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    • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
    • This multifaith and interspiritual website, founded by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, is devoted to resources for spiritual journeys. The site's name reflects a basic understanding: spirituality and practice are the two places where all the world's religions and spiritual paths come together. While respecting the differences among traditions, we celebrate what they share in common.

      Launched in 2006, Spirituality & Practice consolidates nearly 50 years of the work of co-directors Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat and their various publications and projects, including Cultural Information Service, Living Room Learning, Values & Visions, and the Spiritual Literacy Project. A small but devoted staff has joined the Brussats to add new types of content and voices to the website.

      CIStems, Inc., the nonprofit organization behind Spirituality & Practice, was originally organized in 1972 with the purpose of increasing positive uses of the arts/media by religious and community groups. Publications included reviews of books, films, and TV programs, providing insights on their deeper meanings and ways to use them for lifelong learning by teachers, preachers, and community leaders. Special projects included Viewer's Guides to TV programs and Values & Visions Discussion Guides to movies and books.

      Over the years, propelled by the potential and power of providing resources and learning opportunities through the Internet, Spirituality & Practice has expanded its values, vision, and mission, If you share them, we invite you to join one of our Circles of Support.

Unity Consciousness

A friend once described herself as a “knitter,” but she wasn’t talking about yarn. She likes to bring people together and help create beautiful things from their unity. What a wonderful mission that is!

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Custom E-Courses

E-Courses and Online Retreats with Your Own Private Group

Many people these days have little time to participate in any kind of regular “in-person” spirituality group, and yet they know that studying and practicing with others can contribute signicantly to their spiritual growth. Now you can use the e-courses and online retreats already created for Spirituality & Practice as a program for your own group. Your group will receive the emailed lessons, links to any video and audio content in the e-course, and your own private “Practice Circle” (an online forum at SpiritualityandPractice.com) for your discussions.

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Spiritually Literate Holiday Gifts

Examples of gifts that have meanings attached to them and reflect spiritual practices from the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.

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Ways to Practice Thanks-giving

A gratitude practice for every day from Nov. 1 to Thanksgiving.

The Christian writer 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.” Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective; it enables us to see the many blessings all around us. And the more ways we find to give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.

Giving thanks takes practice, however. We get better at it over time. Gratitude is one of the key markers of the spiritual life we include in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. It is essential if we are to read the sacred significance of our daily lives.

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Communities of Hope

Practices to build hope include dialogues, just getting out there, prayer, and imagining a house of hope. We do what we can, and there is plenty to do.

On November 9, 2016, the United States concluded a blisteringly polarized, vicious political campaign cycle. The results — especially the surprise upset of Hillary Clinton by Donald J. Trump in the presidential election — stunned people as devastating or miraculous, depending on different standpoints.

Concerned about civil rights, immigration, international relations, civility, multiculturalism, and a host of other issues, many people found hope in short supply after the election results came in.

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Winter Solstice – December 21st

Getting in touch with the deeper meanings of the Winter Solstice through readings, practices, poems, and prayers.

As the Winter Solstice approaches in the north, we notice the changes: the days of light are shorter, the darkness is longer, the weather is cold, the trees are bare, and snow is often on the ground. John Matthews, who has lectured widely on Celtic and Arthurian traditions, has written this lyrical passage about Winter Solstice:

“The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth, and the cold notes of church bells mingle with the chimes of icicles. Rivers are stilled and the land lies waiting beneath a coverlet of snow. We watch the cold sunlight and the bright stars, maybe go for walks in the quiet land. . . . All around us the season seems to reach a standstill — a point of repose.”

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Prayers for Our Leaders

A collection of prayers for political and government leaders and the people who elect them.

Give us, O God,
leaders whose hearts are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

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24 Ways to Practice Thanks-giving

A gratitude practice for every day from Nov. 1 to Thanksgiving

The Christian writer 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.” Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective; it enables us to see the many blessings all around us. And the more ways we find to give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.

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Living Spiritual Teachers Project

The twenty-first century has been dubbed the “age of interspirituality” by Brother Wayne Teasdale and others who are impressed by the increased sharing of wisdom and practices among people coming from different spiritual traditions. It acknowledges that beneath the diversity of our faith and life experiences lies a deeper unity of spirituality.

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Spiritual Practices for Difficult Times

Nine practices for times when world events overwhelm us and we feel defeated.

How do we respond to difficult times? We turn to our spiritual practices. Here are some of our tried-and-true ones.

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Unleashing America’s Shadow

“With media complicity, Trump has unleashed the beast that has long resided not far from the American hearth, from those who started a Civil War to preserve the right to enslave a fellow human to the Know-Nothing mobs who burned Irish-Catholic churches out of fear of immigrants.” This observation is from Timothy Egan’s excellent article “The Beast Is Us” in The New York Times. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee stands for “hatred of immigrants, racial superiority, a sneering disregard of the basic civility that binds a society” and his supporters love him for “telling it like it is.”

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The Patience Stone Ritual

The Patience Stone … about a stone into which you can shed your misfortunes, your complaints, and your troubles until it’s so full it bursts.

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Book Review: “Inside the Miracle” by Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for more than 40 years. Inside the Miracle is his 16th book. We have happily profiled him in S&P’s Living Spiritual Teachers Project. He focuses his writing and teaching on the process of inner transformation and the salutary dimensions of relationship. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

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Spiritually Literate Holiday Gifts

Spiritually literate gifts have meanings attached to them. They might be symbolic of God’s presence in daily life; they might reflect how we are connected through time and across the miles with others; or they might encourage us in a spiritual practice such as play, wonder, and hope. Here are some examples of spiritually literate gifts to give this holiday season, based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.

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Spirituality & Practice are moving the organization in September from New York City to Claremont, California

  Frederic & Mary Ann Brussatt, Co-Directors of Spirituality & Practice have been looking for a long time for a legacy home for S&P that would enable them to walk in two worlds: with their online community …

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Earth Day: 12 Spiritual Practices to Honor the Earth

Spiritual practices are the best ways we know to demonstrate kindness and courtesy toward the Earth, to express our gratitude and wonder, to yield to the mystery and the beauty of it all. In observance of Earth Day we offer a set of practices (based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy) you can do to honor the Earth over the next months.

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An Excerpt from The Hidden Power of the Gospels: Four Questions, Four Paths, One Journey by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy

by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy

“The nine Beatitudes reflect diverse parts of a harmonious unity which I endlessly reflect and touch each other as we go through our lives. At the very heart of Jesus’s teachings, their practice opens us to compassion. If we are able to place these on our hearts, walk with them on our feet, hold them in our hands, and seal them in our thoughts, we will have more insight along our journey. They will become our walking staff and guide for the arduous times we will face.

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Spiritually Literate New Year’s Resolutions

1. I will live in the present moment. I will not obsess about the past or worry about the future.

2. I will cultivate the art of making connections. I will pay attention to how my life is intimately related to all life on the planet.

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22 Ways to Feel Welcome on the Path of Practice

Whether you are affiliated with one of the world’s religions or are more comfortable with a free-floating spirituality, whether you are conservative or liberal, experienced or just beginning, there is room for you on the common ground of practice. A chief characteristic of the path of practice is its inclusivity. Everyone belongs.

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Review of A Joyful Path, Year Two

One of the major challenges for Progressive Christians in the years to come is paying more attention to “equipping the saints.” The dictionary meaning for “equipping” is “to supply with intellectual, emotional, or spiritual essentials.” It is derived from an old French term which means “to put to sea, to embark.” The Center for Progressive Christianity has picked up this challenge and provided congregations and parents with two years of relevant and imaginative curriculums for the 21st century. They have taken the lead in reframing Sunday school teachings and made them into invaluable resources for “equipping the saints” as they head out on the sea of our culture. Whether you are a parent, a Sunday School teacher, a preacher, a spiritual seeker, or just someone who likes to look at ideas from a child’s point of view, this one’s for you.

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Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History’s Best Teachers

Book Review By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Gary Neal Hansen is assistant professor of church history and theology division at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He is also an ordained Presbyterian minister with the Presbyterian Church USA.

Hansen commends the creativity of the Great Artist in giving human beings so many ways to pray. With energy and precision he has selected ten master teachers of prayer down through the centuries and matched each of them with a specific prayer method. The book is divided into four sections.

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Welcoming the Spiritually Independent

Let’s stop being so negative about the group that is transforming religion and spirituality in the 21st century. One-fifth of the American public – and a third of adults under 30 – do not identify themselves with a religion. This is a growth from 15% to 20% of the population in just five years, and we have no doubt that similar trends are happening around the world.

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Living as One Human Family

Let’s face it. The walls dividing people today have gotten taller and thicker, whether between men and women, young and old, gays and straights, developed and developing worlds, haves and have-nots. Yet the spiritual dream of unity persists. We believe that God is a Weaver of Oneness who wants us to live in harmony — neighbor with neighbor, communities with communities, religions with religions, and nations with nations.

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Pentecost: Celebrating the Gifts of the Spirit

found at SpiritualityandPractice.com

Begin your meal by holding hands and saying to the person on your right: “You are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within you.”

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Beltane – May Day: Celtic Spirituality Celebrates the Bright Half of the Year

May Day or the festival of Beltane celebrates the start of the bright half of the year. One of the four main festivals of Celtic spirituality, it’s a time to make merry.

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