Newsletter from Stephanie Dowrick

  1. On the road with Seeking the Sacred
  2. Share your comments on Facebook or follow on Twitter
  3. A blessing shared from Gandhi
  4. Novels for Christmas?
  5. Interfaith service Sydney 19 December 2010; Christmas Eve 11pm
  6. 2011: early notices of events/retreats

Dear friends

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this newsletter. I have met so many of you in recent weeks as I have been travelling around the country talking about my new book Seeking the Sacred. This immediate post-publication period is intensely important in the life of a writer and I’ve really welcomed the many chances to listen and answer questions, as well as talk.

I’m convinced by your responses that the book is consoling and affirming. But perhaps what’s been most provocative is my call to personal and social peacemaking. We are so conditioned to the logic of harm and retaliation – and I am saying it is not inevitable. In fact, far from making us weak or a pushover, the choice not to extend or accelerate harm is arguably our most reliable source of self-respect and personal power.  I have written more about what it’s meant to raise these ideas on my website: speaking the sacred

If you want to comment on that story – or a range of others – it’s easy to do so via my “Official Stephanie Dowrick” Facebook page.

I urge you to visit the page and “like” it so you will get more immediate news via FB – and can comment if you feel moved to do so. I will be watching with interest to see the numbers rise!

Twitter sounds banal – and some people’s “tweets” certainly are. But it’s a terrific means to update information briefly and easily. Do consider a twitter account. My twitter address is http://twitter.com/stephaniedowric# (too many letters to have Dowrick…)

The twitter stream also appears on FB and on my very smart redesigned website.  Have you visited and explored?  You will find frequent new stories and articles there, including my recent Sydney event with NSW Premier Kristina Keneally – as hilarious as often as it was serious: Kristina Keneally & Stephanie Dowrick unravel the sacred

Following this letter are details of events, plus forthcoming interfaith and Christmas services.  The services are of course open to all.  Please do book now if you are interested in the “Retreat in a Day” in Auckland, or the Easter Retreat 2011. We have space for a good number for the January retreat day, but far fewer places for the 10th annual Easter Retreat.

I’ve also included some suggestions for book buying, perhaps as Christmas gifts or for lovely holiday reading. These are among the many recommendations on my website bookshop.

And with only days to go until the Christmas holidays begin, I am sending heartfelt wishes for peace to you, your families and communities. With this special time in mind, I’d like to share these exquisite words from that great peacemaker, Mahatma Gandhi. They inspired “Transformation”, the final section of Seeking. As I continue to read them, they renew my sense of spirit and connection – surely the most profound meaning of the sacred.

I offer you peace.

I offer you love.

I offer you friendship.

I see your beauty.

I hear your need.

I feel your feelings.

My wisdom flows from the Highest Source.

I greet that Source in you.

Let us work together for unity and love.

Blessings to each of you, Stephanie Dowrick

Novels for Christmas?

It’s a treat to make recommendations from the BOOKSHOP web page. Naturally, I’d love you to buy Seeking the Sacred or the new edition of Forgiveness & Other Acts of Love for yourself and others. But some of you may also want to read novels, especially as holidays approach. There are some beauties on my recommended list including Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone and Marilynne Robinson’s quietly absorbing Home. (You may also want to read her novel, Gilead.) Further down the long list of recommended books is one of my all-time favourites – Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto. All gems. Books are supplied by Seek via a safe website. Postage is $6.95 whether you buy one book or 100. All sales provide essential support for this Network.

Interfaith & Christmas services

Final service for the year: Interfaith service in Sydney on 19 December, 3pm. (No service in January.)

Details: Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000. Tel: 9267 3614.

Nearest cross street is Park. Children always welcome.  There will be glorious music from Kim Cunio and Heather Lee.

Christmas Eve service, 24 December, 11pm. All welcome. Again, 264 Pitt Street.

2011 events – a first chance to book for the following:

15 January, Retreat in a Day, Auckland > Bookings : www.manaretreat.com

21-25 April, Easter Retreat, Coromandel New Zealand  > Bookings : www.manaretreat.com

Both organised by Mana Retreat Centre http://www.manaretreat.com

or email be@manaretreat.com

Yes! I will be offering some exciting workshops and retreat days in Australia during 2011.  I will also continue my work with Breast Cancer Network Australia. And I plan to visit the US in June.  Details will follow on web pages, twitter, these newsletters and FB.

Meanwhile, William Suganda and I are gathering preliminary interest for a brand new writing workshop, Writing in Kyoto (October 2011). If you want to register your interest, please email William Suganda william@inspiredtraveller.com.au

Enjoy!