559: Readers re-focus after our crazy week—on hope, vets … & a shaggy dog


Once again, thanks to readers like you,
we’ve got your feedback to share …

Wow. We ALL need help with discernment. 
Thank you, Eileen Flanagan for …
“Wisdom to Know the Difference”

WHEREVER I went mid-week, I ran into readers eager to get a copy of Eileen Flanagan’s wise-and-compassionate new guide to spiritual discernment. Click here to jump back and read the whole interview.
    I ran into ReadTheSpirit contributor Elaine Greenberg in person. Elaine’s biggest effort these days is helping medical school students understand the experience of cancer survivors through a network that now extends to 60 medical schools. Elaine immediately ordered a copy of Eileen’s book—a sign of the obvious “cross over” potential of such wisdom. Elaine is Jewish; Eileen writes from her Quaker background. But, when it comes to “knowing the difference,” we’re on a universal quest.
    Journalism consultant Aly Colon chimed in, too, with a comment teasing all of us at ReadTheSpirit for eating into his precious work week: “I have a complaint! Your writing delays me from doing my work. I
find too much that’s informative, insightful and inspiring in ReadTheSpirit. Like your recent piece
on Eileen Flanagan. I just wanted to take a quick peek. Then you suck
me into reading the whole piece. And I’ve got work to do!

    Well, if you’re just joining us today, here’s your spiritual “work” for the weekend: Go enjoy the interview with Eileen.
    Here’s a link to purchase her book if you’d like to do that: The Wisdom to Know the Difference: When to Make a Change-and When to Let Go

Why do we need a respite?  
Somber stuff—and great hope, too …
from The Wall’s fall—to cool new veteran concepts!

THIS WAS, indeed, a historic week!
    Reader Calista from California—who is a “Semi-Presbyterian-for-Now-By-Way-of-the-Catholic-Church-Atheism-and-Buddhism”—wrote, “I’m overwhelmed by the history you open up like big French doors onto the ocean. … I think of these as waves as it hits me. Years ago, I sang along with Sesame Street. I’m too young to remember much about the Cold War, but my parents have told me the black and white thing you describe. How could billions have lived that way? … But we don’t learn a whole lot, do we? It’s the cost on men and women in Iraq and all our fronts in the world today that breaks my heart. … Too much to see out there, almost. I almost want to close the French doors and turn off the lights. But those are our friends out there. Gotta look.”
    Thanks Calista! Eloquent note.
    The major PBS documentary, “The Way We Get By,” aired Wednesday night, but you still can read our interview with the filmmaker—and click over to the PBS Web site to learn more. That was was our second “most remarked upon” story this week, after the interview with Eileen.
    Then, did you catch the cool news over at OurValues.org this week? I’m a well-wired journalist carefully watching the cutting edge—and Dr. Baker completely surprised me this week with news about the “Contagious Love Experiment,” involving a couple of Marine vets, and the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, too!

Now for Something Completely Different …
“A Shaggy Dog Story from a Rabbi”
No kidding! Now watch closely!

RABBI BOB ALPER—the standup comic, interfaith pioneer and all-around clever guy—is a longtime friend of ReadTheSpirit.
    I didn’t even know he had a dog until this week.
    But, we’ve been publishing some very popular animal-related spiritual stories here at ReadTheSpirit. Our single most popular story on this theme is an interview with Mutts cartoonist Patrick McDonnell on his new book about pets with Eckhart Tolle.
    It’s a picture book—beautiful and simple and full of deep wisdom—and, no, the video you’re about to see isn’t about all those things. But it made me chuckle. Maybe it’ll make you smile.
    CLICK on the screen, below, to watch the video. Or, if a screen doesn’t appear in your browser window, CLICK this link to jump to YouTube and watch it there.


    This is a good time to sign up for our Monday-morning ReadTheSpirit Planner by Emailit’s
free and you can cancel it any time you’d like to do so. The Planner
goes out each week to readers who want more of an “inside track” on
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    Not only do we welcome your notes—but our readers enjoy them as well. You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
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    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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