Universal Heart Newsletter – and Book Club

Everyday Kindness published in the US * Interfaith in Sydney this Sunday, 16 Sept 2012 * New books of interest at your Universal Heart Book Club * Spring Retreat in New Zealand, 4-7 October * “What difference can the Sacred Make?” : Special event, Sydney 11 October, 7-9pm * Writing Retreat in Kyoto 29 Oct – 6 Nov 2012YouTube talks – direct support  * Visit www.stephaniedowrick.com

Dear Universal Heart Networkers,

I’m thrilled to announce that my book Everyday Kindness is published this week in the US. The excitement of a new publication remains very fresh for me. And this lovely new edition should make it easier for those of you living beyond Australia to buy this book – and I hope you will. We are living in a world where greater kindness is urgently needed. “Be kind whenever possible,” says the Dalai Lama. And he adds, “It’s always possible.” My book is not about kindness as an abstract virtue, but how to live it, showing the remarkable difference a cheerful, confident and appreciative way of living makes in all areas of your life from the way you feel about your body and yourself, to parenting, work, moods – and every one of your relationships. I write: “The good news is that you learn a kinder way of life by living it. Theories are not enough. Good intentions are only the beginning…” The chapters are short and accessible. Please let me know which work best for you. I’d welcome that.

Your Universal Heart Book Club is forging ahead! We have just posted the second video review, plus other terrific articles. Our special two this month are Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal? and Susan Swingler’s quite extraordinary memoir, The House of Fiction, exploring the elaborate real-life deception Australian writer Elizabeth Jolley spun and sustained over decades.  I hope you will use the Book Club as a lovely book journal to read, see, listen to and enjoy on a frequent basis. As you scroll through you will discover that the reviews are personal in tone, short, positive – and very inviting. Your comments there or on my Facebook page are most welcome. For those of you keen to buy the books, there are easy links on the Book Club website. Discounted books continue to be available also from my own on-line bookstore. Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of this. These bookstores return a small % of sales through those links, and that provides essential support for this Network and Book Club. You can order any book, by the way, not just those we are discussing.

A reminder, too, of the YouTube talks from the Sydney interfaith services. I know some of you are picking these up and enjoying them. The most recent talk from August is on the vital topic of peace in our hearts. Do listen and share it if you find it supports you.

A reminder, too, of the next Interfaith service – this Sunday, 16 September 2012. Anticipating the International Day of Peace on 21 September, our service focuses on peace in our world, and the part each of us can play in that. I always emphasize what wonderful music we will have – and it’s true! We have incredible musicians and this adds so much to the depth of each service. I see people leaving at the end looking far more relaxed and replenished than when they arrive. It’s the best reward. We are all seeking a greater sense of peace and community and the services offer that.

I’ve included details below of an evening to be presented by Eremos where Reverend Doug Purnell, a talented visual artist and fine thinker, will join me as we both discuss “What difference can ‘the Sacred’ make?”. This will be a beautiful and stimulating event. If you are in Sydney or can come to Sydney, please join us. (Big thanks to Eremos.)

Last reminder too of the annual Spring retreat in New Zealand (4-7 October). I had a lovely long talk with Donna last night. She so beautifully manages Mana Retreat Centre, and I felt such a joyful rise of anticipation about being there again. Simply being there is a huge treat. Details follow for last-minute bookings. And if it’s writing and Japan that tempts you, then please contact William Suganda directly as soon as possible. Those details also follow.

As your days unfold, I wish you kindness and peace. And increasing gratitude for the gift of life. “May all beings be well and happy. May all of our vast human family experience the blessings of peace.”

My warmest wishes to each and every one of you,   Stephanie Dowrick


Interfaith service, Sunday 16 September 2012, 3pm Since 2006, offering exquisite music and universal, uplifting teachings. The 3rd Sunday of each month at 3 pm, these services may meet your needs for peace and spiritual renewal.

Details: Interfaith services with Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick. Music Dr Kim Cunio and Heather Lee. Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000. Nearest cross Street is Park. Some street parking. Excellent public transport (Town Hall). Services around 75 minutes. Tea, coffee, fellowship and a welcome to all. Joyful singing before the service: 1.15-2.15pm with Elizabeth Lecoanet.

Peaceful Mind: Spring Retreat at Mana Retreat Centre 4-7 October 2012
 Enjoy the exceptional community experience of retreat life, along with rare care for mind, body and spirit. Please contact Mana if you would like to extend your stay at either end of the retreat. Shuttles and ferry service available from Auckland. Mana Retreat Centre, RD 1, 608 Manaia Road, Coromandel 3581, New Zealand   (+ 64 7) 866 8972   Mana Retreat Centre be@manaretreat.com  web direct at www.manaretreat.com

“What difference can ‘the Sacred’ make?”. Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney, 11 October, 7-9pm. Stephanie Dowrick and Doug Purnell will discuss this vital, inspirational topic. Easy bookings with Eremos.

Writing in Kyoto   29 October – 6 November 2012  
If you feel at all drawn to this small-group writing retreat, please contact William at once. He is currently negotiating for one or two extra rooms. Morning writing workshops followed by afternoons of optional explorations with Inspired Traveller’s William Suganda. Includes a day trip to the famed Reiki mountain.  All levels welcome. Single room option available. Accommodation is in the very comfortable Westin Miyako Hotel. Further details from: william@inspiredtraveller.com.au

I look forward to seeing you at some of these special events. And please, always let me know you are a member of this Network! It means so much to me.