Spirituality & Practice E-Newsletter
Monday morning, January 30, 2012

What Happened Last Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Animal Appreciation. Check out January's 12s gallery with quotes about our special relationships with animals keyed to photographs from Darren's day safari in South Africa's Kruger National Park. More 12s galleries.

Wisdom in the next seat. Buddhist spiritual teacher Sylvia Boorstein challenges us to learn from our casual conversations with strangers on planes, trains, and store lines. More from the Spiritual Literacy Blog.

The shadow of racism. Theologian James Cone presents a stinging portrait of Christian indifference to the twisted history of lynching in America. More books.

Going beyond "Have a nice day." Joan Duncan Oliver outlines The Meaning of Nice as a blend of kindness, generosity, and enthusiasm.

Looking for peace and quiet. Homer, the Library Cat by Reeve Lindbergh is a children's picture book that addresses the need of both young and old for a place to savor silence. More children's books.

Trapped in a wilderness prison. The Grey is a survival story set in Alaska about a depressed man who briefly comes alive in a battle for his life against a pack of angry wolves defending their territory. More films.

Doing anything to win in American politics. The Ides of March, now out on DVD, mirrors the corruption and cynicism of running for office with its emphasis on deals, dishonesty, and power. More DVDs.

Coming This Week

Welcome aboard crew of spaceship earth! Marshall McLuhan wisely noted that "There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. Everybody's crew." We are just underway with a new one-month e-course on one thing you can do — pray for justice and peace. Spiritual director Jane Vennard is our leader. Once you register, you'll find the first day's email archived on your account page.

Just abide. The Dude of The Big Lebowski, haiku poets, nature lovers, and many others have discovered the wisdom of Taoism. Our entry point this month is a retreat with William Martin, translator of multiple versions of the Tao Te Ching. Sign up today for a month of daily emails and find the first one archived on your account page.

Birders on the loose. The Big Year, new on DVD, is an enjoyable comedy about three avid birders who wind up as competitors on a quest to see who can spot the most species of birds in North America.

• Try some Wabi Sabi Love. Arielle Ford applies some of the elements of this Japanese aesthetic of finding beauty in imperfect things to intimate relationships. Watch for our review of her new book just in time for Valentine's Day.

Pioneer of interreligious dialogue. Celebrate Thomas Merton's birthday by reading some quotes or signing up for our on-demand 40-day e-course Practicing Spirituality with Thomas Merton.

World Interfaith Harmony Week. Spirituality & Practice as a multifaith website joins in the annual celebration of this day. More Naming the Days.

Recommended from our Wisdom Archive

Watch Groundhog Day on DVD on February 2. This romantic comedy is about a self-centered TV weatherman who keeps having to re-experience his least favorite day of the year until he gets his relationships right. More on Groundhog Day.

Go deeper with our Values & Visions Guide to It All Starts Today. This French film is about a kindergarten principal in a small and impoverished town who struggles with one crisis after another as he tries to do what is best for the children.

Explore 100 Multifaith Resources. Multifaith. Interfaith. Transreligious. Interspiritual. All these terms describe a new reality in religious life: the intentional interaction of people of different religious traditions. Check out our collection of resources about this trend.

Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry Through the Week

A Proverb to Ponder
"To accommodate all things, enlarge the heart."
— Chinese Proverb

A Cue to Try
When I see a map of the world, I am reminded of the importance of working for peace in our time.

A Breath Prayer to Try
Breathing in: O let me sense the world . . .
Breathing out: anew.

A Quotation to Inspire
"Nothing begets a wholeness in life better than a heartfelt sigh."
— Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

A Blessing From Us to You
"God give you
an ability to see good things
in unexpected places,
talents in unexpected people,
and the grace to tell them so. "
— Ray Simpson in Celtic Blessings