Cover Story: Marc Lesser’s ‘Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader’ fuses ancient wisdom with cutting-edge business

A GREAT CONNECTOR—Marc Lesser is famous for forging a pattern of spiritual practices for daily living that fuses ideas from both the ancient and the newest sources of wisdom. A Zen teacher who lived for years in a monastery, Marc worked on developing a cutting-edge training program for Google staffers, which was launched in 2007. Now, he widely travels and teaches. This week, our Cover Story features an interview with Marc about his newest book, Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery KitchenAs always, we invite you to share our cover story with friends via social media. All of our stories end an easy-to-print button so you could share these stories with your small group in paper form as well.

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Speaking of Daily Practice …

SIMPLY LENDING A STRANGER YOUR STEADY ARM—Regular readers love Ben Pratt’s simple stories and have been sharing these gems across social media—as inspiring illustrations of life’s daily challenges. What Ben Pratt adds to this week’s theme is—quite simply—a small slice of a life defined by the kind of compassionate spirituality Marc Lesser describes. Ben writes …

Q: What do these vast, timeless principles look like on a daily basis?
A: Like an outstretched arm.

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The Art of Conflict Resolution

‘REFORMING AMERICAN POLITICS’—Our thanks go out to Byron Borger, co-founder with his wife Beth of the nationally known Pennsylvania bookstore Hearts & Minds! Recently, Religion News Service featured an extensive profile of the Borgers and their store. In Byron’s latest lengthy newsletter about new books, he gave high praise to Harold Heie’s new book, Reforming American PoliticsByron’s overall theme was “Books on Civility,” and he saved his praise for Harold’s book until near the end—so you’ll have to keep reading to reach that item.

In his July 11 newsletter, Byron writes: “I am very fond of this very interesting book and want to highly recommend it because it does two or three important things: … Firstly, it teaches us to be civil in our discussions, even our on-line debates. Secondly, it helps us develop—by walking through a series of reports about on-line debates and evaluating their civility—a consistently Christian vision for and perspective on government and politics and citizenship. So this is a twofer kind of book. You will learn the art of conflict resolution … even as you are invited to actually ponder what a truly Christian viewpoint might be on various social and public policy issues. … It’s all here!”

Stop by Amazon and get a copy, and you’ll likely want to discuss this book with friends.

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Tricks of the Book-Selling Trade

IT’s ALL ABOUT COMMUNITY—Authors and journalists are at the heart of our ReadTheSpirit magazine and our Front Edge Publishing house. Marketing Director Susan Stitt writes about the importance of working together to amplify the good news. She reports on five powerful online opportunities to enhance the voices of authors. If you are inspired by the columns we publish in this magazine—please, read Susan’s column and help out an author whose message matters to you. A few minutes of your time sharing some news with others can make a big difference.

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

OBON / ULLAMBANAA festival of ancient dances, intricate costumes and a celebration of Japanese culture commences, as the spirit of Obon circles the globe. Worldwide, this festival spans an entire month: “Shichigatsu Bon,” celebrated in Eastern Japan, begins in mid-July; “Hachigatsu Bon” commences in August; “Kyu Bon,” or “Old Bon,” is observed annually on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

JULY 20—’THREE WEEKS’ begins for Jewish families worldwide—and Stephanie Fenton has the story. Beginning on the 17th of the month of Tammuz and ending on Tisha B’Av, Jews lament the destruction of the First and Second Temples and the historical misfortunes of the Jewish people.

BIRTHDAY OF HAILE SELASSIE—On July 23, Rastafari around the world—estimated to number 700,000 to 1 million—hold Nyabingi drumming sessions and celebrate the birthday anniversary of Haile Selassie I. Selassie remained a lifelong Christian, but never reproached the Rastafari for their beliefs in him as the returned messiah. Stephanie has the story of the holiday and of Selassie’s life, which is one of the most poignant of 20th-century leaders.

Want to see all the stories about Holidays & Festivals & Seasons? Just remember www.InterfaithHolidays.com 

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Faith & Film

Click the image to learn about the July issue.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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