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Daily Practices

Spiritual Practice
of the Day

Spiritual Reading of the Day: Thomas Ryan on tapping our creative potential
More Spiritual Readings
Today's Reading for Heart Month: The Heart at Your Center
More for Heart Month

Current E-Courses
Practicing Spirituality with Edward Hays - Lent 2015
Silence and the Spiritual Journey with Thomas Keating
The Way of Silence: A Year-long Program with Contemplative Outreach

Now in Theaters: Bluebird, The Hunting Ground, '71

Civility & Spirituality: Mortality Is a Hot Topic Around the World

Now on DVD: Big Hero 6, Code Black, Cyber-Seniors, Whiplash

New in Children's Books: plugged-in kingdoms, a hungry owl, friendship, creativity, gender issues, a monster of her own, helping toads, a clever use of westerns, a quest for spring, looking good, rain, birds in flight, yearning for a child

Now in Theaters: McFarland USA, Wild Tales

Opening Today: Queen and Country
Ash Wednesday
Naming the Days: Birthday of Sri Ramakrishna
Naming the Days: Birthday of Nikos Kazantzakis

Now on Blu-Ray and DVD: Birdman, The Homesman, Life Itself, St. Vincent, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, The Theory of Everything, Watchers of the Sky

Happy Valentine's Day: Practicing Love

New Book Reviews: jail ministry, Benedictine living, sacred sound, the future of God, faith and psychotherapy, presence of God, hospitality, spiritual leadership, girls of Kabul, the sonic boom, silence, enchanted objects
Praying the News: For Three Muslim Students Killed in North Carolina
In Theaters: The Rewrite

Naming the Days: A. J. Muste Day

Now on DVD/Blu-Ray: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Force Majeure; Kill the Messenger; Lilting; Nightcrawler; Olive Kitteridge; Rosewater

Naming the Days: Martin Buber's Birthday

Now in Theaters: Ballet 422, Lovesick, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine

Body Spirituality: My Face

Naming the Days: Birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Spiritual Literacy Blog: Embracing Boredom
Now on DVD: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby; Hector and the Search for Happiness; Tricked: The Documentary

Naming the Days: Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Imbolc

Superbowl Sunday: Michael Dwinell's "The NFL and God"
Spiritual Practices for Winter: Days 1 - 7

Naming the Days: Thomas Merton's 100th Birthday
Now available on DVD: Downton Abbey: Season 5

Naming the Days: Mohandas K. Gandhi Day
In Theaters: Timbuktu

New in Books: men, prayers, Judaism, elder wisdom, play, joyful aging, living lightly, fracking, justice, marriage, soul feast, empathy, reverence, politics, yoga, aging church
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Empathy and Reading

Naming the Days: Mozart's Birthday
Now on DVD: The Judge, My Old Lady

Spiritual Literacy Blog: MicroLearning and Mass Attention Deficit

Naming the Days: Birthday of Henri J. M. Nouwen

Now in Theaters: Black Sea, Life Inside Out, Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, Red Army, Song One

Now on DVD: Life's a Breeze, Lucy, My Winnipeg
New in Books: peace, Earth community, envy, elders, emotions, resilience, the Beguines, awe-filled wonder, poetry, freedom, humility

Praying the News: For New Audiences for Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: Six quotes to ponder

Praying the News: For the Victims at Charlie Hebdo
Now Showing: Still Alice, Valley of Saints, Northern Borders

Spiritual Literacy Blog: The Universal Reach of Character Development
Now in Theaters: Human Capital
Naming the Days: Albert Schweitzer's Birthday

Now on DVD: Finding Fela!; Gone Girl; Jimi: All Is by My Side; Love Is Strange; Men Women & Children; The Strange Little Cat
Spiritual Literacy Blog: Death of Novelist Robert Stone
Naming the Days: George Fox Day

Naming the Days: Feast Day of Brother Lawrence

Now in Theaters: Beloved Sisters, Inherent Vice, Selma

Civility & Spirituality Blog:Treating Inanimate Things with Courtesy and Caring

Now on DVD: Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, Boyhood, Two Night Stand, A Will for the Woods
Naming the Days: Epiphany

Naming the Days:George Washington Carver Day

Premieres tonight - Season 5 of Downton Abbey: 10 Spiritual Takes on Downton Abbey
Naming the Days:Feast Day of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton

Naming the Days:St. Seraphim of Sarov Day

Happy New Year: Spiritually Literate New Year's Resolutions
Naming the Days: Birthday of E. M. Forster

Opening today: A Most Violent Year

New in Books: Buddhist traditions, loneliness, work, prayers, Jesus, grace, gratitude, hope, kindness, Sacred Feminine, Zen master, spiritual formation, dreaming, seeds, dying, body
Civility & Spirituality Blog: Behaviors that Irritate New York City Subway Passengers
John Main Day

Birthday of Pablo Casals

Now in Theaters: Two Days, One Night; Selma

Body Spirituality Blog: Sitting Too Much Is the New Smoking
Civility & Spirituality Blog: Patience Tested on Airlines
Now on DVD: The Good Lie, The Trip to Italy

Spiritual Literacy Blog: A Secular Version of the Ten Commandments

Winter Solstice: Reflections, poems, prayers, and practices

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

Praying the News: For Peace and Justice
Birthday of Paul Klee

Praying the News: For the 145 School Children Murdered in Pakistan
Birthday of Bede Griffiths

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

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

Naming the Days: Feast Day of John of the Cross

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

Civility & Spirituality Blog: Beyond Ideas of Wrongdoing and Rightdoing

Naming the Days: Human Rights Day

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

Now in Theaters: Still Alice

Praying the News: Gratitude for Faith Sharing on the Internet

Opening Today: Wild

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

Spiritual Literacy Blog: Midlife Crisis and Then Wisdom
Naming the Days: World AIDS Day

Advent: Practices for the waiting season

Naming the Days: Birthday of Louisa May Alcott

Praying the News: A Prayer to End Global Economic Inequality

Naming the Days: Thanksgiving

Civility & Spirituality Blog: Patience & Courtesy & Airplane Travel

Spiritual Literacy Blog: Loving God by Knowing Many Things

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

RIP Mike Nichols: Reviews of his films
Remembering a Spiritual Master: Beatrice Bruteau

Now on DVD: The Wind Rises

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

Now in Theaters: The Circle, Foxcatcher, Rosewater

Spiritual Literacy Blog: This Changes Everything

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

Naming the Days: Dylan Thomas Day

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

Opening Today: National Gallery

Soul Feathers

Here’s a radiant new album of spiritual songs laced with beauty, love, and wisdom. On 12 songs and chants, Sandi Kimmel demonstrates how everyday spirituality can be practiced with intention, attention, and joy. It has a global sound which is at once both ancient and modern.
Read our review of Soul Feathers
See the lyrics to "Love Mother Earth"


February 18 - April 5 Practicing Spirituality with Edward Hays
Practicing Spirituality with Edward Hays - Lent 2015 is an e-course for the 40 days of Lent plus the Sundays of Lent and Easter. It focuses on the everyday spirituality teachings of Edward Hays, a Catholic priest, former director of a contemplative center, and author of more than 30 bestselling books on contemporary spirituality. You will receive daily emails with short passages from Hays' books as well as suggestions for how to practice that thought during the day. Then in the online Practice Circle we'll share our responses to the readings and our experiences with the practices. Led by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat.

February 18 - April 3 Silence and the Spiritual Journey with Thomas Keating
Silence and the Spiritual Journey with Thomas Keating is an online retreat for Lent that explores traditional signposts on the spiritual journey of purification into illumination and understanding and further into contemplation and union. You will receive a combination of email, video, and audio teachings as well as the opportunity to share and connect with others in the online Practice Circle. Included will be video excerpted from the Spiritual Journey DVD series, previously unpublished interviews of Fr. Thomas Keating, and new audio teachings with Fr. Thomas recorded especially for this retreat. This retreat offers a contemplative engagement with scripture and the liturgical themes of Lent. Led by Contemplative Outreach.

2015 Year-Long Program The Way of Silence
The Way of Silence A year-long program celebrating the Way of Silence as a practice and a way of life. It is an opportunity to make 2015 a time to reboot and reinvigorate our individual practices while connected to a worldwide community of shared intention. The program consists of two online retreats during the liturgical cycles of Lent and Advent and a third retreat on Centering Prayer as both relationship with God and consent to God's presence and action in daily life. Between the e-courses, subscribers will receive a weekly "Word of the Week" meditation for reflection and sharing in an online Practice Group.

S&P Awards

Every year from the more than 300 books and 300 films we review on this website, we choose 50 Best Spiritual Books for adults, 10 Best Spiritual Children's Books, and 45 Most Spiritually Literate Films. Since we only do positive reviews, these are the best of the best.
See our list of the best spiritual book winners
See our list of children's book award winners
See our list of award winners.
The Age of Dignity

More than 42.5 Americans are now providing care for an elder family member, and the numbers of those needing such help is growing dramatically. Ai-Jen Poo addresses the crises forming around health care, the long lived, and caregiving. Her overview is informative, practical, and hopeful.
Read our review of The Age of Dignity
Read an excerpt on the culture shift around caregiving
Through the Flames

Can meditation, mindfulness, generosity, lovingkindness, gratitude, humor, and equanimity help you get through a period of intense pain and suffering? Buddhist meditation teacher Allan Lokos found they could when he was recovering from burns over 33% of his body sustained in a plane crash. Through the Flames is an inspiring true story about the practice of self-compassion.
Read our review
Read an excerpt on practicing gratitude during difficult times
Considering Hate/Wild Tales

Violence is rampant in our world today dressed up as business-as-usual. In a new book, activists Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski invite us to a conversation on the idea of redemption through violence, offering in its place the values of civic goodness and collective responsibility. They note that movies often advocate revenge as an appropriate response to injustice, and as if on cue, an Academy Award-nominated movie opens this week that does just that.
See our review of Considering Hate
Read an excerpt on shadow
See our review of Wild Tales

"There is beauty calling to us every day, every hour, but we are rarely in a position to listen. The basic condition for us to be able to hear the call of beauty and respond to it is silence," writes Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in his new book. He describes various kinds of silence and, in his characteristic style of simple elegance, explains how to practice silence.
See our review
Read an excerpt on Thundering Silence

One thing is clear. There is a need for prison ministries in the United States which has only 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world's prison population, making it the world’s largest jailer. Every so often our spirits are lifted even higher by compassionate, courageous, and creative souls who give all they've got to prisoners in work modeled after the servant ministry of Jesus. Wanted describes such a ministry, and we highly recommend it to you.
See our review
Read an excerpt on forgiveness
Enchanted Objects

Coming soon . . . A world transformed by enchanted objects with extraordinary powers! Ordinary things are augmented with sensors, wireless connection, and embedded processing making them more useful, more sensate, more connected, and more engaging. Read all about the possibilities in a new book by entrepreneur and inventor David Rose.
See our review
Read an excerpt on questing
There's Always Time to Pray

If you have trouble finding time for prayer, meditation, or spiritual reading every day, try an ancient practice that can be integrated into the daily rounds of your life: reciting a simple prayer phrase or mantra.
Read about how, when, and where to use a mantra.
Practicing Spirituality in Winter

The great Christian monk Thomas Merton once compared the spiritual life to the search for a path in a field of untrodden snow: "Walk across the snow and there is your path." To encourage you to explore the many parts of this path, we have designed a month's worth of practices.
See practices for winter, Days 1 - 7.
Days 8 - 14
Days 15 - 21
The Art of Taking Action

Greg Krech joins with those who have studied with him at the ToDo Institute in an exploration of taking action or "doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done." They address common obstacles to taking action and provide some very practical strategies to address them.
Read our review of The Art of Taking Action
Read an excerpt on Overcoming by Going Around
To Be a Man

"There is a deeper life for men, a life in which responsibility and freedom go hand in hand and level upon level, a life in which happiness is rooted not in what we have but in what we fundamentally are." That is one way that Robert Augustus Masers reframes conventional views of manliness in this new book. A pioneer of the evolving men's movement, he opens new possibilities for the besieged gender.
Read our review.
Read an excerpt on nurturing.
Remembering Spiritual Masters

It is with great sadness that we announce that Marcus J. Borg has gone to his eternal rest. For many people, including us, this progressive Christian theologian enabled us to "meet Jesus again for the first time" and embrace the "God we never knew" of panentheism. After reading his books, we could affirm both our Christian roots and our interreligious visions. For many who now consider themselves Spiritually Independent, Borg provided a bridge to a vibrant, accessible, and hospitable Christianity. He wrote about the heart of Christianity, and our hearts are grateful for his every word.
- Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

See our profile of Marcus Borg. It includes a biography, quotation sampler, links to our reviews of his books and excerpts from those books, articles, interviews, and more.
See Borg's definition of spirituality.
The Ritual Space — Threshold Ritual

As more and more people enter the third phase of life, it's important to acknowledge and recognize this time of transition. In the latest post on The Ritual Space, Darren shares about a service he led for a close friend who was entering the "Crone" phase of her life and a ritual he created to recognize her passage into it.
Read about the Threshold Ritual
Read about other rituals on The Ritual Space

Lullaby This is the first children's book based on the music of Debbie Friedman, the late singer/songwriter. 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.
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
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
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.
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
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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