Universal Heart Newsletter – and Book Club

Greetings to all in the Universal Heart Network!

Announcing the Universal Heart Book Club  *  Engage with books and ideas that matter * Interfaith in Sydney 19 August 2012 * Glorious Spring Retreat in New Zealand, 4-7 October * Writing Retreat in Kyoto (only two rooms left) * YouTube talks – direct support  * “From Joy I came” *  Visit www.stephaniedowrick.com and check “Events”

Some of you have been with this Network since it began in 2000, the year The Universal Heart was first published. This year, 2012, Allen & Unwin have published a gorgeous new edition of that book (which is so dear to my heart). And in a further leap of Universal Heart activity, I am launching this week – with my friend and fellow writer Walter Mason – a brand new book club, book space and book journal called, appropriately, The Universal Heart Book Club.

As UHN members, you are automatically “joined”. You can visit the Universal Heart Book Club website often. Your active participation will be vital if this is to be a true book club. We hope it will inspire many “bookish” conversations and much reading and inspiration. I will also prompt you in these (more or less) monthly emails, especially when there is a video review or recommendation of special interest. The book club will include reviews, recommendations, personal articles and a new short video discussion posted on the website each month. It’s all taken quite some weeks to prepare but we like the results and when a dear friend asked me how I would judge its success I was quickly able to say, “By people participating and enjoying it – and reading more!”

Like my own website (where I continue to post articles and information), it is easy to negotiate and attractive to visit. Click on any month’s highlighted menu (right hand side) for a list of articles. In July, for example, my friend Jane Goodall wrote a beautiful piece about buying books by Thich Nhat Hanh and Clive James in a single visit to Readings bookstore in Melbourne, and how these very different writers (could any writers be more different?) have provoked for her hours of invaluable reflection.

My own choice was to write about a range of brain and mind books, and particularly Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s new The Woman Who Changed Her Brain. I have also given recommendations of practical books that support brain, mood and mind. Walter has written about Charlotte Wood’s lovely book on food, care and kindness, Love & Hunger. And Nigel Marsh reviews the classic, A Fortunate Life.  The reviews are chatty, personal in tone, short – and I hope very inviting. (You will let me know!)

There are links on that website for on-line buying and the books on my own on-line bookstore continue to be available and to be discounted by at least 10%. Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of this. There are many recommendations of fine books there too. I am taking it for granted that most of you are keen to make new reading discoveries. The bookstores return a small % of sales through those links, and that provides the sole support for this Network and Book Club, so they do matter.

A reminder, too, of the YouTube talks from the Sydney interfaith services that many of you are picking up and enjoying. They offer direct support and can all be accessed via this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/interfaithinsydney

The most recent talk (recorded in June – I was away in July) is on the Golden Rule. My passion for that – and for its potential to clarify our ethical stance in the world – was the catalyst for writing The Universal Heart. So it’s a talk that I very much hope you will listen to and enjoy if you haven’t already.

Feel free to share this link or any UHN information with your own circles. You can always comment on my Facebook page if you have insights to share.  A reminder, too, of the next Interfaith service – this coming Sunday, 19 August – and of  two very different, very beautiful retreats where you would be so welcome. (Always let me know you are member of this Network. I love to hear.) I’m aware that there are only two rooms left in our initial booking of rooms in Kyoto so please, if you are interested in that retreat, contact William Suganda directly as soon as possible. Those details follow.

As your life goes forward, I wish you kindness and peace.
Very kindest wishes, Stephanie Dowrick

Interfaith service, Sunday 19 August 2012, 3pm
Exquisite music and universal, uplifting teachings. Offered on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 3 pm, these services may meet your needs for a time of unconditional acceptance 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
Spring is the perfect time for inner and outer renewal and this year at the Spring Retreat at Mana with Dr Stephanie Dowrick we will focus on the timeless theme of “Peaceful Mind”. Together we will rediscover what best supports inner stability and confidence that makes the most of life, whatever our outer circumstances. Enjoy the exceptional community experience of retreat life, along with rare care for mind, body and spirit. Massage and watsu also available and 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

Writing in Kyoto   29 October – 6 November 2012
If you feel at all drawn to this exceptional writing retreat, please contact William as soon as possible. In one of the world’s most enchanting small cities you will find a new level of writing confidence and creative pleasure. Morning workshops with Dr Stephanie Dowrick followed by afternoons in Zen gardens, sublime temples and little known tea houses with Inspired Traveller’s William Suganda. The itinerary also includes a day trip to the famed Reiki mountain.  All levels welcome. Numbers strictly limited. Single room option available. Accommodation is in the very comfortable Westin Miyako Hotel. Further details from: william@inspiredtraveller.com.au

From Joy I came.

For Joy I live.

Into Thy sacred joy

I will dissolve again.

From Pramahamsa Yogananda

This beautiful painting can be found in the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The painter is Robert Delauney.