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Birthday of Pablo Casals

Share Even when he was 90 years old, Pablo Casals known as the world's greatest cellist, practiced this instrument for four or five hours every day. Someone asked him why at his age, he still worked so hard on the music, and he responded, "Because I think I am making some progress." Pablo Casals was born on this day in 1876 and died in 1973. By the age of four, he was playing the piano and by six, he was composing songs with his father. Casals found inspiration in the natural world and in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. His expressive style...

Rustin

Share “We are made of stories and stardust. We tell the stories of holy troublemakers and unconventional saints, people of faith who have worked for love, justice, and compassion, to inspire us, make us bold, and connect us to each other and the Love that makes us one.”— Daneen Akers at Holytroublemakers.com This inspiring biopicture delivers a fiery portrait of Bayard Rustin (1912 – 1987), a civil rights activist in the 1960s. The film establishes at the outset why his impact has been largely overlooked in histories of the movement. He was ope...

American Fiction

Share It would be bad enough that people aren’t reading much anymore. (We are also book reviewers.) But the public also seems to prefer simple stories that promote stereotypes and narrative tropes. That’s the complaint of Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright). A college professor and author of serious novels that aren’t selling, he doesn’t fit the expected mold in either character development or writing style of the Black American writer. Noticing his work is shelved in the African-American Studies section of a bookstore, he complains that...

Ancient Night

Share This book began with acclaimed illustrator David Alvarez taking two characters from classic Mesoamerican lore — a rabbit associated with the moon and a silly opossum who bravely delivers the sun's fire to humans — and weaving their stories together in a new and timeless myth. Mexican American author and translator David Bowles wrote poetic lines to accompany the illustrations and story. In a deep black night "at the start of things," we see Rabbit with her smooth silver-blue fur sipping light from a cup — the same light illuminating the n...

Challenge to Civilization

Share “Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples will need to begin with an admission that Indigenous beliefs are more holistic and provide wise guidance. Spiritual leaders are guides, not infallible authorities. In traditional communities, whenever differences in beliefs arose, the first recourse was to join together in prayer and ceremony. That way, individual egos and pride were left at the door, and respectful dialogue under authority of the supernal could occur. Those involved in the debate would discuss the meanings of their dreams, visions,...

Challenge to Civilization

Share This is ancient Indigenous wisdom at its most urgent contemporary pitch. Author Blair Stonechild is a member of the Muscowpetung First Nation in Saskatchewan and a wonderful writer. A residential school survivor, his first sentence is “I have had an interest in spirituality ever since I was a child in Indian residential school, where I experienced countless hours of Christian religious indoctrination.” He brings many personal experiences to bear, demonstrating how explorers, missionaries, and anthropologists have set out to dismantle Indi...

Fallen Leaves

Share Fallen Leaves is a heartfelt romantic drama set in modern-day Helsinki. It is the 20th movie by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki who has a special gift for revealing the sadness, suffering and loneliness of down-and-out people experiencing troubled times. Ansa (Alma Poysti) is a middle-aged woman who lives alone and has a low-paying job at a supermarket. When a security guard reports her for taking an out-of-date sandwich, she is fired. She quickly gets a new job washing glasses at a bar. But when the owner is hauled away for selling drugs...

Anatomy of a Fal

Share In a remote mountain chalet in the French Alps, Sandra (Sandra Huller), a successful novelist, is being interviewed by a student. Upstairs her husband Samuel (Samuel Thjeis) is playing his music so loud that she has to call off the taped interview. Shortly afterward, Samuel is found dead in the snow below the open window of his office. Did he accidentally fall? Did he commit suicide? Or was he pushed? Sandra immediately comes under suspicion for murder. Claiming she is innocent, she contacts an old lawyer friend, Vincent (Swann Arlaud), t...

Anatomy of a Fall

Share In a remote mountain chalet in the French Alps, Sandra (Sandra Huller), a successful novelist, is being interviewed by a student. Upstairs her husband Samuel (Samuel Thjeis) is playing his music so loud that she has to call off the taped interview. Shortly afterward, Samuel is found dead in the snow below the open window of his office. Did he accidentally fall? Did he commit suicide? Or was he pushed? Sandra immediately comes under suspicion for murder. Claiming she is innocent, she contacts an old lawyer friend, Vincent (Swann Arlaud), t...

Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer

Share In our book Spiritual Literacy, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is quoted: “The world is drenched in mystery and no matter what we do, we can never cut through it all and grab hold of the answer, the one explanation.” Fortunately for us, there are modern-day mystics who challenge us to see the world, ourselves, and others with fresh eyes. The German filmmaker Werner Herzog is one of them. Herzog has been called a visionary, a dreamer, and a cinematic explorer. He has produced, written, and directed more than 60 films, both narrative features and d...

Experience Nada Yoga Meditation With This Guide

The Daily Meditation with Paul Harrison

The Daily Meditation with Paul Harrison Experience Nada Yoga Meditation With This Guide / 12:14 As both a musician and a meditation teacher, I’m naturally very interested in any spiritual technique involving sound and music. That could be anything from sound healing instruments such as singing bowls, to exercises like the one I’ll be discussing today: Nada Yoga.  Many people recognise the name Nada Yoga as a form of meditation technique. However, it is more than just an exercise and is in fact a philosophical system described in detail in the c...

The Taste of Things

Share In the 1994 movie, The Scent of Green Papaya, a Vietnamese kitchen maid smiles as she savors the sight of a drop of milky sap on a leaf and later watches an ant moving a morsel of food. This kind of scene makes this film one of our favorites on the spiritual practice of attention. Now The Taste of Things is another. Both films were directed by Tran Anh Hung. The new film takes place almost entirely in the kitchen of a French chateau in the 1880s. During the first scene, nearly 40 minutes, Eugenie (Juliette Binoche) cooks an elaborate mult...

Albert Brooks: Defending My Life

Share “Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.”— Peter Usinov Albert Brooks is a brilliant and prolific American director, screenwriter, comedian, and actor. This spunky documentary is directed by Rob Reiner who has been Brooks’ close friend since childhood. They converse about Brooks’ career and the sources of his creativity; television and film clips illustrate many of their recollections. Brooks has always been able to make people laugh, and it is a lark watching him sending Johnny Carson into paroxysms of laughter during his appearan...

Christmas


Share Christmas, celebrated by Christians each year to commemorate the birth of Jesus, comes right after the longest night of the year on the Winter Solstice and for centuries has signaled the return of the light. Christmas is a time of hospitality and generosity. And it is a reminder of the hope that is always being born. African-American theologian and Christian mystic Howard Thurman appreciated all these meaning of Christmas and wrote often about them. In Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, selected and edited by Luther E. Smith, we discover...

Rose

Share Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder characterized by symptoms such as disorganized thinking, impaired cognitive function, delusions, and even hallucinations. Compounding their difficulties, people with schizophrenia often suffer from social stigma, with others judging them to be unpredictable and dangerous. But although it is a chronic condition, schizophrenia can be contained with medication, therapy, and support. This is the case with Inger (Sofie Grabol), in Rose. The character was inspired by screenwriter and director Niels Arde...

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Share Michael J. Fox remembers the exact moment when he realized that something was wrong with his body. Waking up with a hangover, he noticed a slight tremor in his little finger; it was almost as if the finger was not his. Just 29 years old, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive, degenerative, and to date uncurable brain condition, a movement disorder with symptoms of tremors, an unsteady gait, slowed movement, a facial mask, and more. For Fox, the most persistent symptom was a tremor. Davis Guggenheim, working closely with...

A Still Small Voice

Share Mati is a chaplain doing a year-long residency at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She is part of a cohort of four chaplains who are working under the supervision of the Rev. David Fleenor. In their meetings, they share what they are feeling, read reports about their patient encounters, and discuss challenges resulting from the stress of the job. David, in turn, meets via Zoom with a consultant who listens as he shares his feelings of inadequacy and even wonders whether he wants to continue doing supervision. Director Luke Lorentzen ...

Maestro

Carey Mulligan as Felicia and Bradley Cooper as Lenny

Share Leonard Bernstein once quipped: “The world wants us to be only one thing, and I find that to be deplorable.” This imaginative, charismatic, and high energy conductor was a man of many trades: a pianist, a musical teacher, a composer of stage musicals and classical compositions, a lively hedonist, and an inimitable extravert.—Maestro is a biographical film about this genius of many trades (Bradley Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). It is directed by Bradley Cooper from a screenplay he co-wrote with Josh Singer. It w...

When Grief Hits During the Holidays

When you are grieving something—the death of a loved one, the end of a job, the loss of anything that reminds you that life will never be the same again—holidays and special events can really be a knock in the chops.  What can you do when those around you are in high spirits and all you want to do is slink into a dark hole? It’s natural that you don’t want to feel pain, which includes emotional pain. Judson Brewer, addiction specialist and neuroscientist, noted that even sea slugs, with the most basic nervous system available to support life, m...

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

Share The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is the final film from director William Friedkin, known for such thrillers as The Exorcist, The French Connection, and Rules of Engagement. He is credited as writer with Herman Wouk, who wrote the 1954 play of the same name. The film unfolds much like a play, taking place entirely in one room. This legal drama focuses on questions about military ethics and rules of conduct during times of great danger. Kiefer Sutherland stars as Lieutenant. Commander Queeg of the U.S.S. Caine who during a cyclone at sea was ...

About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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