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Free E-Newsletter The Spirituality & Practice E-Newsletter is a regular update from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat with a teaching story and links to new content on the site. It's free and a great way to keep up with practices for your journey.

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Spiritual Practices

 

Spiritual Practices of the Day Archives


The 12s: Galleries on Spiritual Practices and Wisdom


 

Spiritual Literacy
in Wartime


Our collection of articles, meditations, excerpts, and spiritual practices for this time of heightened separation among nations, peoples, races, and classes. See the Project Index.

 
Spiritual Practices for Difficult Times

There are moments when world events overwhelm us and we feel anxious and defeated. That's when these nine spiritual practices are helpful.

Read our practice suggestions for difficult times.

Coping with Negativity

What pollution is on the outer level, negativity is on the inner. Here are some spiritual practices to counter the negativity afoot in our private and public lives.

Read our suggestions to help overcome negativity.

Working with the Monday Blues

Scientists have found people show biological signs of stress at the start of a new work week. We've found some spiritual antidotes to the Monday Blues.

Read our ten suggestions to help overcome the Monday blues.

Reframing Regrets

Chosen as the most beneficial of 12 negative emotions in a recent scientific study, here are a few ways to use regret as a positive tool.

Read how to reframe regret.

10 Reasons Why Gandhi Is My Hero

Quotations and stories that illustrate why Mahatma Gandhi's ideas and actions still inspire and animate people in our time.


Read our reasons why Gandhi is our hero.

Spiritual Practices for Shopping

To help you make holiday shopping (or any shopping)a richer and deeper experience, we've created 20 spiritual practices.


Read our spiritual practices for shopping.

Spiritual Lessons from Living in the Dark

Reflections and lessons learned from Fred and Mary Ann's experience during Hurricane Sandy in New York City, November 2012.


Read about our spiritual lessons from living in the dark.

Living as One Human Family

In response to competitive individualism and divisions among groups, try some simple practices to affirm unity consciousness.


Read about living as one human family.

Opting Out of the Blame Game

Here are three exercises to help you move from the tendency to blame others when things go wrong to taking responsibility and seeing mistakes as a natural part of life.

Read about opting out of the blame game.

Wisdom To Go

This is the graduation speech we'd like to give, offering wisdom in the form of proverbs, Tibetan Buddhist pith instructions, Tibetan Buddhist mind-training instructions, 12 step sayings, and aphorisms.

Read about wisdom to go.

Giving Up Entitlement

In our competition driven world, all of us, no matter our position, are infected by this egocentric behavior whereby we tell ourselves that we deserve to have things go our way.

Read about giving up entitlement.

Search Query Hilarity

Darren Polito, S&P's Senior Editor and Designer, creates a new 12s gallery every month. Searching for appropriate photos gives him ample opportunities to practice play, openness, and imagination.

Read about search query hilarity.

Handle Your Things with Care

This is a practice which advocates "soulful materialism" where the objects in our homes are appreciated and cherished for their beauty, expressiveness, and creativity.

Read about the handling your things with care.

The Gift of Tears

Why crying, as Jesus and the desert fathers and mothers did, and we do at the movies, can be a spiritual practice.

Read about the gift of tears.

Prayers, Art Meditation, Spiritual Practices, Reflections, Poems, and Stories for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Offerings from Living Spiritual Teachers profiled at S&P to use for remembrance and rededication on the anniversary of 9/11.

See the collection (3 pages).

The Spiritual Value of Repetition and Routine

Examples from movies and daily life of how our spirituality flourishes when we do the same things over and over again.

Read about the value of repetition and routine

Perseverance

Quotes on perseverance and ways to cultivate and practice steadfastness through a project and your life.

See perseverance practices

Practicing Spirituality in Winter

A month's worth of practices to explore the many moods and meanings of winter, including its pristine beauty and its many opportunities for playfulness.

Find ways to practice your spirituality in winter

Car Spirituality

Everyday ways, stories, and quotes that illustrate how you can practice your spirituality with your car.

Read about car spirituality

In Praise of Laughter

How laughter is good for the body and soul: lessons from a jollytologist, magazine publisher, bloopers, slapstick, making funny faces, and clowns.

Read about laughing as a spiritual practice

Spiritual Practices for Hot Weather

Spiritual ways to deal with the heat by connecting with it, reframing it, welcoming the chance to slow down, and liking it.

Read about spiritual practices for hot weather

Watching the Olympics as a Spiritual Practice

Based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy, here are ways to honor dimensions of the Olympics beyond the competition.

Read about spiritual practices for watching the Olympics

The Charter for Compassion

How to affirm the Charter plus an outline of compassion resources at Spirituality & Practice.

Read about the Charter

The Practice Days of August

Spiritual practices that go with the leisurely pace of August: walking, floating, standing in front of the air conditioner, taking naps, and more.

Read about spiritual practices for August

Learning to Receive

Why it's important for us to get better at receiving the love, care, and help of others and how to practice.

Read about practicing receiving

25 Reasons Why Twitter Is Spiritual

Tweeting can be a spiritual practice. It encourages attention, connections, listening, meaning making, reverence, and other key practices of the world's religions.

Read why Twitter is spiritual

Practicing Patience

Specific ways to practice the counter-cultural stance of patience in daily life, with a group, in your relationships, and with God.

Read about practicing patience

Spiritual Practices for the Inauguration

A ritual of encompassment, a gallery of prayers for our leaders, and other practices to signify that we are willing to step into the responsibilities of effecting the shift in consciousness and commitment expressed in the chant Yes We Can.

Read about practices to celebrate political engagement

You Are What You Give

Some daily ways to give to charities and others — because it's not how much we are able to give that matters as much as that we give regularly.

Read about generosity practices

Worldwide Connections

Practices that we use to reinforce our sense of being connected to the worldwide community including a suggested movie list.

Read about practices for worldwide connections

Light Up the World

A feature at our sister site, Gratefulness.org, that pinpoints groups taking stands for a sane and fair political, environmental, and economic future of our planet.

Read more and visit Light Up the World

Days of Grace

Mary Earle's audio meditations and related spiritual practices for those living with chronic illness and their caregivers.

Read about these meditations and practices

Letting Go

The value in a spiritual life of letting go of fixed ideas, control, knowing, hurry and worry, and clutter.

Read about the spiritual practice of letting go

The Beauty of Imperfection

Embracing an aesthetic an stemming from Taoism and Zen Buddhism that honors the imperfect, the humble, the modest, and the unconventional.

Read about wabi-sabi

Holy Ground

Acknowledging that the place where you live is holy ground through the spiritual practices of connections, gratitude, meaning, and attention.

Read about our holy ground

Travel Presence

Whether you are doing a "staycation" this year in your backyard or going on a trip to a distant place, you can turn your journey into a pilgrimage with a few simple spiritual practices.

Read about being present on vacation

Making Space

Here's a simple practice for making space — whether in a drawer or your work calendar — and the value of a weekly Sabbath of uncluttered time.

Read about making space in your life

Spiritual Practices for Nature-Deficit Disorder

Many of today's children have little or no direct contact with nature. Here are three practices plus an e-course to help your family go against this cultural trend.

Read about nature deficit disorder

Coping with Disappointment

Disappointments are inevitable in daily life. Here are some strategies for using them as a starting point for regular spiritual practices. Plus: a 21-day program for dealing with disappointment.

Read about coping with disappointment

All in a Day's Work

Our work can be our spiritual practice, whether we are a taxi driver, an office worker, or a salesperson. The first step in reframing your job: look for the connections you make.

Read about practicing spirituality at work

Be Like the Mountain

Equanimity is the state of inner balance that enables you to remain calm in the midst of turmoil. It's known as an Eastern practice but also has roots in Christianity.

Read about how to practice equanimity

Wear Hope Like a Skin

Making hope into your spiritual practice can be your antidote to despair and inertia.

Read hope practices

Embracing Mystery

Acceptance of mystery is a key spiritual practice. The first step: Let God be God.

Read about embracing mystery

Winter Wonder

Winter can be a wonderland for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, and consciously noticing what arouses our wonder is a spiritual practice.

Read about practicing wonder

Spiritually Literate Holiday Gifts

We have some suggestions for how you can wed spiritual practice with gift-giving. Make your gifts symbolic of God's presence in daily life, reflections of your connections with others, and catalysts to play, wonder, and hope.

See our gift ideas

13 Tips for De-Stressing Your Holidays

The holidays are a time to nurture mind, body, and spirit. Here are some concrete ways to take care of yourself from Belleruth Naparstek of HealthJourneys.com.

Read the de-stressing tips

Harvesting Memories

God has given us days overflowing with significance, but forgetfulness comes easy to most of us. Here are ways to feast on your memories and therebyby give glory to God.

Read about harvesting memories

Encouraging Children's Spirituality

Children come naturally to some spiritual practices — being present, enthusiasm, imagination, play, and wonder. Here are eight ways to engage children in others.

Read about encouraging children's spirituality

On the Value of Emptying Your Cup

To be open to God's grace, new teachings, new experiences, and new people in our lives, first we need to empty our cup of preconceptions and judgments.

Read how to empty your cup

Ending Envy

A consumer culture contributes to our tendency to envy what others have. Here's how to end it: stop comparing yourself to others and practice gratitude.

Read how to end envy

Transition Times and Spaces

What do you do when you find yourself in one of those between spaces and times? Try the practice of statio, a way to use those moments to be present to God and prepare for what's next.

Read about the spiritual practice of statio

Difficult People Practices

You know who they are. Here are some ways to help you regard them as teachers and pray: "Here comes another one. God, you have sent this person to me for a reason. Help me to know what it is, and help me to cope successfully."

Read about practices for difficult people

Dealing with Hurry Sickness

People these days seem to be addicted to speed, hurrying through every activity of their lives. Here are some spiritual practices to help you slow down.

Read about practices for dealing with hurry sickness

Mustard Seed Vision

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat spend a day discovering what it means to "live in the little" while cleaning the cat litter and the refrigerator grate.

Read about mustard seed vision

Hold Your Tongue

A simple but not always easy practice from the Benedictine monastic tradition is useful in these days when winter drags on and irritability levels rise.

Read about keeping custody of your tongue

Into the Far Country of Surgery

Frederic Brussat shares practices calling upon the power of prayer, imagination, and community during surgery and hospitalization — plus a mystical vision.

Read about Frederic's journey into the far country of surgery

Good Flesh

Frederic Brussat reflects on the lessons of the miracle of a cut healing quickly and suggests some simple practices to honor the body as a temple of God.

Read about honoring the body

Practicing Diversity

Inspired by the movie Freedom Writers, we've found two prayers, three thoughts to contemplate, and a Buddhist practice to honor the dignity of differences and pave the way to a genuine feeling of unity with others.

Read how to practice diversity

28 Ways to Practice Thanks-giving

G. K. Chesterton had the right idea when he said we need to get in the habit of "taking things with gratitude and not taking things for granted." Here are a gratitude practice for every day from November 1 - Thanksgiving.

See the practices

The Challenges of Humility

Humility comes naturally to some people but usually it needs to be learned. We become humble by being around humble people and by consciously acknowledging that we are not #1. Here are some ways to practice.

Read more about humility

How Not to Worry

Is the worry machine chugging along in your life? Have you forgotten Mark Twain's sage comment that most of the things we worry about will never happen? Here are some spiritual practices to help you turn your worries into meaningful experiences.

Read more about how not to worry

I Am Prayers

Twin TowersSince September 11, 2001, we have had a spiritual practice of writing "I am" prayer/poems. We experience them as affirmations of unity, ways of practicing empathy and reverence, and opportunities to expand the circle of our compassion. They also help us do shadow work as we own up to the very human tendency to project what we don't like about ourselves onto other people. Here are three of our "I Am Prayers":

Rest in Peace - September 11, 2001
Rest in Peace - September 11, 2002
We Are One with Each Other - May 19, 2004

Keeping Silent

Creating quiet takes effort in our noisy world. Here are some simple practices to heed the call: "The Lord is in his temple; let all the earth keep silent before him."

Read more about keeping silent

Dealing with the Dog Days

It's in the dog days of August that we are stricken with the feeling that there's nothing new under the sun. Things begin to be boring. We suffer from what the fourth-century Christian monks called accedie. Here are some practices for coping with draggy days.

Read more about ways to handle boredom

The Spiritual Practice of Generosity

Inspired by Warren Buffett's gift of $31 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we searched our quotes database to see what spiritual teachers of our times and earlier say about the value of generosity.

Read inspirational quotes about generosity

Summertime and Living Takes Practice

There is something about the changed pace of our lives in the summer that makes it a little easier to dedicate time to spiritual practices. To encourage you, we have designed a month's worth of activities. We've looked for ideas from the world's wisdom traditions as well as in books we've read.

Read practices for summer days 1 - 7
Read practices for summer days 8 - 14
Read practices for summer days 15 - 21
Read practices for summer days 22 - 31

 
Learning to Be Content

Our consumer culture is designed to make us always want something more, better, or different. But religious leaders have long advised just the opposite. Here are three ways to learn contentment: Want what you have. Don't make comparisons. Accept your imperfections and the "lacks" in your life.

Read more about contentment

 
Great Expectations

Abba Nilus, one of the Desert Fathers, advised: "Do not be always wanting everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases, then you will be undisturbed and thankful in your prayer." Expectations can be a stumbling block on the spiritual path, both personally and communally. Here are some simple practices to help you break free from them.

Read more about cutting expectations

 
Deep Listening

We spend about 45 percent of our time listening, but we are distracted, preoccupied, or forgetful about 75 percent of that time. Immediately after listening to someone talk, we usually recall only about half of what we've heard. Clearly, we all need to get better at listening. Here's what we learned in a small group that practiced listening without comments, plans, judgments, or the need to respond.

Read more about really listening

 
The Indiana Jones School of Spirituality

There's a scene in the first Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy and Marion are hiding from the Nazis, and she says, "Do you have a plan?" And he replies, "No, I'm just making it up as I go along." There are some spiritual practices that have been passed down through the centuries — and others just occur to you in the moment.

Read more about making it up as you go along

 
Doing What's Hard

We resist change, so when the mood hits us to make a change — explore some different subjects, shift our daily routine, and make new commitments — we're encouraged by the slogan "You can do hard." Next we need a spiritual practice to reinforce our intention.

Read about making and witnessing vows

 
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. Mantra suggestions appear on all the practice homepages at Spirituality & Practice.

How, when, and where to use a mantra

 
An Altar for Your Practice

Personal altars in our homes or workplaces enable us to affirm the presence of the sacred in the midst of our everyday activities. These places of prayer, ritual, or meditation can be oases of silence, centering. and creativity. Check out these books for ideas on how to turn a corner into a sacred space.

Altars Made Easy: A Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Sacred Space by Peg Streep contains good, basic information on designing your special altar.
Altars and Icons: Sacred Spaces in Everyday Life by Jean McMann has pictures of altars with accompanying essays; it conveys how every altar reflects the personality of the person who created it.
Altars: Bringing Sacred Shrines into Your Everyday Life by Denise Linn is filled with many ideas on altar objects; its cross-cultural perspective is invigorating.
Tibetan Buddhist Altars: A Pop-Up Gallery of Traditional Art and Wisdom by Robert Beer, Tad Wise and David A Carter is a beautiful and unusual devotional resource.






These 37 practices are markers of the spiritual life. Recognized by all the world's religions, they help us connect with the Divine, our true selves, our neighbors, and the whole Creation.

Read a summary of the Alphabet

• To find the best books, movies, excerpts, exercises, prayers, music, art, and much more for your spiritual journey, visit these practice homepages:



Listen to Bryan Field McFarland's song, set to a familiar Christian tune, about what it takes to live a spiritual life every day.


Most of us, frankly, are drawn to a particular spiritual practice because, as a doctor might say, certain "symptoms are presenting." You might feel something is missing in your life. You could be feeling incredibly grateful. You could be facing a crisis. You could be concerned about the problems in the world. Take heart! Real-life feelings, challenges, and experiences are just what spiritual practices are for.

How to choose a spiritual practice
Spiritual Rx Prescriptions Chart


You don't step on the path of practice for a few minutes a day, then jump off to go about the rest of your life. If you want to see how you are doing, look at how you behave during a breakfast disagreement with your partner, in a traffic jam on the way to the office, in your reaction to a homeless person begging for money.

Read more about the challenges and joys of practice
22 Ways to Feel Welcome on the Path of Practice
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