August 20, 2014
What's Happened at

♦ Elder Spirituality Project. We're delighted to launch a whole new section of Spirituality & Practice designed for those of us who are and soon will be spiritual elders. We share what the time of spiritual elderhood means to us and what spiritual eldering practices do for us. Then we provide curated content on the spiritual adventure of the last stage of life: available e-courses, quotes, practices, books, book excerpts, films, art, teachers, and articles.


♦ New E-Course in our Elder Spirituality Series. We are partnering with one of the leading groups working in this field, Sage-ing International, to present a one-month e-course, "Living Your Legacy: Seeds, Blossoms, and Fruits," September 8 - October 3.Go here to read more about this program and to sign up. If any of you are going to be at the Sage-ing International Conference in Seattle this weekend, stop by the Conscious Aging Alliance table and introduce yourself to Mary Ann Brussat.


♦ Thomas Moore, Holy Fool. One thing we've noticed about our friend and frequent S&P teacher Thomas Moore is that he's got a great sense of humor and honors the foolish in life as well as the serious. So we asked him to share what he knows about the Holy Fool archetype through an e-course "The Holy Fool: Finding Spiritual Liberation through Foolishness and Humor." It will run from September 8 - October 3.Read more about it and sign up here.


♦ It's been a rough few weeks. During difficult times like this, we turn to spiritual practices. Here are nine tried-and-true ones.


♦ Those in the news need our prayers. There is so much suffering in our world. Recent prayers posted to our "Praying the News Blog" are for those suffering from depression,victims of religious hostilityvictims of the Ebola virus, and the the children of Gaza.


♦ The Divine deep within us. John Philip Newell's The Rebirthing of God presents a hopeful theological vision. More books.


♦ The soulful dimensions of family and cooking. The Hundred-Foot Journey is an enchanting and mouth-watering movie starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri. More films.


♦ The benefits of playfulness. We love to play and in our "Spiritual Literacy Blog" we share research that shows why you should too. More blog posts.


♦ The spread of a rich spiritual tradition. When the Iron Bird Flies: Tibetan Buddhism Arrives in the West, now on DVD, provides a valuable history lessons for newcomers and seasoned devotees of Tibetan Buddhism. More DVDs.


♦ Spiritual But Not Religious. Linda A. Mercadante's Belief Without Borders is far and away the best assessment so far of this movement and its many meanings. We also really like How to Be Spiritual But Not Religious by Victor M. Parachin, which contains 108 pearls of Eastern wisdom for this group.


♦ August Is Everyday Mysticism Month. We're presenting a new book excerpt each day. Here is an example: Carl McColman writing about the mysteries of life and God.


♦ Choosing freedom over sameness. The Giver, the feature film adaptation of Lois Lowry's award-winning young adult novel, is a cogent morality play about love, memory, and what is needed for a full and rich life.


♦ And another dystopia. Movies about dystopias - like The Giver - are very popular these days. Divergent, now on DVD, is another one; the main character is a multi-talented young woman who faces many challenges as she tries to remain true to her rebellious character.


♦ Brain power. Lucy is a philosophical action drama that showcases the brain's incredible powers. After viewing, check out these books on the brain.


♦ Being a zero. Be Nobody by Lama Murat is an out-of-the-box spiritual book about serving others.


♦ Mid-year S&P Award winners. We're not going to wait until the end of the year to announce the Best Spiritual Books of 2014 (So Far) and the The Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2014 (So Far).


♦ Suffering for the sins of others. The film Calvary is an impressive morality play about an Irish Catholic priest's sacrifice; at one point, he observes that the Church has "too much talk of sins and not enough of virtues."


♦ Crayons need some respect. The Day the Crayons Quit is a clever story that will encourage your creativity. Other new children's books cover thanking God, meeting a new neighbor, making a new friend, understanding a bully, feeling alive, having a great dog, going on a quest, and seeing marvels with a flashlight.


♦ Spiritual direction for spiritual eclectics. John Mabry has some good suggestions for counseling those with a questing impulse in an excerpt from Spiritual Guidance Across the Religions.


♦ What it's like to be a lark. In his "Body Spirituality" blog, Fred talks about how his biological clock works.


♦ Save the whales. Concerned about new threats to the whales, we have curated our content on these ocean mammals: books, children's books, DVDs, quotes, excerpts, prayers, and organizations defending them. Also take a look at the featured book War on Whales by Joshua Horowitz and a Q&A with him.


♦ Science and spirituality. In the film I Origins, a scientist encounters some mysteries he cannot explain.


♦ New profiles in the Living Spiritual Teachers Project. Meet Mary C. Earle and Denise Linn.


Coming Soon


♦ The 100 Best Transformational Movies. We'll have a handy pdf for you of this list.


♦ 12s Gallery on Generosity. Darren has finished the 12s series on the practices in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy, so now he's taking requests.


♦ In "The Ritual Space" blog, Darren shares a forgiveness ritual.


♦ In "Body Spirituality," Fred pays tribute to the body's overachiever: saliva.


♦ More fall e-courses from Brenda Shoshanna, J. Brent Bill, Contemplative Outreach, and Cynthia Bourgeault.

Recommended from Our Wisdom Archive    


♦ Watch Dancing in Jaffa on DVD, Netflix streaming, and Amazon Instant Streaming. It focuses on a program where Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians learn ballroom dancing, proving that dancing is a healing force capable of turning an enemy into a friend.


♦ Watch some Robin Williams films: The Fisher KingGood Will HuntingPatch Adams,What Dreams May ComeAwakeningsGood Morning, VietnamMrs. DoubtfireAugust RushBicentennial ManThe World According to GarpMoscow on the HudsonDead Poet's Society, and Happy Feet.



Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry You Through the Week


A Proverb to Ponder 
"Charity sees the need, not the cause." 
- German Proverb


A Pearl of Wisdom 
"Time is stranger and deeper than anything else in our lives." 
- Jacob Needleman

A Short Prayer 

"Encircle my soul 
In morning stillness 
Scatter the shadows of fear. 
- Jane M. MacKichan


A Quotation to Inspire 
"Kindness is the loveliest flower in the garden of virtue. It blooms in every kind of soil and often in the darkest corners." 
- Harry M. Tippett


A Blessing from Us to You 
"May you live to see your world fulfilled. 
May your destiny be for worlds still to come. 
May you trust in generations past and yet to be." 
- Lawrence Kushner, "A Teacher's Blessing: Berakhot"


New E-Courses