In this talk, recorded at the Sydney Town Hall for the Happiness & Its Causes Conference, Sydney, 2012, Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick challenges – with considerable gentleness and strength – some of our familiar ideas about happiness, and invites us to a greater vision not of happiness only, but also of safety, justice and peace. “Are we spiritually ambitious enough?” she asks. And then she encourages us to care far, far more. You can share your comments on this powerful talk on Stephanie Dowrick’s Facebook page. You can also share this link with your own networks to spread a message of happiness that can reduce suffering; we can be the cause of happiness – even sometimes in the face of grief and sorrow – because happiness is not just pleasure, joy and fun, it is also a state of aliveness, wholeness and even holiness that has abundant room for compassion, forgiveness and great tenderness.
“Interfaith” is a word increasingly used. It’s used as an adjective. It’s used as a noun. We can even do interfaith in the sense of engaging with a range of activities that might include the local rabbi, imam, Buddhist monk, Hindu priest and Catholic nun sharing insights around an urgent social need, as well as people getting together without their religious labels to share sacred silence, a day of prayer, peace-making, forgiveness or healing, an experience of art, poetry or music, or a service in a church, temple or under the trees that draws on humankind’s shared spiritual inheritance and is in every way inclusive. This last word matters most. From this perspective, no one is “lesser than”; no one is “left out”.
You can find details here of the retreats and events which Stephanie Dowrick is leading, or where she is contributing, through 2013. The interfaith services in Sydney are each 3rd Sunday of the month, at 3pm: Pitt Street (264) Uniting Church, Sydney. The retreats at Mana Retreat Centre are twice-yearly: Easter and October. And yes, Stephanie is again leading a writing retreat in Kyoto in October 2013, with William Suganda! Booking enquiry details for these events are all listed. If you wish to enquire about Stephanie Dowrick’s availability to lead a retreat or speak at an event, please visit CONTACT on this website.
Stephanie Dowrick’s new children book is The Moon Shines Out of the Dark, an enchanting, tender story of a little boy called Harry who must wait through a long night for the moon to reappear in the sky – and for Mum to return home. All the while Harry is remembering the lovely rhythms and events in his everyday life: Dad’s kindly humour, Mum’s love for plants (and Harry!), his friends, his precious marbles…and his own love for the wondrous sky and moon. The book is perfect for imaginative children – are there any other kind? And is illustrated with magnificent, engaging paintings from award-winning Anne Spudvilas. “A great addition to any bookshelf and a moving story to be shared by families everywhere.” Australian Bookseller and Publisher