What's Happening at
SpiritualityandPractice.com

August 7, 2020
Editors' Pick
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

We are pleased to announce a new series of regular features at Spirituality & Practice: Resources That Speak to Your Condition. The inaugural one focuses on loneliness, which Ronald Rolheiser has described as "one of the deepest, most universal, and most profound experiences that we have." We have chosen seven key resources for you to consider: a book, two book excerpts, two films, a ritual, and a spiritual practice. We hope they support you if you are feeling lonely and will also strengthen your empathy for others you know who are lonesome.
Practices
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima; and on August 9, another on Nagasaki. Here are a film and a prayer to help us reflect on what we can learn from this crime against humanity.
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

We post a "Daily Resource for the Pandemic" on S&P's homepage and keep up an index of these resources. Recent additions include pilgrimages to do close to home and a Tibetan practice for reducing suffering.

More Practices: Birthday of Satish Kumar, Feast Day of St. Clare of Assisi
E-Courses
By the S&P Team
August 9, 2020 - August 1, 2021

This Sunday marks the start of the sixth year of the Contemplative Photographers Practice Group, open to people at all skill levels, new or returning. Join the Year 6 group and receive weekly sessions for an entire year, along with the opportunity to share this creative practice with others near and far:
By Cynthia Bourgeault

We are delighted to welcome back one of our most popular e-course teachers, Cynthia Bourgeault. She will be exploring in depth, through essays and engagement in the Practice Circle with e-course participants, eight small poems written by Fr. Keating during the last winter of his life. The whole course will be set on the foundation of the question, "How do we live in this world of pain and uncertainty with the courage and unity that come for turning toward the stillness, the transformation?" This is bound to be an insightful and inspiring program. Read more and sign up here:

Newly started August E-Courses: Still open for registrations!
By Thomas Moore
August 3 - 28, 2020

Learn concrete ways to make sense of dark nights like the COVID-19 pandemic and discover life-transforming benefits from them. This e-course includes 12 sessions, a guided Practice Circle, and two Zoom community gatherings.
By Judith Favor
August 3 - 28, 2020

Receive guidance on using spiritual journaling to explore interior, interpersonal, social, and sacred realities. This course includes tips and special queries to spark your thoughts and journal writing, suggested actions for going deeper, and a Practice Circle for the course's worldwide community.
Streaming Film Releases
Directed by Elizabeth Coffman and Mark Bosco

This erudite and spiritually edifying documentary about southern Catholic writer Flannery O'Connor includes archival photographs and film clips, plus numerous tributes to her unique art by writers including Brad Gooch, Richard Rodriguez, Alice McDermott, Hilton Als, and others.
Directed by Ciro Guerra

This powerful drama, based on J. M. Coetzee's acclaimed novel, revolves around a good man forced to deal with the power plays of those responding to rumors of war. It illustrates the importance of empathy, conscience, dialogue, and respect, especially of those who are different from us.

More Streaming Releases: Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind, The Last Tree, Rebuilding Paradise, Relic, Shine Your Eyes (Cidade Pássaro), Shirley, Summerland, The Sunlit Sky, The Tobacconist, Widow of Silence 
Books
By Jonah Paquette

The benefits of being awestruck include being happier, less materialistic, able to grow and change, and being more humble. From the vantage point of psychology, explore this essential life skill and healing balm for such societal ills as loneliness, addiction, stress, and trauma.

More Books: Biophilia You + Nature + Home
Children's Books
By Deborah Underwood

Mysterious, dream-like illustrations and evocative words convey an interchange between us and Outside, who comes indoors by sunset shadows, sunbaked smells, berries, a boxelder bug in the bath, and even our wooden chairs.


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Blogs
Short & Sweet Spirituality Blog
By Frederic Brussat

Native American, Catholic, Buddhist, and Hindu wisdom teachers point out how we are connected with others, and also assure us that it's okay to waste a little time now and then.
KidSpirit Youth Voices Blog
By Khawaja Mustafa Shah

It is hard to get those with mental health issues to overcome their fear of speaking about them, especially in Pakistan. But it must be done.
Process Musings Blog
By Patricia Adams Farmer

You are like this: a jewel in the "eye" of God, lighting up the world by your relation to all the other jewels. You are part of something big and beautiful and wholly divine.
Teachers
Curated by Keziah Grindeland

Angel Kyodo williams is an ordained Zen Buddhist priest, as well as a writer and activist. Her books, interviews, and essays are all powerful calls toward what she calls a "radical dharma," which views personal and societal liberation as being deeply intertwined.
Practicing Democracy Project
Directed by Dawn Porter

John Lewis received many honors and personal tributes in his long and illustrious career as a civil rights advocate and a Democratic U.S. Representative from Georgia. He died on July 17, 2020, just as this documentary was released via virtual theaters. It is a wonderful tribute to a man who never lost hope.
By Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter

The political industrial complex serves the needs and demands of the two-party duopoly and not the American people. Gehl and Porter have plenty of creative and nonpartisan suggestions for breaking gridlock in Washington, D.C.

More in the Practicing Democracy Project: Anniversaries of The Nineteenth Amendment, The Signing of the Social Security Act
From Our Wisdom Archive
Compiled and designed by Darren Polito

None of us is free until all of us are free. That's why justice is demanded in all religions. These inspiring quotes apply justice to a whole range of relationships.
A Thought to Carry with You
When you consider the tools at your disposal for healing, do you include stories? Joan Aiken, in The Way to Write for Children, reminds us that stories aren't mere idle pastimes: "From the beginning of the human race stories have been used -- by priests, by bards, by medicine men [and women] -- as magic instruments of healing, of teaching, as a means of helping people come to terms with the fact that they continually have to face insoluble problems and unbearable realities."

You can even find cultures in which a story is considered the most healing gift you can offer to a neighbor or a loved one who is ill or sad. In The Healing Art of Storytelling, Richard Stone explains that in some Islamic societies, "You would never bring a sick person flowers and candles. … Instead, you would tell them a story of patience, endurance, and triumph. The images such a tale would plant in their awareness would circulate through their souls just as powerfully as a medicinal elixir would travel to the diseased cells by way of the bloodstream. The more the story is considered, the more it can empower the body's own healing mechanisms."

You can find healing stories in your own life, in the biographies of people who inspire you, in scripture, in children's books, and in literature for grown-ups. This week, think of one way you can avail yourself of a good story, for your own sake or for someone else. If you're stuck for ideas, explore the children's section of your local library (many now offer e-books if you cannot go in person) or our children's book reviews and browse through the array of colorful, magical tales. Some of these stories may seem fantastical, but they nevertheless hold kernels of truth that help make the vicissitudes of human life navigable. 

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