker observes: "Now when you hates you shrinks up inside and gets littler and you squeezes your heart tight and you stays so mad with peoples you feels sick all the time like you needs the doctor." 

Let's continue to discover our calling in the opposite direction: caring more and more so that our hearts open to the vast reality of our interrelationships.

Your Spirituality & Practice Team 
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat 
Patricia Campbell Carlson 
Keziah Grindeland
Sue Tracey