Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

By Karen Armstrong
(Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780307595591, 222pp.)

Publication Date: December 28, 2010

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Description

One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, Islam, and Buddha—now gives us an impassioned and practical book that can help us make the world a more compassionate place.

Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion. Here, in this straightforward, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book, she sets out a program that can lead us toward a more compassionate life.

The twelve steps Armstrong suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” In between, she takes up “compassion for yourself,” mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and “concern for everybody.” She suggests concrete ways of enhancing our compassion and putting it into action in our everyday lives, and provides, as well, a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.” Throughout, Armstrong makes clear that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.




About the Author
Karen Armstrong is the bestselling author of The Case for God, among other books. A powerful voice for ecumenical understanding, she was instrumental in creating, launching and propagating the Charter for Compassion, a global, multifaith cooperative effort to restore compassionate thinking and action to the center of religious, moral and political life.


NPR
Monday, Jan 10, 2011

From Confucius to Oprah, people have preached compassion for centuries. But how often is it put into practice? In Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life, religion expert Karen Armstrong describes ways to add kindness to daily routines. More at NPR.org

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