Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat are the Directors of SpiritualityandPractice.com. The spiritual practices used throughout this site were first defined in Spiritual Literacy so it touches on all of them. This description of the book appears on its jacket.


A book that belongs in every seeker's home, Spiritual Literacy answers the universal question, "How can I live a spiritual life every day?" The Brussats, who have been covering contemporary culture and the spiritual renaissance for more than 25 years, believe that we can read the texts of our lives and of the world around us for sacred meaning. All we need is spiritual literacy.

To illustrate their point, they present more than 650 "readings" about daily life from present-day authors — spiritual teachers, essayists, novelists, filmmakers, poets, naturalists, and social activists. This collection is unprecedented — an enthralling treasury of brief, "aha!" passages from such writers as Maya Angelou, Wendell Berry, Ram Dass, Annie Dillard, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Robert Fulghum, Eduardo Galeano, Thich Nhat Hanh, Barbara Kingsolver, Jonathan Kozol, Kathleen Norris, Henri J.M. Nouwen, Anne Tyler, and many more. The Brussats add demonstrations of spiritual literacy based on their personal experiences and their interpretations of contemporary movies, songs, and television dramas.

Woven throughout the book are references to The Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy, the "letters" which, according to the Brussats, are needed to read the world. These key spiritual practices are defined by an international wisdom school of teachers from all traditions. Attention, beauty, devotion, hospitality, imagination, listening, play, silence, wonder, and other practices enable us to catch intimations of the Divine in the mundane and to appreciate the magic moments of grace in everyday life.

These remarkable readings tutor us in the art of lingering with our experiences and seeing the world with fresh eyes. They offer spiritual perspectives on things, places, nature, animals, leisure activities, creative pursuits, work, service, body, illness, death, relationships, and community. Life's meaning and the presence of Spirit are found in the shape of a child's foot, in an encounter with a wild animal, in the memories evoked by a rocking chair, in the process of doing a hobby, or in the messages on a computer screen.

Spiritual literacy does not require that we become masters of certain religious texts or that we climb to a high rung on the ladder of enlightenment. Indeed, it is the very opposite of such elitism. At the end of each chapter, the Brussats invite their readers to practice spiritual literacy themselves through journal exercises, household projects, and rituals.

You will want to create a place in your home for this profound and revelatory resource, whether you plan to read it cover to cover or to dip into its riches from time to time. It is one book you can share with children, family, colleagues, and friends as you explore together the bounties of the spiritual life.