The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice

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SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2006 - Family & Relationships - 154 pages
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Open your heart and mind and discover--through the sacred art of lovingkindness--the image and likeness of God in yourself and others.

"The question at the heart of this book is this: Will you engage this moment with kindness or with cruelty, with love or with fear, with generosity or scarcity, with a joyous heart or an embittered one? This is your choice and no one can make it for you.... Heaven and hell are both inside of you. It is your choice that determines just where you reside."
--from the Introduction

We are all born in the image of God, but living out the likeness of God is a choice. This inspiring, practical guidebook provides you with the tools you need to realize the divinity within yourself, recognize the divinity within others, and act on the obligation to manifest God's infinite compassion in your own life.

Guided by Rabbi Rami Shapiro, you will explore Judaism's Thirteen Attributes of Lovingkindness as the framework for cultivating a life of goodness. Shapiro translates these attributes into practices--drawn from the teachings of a variety of faith traditions--that allow you to actualize God's glory through personal deeds of lovingkindness. You will enrich your own capacity for lovingkindness as you:

  • Harvest kindness through compassionate honesty
  • Make room in your heart for reality
  • Recognize the manifestations of God
  • Embrace the paradoxical truth of not-knowing
  • Be present in the moment
  • Do right by others

With candor, wit, and honesty, Shapiro shows you that by choosing to act out of love rather than fear, with kindness rather than anger, you can transform how you perceive the world and ultimately lead a more complete spiritual life.


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Selected pages


The Image and Likeness of God Realizing the Divinity of Self Realizing the Divinity of Others
God as Creative Force Cultivating Creativity
Fearless Compassion Harvesting Kindness through Compassionate Honesty
Engaging Life through Grace Being Present in the Moment
Equanimity in the Moment Making Room in Your Heart for Reality
Acts of Kindness and Giving Doing Right by Others
The Truth of Our Story Embracing the Paradoxical Truth of Notknowing
Preserving Kindness for the World Remembering and Retelling Tales of Kindness
Cleansing Delusion to See Clearly Recognizing Manifestations of God
The Greatest Obstacle to Lovingkindness
An Invitation to Become a Hidden Saint
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index of Prayers and Practices

Feelings and Forgiveness Forgiving Iniquity Forgiving Willfulness Forgiving Error

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About the author (2006)

Rami Shapiro, a renowned teacher of spirituality across faith traditions, is an award-winning storyteller, poet and essayist. He is author of The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice, Recovery--The Sacred Art: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice and The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature: Selections Annotated & Explained (all SkyLight Paths), among other books.

Rami Shapiro is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Writing--The Sacred Art: Beyond the Page to Spiritual Practice
  • Stop Playing God: 12 Steps as Spiritual Practice
  • Biblical Wisdom for Post-biblical Times: An Exploration of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Job
  • The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Cultivating Compassion in Daily Life
  • Hasidic Wisdom: An Exploration of Hasidic Storytelling, Theology and Contemplative Practice
  • Saints and Sages: Biblical Prophets, Ancient Rabbis and the Building of a Just World

He was rabbi and storyteller of Temple Beth Or in Miami, Florida, for many years. He directs the Simply Jewish Fellowship, the What Would a Mensch Do? Project, and the Sh'ma Center for Jewish Meditation. He lives in Miami.

Marcia Ford is a former editor of Christian Retailing magazine, an columnist and frequent contributor to Publishers Weekly. The author of eighteen books, including The Sacred Art of Forgiveness: Forgiving Ourselves and Others through God's Grace (SkyLight Paths); Memoir of a Misfit and Traditions of the Ancients , she was the religion editor of The Asbury Park Press for ten years. She is also a former editor with Charisma and Ministries Today magazines and the website. Her other books include Meditations for Misfits; 101 Most Powerful Promises of the Bible and Restless Pilgrim: The Spiritual Journey of Bob Dylan (with Scott Marshall).

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