The Rhythm of Compassion: Caring for Self, Connecting with Society

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9780963032737: The Rhythm of Compassion: Caring for Self, Connecting with Society

The Rhythm of Compassion addresses one of the central spiritual questions of our time: Can we heal ourselves and society simultaneously? The core premise of this book is that the health of the human psyche and the health of the world are inextricably related, and we cannot truly heal one without healing the other. The book is written to help readers balance soul and society, offering a seamless set of values that unites the inner and the outer. Providing real answers, inspiration, and practical exercises, this is a book for those who long to make a difference in the world and search for a way to balance self-care with service to the world. Each chapter contains simple exercises on getting to the root of healing, developing compassion, and putting passion into action. Readers will learn how to integrate their rhythm so that their inner self-care helps them serve the world, and their caring for the world contributes to their soul. Using the profound metaphor of in-and-out breath meditation, Straub compellingly invites the reader to connect with the in-breath of self-knowing and the out-breath of acting to heal others. Only through this fascinating yet simple practice, says Straub, can we truly heal ourselves, our society, and our planet. This book is for anyone who wants to develop greater compassion: including parents, teachers, business people, social workers, healers, or activists.

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Review:

Using the primal rhythm of breath-in and breath-out, renowned author and teacher Gail Straub shows readers how they can serve the spirit and the planet simultaneously. Yes, it's a radical concept--considering the human tendency to gravitate toward one extreme or the other. But Straub offers compelling reasons why we must stay in balance. "Without the in-breath of self care and reflection we can't sustain our involvement with the suffering of the world, nor do we have the clarity of heart and mind required for the complex challenges we face," writes Straub. "On the other hand, without the out-breath of compassionate engagement with society our inner work implodes upon itself leading to the dead end of narcissism and spiritual emptiness."

The first half of the book is devoted to breathing in--which involves significant truth-telling, as readers face chapters such as, "Excavating Where You Belong and Where You Hide," "Unearthing Broken Hearts, Radical Surprises and Wake-up Calls." The second half addresses the out-breath with chapters such as "Uncovering the Shadow Side of Service" and "Stewardship as a Spiritual Practice." Straub is a persuasive and anecdote-rich narrator, who offers numerous activities and exercises to make this remarkable book even more tangible--a must-read for activists as well as spiritual seekers. --Gail Hudson

About the Author:

Gail Straub has been a teacher and activist for more than two decades. In 1981, along with her husband David Gershon, she founded Empowerment Training Programs. They've taught all over America and in Europe, Russia, China, and East Asia and have together written Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It. From 1983-1986, Straub was the International Director for the First Earth Run, a global initiative that took a torch, symbolizing peace and international cooperation, around the world in 86 days. The Run involved 25 million people, 62 countries, 45 heads of state and raised several million dollars for UNICEF. In 1992, Gail began offering advanced training for students who wanted to integrate spiritual development with social and ecological responsibility. The Rhythm of Compassion grew out of this work.

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Straub, Gail
Published by Empowerment Institute (2008)
ISBN 10: 0963032739 ISBN 13: 9780963032737
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Straub, Gail
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ISBN 10: 0963032739 ISBN 13: 9780963032737
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