2021 marks the 15th anniversary of our Spirituality & Practice website and our dedication to shining a light on some of the world's most powerful hearts and minds for the spiritual enrichment of all. Our year-end gala video, ILLUMINATING HOPE, is a celebration of our work and some of our most cherished teachers.

As our world faces continued instabilities and uncertainties, the sacred work of wisdom keeping has never been more necessary. People everywhere are looking for hope, support, and ways to remember the sacred in everyday life.

At Spirituality & Practice we are undertaking movements in new directions to meet these needs and reach a larger and more diverse audience in dynamic ways. ILLUMINATING HOPE is an important fundraiser and a chance for us all to gather with a small selection of extraordinary teachers. During this compilation of live recorded interviews conducted by our Executive Director, Jonathan Ellerby, you are sure to be touched by the compelling thoughts, practices, and perspectives the teachers have to offer.

Did you miss our ILLUMINATING HOPE video premiere on December 30th at 5 pm Pacific Time? Now is your opportunity to view this transformational video, full of messages and deep wisdom from nine extraordinary teachers.

The link to where you can see the video online will be included in your receipt and the recording will remain available for later and repeat viewing.

Guest Speakers

Mary Ann Brussat is Co-Founder and Program Director of Spirituality & Practice, a nonprofit organization devoted to equipping a global circle of people vitally engaged with spiritual wisdom and practices. In partnership with her husband Frederic, she has been covering contemporary culture and the spiritual renaissance for five decades. The Brussats are the authors of Spiritual Literacy, a collection of more than 650 examples of spiritual perspectives on everyday experiences and the basis of a 26-part film series. In that book, they introduce the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy – 37 spiritual practices that are common in the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. Their subsequent book Spiritual Rx and the multifaith website SpiritualityandPractice.com recommend resources and exercises for exploring those practices. The Brussats are always on the lookout for books, films, and other media which reveal new possibilities for our lives. Mary Ann is an interfaith minister and an initiate of the Mevlevi Sufi Order that traces its inspiration to Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi.

With over a million copies sold, Mark Nepo has moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet and teacher, Mark has been called "one of the finest spiritual guides of our time" and "a consummate storyteller." As a cancer survivor, he devotes himself to the life of transformation and relationship, exploring the expressive journey of healing where the paths of art and spirit meet. He has published 22 books and recorded 15 audio projects. In 2015, he was given a Life-Achievement Award by AgeNation. In 2016, he was named by Watkins: Mind Body Spirit as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People, and was also chosen as one of OWN's SuperSoul 100, a group of inspired leaders using their gifts and voices to elevate humanity. Eleven of his books have been chosen by Spirituality & Practice for our annual "Best Spiritual Books" awards. He lives in Michigan and travels widely to lead retreats.

Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer, spiritual midwife, international retreat leader, and conference speaker. She serves as the director of the Boundless Compassion program, which offers retreats and facilitators training to expand and deepen an understanding of compassion from both a personal and a professional perspective. Rupp is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Praying Our Goodbyes, Open the Door, Fragments of Your Ancient Name, and The Cup of Our Life. Her 2018 book Boundless Compassion won awards from the Association of Catholic Publishers, the Catholic Press Association, and Spirituality & Practice. Her devotional works always contain concrete spiritual practices, lively anecdotes, inspiring poetry, and thoughtful journal exercises. She has a special gift for reading her own experiences and finding intimations of God's presence in her daily rounds. Rupp is a member of the Servite (Servants of Mary) community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Joseph M. Marshall III, a member of the Sicangu (Rosebud) Lakota, is a master storyteller, educator, and Native Studies curriculum developer. His narratives mix contemporary anecdotes and life experience with wisdom passed on for generations. He has published numerous nonfiction books based on Lakota oral history and culture as well as novels, collections of short stories and essays, and screenplays. His book The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn won the 2008 PEN/Beyond Margins Award, and The Lakota Way was a finalist for the PEN Center USA West Award in 2002. Also among his numerous awards are the Wyoming Humanities Award and the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction. He has had several major screen appearances and also has served as a technical advisor and narrator for movies. He practices Lakota archery, having learned from his maternal grandfather the art of hand crafting bows and arrows, and he is a specialist in wilderness survival.

Roshi Joan Halifax is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and lectures on the subject of death and dying at academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress. She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn, received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, she has focused her work and practice for more than four decades on engaged Buddhism. Her books include The Fruitful Darkness, Being with Dying, and Standing at the Edge.


Eboo Patel works with governments, social sector organizations, and college and university campuses to help make interfaith cooperation a social norm. In 1999, he founded Interfaith Youth Core to equip the next generation of citizens with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership in a religiously diverse world. Named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, he served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground, Interfaith Leadership, and Out of Many Faiths. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He has been awarded the Louisville Grawemeyer Prize in Religion, the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, the El Hibri Peace Education Prize, the Council of Independent Colleges Academic Leadership Award, along with honorary degrees from 15 colleges. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Parker J. Palmer is a writer, speaker, and activist with keen insight into identity, vocation, community, social action, and leadership. He is founder and Senior Partner Emeritus of the Center for Courage & Renewal, which offers retreat programs for people in the serving professions. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley as well as thirteen honorary doctorates, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the National Educational Press Association, and an Award of Excellence from the Associated Church Press. In 2011, the Utne Reader named him on its annual list of "People Who are Changing the World." He is the author of several award-winning titles that have sold nearly two million copies and been translated into ten languages, including On the Brink of Everything, Healing the Heart of Democracy, and The Courage to Teach. A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), Parker lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty, ending world hunger, and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. In her on-the-ground work with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, in the refugee camps in Ethiopia, in communities in the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, as well as in her guiding of the philanthropy of some of the world's wealthiest families, she has brought a deep understanding of people’s relationship with money. Her breadth of knowledge and experience has led her to profound insights about the social tapestry of the world and the historical landscape of the times we are living in. Her compelling stories and life experiences inspired Lynne to write the best-selling, award-winning book The Soul of Money, which has been translated into nine languages. She is co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, which empowers indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture. She lives in California.

Thomas Moore is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Care of the Soul. He has written 24 other books about bringing soul to personal life and culture, deepening spirituality, humanizing medicine, finding meaningful work, imagining sexuality with soul, and doing religion in a fresh way. Eight of his books have been cited in Spirituality & Practice's "Best Spiritual Books," our annual choices that began in 1998. In his youth he was a Catholic monk and studied music composition. He has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Syracuse University and was a university professor for a number of years. He is also a psychotherapist influenced mainly by C. G. Jung and James Hillman. In his work he brings together spirituality, mythology, depth psychology, and the arts, emphasizing the importance of images and imagination. He often travels and lectures, hoping to help create a more soulful society. Thomas also writes fiction, arranges music, and plays golf in New Hampshire, where he has lived for 20 years.

Host

Dr. Jonathan Ellerby joined Spirituality & Practice in March 2021. He is an ordained interfaith minister and holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion. Having traveled and studied around the world with more than 40 different religious/spiritual traditions and communities, he affirms the reality of "many paths/one source." His bestselling book, Return to the Sacred, explores 12 master paths to spiritual awakening. Prior to joining S&P, Jonathan was the Executive Director and Lead Teacher at the Althea Center for Engaged Spirituality, an urban educational community in Denver; the CEO and Co-Founder of TAO Inspired Living and Wellness Center in Mexico; the Spiritual Program Director for Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort in Tucson, Arizona; a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine; and the Senior Director of a cross-cultural spiritual care department at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in Canada. Jonathan is passionate about the transformative power of the spiritual journey and applying spiritual practices to all aspects of daily life.