Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life 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

  • Title: Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
  • Author: Karen Armstrong
  • ISBN: 9780307881748
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Audio CD
  • 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 compassionate place.Karen Armstrong believes that while compassion is intrinsic in all human beings, each of us needs to work diligently to cOne 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 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 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.From the Hardcover edition.

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    About "Karen Armstrong"

    1. Karen Armstrong

      British author of numerous works on comparative religion.Elsewhere enpedia wiki Karen_Ar.mfortoday karenarmardian profile karLibrarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.

    532 thoughts on “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life”

    1. The only thing cynical about this book is its title. In her closing pages, Armstrong writes, "The attempt to become a compassionate being is a lifelong project. It is not achieved in an hour or a day-or even in twelve steps. It is a struggle that will last until our dying hour. Nearly every day we will fail, but we cannot give up."Why do I point out the obvious marketing ploy of the title? Because my name is Lisa, and I am a recovering snark-a-holic. I grew up in a household where debate was a b [...]

    2. Karen Armstrong loves religious history, which is an invaluable trait for the author of a history textbook. Unfortunately what she's tried to write here is a self-help/devotional book, and the skill sets don't quite match up.Good, true, and valuable pointers for compassionate living abound in this book. But to get to these gems I found myself slogging through example after example from diverse religious traditions and time periods that, while neither technically irrelevant nor wholly uninteresti [...]

    3. This is an important book. But it is a book which cannot simply be read to do any good. Caveat: I simply read it.Before I go on, let me recommend that you get the book from a library and read it. If you decide that you want to actually work at being more compassionate, if you want to work at the twelve steps in your own life, then go ahead and purchase yourself a copy.The book itself is a quick read; but it is meant to be read slowly. Each chapter (step) is supposed to be mastered before moving [...]

    4. كسي كه بي غرض است و منصف و آرام در حقيقت يك پناهگاه است. يك انسان واقعا مشفق زخمه اي بر دل ما مي نوازد كه آكنده از طنين برخي از عميق ترين آرزوهاي ماست. مردم گرد چنين شخصي جمع مي شوند زيرا در جهاني پر از خشونت و خشم مامني از ارامش در اختيار آنها قرار مي دهد. اين كتاب از دوازدم گام بر [...]

    5. Karen Armstrong's latest work, "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life," is a fascinating look at concepts of compassion across all of the world's major faiths -- and includes the concept that one need not be religious in order to have a compassionate viewpoint (something that many religious writers nowadays seem to ignore).Armstrong starts with an overview of compassion as discussed in various religious writings from around the world and then shows twelve ways to incorporate the practice of compa [...]

    6. Karen Armstrong brings to bear her sensibilities as a religious historian in this book. Don't mistake it for a new-agey self-help treatment of the subject of compassion; she dissects the subject like a scientist more than a sage. No holding hands around the campfire and singing Kumbayah. She turns to neuroscience to explain how we are hardwired for compassion--just as we are hardwired with the capacity for aggression--and identifies the biological imperatives for both self-preservation and empat [...]

    7. This is yet another book that is good but disappointing because it did not live up to my expectations.I am a big fan of Karen Armstrong. Although she is selective in what she chooses to focus on in her writing, she is still, in my opinion, one of the best religious historians when it comes to writing books that are readable, compassionate, intellectually challenging, and jam packed with information.Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life is, quite intentionally, a very different type of book. It is [...]

    8. I liked this book a lot. In it religious historian Karen Armstrong suggests a series of simple and easily achieved mental exercises that can help one increase one's capacity for compassion. Armstrong offers justification for these exercises by way of copious examples from the history of religion. Some of the examples I was familiar with from her longer and more detailed The Great Transformation, about religious development during what is known as the Axial Age (900-200 BC), though the impetus he [...]

    9. Every major religious tradition in the world contains some version of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you, or, more simply, treat other people as you want to be treated. We're all familiar with the saying, but how often do we see the Golden Rule in action?When Karen Armstrong, whose expertise is in comparative religion, received a TED grant to develop an "idea worth spreading", her thoughts turned to this simple idea.The title is a bit disarming. Those expecting a sac [...]

    10. Well, I picked this book after hearing the author on a TED video speaking about the Golden Rule. Specifically, how to change the Golden Rule from the usual "Do unto others" to "Do not do to others what you wouldn't want done to you." There are many religious examples and overtones (all types of religions by the way) and her message is extremely thoughtful, inspiring, and relevant in today's global climate. I am not a religious person at all but I found her thoughts on compassion (or lack thereof [...]

    11. This book is brutal. I gave up in the middle. It is titled "Twelve Steps to" so I naturally thought it would be a book that helps individuals develop compassion in their everyday lives. Wrong. I was on disc 3 when I quit and had only been through one step, and I can't even tell you what that step was. I think it was "Practice compassion." Oh, ok. Thanks!This woman is difficult to listen to and wants to talk about the history of every religion in the densest terms possible. No, thank you.

    12. I liked this book, but I'd hoped to love it. Perhaps I didn't spend enough time with itof course, I didn't do the prescribed exercises. anyone really do them all? Lovely ideas here, but I think I've lived in macho-posturing Texas too long to have any real hope that compassion will take hold of our people. I will press on with the exercises; one must try.

    13. This book is so good and I learned a lot about the similarities of several religions. Basically - be kind. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Learning how is much harder than it seems. I like the idea of a compassion epidemic. We could all be a bit kinder. We could all stand to learn more about other people, other nationalities and other religions.

    14. Well, after taking my time to come back to set down afew thoughts about this book I'm finding it hard to put into words - thought provoking, meaningful, incisive, carefully and deliberately structured words. It's not that the book doesn't invoke them, it's just that I can probably sum it up in a couple of sentences and that just seems - well - unjust. However, that being the case, it pretty much sums up the book. It's an awful lot of words that really didn't need to be in a book format when much [...]

    15. A well-structured and systematic programme encouraging people of all faiths to practice conscious compassion in the same way we would learn any new skill. Armstrong’s belief that humanity has an innate capacity for goodness, which can override the baser instincts of the “crocodile brain” is reassuring. Her twelve steps provide a simple enough guide and, based on Socratic dialogue, ask questions that challenge the reader’s known perceptions. Containing what seems like common sense to peop [...]

    16. As thorough and well presented as the rest of Karen Armstrong's work, this is in many ways the practical application of her conclusions following the years of in- depth investigation into the major faiths of the world. The central message is simple - the Golden Rule (love your neighbour as yourself) is the key to the good life but we need to take steps to apply it thoroughly in our lives. It was occasionally presented as rocket science when thinking people of faith are quite capable of reaching [...]

    17. Karen Armstrong is an intellectual theologian, with past experience as a Catholic nun. The Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life book heavily references Eastern philosophical and religious tradition, no doubt as one Eastern religious tradition's fundamentalist renegade group is in current conflict with some Western industrial superpower nations. Armstrong enumerates and describes each of the twelve steps toward a compassionate life imagining her audience is of primarily Western civilization and f [...]

    18. What a wonderful message! I learned a great deal about the true concept of compassion; Karen Armstrong spends time describing the central tenet of the Golden Rule and how it actually appears in all major religious traditions, rather than just telling us to to be nice to people. It seemed like a special emphasis was placed on Buddhism and Christianity, but that was fine by me; the Buddha and Jesus Christ were the two religious figures who spoke most explicitly about the Golden Rule as we know it. [...]

    19. I could point out the things I disagreed with in this book, but in the spirit of compassion as advocated by this book, I'd rather point out the things I liked. I liked the generosity of spirit in which Karen Armstrong writes. I liked learning about religious traditions other than my own. I liked Karen Armstrong overall argument that true religion is actually about increasing our ability to love and control the destructive parts of our makeup. So many unthinking people have a knee jerk reaction o [...]

    20. Karen Armstrong advocates for expanding our sense of compassion for others in a short, succinct, heavily researched and documented 12-step program. Karen left religious orders and has focused on religion from a nondenominational viewpoint, culminating in the Charter for Compassion (charterforcompassion).p.23: "But it is important to say that the twelve-step program does not depend on supernatural or credal convictions."p.105: "As we practice the Immeasurables, we are bound to become aware of the [...]

    21. Many scary things are happening in the the world. At the same time, more and more people are calling for compassion from their employers, governments and religious leaders, but what does that mean? This book lays it out, with a course for action that any person from any religion can follow. Compassion isn't it easy, it calls for an opening of your soul and an acceptance of people not like you. Theologian and author of the Charter for Compassion pulls uses examples from Christianity, Buddhism, Is [...]

    22. I tried to listen to this cd, but did not succeed, during a long road trip. I couldn't make it through the first cd. From almost the beginning the author was pompous in tone and presentation, such as how DARE anyone take into account both the good and the bad of individuals like Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King Jr? Then when she talked about the artist's intent for those who painted in the caves in Lascoux as though it were fact, I couldn't continue. Unless you have a time machine there is n [...]

    23. I was able to plow my way through the religion to get to the meat of the Golden Rule. In understanding compassion, we first need to understand our thought patterns, and how they affect ourselves, others, and society at large. Also, the best lesson is that this is not a self-help book where you magically show compassion. Rather, it is one in which shows you the road you must walk, but warns against its length and difficulty. This was really helpful for me to learn and practice opening my eyes to [...]

    24. My struggle with Christianity, and with structured religion of any kind, has been ongoing for my entire adult life. I discovered Karen Armstrong on my first day of college while exploring the campus bookstore for the first time, and I have been a fan ever since. Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (and the Contract she mentions), is a reminder that the reasons for religion were to teach humanity how to treat one another.There is more to life than struggling through each day alone, and one way t [...]

    25. Would you like to expand you vision of what compassion can be? Are you willing to open yourself to learning more about world religions? This is an amazing books which truly explores how to become more compassionate in a world that can encourage exactly the opposite. She is honest about how religions themselves sometimes add to the problemof lack of compassionate. I highly recommend this book.

    26. I listened to this book on tape and felt that reading it would have been better. There was a lot of material, mainly religious history, to digest. It was very inspirational but very lofty in its premises. Some of the steps were practical and I felt I could really act on them, but others were a little far reaching unless one was willing to abandon day to day duties and activities.

    27. Why do I like some Karen Armstrong books a lot before I read them, but less after? This is one of those. sorry, it's full of good stuff, but the style of delivery here is a wee bit preachy somehow, and a little too erudite for me-- hard to follow some of the Greek mythological and poetic allusions.

    28. I just love Karen Armstrong. The self-help genre is not really her style, and it shows, but this was full of great historical and religious detail that I enjoyed much more than the actually twelve steps stuff. I doubt the people who actually truly ought to read it will, but at least it's out there.

    29. I thought the steps were right on the money, but this is the second book I've attempted by her and I've come to realize I just don't like Armstrong's writing. In my opinion, she has a singular talent for taking fascinating topics and making them incredibly dull. Hmm, it's probably not very compassionate of me to say that

    30. Enlightenment pathArmstrong gives us a way to achieve growth and eventually enlightenment. She doesn't claim it's easy but it is possible. I need that reminder. It is the possibility of a better life for all people of every religion or no religion and every race. Great feel good book for the truth seeker. I will read it again and again.

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