On writing (and reading) Rilke

This portrait of 20th-century European poet Rainer Maria Rilke is by his friend the Expressionist painter, Paula Modersohn-Becker, painted when both were adventurous idealists in their 20s. I have a particular fondness for it because it was when I working at The Women’s Press in London in the early 1980s that we published the first-ever monograph on Modersohn-Becker. Through that […]

Stephanie Dowrick reviews Anna Funder’s All that I Am

(This review first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, October 2011) What kind of people dare to dream of a better world than the one in which they find themselves? Ruth – one of this immensely fine novel’s two narrators – names empathic imagination and the actions that arise from it as critical: “Imagining the […]

Are you easy to like?

Are you easy to like? Think for a moment about the people in your life who are genuinely self-confident (not bombastic or self-important!). Are they also the people who are easiest to like?  If the answer is yes, here’s why. You know you can trust them. You enjoy their company. You don’t have to walk […]

Do you really want to be well?

In a series of five audio files, recorded at Mana Retreat Centre, NZ, October 2011, Dr Stephanie Dowrick teaches on the spiritual as well as psychological dimensions of what it means to be genuinely “well” – even when your physical health is compromised or uncertain. She also teaches on the vital topics of healing, the nature […]

Ten lessons from the earth

It gave me so much pleasure to prepare this talk and to consider the many ways in which the earth constantly “teaches” us – if only we will allow that.  These lessons include awareness that whatever our differences, we are dependent on a single source; that the “seasons” of life are in a constant process […]

Less suffering, more peace

More than 100 years ago the pioneering psychologist William James wrote: “The greatest revolution in our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”  How true this is when it comes to suffering. “In life there is suffering.” We don’t […]

A lotus in a time of hope

A lotus in a time of hope

This exquisite lotus, which I photographed on a recent holiday, only shows its ravishing beauty at night. It seems a particularly apt reminder that at the most difficult times we are in greatest need of loving kindness, thoughtfulness, harmony and beauty. It is also a stark reminder that our world needs, that we need far greater […]

Reflection and action

In the short video Dr Stephanie Dowrick uses the familiar, yet wonderfully fresh “Mary and Martha” story from the Christian gospels to demonstrate the interdependence of reflection and action. It’s what she calls the “Yin and Yang” of spiritual life. Stephanie also points out that it is reflection that we often overlook or rush by […]

Renewal and inspiration

We are now in our  sixth year of interfaith services in Sydney. Yet sometimes even “interfaith” seems too much of a label (although I did use it on the census form when asked to nominate my religion…!).  Perhaps it’s enough to know that the spiritually inclusive services we offer each month, 3rd Sundays, 3pm, at […]

Respect for all of life

A brief extract from Seeking the Sacred, now available as both printed book and audio, sent with the latest Universal Heart Newsletter. Whatever else the sacred is, it points to this: we are members of a single human family, marvelous and terrifying in its diversity. If we want to blink a couple of times and […]

Saving peace of mind?

In this recent short talk, Dr Stephanie Dowrick discusses some of the common obstacles to our personal peace of mind. These inevitably also “disturb” the peace way beyond ourselves. With a possibly surprising lightness and even optimism, she brings our attention to anger, greed and ignorance – all well known to most of us, all […]

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