"Life is a sacred adventure. Every day we encounter signs that point to the active presence of Spirit in the world around us. Spiritual literacy is the ability to read the signs written in the texts of our own experiences."
Those are the opening words of Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat's masterwork Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life. Spiritual Literacy enables us to discern and decipher a world full of deeper meanings and broader connections. And best of all, it is a skill that can be learned.
The Brussats have been showing us how to practice spiritual literacy through their work as Co-Founders and Co-Directors of Spirituality & Practice. They say that the quickest way to get better at spiritual literacy is by using illustrations, so each review, quote, article, or spiritual practice on the website is coded to show which spiritual practices it illustrates from 37 that are common in all the world's religions. The Brussats call this array of practices the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.
But how can we learn this Alphabet thoroughly enough to turn to it steadily in our daily lives? Here's where the Spiritual Literacy video series is valuable. This series of half-hour films uses short passages from the Brussats' book, combined with sense-luscious visuals and emotionally vibrant music, to illustrate qualities of mind and heart that open us to the presence of the spiritual within all aspects of existence. The films focus on 26 of the Alphabet practices from Attention to Zeal.
We invite you to join Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in an online exploration of eight of the films. The director, David Cherniack, describes them as "gateways to meditation," and we believe you will find them to be so. They also encourage reflection, journaling, amd everyday spiritual practices. As they introduce each film, the Brussats will explore aspects of spiritual literacy — uses of the Alphabet, finding your own approach, blocks to literacy, spiritually literate filters on the world around us, and different ways to read the same experiences.
When you subscribe to this program, you will receive:
- Emails from Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat at a pace that you choose, each with an essay about the practice of spiritual literacy plus reflection questions and practice prompts based on the films.
- Information on how to purchase or rent the eight films.
- Opportunities to journal about your favorite scenes in each film and how you might apply what they illustrate in your daily life.
Here are brief descriptions of the eight films:
Beauty: God's handwriting can be appreciated everywhere, including in such unexpected places as a wild animal, an onion, and traffic.
Devotion: Devotional moments are found in formal prayer but just as often emerge out of such everyday activities as cooking, raking, and shopping.
Enthusiasm: Enthusiastic souls have a God within, and we meet some of them here, including an improvising cook, a happy dog, and a lover of sunsets.
Kindness: Treasured in all the world's religions, kindness is extended broadly, including to grocery store customers, toads crossing the road, and even the dead.
Meaning: Spiritual literacy enables us to know things as they are and as something more, whether we are contemplating work, seashells, or a stuffed artichoke.
Openness: To receive the gifts of the universe, we need to empty ourselves. A writer learns this through conversations with God; another, while sharing stillness with a bird.
Wonder: Defined as a submerged sunrise and a burst of astonishment, wonder is called forth by everything from frost to manure to the night sky.
You: To know ourselves is a great challenge. We are more than how we feel, what we do, and where we are, and our identity does not end at our own skin.
Viewing the Films: If you already own the Spiritual Literacy DVD series, you are all set. Or you can purchase the entire series of 26 films here. The films are also now available from Vimeo Video-on-Demand; you can rent each one for a month for $1.99 or purchase and download it for $5.95. (We'll send the links directly to each film's VOD page with your subscription receipt.)
Join us to be mentored in spiritual literacy by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat — and discover anew the sacred in your everyday life.
(choose your own start date and frequency)