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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Indy Joins the Compassionate Cities Movement

Feb 02, 2017 03:10AM ● By Sandy Meadows

Compassionate Indy is rapidly becoming a force for kindness and cooperation throughout the greater Indianapolis community. The local organization joins forces with the worldwide initiative that began in 2008 when Karen Armstrong, author of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, won the $100,000 TED Prize and decided to donate the award money toward the cause of creating more compassion in the world.

Armstrong gathered leaders from across the globe, who came together and drafted a remarkable document on a single page, the Charter for Compassion. It’s being used as a template for assisting communities worldwide in addressing their local problems peacefully and compassionately.

Initially sparked by a small interfaith group, the local chapter of Compassionate Indy is one of the most recent communities to join the international Compassionate Cities movement, initially receiving approval as an official global City of Compassion last March. This dynamic, multi-cultural group is energetically engaged in making Central Indiana a place known for its unconditional love and acceptance.

The group focuses on a greater mission of inspiring and empowering all people to practice kindness while actively seeking to alleviate suffering. Their vision is for all people, corporate entities and community institutions to treat all beings and the environment with respect and concern. The Golden Rule is a prominent feature of the international movement, which has been endorsed by Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and many others. It has been hailed by some as the most important movement of the 21st century.

Last June, Compassionate Indy partnered with the Center for Interfaith Cooperation and the Indiana Buddhist Center to bring the Dalai Lama to Indianapolis to give a public talk about compassion to more than 6,000 people. Various other projects are in the works for this growing local group, including partnering with other organizations working to make a difference in our community.

To learn more, visit To read the international Charter for Compassion, visit

Connect with Sandy Meadows, author of The Great Comforter, at [email protected].

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