Universal Heart Newsletter – and Book Club

Insight & inspiration * “One Voice. One Earth at Interfaith in Sydney this Sunday, 18 November 2012 * New books & books news at your Universal Heart Book Club * YouTube talks – direct support  * Visit www.stephaniedowrick.com

Dear Universal Heart Networkers,

I’m always delighted to hear that your numbers are growing…especially as some of you now also “tune in” to the Facebook inspirations I post most days. And you can see those, of course, without having a Facebook page yourself. But many of you prefer email…and that’s how this Network will remain, at least as far into the future as I can see.

This week in Sydney, at beautiful Meditation Space in Crown Street, I gave a talk on inspiration and insight. They were fascinating topics to place side by side, and I found myself emphasising that we can be inspired by so much more than beauty or even “uplifting” thoughts. I know first-hand that we need inspiration most when our lives are hardest. And if there is a single quality that inspiration has kept alive for me in such times it’s courage – even the courage to remain hopeful and tuned in to a greater sense of possibility.

You may recall that in Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love I urged readers (and myself) to pay less attention to what is difficult (and dismaying us) and far more to what can literally save us. It takes courage to do that and to remember that we find out what courage is only when our usual strategies are no longer adequate. I wrote in that book: “The events that are causing you grief don’t change when you begin to face them, but the present moment does change, and so does your guiding sense of how you can relate to life.”

That’s where insight comes in, offering a life-saving chance to learn from our personal experiences by reflecting upon them, opening to what they can teach us about our own existence and about life more generally. With insight comes compassion, appreciation – and even wisdom. Those are life’s treasures.

Giving that talk, I also discovered again how essential it is that we bring trust into the equation: trust that we can survive our own mistakes or failings, as well as those of others. And can afford to live with less anxiety and greater engagement. All that, from those two memorable words: insight and inspiration!

For those of you in Sydney – or within reach – a reminder that this Sunday, 18 November, 3pm, we have our service at Pitt Street (264) Uniting Church – with an absolute FEAST of music. Kim Cunio, Heather Lee and Elizabeth Lecoanet are all singing, and we are also hosting visionary solo pilgrim Shyla Nelson on the only major Australian stop of her global 99-day tour to invite people to join together to sing and pray for the earth. Shyla’s story is awesome: she’s travelling with a glass globe – making us “transparent” to one another – and a mission to bring millions together to sing in December on a single day all around the world. Meanwhile, we will sing on Sunday with Shyla before she leaves Australia on Monday (photo of Shyla below). Please, please come if you can. I know this is going to be glorious. And do also invite friends family, communities – you are welcome to send on this email or direct them to this link: Shyla Nelson in Sydney.

*  Wherever you are, I hope you are enjoying your very own Universal Heart Book Club! Walter Mason, my Book Club co-host, and I post articles throughout the month and there are some beauties there. I am really touched by the quality of writing as each writer who contributes is donating their time and enthusiasm. This is truly a labour of love for books, ideas, and readers and writers. Current highlights include Ros Bradley’s review of Drusilla’s Modjeska’s THE MOUNTAIN; Joyce Kornblatt on BOOKS ON WRITING (fascinating for keen readers and essential for writers); BUDDHALAND BROOKLYN – a novel I love; Jane Goodall on THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES, and a background piece by youngish, very clever novelist Emily Maguire on FISHING FOR TIGERS – which is one of the two books Walter and I review on video this month. The other is Michelle de Krester’s superb QUESTIONS OF TRAVEL. My review of that is also just posted there.

We have bookshop links on the site, and you can buy through them. Or from “my” bookstore which is hosted by Collins/Seek and absolutely reliable. (Not great to look at – alas – but good service and all books discounted. Including my new children’s book THE MOON SHINES OUT OF THE DARK.)

Finally, but certainly not least, a reminder that thanks to Brad Harris, you can SEE my talks from the interfaith services via this link. Please enjoy them. And you can HEAR my talks from the Easter Retreat at Mana via this link. (And if in NZ, you can now book for the “Mana in Auckland retreat day – 26 January 2013 – via this link! Also for next Easter Retreat.) It takes a lot of co-operation to bring those videos or recorded talks to you so I am immensely grateful to those who help – and those who enjoy them.

May people everywhere embrace our deep need for peace. May you and your loved ones live in peace.
Warmest wishes to each of you, Stephanie Dowrick


Interfaith service, Sunday 18 November 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. This Sunday: special visit by Shyla Nelson celebrating “One Voice. One Earth”.

26 January 2013 “Gaining Ground”: Retreat in a Day, Auckland, NZ. Bookings: Mana Retreat Centre: www.manaretreat.com


Shyla Nelson on her “One Voice. One Earth” pilgrimage