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C. Paul Schroeder
Author, Translator
Practice Makes PURPOSE: Six Spiritual Practices That Will Change Your Life and Transform Your Community

Adult; Self-Help, Sex & Relationships, Psychology, Philosophy, Fashion; (Market)

The Six Spiritual Practices are a new formulation of a very old set of teachings and disciplines. If you apply them regularly, you will have more energy and vitality, more focus, more compassion, more clarity, and more joy. And these effects will ripple outward into your marriage and family, your parenting, your workplace, your friendships, your neighborhood and city. These practices will change your life and transform your community. They will connect you and the people around you to Purpose, the experience of belonging to something infinitely greater than ourselves.

"Here is a book that provides practices that will awaken your heart and help us all to ventilate the world with tenderness." --Gregory Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California, and New York Times bestselling author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 5 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 5 out of 10
Overall: 6.50 out of 10


Plot: This uplifting and wholehearted guide to spiritual living offers a consistent, clear, and highly readable structure.

Prose: The author writes with warmth, ease, and intimacy--the veritable equivalent of sitting with the parish priest over coffee.

Originality: This work is very much in keeping with familiar formulas found in self-help titles purporting to possess a key to acting with compassion and purpose. The book's mysticism may strike readers as overly general in nature.

Character/Execution: Readers who take the book's instruction to heart, may indeed discover incremental improvements in their interpersonal relationships. The “masters of the Egyptian desert” stories do little to enhance the book's overall credibility or resonance.

Date Submitted: October 01, 2019

Schroeder, formerly a Greek Orthodox priest, takes inspiration from “the great spiritual masters of the Egyptian desert” in this cheery formulation of a simple method for compassionate living. Schroeder sees life as a “dance of differentiation and attachment, autonomy and interdependence,” and views the building of a collaborative human community as “the great human task.” To accomplish this task, he provides six practices: compassionate seeing, heartfelt listening, intentional welcoming, joyful sharing, grateful receiving, and cooperative building. For each chapter, Schroeder explains a teaching, provides a story from his own life that demonstrates an early lack of understanding, presents a mantra to center oneself into the practice, and ends with an example of the practice working successfully. Although he doesn’t probe too deeply into the philosophical underpinnings of his steps, he does ruminate on the universality of his principles—particularly clear are the parallels between Christian prayer and Buddhist meditation as forms of heartfelt listening. Never veering into egotism, this gentle, grateful, and relatable book will serve any readers looking for practical steps toward spiritual fulfillment. (BookLife)