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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. From the Hardcover edition.
Karen Armstrong explains how to practise the religion of compassion that her last books have preached. In November 2009 Armstrong and TED launched The Charter of Compassion, which states that "We call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion...to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings — even those regarded as enemies." To date, it's been signed by over 48,000 people on the Web, including such figures as The Dalai Lama and Queen Noor, Dave Eggers and Meg Ryan. (www.charterforcompassion.org) Out of the ideals of that Charter has come this humane, accessible, indispensable short book for our times. From the Hardcover edition.
Drawing on a wide range of material - ranging from the spiritual character of the world religions to the findings of contemporary neuroscience - Karen Armstrong argues that compassion is hardwired into our brains, yet is constantly pushed back by our more primitive instincts for selfishness and survival. Since time immemorial religion has enhanced our altruistic tendencies: all faiths insist that the Golden Rule is the test of true spirituality - 'Always treat others as you wish to be treated yourself'. Taking as her starting point the teachings of the great world religions, Karen Armstrong demonstrates in twelve practical steps how we can bring compassion to the forefront of our lives. These steps both reveal the inadequacies of our knowledge of ourselves and others and enable us to unlock our potential for understanding, empathy and altruism that can be translated into acts of kindness and charity.They culminate in the most radical and challenging of all religious maxims - love your enemy. Yet in today's world, compassion in no longer a luxury but, in the words of Martin Luther King, 'an absolute necessity for our survival'. Practising these steps will not change our lives overnight and turn us into saints or sages: the attempt to become a more compassionate human being is a lifelong project. Yet Karen Armstrong argues that compassion is inseparable from humanity, and by transcending the limitations of selfishness on a daily basis we will not only make a difference in the world but also lead happier, more fulfilled, lives.
A pseudonymous account by a well-known author describes the spiritual journey through which she recovered from alcoholism, describing how she endured numerous electroshock treatments in a mental hospital after being misdiagnosed and her embrace of the 12 Step Program and Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism, which she synthesizes for recovering readers. Original.
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is America's most significant and authentic contribution to the history of spirituality, says Richard Rohr. He makes a case that the Twelve Steps relate well to Christian teaching and can rescue people who are drowning in addiction and may not even realize it. To survive the tidal wave of compulsive behavior and addiction, Christians must learn to breathe under water and discover God's love and compassion. In this exploration of Twelve Step spirituality, Rohr identifies the Christian principles in the Twelve Steps, connecting The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with the gospel. He draws on talks he has given for over twenty years to people in recovery and those who counsel and live with people with addictive behavior. Rohr offers encouragement for becoming interiorly alive and inspiration for making one's life manageable for dealing with the codependence and dysfunction (sin) rampant in our society.
Available in Canada for the first time since its initial publication in 1981, this is acclaimed author Karen Armstrong’s classic memoir of her life as a young woman in a convent — the precursor to the bestseller The Spiral Staircase. Through the Narrow Gate is Karen Armstrong’s intimate memoir of life inside a Catholic convent. With honesty and clarity, she explains what drove her at age seventeen to devote herself to God. Over the next seven years, she endures the difficulties of convent life — the enforced silence, the lack of friendship and family, her own guilt at not being able to stifle her voracious intelligence — and unveils the secrets of religious life during the post–Vatican II years. Through the Narrow Gate is a moving account of a young woman’s search for God and the experiences that put Karen Armstrong on her way to becoming one of the most admired and most respected interpreters of religious faith. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Provides a detailed explanation of the Twelve-Step program designed by Alcoholics Anonymous, accompanied by advice on how to apply the program to codependent issues and cross-addiction

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