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The Spirituality and Practice e-newsletter is a regular update from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat with teaching stories and links to new posts on the site.

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The Heart


Kabir Helminski, a Sufi shaikh, has wisely observed: "Hearts need education and refinement just as the body needs exercise and moderation." He is right. But people are nervous about looking within or getting overly emotional. And in our bottom-line society, heart knowledge tends to be treated as impractical and worthless. Yet the heart is often mentioned in the spiritual traditions as being the locus of the spiritual life. The world's religions offer sacred texts and practices about such heart skills as compassion, kindness, reverence, listening, openness, and hospitality.

February is National Heart Month, and so we invite you to join us on a royal tour of the heart. We will post an inspiring quotation for each day. The heart is the seat of wisdom for the Jews, the hub of the universe for Hindus, the throne of God for Sufis, an important quality for Buddhists, the essence of what it means to be human for Confucians, and the abode of the kingdom of God for Christians.

We chose to salute heart knowledge because of the heartlessness of these violent times and because of the growing number of people who feel disheartened. It is possible to tenderize this faculty and to become gentler people. Many spiritual individuals who have modeled this for us in word and deed. They challenge us to become wholehearted, to live with a heart free of possessiveness, and to treat others with a loving heart.

All the heart's multiple messages cannot be contained in words, but words give us a start. We can speak to each other heart to heart and be truly present with open hearts. The path of heart is a fulfilling and fruitful path one that leads to deep meaning and joy. Join us for the journey, day-by-day.

Original Hearts Postcard by Rick Ruggles

About the Found Heart Photographs
The universe loves the heart! Why else would so many objects in our world appear in this familiar form? Rick Ruggles is an avid photographer whose keen eye for detail led him to notice a heart-shaped pothole in the fall of 2000, sparking the idea for a Valentine. Inspired by that single image, Rick began seeing hearts in shadows, clouds, puddles, flowers, rocks, leaves, and a lot of other places. His collection of "found hearts" now numbers in the thousands.

We stumbled upon Rick's work when we saw a poster of heart-shaped rocks in a catalog. Being rock lovers, we were immediately entranced. On his website we found posters, calendars, books, puzzles, magnets, postcards, greeting cards, and more. We emailed him to ask if we could use some of his photos with our quotes about the heart, and he graciously said "Yes." We encourage you to visit Rick's website to be inspired by his creativity and to support it by purchasing your own copies of his hearts.


A Month of Quotes about the Heart

February 1: The Four-Chambered Heart
February 2: That Aha! Moment
February 3: Carrying Someone in Your Heart
February 4: Feeling in the Heart
February 5: The Feeling Function
February 6: The Hatching of the Heart
February 7: The Vulnerable Heart
February 8: Learning By Heart
February 9: Conversion of the Heart
February 10: The Awakened Heart
February 11: The Strong Heart
February 12: The Charitable Heart
February 13: Largeness of Heart
February 14: The Humble Heart
February 15: The Heart Busy With God
February 16: God Flowing Through the Heart
February 17: Heart Gratitude Practice
February 18: Broken Hearts
February 19: God's Words Across Our Hearts
February 20: Cutting Through the Heart
February 21: Healing the Heart
February 22: The Warm Heart
February 23: The Open Heart
February 24: The Heart as Living Museum
February 25: The Human Heart
February 26: The Universe in the Heart
February 27: The Heart at Your Center
February 28: The Deep Heart
February 29: Let the World Tickle Your Heart