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Daily Practices

Spiritual Practice
of the Day

Spiritual Reading of the Day: Dawna Markova on cultivating our garden of life
More Spiritual Readings
Today's Reading for Emotional Intelligence Month: The Power of Yes and No
More Readings for Emotional Intelligence Month

Current E-Courses
Zen and Everyday Life with Brenda Shoshanna
Lean In, Lighten Up and Let Go with Mary Dwyer
Spiritual Practices from the Gurdjieff Work with Cynthia Bourgeault

Updates

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

08/16/14
New in Children's Books: nighttime, remembering, gratitude, St. Nicholas, creativity, loneliness, friendship, negativity, adventures, play, questing, respect, change, LGBT pride

08/15/14
Now in Theaters: The Giver, Jealousy, The Trip to Italy, A Will for the Woods

08/13/14
Praying the News: For Those Suffering from Depression

08/12/14
Now on DVD: Hateship Loveship, Bears, The Cold Lands, Summer in February, Locke
Praying the News: For Victims of Religious Hostility

08/11/14
Naming the Days: Feast Day of St. Clare

08/08/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Free to Choose
Now in Theaters: Fifi Howls From Happiness, The Hundred-Foot Journey, What If

08/06/14
Naming the Days: Birthday of Louis Armstrong
Naming the Days: Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing

08/05/14
Naming the Days: Isaac Luria Day
Now on DVD: Divergent

08/04/14
Body Spirituality: My Biological Clock and Life as a Lark
Praying the News: For Victims of the Ebola Virus
Naming the Days: Birthday of Raoul Wallenberg

08/03/14
Naming the Days: Birthday of Maggie Kuhn

08/01/14
Now in Theaters: Calvary, Child of God, Finding Fela, Rabindranath Tagore, The Strange Little Cat

07/31/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: What Playfulness Can Do For You
Praying the News: For the Children of Gaza

07/29/14
New in Books: plants, grace, college chaplains, sabbath, food, common good, Tao of listening, Buddhism, Shamanism, parenting, compassion, children, land use, taming the ego, physical intelligence, authenticity
Now on DVD: Finding Vivian Maier, Noah, The French Minister, On My Way

07/28/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Confronting Ageism
Naming the Days: Birthday of Gerard Manley Hopkins

07/25/14
Now in Theaters: Happy Christmas, Lucy, Magic in the Moonlight

07/23/14
Praying the News: For Those Who Are Grieving for the Passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
Opening Today: A Master Builder
Praying the News: For Personal Experience with Religious Groups

07/22/14
Now on DVD: Cesar Chavez, Heaven Is for Real, Transcendence, When the Iron Bird Flies

07/21/14
Praying the News: For the End of Violence in Palestine and Israel
Spiritual Literacy Blog: The Future of Robot Caregivers

07/18/14
Now in Theaters: Alive Inside, I Origins, Me and You, Planes: Fire & Rescue

07/17/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: How a Password Changed One Man's Life for the Better
Naming the Days: Birthday of Abraham Joshua Heschel

07/15/14
Now on DVD: The Face of Love, Under the Skin

07/14/14
Naming the Days: Birthday of Woodie Guthrie
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Touching the Earth for Our Adversaries

07/11/14
For Gaza/Israel: Wartime Prayers and Meditations
Naming the Days: Birthday of E. B. White
Now in Theaters: Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Land Ho!

07/10/14
Praying the News: For Desperate Children Fleeing Gang Violence

07/09/14
Spiritual Literacy Bog: Mixed Feelings about Watching Animals

07/08/14
Now on DVD: Bad Words, Le Week-End, Nymphomaniac Vols. I & II

07/07/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: We'd Rather Shock Ourselves than Sit Quietly Alone

07/05/14
Naming the Days: Birthday of Hazrat Inayat Khan

07/04/14
4th of July Beyond Fireworks: Celebrating Our Interdependence
Now in Theaters: Begin Again, The Case Against 8

07/03/14
Remembering a Spiritual Master: Rebbe Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
The Ritual Space: A Receiving Ritual

07/02/14
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Amma: The Hugging Saint

07/01/14
Now on DVD: Like Father, Like Son; The Lunchbox

06/30/14
Praying the News: For More Respect and Civility in Politics
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Armed Drones and Perpetual War

06/28/14
Naming the Days: Ramadan Mubarak



 
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


E-Courses

IN PROGRESS:
October 6 - October 31
Zen and Everyday Life with Brenda ShoshannaZen and Everyday Life with Brenda Shoshanna is a four-week online retreat with Zen Buddhism practitioner Brenda Shoshanna. She covers a variety of Zen practices designed to help you clear away confusion, discover your own answers, and express your unique response to what's happening all around you. She provides instructions in zazen (meditation), the nature of koans, confronting the hungry ghost, and meeting the monkey mind. Through emails and short audios sent three times a week, she addresses what it means to take care of ourselves and each other so that we live a life that matters and develop true compassion. Brenda will answer questions and provide feedback during a one-hour teleconference and in the online Practice Circle. Details here.

October 6 - October 31
Lean In, Lighten Up, and Let GoLean In, Lighten Up and Let Go: Practices for a Deeper Commitment to the Contemplative Life with Mary Dwyer is an interactive online retreat to encourage a life of prayer and practice both on the chair and in daily life. It is designed as a review of contemplative prayer practices and will support you in making a deeper commitment to your relationship with God. It will help you discern your own "rule of life" and will show you how to live out the truth of God's presence and action every day. E-course elements include email lessons, short videos, weekly teleconferences, and an online Practice Circle. Details here.

COMING SOON:
November 3 - 28
Spiritual Practices from the Gurdjieff WorkSpiritual Practices from the Gurdjieff Work with Cynthia Bourgeault is one-month hands-on exploration of Gurdjieff's powerful spiritual practices minus the intellectual speculation and secrecy usually associated with it. Popular S&P teacher Cynthia Bourgeault will lead you through these unparalleled teachings on attention, identification, and self-remembering, using a cumulative, sequential approach that remains concrete and focused on practical tasks. Emails on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will look at where Gurdjieff's ideas came from and how these simple practices can put teeth on the bones of your present spiritual commitment, whether it's officially "religious" or not. You'll have opportunities to interact with Cynthia in the lively and responsive Practice Circle and during a one-hour teleconference.
 
12 Quotes on Humility

In these days of self-improvement and self-esteem programs, one spiritual quality we may overlook is humility the practice of not putting ourselves first. These 12 quotes can help you put things back in perspective and right size your ego.
See the gallery
See all the 12s galleries
 
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 Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby - Them This is one of the best films of 2014. With a substantive and soul-stirring screenplay by first-time director Ned Benson and nuanced performances by James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain and a standout supporting cast, this movie provides us with an emotional lab where we can explore our feelings about love, loss, marriage, and family life.
Read our review of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them.
 
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
.
 
New from Richard Rohr

Eager to Love "The Gospel is not a fire insurance policy for the next world, but a life assurance policy for this world." So writes Franciscan teacher Richard Rohr in his latest book, a portrait of Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and his spiritual companion Clare. He shows how they modeled a Christian way of being through their love of the natural world, their humility and poverty, and their intimacy with God.
Read our review of Eager to Love.
Read an excerpt on love.
 
Spiritual Practices for Difficult Times

Elemental Figure sculpture Sir Joseph Epstein's sculpture "Elemental Figure" speaks to our feelings of grief and loss as we contemplate what's happening in our world — Gaza, ISIS in Iraq, Ebola, migrant children on the U.S. border, global warming. How do we respond to times when we feel anxious and defeated? We turn to our spiritual practices. Here are nine tried-and-true ones.
See our suggested spiritual practices for difficult times.
 
How to Be Spiritual But Not Religious

How to Be Spiritual But Not Religious Yoga and meditation teacher Victor M. Parachin, who has received two S&P Book Awards, has put together a wonderful collection of quotes, questions, lists, and practices for those want to use the "inherently flexible and flowing" teachers of the Eastern traditions to create their own unique hybrid spirituality. We love his questions for a Spiritual Self-Examination and his Ten Zen Commandments.
Read our review of How to be Spiritual But Not Religious.
See an excerpt on how you can become a sunbeam in someone else's life.
 
The Rebirthing of God

The Rebirthing of God John Philip Newell invites Christians to dream of a reborn Christianity that will carry great blessing for the world. This adventure is animated by a "radical reemergence of the Divine from deep inside us." Newell gets specific with eight features of this transformation. Then he introduces us to guides for each one, making this book both practical and inspirational.
Read our review of The Rebirthing of God
 
Belief Without Borders

Belief Linda Mercadante, a theology professor and Presbyterian minister, spent five years interviewing people who describe themselves as "Spiritual But Not Religious." She asked them about their views on the sacred, human nature, community, and the afterlife, and she was able to identify common themes in their perspectives. Her book is far and away the best assessment so far of this movement and its many meanings.
Read our review of Belief Without Borders
Take our e-course (available on-demand) on The Way of the Spiritually Independent with Rabbi Rami
Download our 24-page e-book "A Field Guide for the Spiritually Independent"
 
Be Nobody

Here's an out-of-the-box book for spiritual mongrels, "nones," and "undos." It focuses on the helpful teaching of losing the somebody self, an antidote to the culture of narcissism.
Read our review of Be Nobody.
Read an excerpt on peace.
 
Whales

New threats to the survival of whales have put these mammals in the news. So we have curated our content on whales to give you a good sampling of all the many ways to appreciate them.
See our topic page on whales.
Read our review of War of the Whales
Take action for whales.
 
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.
 
Living Spiritual Teachers

The Living Spiritual Teachers Project spotlights people from different religious and spiritual traditions we think you should meet on your spiritual journey. We now have profiles of more than 140 teachers and we are adding more all the time. Here are our latest additions.
Meet Mary C. Earle
Meet Denise Linn
See a list of all the Living Spiritual Teachers
 
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
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