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Daily Practices

Spiritual Practice
of the Day

Spiritual Reading of the Day: Daniel Gottlieb on empathy
More Spiritual Readings
Today's Reading on Advent: Seeking without Seeking
More Readings on Advent and Christmas

Current E-Courses
The Gospel of Thomas for Advent (2014) with Cynthia Bourgeault
The Grace of Advent: Consent to Contemplative Living with Contemplative Outreach
Coming in 2015
Poetry to Transform Your Life with Roger Housden
Holy Silence: The Quaker Way with J. Brent Bill

Updates

12/19/14
New Children's Books: heaven, happiness, sharing, mitzvah, friendship, lullaby, community life, aggressive behavior, silliness, memory
Now in Theaters: Mr. Turner, Songs of the Sea, Winter Sleep

12/18/14
Praying the News: For Peace and Justice
Birthday of Paul Klee

12/17/14
Praying the News: For the 145 School Children Murdered in Pakistan
Birthday of Bede Griffiths

12/16/14
Premiering on PBS: Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler
Now on DVD/Blu-Ray: Magic in the Moonlight, The Skeleton Twins, This Is Where I Leave You
Birthday of Jane Austen

12/15/14
New in Books: grace, the Qur'an, speed, Rumi, freedom, second wind, light and wisdom, narcissism

12/14/14
Naming the Days: Feast Day of John of the Cross

12/12/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Do Animals Go to Heaven?
Now in Theaters: Inherent Vice
Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe

12/11/14
Civility & Spirituality Blog: Beyond Ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing

12/10/14
Naming the Days: Human Rights Day

12/09/14
The Ritual Space: Fertility Ritual for Creativity
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Why Elders Smile
Now on DVD: Calvary, Dolphin Tale 2, I Origins

12/05/14
Now in Theaters: Still Alice

12/04/14
Praying the News: Gratitude for Faith Sharing on the Internet

12/03/14
Opening Today: Wild

12/02/14
Now on DVD: The Congress, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fifi Howls With Happiness, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Kids For Cash, To Kill a Man

12/01/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Midlife Crisis and Then Wisdom
Naming the Days: World AIDS Day

11/30/14
Advent: Practices for the waiting season

11/29/14
Naming the Days: Birthday of Louisa May Alcott

11/28/14
Praying the News: A Prayer to End Global Economic Inequality

11/27/14
Naming the Days: Thanksgiving

11/26/14
Civility & Spirituality Blog: Patience & Courtesy & Airplane Travel

11/25/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Loving God by Knowing Many Things

11/21/1
Now in Theaters: Big Hero 6, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Imitation Game, Monk WIth a Camera

11/20/14
RIP Mike Nichols: Reviews of his films
Remembering a Spiritual Master: Beatrice Bruteau

11/18/14
Now on DVD: The Wind Rises

11/17/14
New Book Reviews: mindfulness, prayer, shamanic tools, poems, memoir, Judaism, Supreme Court, food, labor, indigenous people, Joan Chittister, Gaza, enemies, heart, soul fury, censored stories, teaching stories, automation, vocation, city, seasons, conscious aging

11/14/14
Now in Theaters: The Circle, Foxcatcher, Rosewater

11/12/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: This Changes Everything

11/11/14
Now on DVD: Happy Christmas, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Jersey Boys, A Most Wanted Man, Planes: Fire & Rescue

11/08/14
Naming the Days: Dylan Thomas Day

11/07/14
Now in Theaters: Pelican Dreams, The Theory of Everything
Naming the Days: Birthday of Albert Camus

11/05/14
Opening Today: National Gallery

11/04/14
Now on DVD: Land Ho!, The One I Love, Second Opinion

11/01/14
All Saints Day: Teaching Story, Quotes, and a Litany to honor saints

10/31/14
New Book Reviews: language of homes, unretirement, gardens, change, sleep, Zen, learning, adversity, Mussar, art, travel, solitude

10/29/14
Naming the Days: Halloween

Opening Today: The Great Invisible, Goodbye to Language
Now on PBS: Death Comes to Pemberley

National Cat Day: quotes, books, children's books, excerpts, and movies about cats

10/28/14
Now on DVD: Begin Again, Child of God, Life of Crime, Running From Crazy

10/27/14
Body Spirituality: Running as a Spiritual Practice

10/24/14
New in Books: Christian Meditation, attention on the streets, information overload, digital world of connections, creativity, Jewish prayer, journal wisdom, Christian courage, mysticism, wonder, instant gratification
Now in Theaters: Life of Riley, The Heart Machine, 1000 Times good Night, Watchers of the Sky

10/23/14
Diwali — A Celebration of Our Inner Light

10/22/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Radical Amazement

10/21/14
Now on DVD: For A Woman, Snowpiercer, The Last Sentence

10/17/14
Now in Theaters: Birdman

10/16/14
World Food Day

10/15/14
Praying the News: A Prayer for the Victims of Ebola (updated)
Civility & Spirituality Blog: Why You Should Care About Other People's Kids as Much as Your Own
Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila

10/14/14
New in Books: everyday spirituality, spiritual teachings, Hasidic storytelling, chronic pain, grace in aging, awe, the writing life, the future, constructive wallowing, the body, human behavior
Now on DVD: Chinese Puzzle, Violette, X-Men: Days of Future Past
Spiritual Literacy Blog: The Art of Slowing Down in a Museum

10/11/14
Happy Birthday to Thich Nhat Hanh and Eleanor Roosevelt

10/10/14
Now in Theaters: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Awake: The Life of Yogananda; The Judge; Kill the Messenger; St. Vincent; Whiplash

10/07/14
Now on DVD: Edge of Tomorrow, Million Dollar Arm, Obvious Child

10/04/14
Feast Day of St. Francis: Practices, films, readings to honor the saint

10/03/14
Now in Theaters: The Blue Room, The Good Lie, Gone Girl

10/02/14
At the New York Film Festival: Heaven Knows What
Naming the Days: Guardian Angels Day

10/01/14
Naming the Days: The Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux
Praying the News: for Those in Their Prime Working Years Who Are Unemployed

09/30/14
Now on DVD: Chef, Lucky Them, Third Person
Naming the Days: Birthday of Rumi

09/29/14
At the New York Film Festival: Look of Silence, Hill of Freedom, Beloved Sisters

09/26/14
52nd New York Film Festival: See our reviews
Now in Theaters: Jimi: All Is by My Side, Lilting, Two Night Stand

09/25/14
Navrati begins

09/24/14
Rosh Hashanah begins at nightfall
Birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald

09/23/14
Now on DVD: Free the Mind, Neighbors, We Are the Best!

09/22/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Who Are You?
Autumn Equinox: Reflections on the Season

09/21/14
International Day of Peace
Naming the Days: Birthday of Leonard Cohen

09/19/14
Now in Theaters: Life's a Breeze, Hector and the Search for Happiness, Pump, This Is Where I Leave You

09/18/14
Naming the Days: Dag Hammarskjold Day

09/17/14
Naming the Days: Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen

09/16/14
Now in DVD: Burning Bush, Burt's Buzz, The Fault in Our Stars

09/15/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: In Praise of Doing the Same Thing All the Time

09/14/14
Naming the Days: Isadora Duncan Day

09/12/14
Naming the Days: Steven Biko Day
Now in Theaters: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Dolphin Tale 2, I Am Eleven

09/11/14
Anniversary of 9/11: Prayer, Art, Practices, Reflections

09/10/14
Support sites like S&P: Sign a letter to lawmakers about keeping the Internet fast and free
Opening Today: My Old Lady

09/09/14
Now on DVD: Ida, Teenage, Words and Pictures

09/08/17
Spiritual Literacy Blog: The New Sharing Economy
Praying the News: For Victims of Sexual Violence
Naming the Days: Birthday of Mary, the Mother of Jesus

09/07/14
National Grandparents Day

09/05/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Retirees with Time to Experiment
Naming the Days: Birthday of John Cage
Now in Theaters: Rocks in My Pocket

09/04/14
Praying the News: For Food-Insecure Households
Naming the Days: E. F. Schumacher Day

09/02/14
Now on DVD: Draft Day, Night Moves

09/01/14
Labor Day

08/29/14
Now in Theaters: The Congress, Life of Crime, Second Opinion

08/26/14
Naming the Days: Birthday of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Naming the Days: National Dog Day
Now on DVD: Belle, The Double, The Love Punch, The Normal Heart, Trust Me

08/25/14
Civility & Spirituality Blog: A New Civility Initiative in San Diego

08/22/14
New in Books: things, Jewish holiday, prophecy alive, a Christian theologian, story, peacemaking, Meister Eckhart, essays, contemporary art, second-wave spirituality, mending the Earth
Now in Theaters: Love Is Strange, The One I Love

08/21/14
Body Spirituality Blog: Saliva, A Bodily Overachiever

08/20/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Mental Illness Crisis

08/19/14
Now on DVD: Dancing in Jaffa, Fading Gigolo, Go for Sisters, Only Lovers Left Alive



 
Matching Gift Campaign
Lullaby

This is the first children's book based on the music of Debbie Friedman, the late singer/songwriter who was called "the Joan Baez of Jewish song." She described her music as "a space in which hands and arms and souls touch in gentle song." That is a perfect description of what she does with her song "Lullaby," which is included on the CD accompanying this beautifully illustrated book of the lyrics.

Read our review of Lullaby.
Read a review of Debbie Friedman's album One Song.

Menorah

Happy Hanukkah
Here are ways to celebrate Hanukkah and the sacred importance of light.
Read our Naming the Days feature.
Watch this video of Peter, Paul and Mary singing Light One Candle.

E-Courses


January 1 - 31, 2015 Poetry to Transform Your Life
Poetry to Transform Your Life with Roger Housden will bring you a poem a day especially chosen by Roger Housden for their ability to awaken you to fresh ways of seeing both yourself and the world. It's a great way to start a new year. Poets represented include Mary Oliver, Galway Kinnell, Hafiz, Rumi, Kabir, Rainer Maria Wilke, Naomi Shihab Nye, James Wright, Ellen Bass, Leonard Cohen, Czeslaw Milosz, Jean Pierre de Causadde, Derek Walcott, Wendell Berry, and many others. Each email will also include a commentary on the poem by Roger Housden, a process for consciously reflecting on the poem, a simple practice to bring the poem's meaning into your life, and an audio recording of the poem by Housden. Participants will also discuss the poems meaning in their lives a worldwide community in the online Practice Circle. Housden is the bestselling author of the Ten Poems to Change Your Life series of books and is renowned for his inspired recitations of sacred poetry.

January 12 - February 6 Holy Silence: The Quaker Way
Holy Silence: The Quaker Way with J. Brent Bill is a one-month online retreat on embracing silence as the Quakers do, encountering God in a living and vital holy hush. This is a quiet inner place where God teaches us directly, granting us insights, guidance, and understanding of spiritual truth. We learn to marry faith with daily life. This e-course is being led by J. Brent Bill, a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends and author of numerous books on Quaker spiritual practices. Through 12 emails he will share how to practice a silence deeper than words and offer tools for entering into it, including Quaker Queries, a unique form of asking non-directive questions for spiritual growth. Participants will also discuss their journey into spiritual silence in the online Practice Circle and during a one-hour teleconference with J. Brent Bill.

In Progress
The Grace of Advent: Consent to Contemplative Living with Contemplative Outreach
The Gospel of Thomas for Advent (2014) with Cynthia Bourgeault
 
Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2014

Each year we see hundreds of movies and review those we can recommend to you as good companions for your spiritual journey. To explain our choices, we note which of the 37 spiritual practices in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy each film's story and characters illustrate. Then at the end of the year we choose the 45 "Most Spiritually Literate Films," dividing our choices in five categories.
See our list of award winners.
Read how we've been inspired by movies in 2014.
 
Small Victories

Anne Lamott sees herself as a detective always searching for clues to God's presence or absence. She possesses a keen eye for detail and a zany sense of humor. All of these qualities come to the surface in this delightful collection of essays.

Read our review of Small Victories.
Read an excerpt on connections.
 
12 Quotes on Creativity

Creativity isn't just about the "arts." It can turn up in some unlikely places. Best of all, creative expression is a way to practice our spirituality.
See the gallery
See all the 12s galleries
 
Remembering Spiritual Masters

The Remembering Spiritual Masters Project profiles teachers who are no longer with us physically but still offer great wisdom through their books, audios, and films. We remember Beatrice Bruteau who departed the earth on November 16.
See our profile of Beatrice Bruteau in the Remembering Spiritual Masters Project
 
Handle with Care

Inspired by Marie Kondo's bestselling book (see below), we've revisited our attitudes toward and appreciation of our things. There is a rich and soulful emphasis in the world's wisdom traditions on respecting inanimate objects. We call this "soulful materialism" where the objects in our homes are appreciated and cherished for their beauty, expressiveness, life, and creativity.
See Handle Your Things with Care.
 
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo, in this bestselling book, has taken the subject of decluttering and made it totally fresh with her practical suggestions for establishing a spiritual relationship with your possessions.
Read our review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Read
an excerpt on saying goodbye to an old cell phone and treating clothes with respect.
 
Books That Speak to Your Condition

Books can inform, illuminate, and inspire. They can also directly address what we are feeling in our hearts and needing for our spiritual growth. Quakers call this "speaking to your condition." We're starting a new series in which we will "prescribe" books or films to address what might be happening in your life. We hope you find these suggestions helpful.
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
See the feature
 
The Norton Anthology of World Religions

Under the editorial direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning religious scholar Jack Miles, this two-volume set maps more than 1,000 primary texts from six of the world's religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam. We suggest some ways for you to work with this anthology.
See our review of The Norton Anthology of World Religions
Read an excerpt about how a Beatles' song was inspired by a verse from the Tao Te Ching
 
National Cat Day


Here at Spirituality & Practice, cats are our teachers, companions, playmates, and so much more. So on the occasion of National Cat Day, we’ve put together a gallery of the S&P cats plus a collection of our content on cats. Here are quotes, book reviews, children’s book reviews, book excerpts, and movie reviews. We had no idea we have so much material on this website about how cats enrich our spiritual journeys. Enjoy!
See our feature on cats.
 
Lila

Marilynne Robinson won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for Gilead, a novel about a Congregational minister in a small Iowa town. This companion book tells the story of his wife, a former migrant who relishes solitude and has to learn to trust. Spiritual themes that serve as sturdy accompaniments to the main melody of loneliness include the deep lights of reveling in the grace of God, the debilitations and surprises of old age, and the idiosyncratic nature of love between two very different people.
Read our review of Lila
Read an excerpt on love
 
Finishing Things

Starting something new delivers a rush to our brains and we feel energized by our latest project for social or personal transformation. But, truth be told, many of us never finish what we start. We all know people whose work is characterized by perseverance, endurance, and stick-to-it-iveness. How do they do it? We've found five spiritual practices to help you finish things.
Read our article on Finishing Things
 
A Saint Among Us

"A saint is a life-giver . . . a human being with the same sorts of hang-ups and abysses as the rest of us, but if a saint touches your life, you come alive in a new way." Meet Vincent, an anti-social, angry, alcoholic slob, who turns out to be a saint in the life of a young boy. Now in theaters, St. Vincent, a very funny and touching cinematic parable about spiritual transformation, is one of the Most Spiritually Literate Films of the Year.
Read our review of St. Vincent
 
The Ritual Space — Forgiveness Ritual

Forgiveness is an ongoing process and can seem overwhelming at times. Desmond Tutu says, "It is best to break our forgiving down into bite-size pieces, and begin from wherever we are standing." This ritual is crafted into three parts: 1. forgiveness for self, 2. forgiveness of others, 3. acknowledging our restored light.
See the ritual
Read about other rituals on The Ritual Space
 
The Human Age

Diane Ackerman is one of those creative souls who can lift our spirits with stirring and hopeful images of the future. Her 24th book takes us on a grand tour of the "Anthropocene" era when humans have become a species with "planetwide powers and breathtaking gifts." She recommends wonder as the practice that can energize and revitalize us in the present moment.
Read our review of The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us
Read an excerpt on on inhabiting both the real and the virtual worlds with presence.
 
Climate Change

Climate Change We have seen a shift toward greater climate change awareness as more and more spiritual people have taken on this environmental, economic, and social problem as a central element in our spiritual activism. So we have searched through our resources and come up with a large cross-cut of our best content on this subject: quotes, e-courses, spiritual practices, films, books, organizations, teachers, and memes.
See our topic section on Climate Change
 
100 Best Transformational Movies

100 Best Transformational Movies Transformational movies reveal the astonishing ways in which human beings can be changed and set on a new path. We've curated a list of our favorite films in this spiritual genre. We hope you will use it when making your own movie viewing selections and share it with your friends and family.
See our list of the 100 Best Transformational Movies (pdf file). Clicking on the movie titles will take you to our full reviews.
 
The Endless Practice

The Endless Practice Saying yes to life, patience, following our heart, doing small things with love, holding and listening, letting go and beginning again, and finding our way to the Sacred. These are some of the practices recommended by poet, philosopher, and spiritual teacher Mark Nepo in his new book. You will want to read this one slowly so that the wisdom and the epiphanies can simmer in your consciousness.
Read our review of The Endless Practice.
Read an excerpt on saying "yes!" to life.
See our profile of Mark Nepo in the Living Spiritual Teachers Project.
 
Elder Spirituality Project

Elder Spirituality Elder Spirituality is a focus whose time has come. Traditionally in the world's religions, the last stage of life is seen as a time for intensified spiritual work as well as for passing on wisdom to other generations. In 2013 Spirituality & Practice offered four e-courses for elders, and another one starts in September. Now we are launching a whole new section of the website to provide a wide-ranging selection of curated content on elder spirituality. Read what the time of spiritual elderhood means to us and what spiritual eldering practices do for us. Then explore quotes, practices, books, book excerpts, films, art, teachers, and articles on the spiritual adventure of the last stage of life.
Visit S&P's new section on
Elder Spirituality
.
 
Spirituality & Practice Awards

Every December we announce our choices of the Most Spiritually Literate Films and the Best Spiritual Books of the Year. But some films and books are so good, we already know they will make our lists. So here are mid-year previews.
See our list of the most spiritually literate films so far.
See our list of the best spiritual books so far.
 
Praying the News

Praying the News The daily news summons us to prayer. The people, situations, events, facts, and trends of our times call out for our compassion and God's healing presence. In this blog we will pray in a variety of forms as we lift up the needs of the world.
Pray about the news.
 
Circles of Support

Please remember S&P when you are feeling generous! Be part of our global circle of people vitally engaged with the wisdom and practices of the spiritual traditions, living deeper and fuller lives, and serving our communities and the wider world.
Make a gift today.
 
Spiritual Literacy DVDs

This six-volume DVD series, consisting of 26 meditative and soul-stirring half-hour films, is based on Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat's bestselling book Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life. Award-winning filmmaker David Cherniack has married aha! passages from all spiritual traditions to sense-luscious visuals and emotionally vibrant music.
Read more and get group resources
Special Purchase Offer
View clips from Beauty    Forgiveness    You    More Clips
 
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