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Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service Paperback – October 3, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book continues along the line of previous books by Dass, such as (with Paul Gorman) How Can I Help? (Knopf, 1985) and (with the Lama Foundation) Be Here Now (Crown, 1971). In explaining how one becomes compassionate or works to reduce suffering, Dass presents his own spiritual journey in the first part of the book. Although he is open to various religious and philosophical traditions, he is primarily grounded in the traditions of the East, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. The second part of the book, written by Bush, contains a discussion of principles for compassionate action, such as "Do What You Love," "Start Small," and "Reflect on Your Motives." At the end there is not only an annotated bibliography, but an annotated directory of organizations which will appeal to those seeking to put compassion into action. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/91.
- John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The freewheeling author of the pop spiritual classic Be Here Now teams with fellow Hindu devotee Bush to guide inexperienced Americans on to the path of compassionate action--offering his own spiritual autobiography as testimony to the transforming power of love and social action. Ram Dass, n‚ Richard Alpert, treats his famous psychedelic experience with Timothy Leary at Harvard in the early 60's as a spiritual turning point, granting him beautiful if ephemeral visions of unity with the cosmos. The real emotional possibilities behind those visions opened up to him, he says, when he found Neem Karoli Baba, his beloved Hindu spiritual teacher, who instructed him to tell the truth and always love everyone. It apparently took Ram Dass (so named by the guru after a monkey god that is an archetypal servant of man) several decades of spiritual work on himself while exploring different forms of volunteerism to glimpse how it is possible to fuse the quest for a truly liberated awareness with compassionate work for others: ``The only thing about being with people that `brings me down,' that keeps me from resting in spacious awareness, that deflates that state of joyful equanimity, is my own mind....'' Finally, through his experience as a fund-raiser and chairperson for the Seva Foundation, Ram Dass, along with Bush, has come to isolate simple steps--presented here, and including doing what you love and starting small--that others can follow to come to their own path of service. Occasionally repetitive and simplistic but nonetheless a warmhearted and genuinely inspiring introduction to compassion as a way of life. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 2 edition (October 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051788500X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517885000
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ram Dass, one of America's most beloved spiritual figures, has made his mark on the world giving teachings and promoting loving service, harmonious business practices, and conscious care for the dying. His spirit has been a guiding light for four generations, carrying millions along on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own. He makes his home in Maui.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FlyingCloud9 on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE THIS BOOK COMPASSION IN ACTION! THANK YOU RAM DASS! Reading Compassion in Action led me to the wonderful organization that he founded called SEVA! They do such incredible work! SEVA has restored eyesight to nearly 3 million blind people around the world!!!!

Check them out at [...]

I particularly love their GIFTS OF SERVICE!!! I give them to everyone on my list for the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, memorials, and anytime I just want to let someone know I care!

Check out GIFTS OF SERVICE at [...]

THANKS RAM DASS for writing Compassion in Action and for founding SEVA so that I can set out on the path of service!!!!
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Format: Paperback
This book was definitely different from what I've been reading lately. I picked it out of the library because I wanted to see what I could do to help others, and I liked the spiritual aspect because I've been getting really into my religion. I'm in a place in my life where I want to give back. I knit hats for charity and blankets for the poor, and I always put a dollar or two in the collection plate at church, but I find myself wanting to do more. Unfortunately, I did not find much in what I was looking for here.
I found Ram Dass's section of the book to be ... well, frankly, weird. He wrote about how he was kicked out of Harvard because he started "researching" all these weird plants and getting hallucinogenic effects. I read this and thought this dude was a drug addict!
Okay, moving on from the trippy parts of the book, I didn't quite understand what he does with the Seva foundation, just that he does SOMETHING, and it's important.
Honestly, if Mirabi Bush's section in the second part of the book sucked as much as Ram Dass's part, I would have given up and given this one star. I'm glad this didn't happen. Bush's section was enlightening and actually gave me how-to steps for helping others in soup kitchens. She wrote out what she did and true stories of people she helped.
I kind of wish Bush wrote this whole book herself, but she didn't. Dass's first part was just too ... out there (?) ... for me to rate this higher.
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By Brenda G. Velasquez on January 27, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great
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