Schedule 2013-14

Word and Life --  Fall, 2013

Twelve Steps to a
Compassionate Life

by Karen Armstrong (Anchor Books, 2010)

"It is somewhat ironic that an appeal for universal altruism must be packaged as a self-help program to attract an audience these days, but such is the state of our world. In this work, renowned author Karen Armstrong offers little that is new - attend any Unitarian Universalist service for proof - but that in no way diminishes her message: "it has become imperative to apply the Golden Rule globally". . . Fundamentalists of all faiths will reject this book, offended that it paints their absolute truths as merely useful myths. The anti-religious are also certain to attack it for elevating pleasant falsehoods above that which can be proven scientifically. To everyone living their lives between these two extremes I am happy to recommend this book." - Timothy Walker

All sessions, unless otherwise noted, will be on Thursdays from 10 AM to 12 noon at the
First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave., Santa Barbara, CA.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of the Fall 2013 schedule (when available).

The series fee, $75, includes the book and all handouts. Your book(s) will be available at the opening session, on Sept. 5. Financial aid is available to encourage those on restricted budgets to attend; contact a member of the Steering Committee to inquire further.



Sep. 5

Preface: Wish for a Better World
Viewing and discussion of a Karen Armstrong & Bill Moyers video
Sep. 12 Step 1: Learn about Compassion;
Compassion in the Buddhist Tradition
Introduction by Judith McDermott
Listen to Radhule Weininger's reflections
Further reflections, guided meditation, and discussion
Radhule Weininger,
Clinical Psychologist
Sep. 19 Steps 2 & 3: Your own world -- Compassion for yourself; Compassion in the Hindu Tradition
Introduction by Bob Doering
Listen to Vrajaprana's reflections
Discussion with audience
Pravrajika Vrajaprana,
Vedanta Temple
Sep. 26 Step 4: Empathy;
Compassion in the Christian Tradition
Introduction by Keith Forster
Listen to Fr. Jim's reflections
Q & A with audience
Fr. Jim Clarke, St. John's
Seminary, Camarillo
Oct. 3 Steps 5 & 6: Mindfulness & Action;
Compassion in the Islamic Tradition
Introduction by John Michal
Listen to Imam Niazi's teaching
Q & A with audience
Imam Yama Niazi,
Islamic Society of S. B.
Oct. 10 Step 7: How Little We Know;
Compassion in the Jewish Tradition
Introduction by John Michal
Listen to Rabbi Stone's reflections
Q & A with audience
Rabbi Suzy Stone,
Congregation B'nai B'rith
Oct. 17 Step 8: How should we speak to one another?
Deepening our conversations through compassion
Introduction by Elizabeth Ruhgé
Listen to Dawn George's reflections
Q & A with audience
Dawn George,
Marriage & Family Therapist
Oct. 24 Step 9: Concern for everybody;
Compassion in Hospice Care
Introduction by John Michal
Listen to Steve Jacobsen's reflections
Q & A with audience
Steve Jacobsen,
Hospice of Santa Barbara
Oct. 31 Steps 10 & 11: Knowledge and Recognition;
Compassion in music and song
Introduction by Anne Heck
Listen to Thomas Heck's reflections
More musical examples and singing
Thomas Heck, Musicologist /
Steering Committee member
Nov. 7 Step 12: Love your enemies & "a last word" on
Compassion: engaging the powers that be
Introduction by Thomas Heck
Listen to Dennis Apel's reflections
Dennis and Tensie's dialogue with audience
Dennis Apel, Beatitudes House,


When arrangements can be made, we provide digital audio recordings of these presentations for the convenience of those who missed them. Click the blue links above, as they become available, to review the presentations. Be patient while the MP3 files download, as they can be large (5 to 10 MB each in size). You may listen through your computer using headphones or speakers, or download the files for later listening on a device like an iPod.


Previous calendars and presenters
with numerous free, insightful MP3 audio recordings.
Please click the desired link.
Winter-Spring 2006 Fall 2006
Winter-Spring 2007 Fall 2007
Winter-Spring 2008 Fall 2008
Winter-Spring 2009 Fall 2009
Winter-Spring 2010 Fall 2010
Winter-Spring 2011 Fall 2011
Winter-Spring 2012 Fall 2012
Winter-Spring 2013