December 20, 2014

What's Happening at


♦ We are poised to launch a new version of Spirituality & Practice in early 2015 but first we need to raise the funds to cover the final coding, the migration of 28,000 pages of existing FREE content, the development of resources for new sections (the Arts, the Reverence Project, the Elder Spirituality Project), and the testing and implementation of a slew of new features. Read more about our plans and what they will mean for our worldwide community.


Will you help us build this bridge to our future? Every gift made before the December 31 (up to $50,000) will be matched by generous donors and longtime users of the site. Every donation, no matter how small, will help us reach our goal.


E-Courses make great gifts! Get one of the "Practicing Spirituality" 40-day programs for only $19.98. Give one of our popular online retreats created by Cynthia Bourgeault, Contemplative Outreach, The Network for Grateful Living, Thomas Moore, Kabir Helminski, Rami Shapiro, Sylvia Boorstein, and others. Or register now for one of our January programs: Poetry to Transform Your Life with Roger Housden and Holy Silence: The Quaker Way by J. Brent Bill.


Trumpets please! We've made our selection of the Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2014. Here's our list of the best 45 films in five categories and here's why they inspired us.


Heroism amidst chaos. Virunga is an inspiring documentary about four people who demonstrate compassion and heroism while trying to protect a wildlife sanctuary in the midst of a civil war. More films.


The painter of light. Mr. Turner is a biopicture about the last years of Joseph Mallord William Turner, played to perfection by Timothy Spall.


Addicted to fast and faster? Many people are, says Stephanie Brown in Speed Addiction. More books.


♦ "God will keep you safe throughout the night." That is the loving message in "Lullaby" sung by the late Jewish singer/songrwriter Debbie Friedman. It is on the CD that accompanies a beautifully illustrated children's picture book.


Teaching children through picture books. Animals explain what a mitzvah is; a dog finds a friend; the sheep go on strike; four beings go on a quest and learn the futility of aggressive behavior; a child asks questions about connections and memories -- and more! There's even a book with no pictures.


"I" turned into "We." In an excerpt from her latest book Small Victories, Anne Lamott describes how that happened to her at a San Francisco peace march.


Praying for our troubled world. Recent posts in our "Praying the News" blog called out to God regarding race relations in the U.S., the murder of children in Pakistan, and global income inequality. More blog posts.


Armchair pilgrimages. The PBS series Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler visits with pilgrims at Lourdes, France; Shikoku, Japan; Jerusalem; Mecca; Allahabad, India; and Asun-Osogbo, Nigeria.


Baby Boomers as elders. In Second Wind Bill Thomas enthusiastically explores how this huge cohort is approaching aging.


"Rescue, Rehab, Release." That's the mission of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, the setting for Dolphin Tale 2, a story that shows that animals feel things deeply. More DVDs.


An impressive morality play. Calvary, now on DVD, focuses on a Catholic priest in Ireland forced to suffer for the sins of others.


The great mysteries of life. I Origins is a deeply spiritual movie, now on DVD, about the eyes, science, and reincarnation.


CreativiTea and FertiliTea. In "The Ritual Space" blog, Darren describes a how he and his friends used herbal teas to catalyze their creativity.


"Half of creativity is seeing possibilities." (Ted Loder) That's one of the inspirational quotes in our 12s gallery on creativity.


Feel the light. In The Light: A Book of Wisdom, Keidi Keating has collected the ideas of 22 New Age and New Thought writers and teachers on this perennially popular subject.


Core messages of Islam. Qur'an in Conversation presents 20 North American Muslim scholars and religious leaders on the meanings conveyed in the Qur'an.


A rift in a relationship. Force Majeure is a Swedish psychodrama that speaks volumes about the considerable risks and challenges faced by couples and families while on vacations.


Sacred pauses to try today. One of our "Spiritual Readings of the Day" recently was an excerpt from a book by Macrina Wiederkehr on ways to take little Sabbaths during your busy day. More book excerpts.


Siding with the Apes. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, now on DVD, is an admirable sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes with its stunning special effects sequences and its interest in exploring important philosophical and ethical issues involving war and peace, trust and betrayal, and the spiritual nature of leadership in times of chaos and destructiveness.


Giving up the "us" versus "them" habit. In his "Civility & Spirituality" blog, Frederic Brussat uses an article by Dennis Merritt Jones to ponder ways of moving beyond the old dualistic paradigm which leads to political gridlock.


Branded with a Scarlet A. Still Alice stars Julianne Moore in an Academy Award- caliber performance as a 50-year-old woman diagnosed with early onset Altzheimer's; she is very eloquent in her description of what it means to struggle with the disease.


Why elders smile. In our "Spiritual Literacy" blog, we report on new research proving that elders are letting go of anxiety and getting more pleasure out of small things than they did at other stages of life.


The kind of leaders we need today. Selma is convincing in its portrayal of how nonviolent action can effect social change; you will be inspired when the Selma community is joined by priests, nuns, ministers, and rabbis on the march from Selma to Montgomery, united in their pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice.


A gift for photography. Monk With a Camera charts the life and work of American Nicholas Vreeland who became a Tibetan Buddhist monk and Abbot of the Rato monastery, the first westerner to serve in that role in nearly three millennia of Tibetan Buddhist history.

Coming Soon


♦ The Best Spiritual Books of 2014. We're still reading and reviewing books, but we will have our final selection for you soon.


♦ An expanded and enhanced website. Here are just a few of the features and new things you can expect at Spirituality & Practice when we, with your help, launch the new version in early 2015. 

Recommended from Our Wisdom Archive


Spiritually Literate Gifts. Infuse the spiritual practices of imagination, play, connections, teachers, and meaning into your gift-selection process.


Spiritual Practices for Shopping. Here are 20 practices recommended for any time, but especially for the holidays.


♦ Enjoy some Christmas-themed movies on DVD or Streaming: Smoke,  A Midnight Clear, Joyeux Noel, Simon Birch, and The Polar Express.


Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry You Through the Week

A Proverb to Ponder
"If one possesses contentment,
less or more wealth makes no difference."
- Tibetan Proverb


A Pearl of Wisdom
"All the things of the universe are perfect miracles,
each as profound as any."
- Walt Whitman


A Short Prayer
"Open our eyes to your presence
Open our ears to your call
Open our hearts to your love.
- from Celtic Blessings compiled by Ray Simpson


A Quotation to Inspire
"There are days when you don't have a song in your heart.
Sing anyway."
- Emory Austin


A Blessing from Us to You
"May your compassion reach out to the ones we never hear from.
May you have the courage to speak for the excluded ones.
May you become the gracious and passionate subject of your own life.
May you not disrespect your mystery through brittle words or false belonging.
May you be embraced by God in whom dawn and twilight are one.
May your longing inhabit its dreams within the Great Belonging."
- John O'Donohue
in  To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings 


S&P E-Courses

Choose from among the 
 in the "Practicing Spirituality" series created by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. 

January E-Courses with Practice Circles

Holy Silence: The Quaker Way with J. Brent Bill