January 13, 2014

What Happened This Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com


Roll out the Red Carpet! Here are our choices of the 50 Best Spiritual Books and 10 Best Children's Spiritual Books of 2013 - chosen for being the best explorations of the quest for meaning and purpose, wholeness and healing, commitment and community, contemplation and social activism.


Attention religious, spiritually independent, and secular people. Thomas Moore's new book A Religion of One's Own: A Guide to Creating A Personal Spirituality in a Secular World charts a fresh and adventuresome path for all of us. He sees it as his most important work since Care of the Soul, and we agree.


Redefining and reimagining your religion. We invite you to engage in this process under the guidance of Thomas Moore in our new e-course "Crafting Your Own Religion" next month, February 3 - 28. Read more about this unusual e-course and sign up here. 


A moving depiction of grief. In Tiger Eyes, now on DVD, a 17-year-old girl is hobbled by sadness and loss. We chose it as one of the Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2013. More DVDs. 


Adventures in dreamlands. One of our choices for the Best Spiritual Children's Books of 2013 is Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, children are carried by wing, paw, or fin to various dreamlands.


♦ Poverty Awareness Month. Every day this month we're unveiling a new quotation, book excerpt, or film review that sheds light on the growing problem of poverty around the world. Watch for the links at the top of the "Updates" column on the homepage. See the whole collection here. 


The scourge of income inequality. That's the subject of a searing and enlightening documentary, now on DVD, featuring Robert Reich's take on this deepening crisis.


What makes for a happy city? Here are some examples of urban renewal projects that are designed for people and not cars. More books. 


Haunted by the night. In an excerpt from Burning the Midnight Oil, Phil Cousineau introduces this new anthology of poems, prayers, and essays for nighthawks.


There is One . . . Complete this sentence with the ten principal thoughts of Sufism. You'll find them in an excerpt from Caravan of Souls, a collection of essays by the Sufi  

seer Hazrat Inayat Khan edited by Pir Zia Inayat Khan.


The instinct to act co-operatively. Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene uses psychology, philosophy, and neurology to explain our capacity to collaborate and work together.


The beneficial quality of equanimity. In an excerpt from his S&P Award-winning book, Buddhist teacher Joseph Goldstein offers a few succinct teachings on how we can develop this capacity in the midst of our worldly activities.


Sitting is the new smoking. In our Spiritual Literacy Blog, we report on the new wonder drug with all kinds of health benefits: walking. More blog posts. 


Attention as a muscle. Focus by Daniel Goleman is a masterwork on exercising our attention, a valuable asset in our digital world.


Activists for the poor. Paul Farmer and Gustavo Gutierrez share their ideas and ideals in the book In the Company of the Poor.


Elders and memory. The Nostalgia Factory by Douwe Draaisma shows how old films, music, and photographs bring memories to life for older people.


Miracles in the ghetto. In Beyond the Possible, Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani reminisce about their spiritual adventures at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.


Turning polls, facts, trends, surveys, and studies into prayers. That's what we've been doing with our "Praying the News" blog. We invite you to join us. And if you discover some news you think should be in this blog, please email us. 


Surveillance technology. Closed Circuit, now available on DVD, is a captivating thriller set in London that has some things to say about what we're allowing in the name of the war on terrorism.


"Get a habit of entertaining yourself with God." That practice comes from Brother Lawrence, whose feast day was January 11. Naming the Days features this month celebrate George Fox, Albert Schweitzer, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Henri J.M. Nouwen, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mohandas Gandhi, and Thomas Merton.

Coming Soon 

♦ Spiritual Teachers. New profiles will be posted soon for Jan Philips, Joanna Macy, John Mabry, Margaret Silf, Kathleen Norris, and Ursula King.


One man's amazing persistence. Tim's Vermeer is an engaging and creative documentary about art, technology, and creativity.


♦ A fascinating resource for readers. The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin recommends works of fiction as medicine for whatever troubles you. For example, for those who are constantly pestered by a fear of death, they recommend Don DeLillo's White Noise and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.


♦ A spirited and unconventional defense of Christianity. Unapologetic by Francis Spufford has made quite a stir in England with the argument that the faith makes surprising emotional sense.

Recommended from Our Wisdom Archive

Watch Akeelah and the Bee on Netflix streaming, Amazon Instant Video, and DVD. It's the inspiring story of an 11-year-old girl who enters a spelling bee, learns how to claim her power, and finds it nurtured by her entire community.


Winter is for practice. For those in the northern hemisphere dealing with snow and ice and cold weather, we have a month's worth of practices for the season: doing a winter count, learning from frost, enjoying a fireplace, and many more. The piece is filled with excerpts and quotes to help you reframe winter.


Follow S&P on Facebook. Enjoy our memes (quotes atop pictures) and get updates on new content on the site between e-newsletters.


Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry You Through the Week

A Proverb to Ponder
"If you are patient in one moment of anger,
you can escape a hundred days of sorrow."
- Chinese Proverb


A Pearl of Wisdom
"Since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of time, you are incomparable."
- Brenda Usland


A Short Prayer
"O Lord,
give me strength that
the whole world look
to me with the eyes of a friend.
Let us ever examine each other
with the eyes of a friend."
- Ayurveda in
God Has No Religion by Frances Sheridan Goulart


A Quotation to Inspire
"When we strive to become better than we are,
everything around us becomes better, too."
- Paulo Coelho


A Blessing from Us to You
"Wisdom of years be yours
Joy of friendships be yours
Wealth of memories be yours
Fruit of memories be yours
Hope of heaven be yours
Peace of God be yours."
- Celtic Blessings
compiled by Ray Simpson

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