Spirituality & Practice E-Newsletter
Monday, March 26, 2012

What Happened Last Week at SpiritualityandPractice.com

A huge winner all around! The Hunger Games took in $155 million at the box-office this weekend making it the third best debut of all time and the best for any film opening outside of summer. In our review we give three reasons why this movie is so important.

Reflections of the excesses of contemporary society. Movies about dystopias like The Hunger Games have been around a long time. We've selected 30 of them for a special feature. Readers have told us they appreciate this chance to take a trip down memory lane to revisit those visions of the future that challenged them to soul-searching.

How can a website have a capital campaign? We announced ours on Spirituality & Practice's 6th birthday. In 2012 we need to "rebuild" the website with the latest technology, enabling us to put on a whole "new wing." You can read our plans here and help us make this transition into our future here.

Study with the monks. Learn to trust life with Br. David Steindl-Rast or get a daily word of wisdom from the desert fathers and mothers. Sign up for these new e-courses today!

The brain on love. Diane Ackerman reports on the new field of interpersonal neurobiology and the discovery that loving relationships can rewire the brain. More from the Spiritual Literacy Blog.

Attention! New Yorkers. Our favorite film festival, New Directors/New Films, is on this week sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. The seven films we've reviewed will also have theatrical releases this year.

A meditation on inter-species relationships. One Lucky Elephant, a documentary, is now available on DVD. More DVDs.

Dancing through challenges. The dancers in Musical Chairs join the penguins in Happy Two Feet, the modern dancers in Pina, the flamenco-dancing cat in Puss in Boots, and the carefree youth in Footloose to show us the spiritual value of dancing.

Celebrating courageous individuals. Naming the Days profiles salute Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero who was assassinated for speaking truth to power and Christian writer Flannery O'Connor who while living with a chronic illness wrote beautifully about grace.

Coming This Week

Wise stewardship of pain. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a poignant and emotionally literate film, now on DVD, about precocious teenager mourning the loss of his beloved father.

The beginnings of the talking cure. A Dangerous Method, coming to DVD, is a cerebral trip with Jung and Freud, sex and cigars.

• A human rights crisis. Our God Is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice by Chad Myers and Matthew Calwell offers insights into this continuing social and political issue.

• A Tibetan Buddhist sage's wisdom. Open Heart, Open Mind is by Tsoknyi Rinpoche with Eric Swanson.

Recommended from our Wisdom Archive

• Watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on DVD. This unusual film depicts the wild and wonderful adventures of an oddball outsider with a strange physical condition who makes the most out of his journey through life.

Go deeper with our Values & Visions Guide to The Color of Paradise. This Iranian film is a convincing spiritual parable about the bounties of grace and the emptiness of life not filled with gratitude to God.

Watch Buck on DVD and Netflix Streaming. This extraordinary documentary is about a horse-whisperer whose spiritual messages and healing techniques are good medicine for all.

Resources for Your Spiritual Journey to Carry Through the Week

A Proverb to Ponder
"Constancy of purpose achieves the impossible."
— Chinese Proverb

A Vow of Kindness
Recalling how nice it feels to receive a compliment, I vow to praise someone as an act of kindness today.

A Breath Prayer to Try
Breathing in: Justice Here . . . Breathing out: Justice Now.

A Quotation to Inspire
"Mysticism is felt gratitude for everything."
— Anthony De Mello in Traits of a Healthy Spirituality by Melannie Svoboda

A Blessing From Us to You
"May all beings everywhere
with whom we are inseparably connected
be awakened, liberated, healed, fulfilled, and free;
May there be peace in this world, and an end to war,
violence, injustice, and poverty;
And may we all together complete the spiritual journey."
— Lama Surya Das in Natural Radiance