Anam Cara by John O'Donohue

Anam Cara

Discover the Celtic Circle of Belonging John O'Donohue, poet, philosopher, and scholar, guides you through the spiritual landscape of the Irish imagination. In Anam Cara, Gaelic for soul friend, the ancient teachings, stories, and blessings of Celtic wisdom provide such profound insights on the universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death as: Light is generous The human heart is never completely born Love as ancient recognitionThe bo...

Details Anam Cara

TitleAnam Cara
Release DateMar 17th, 2009
PublisherHarperCollins e-books
GenreSpirituality, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Poetry

Reviews Anam Cara

  • Jan Marquart
    This small book by the Celtic priest John O'Donohue is a staple in my bookcase. I've lost three copies, one to mold, one to formaldehyde and one to water damage. I quickly bought another. This book will change your life. It is not a religious dictate. It is far beyond that. I'm going to give you the first few lines and you can decide for yourself: It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, a...
  • Cheri
    ”The Celtic understanding of friendship finds its inspiration and culmination in the sublime notion of the Anam Ċara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul; Ċara is the word for friend. So Anam Ċara means soul friend.”John O’Donohue doesn’t view the word ‘friend’ as casually as one might use it, and certainly not in this combination. A joining that is ancient and eternal, a place where you belonged. ”Since the birth of the human hear...
  • Luna Lindsey
    Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom is truly a work of art. Over the past three years, I have been working on discovering myself through self-help books, 12-step programs, religious study, and personal introspection. This book summed up everything I have learned (the hard way) during this time, and presented it in a beautiful package that was invigorating and thought-provoking to read. It was a pure joy. I began reading it in January, and have onl...
  • Stephanie
    This is one of the best books and best written books I've ever read. Two months after I met the author, he died in his sleep at age 53 while on holiday with his fiance in Avignon. The whole world cried when John died. There was no one like him and there never will be again. John had a brilliant mind that was married to a wide open heart.
  • Angela
    This is one of the most beautiful books I own. It came into my life very mysteriously soon after it was first published. It has gracefully woven itself into my experience ever since, gently guiding and holding me in my darkest days. It is difficult to rationally explain or review; I can only describe what it feels like when I read it. It's akin to peering into the depths of an illumined manuscript, or being inside a poem (as another reviewer here...
  • Gail
    I remember thinking, years ago when I first read (for months) Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, thinking, "Oh, so that's what's meant by someone being a *Master*." Tolle writes from an Eastern perspective. So now I have had my first experience with John O'Donohue, and think again: "So here is another *Master*." However, O'Donohue writes from a Celtic spiritual perspective. This book is not a quick read because Mr. O'Donohue is a spiritual master ...
  • Gearóid
    I found this a very moving and beautiful book to read.This writer was some philosopher and a really great writer.There was so much to this book and the Celtic element andthe descriptions of the great scenery and light of theWest of Ireland really made me appreciate my heritage.There is so much wisdom and understanding of human natureand how we are losing touch with what is really importantin this modern busy world that was very refreshing toread....
  • Todd
    Catholic Scholar John O'Donohue has a warm sense of humor and an incredibly lyrical prose style. He looks at the pre-Christian Celtic tradition and breathes a new life into spiritual awareness. This is a great book for people struggling to create a working spirituality for their lives and it offers amazing insights into our relationships with the sensual world, the world of soul and our interpersonal relationships.
  • Sharon
    Anam Cara, the words translate to 'Soul Friend' in Gaelic. O'Donohue is absolutely brilliant in his delivery. The depth, variety, history and beauty of this book is like no other I've experienced. Philosophy, spirituality, poetry through landscape of imagination reinforces my belief that everyone is born an artist. For me, it blew open new pathways to examine my inner self. I've read it 3 times and have yet to capture every nuance, each reading b...
  • Jan Höglund
    IntroductionThis book is intended to be an oblique mirror where we might come to glimpse the presence, power, and beauty of both inner and outer friendship.[1]John O'Donohue was born in Ireland and spoke Irish as his native language. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul, and ċara is the word for friend. So anam ċara means soul friend. In the Celtic tradition, the anam ċara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life.[2...
  • Anne Hamilton
    If I'd read this book two years ago, I'd have given it six stars. But, as it is, I've only given it half that. It was while reading Jo-Anne Berthelsen's Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey that I came across the references to Anam Cara and thought: 'Just my type of book.' It sounded deep and profound, wise and thoughtful.And although I've got more than a dozen bookmarks jutting out of pages to mark intriguing thoughts, overall I ...
  • Dayna
    There were parts of this book that really spoke to me. A passage would leap out at me in an almost Biblical way, and I would think, "That was really good." It took me quite a while to get through the whole thing; I read it in fits and starts. It was kind of spooky that a phrase would be exactly what I needed for encouragement or clarity in the exact moment that I happened to pick the book up and read a few pages. Mostly it was just okay. I found ...
  • Tim
    I'm reading this again. I never stopped reading it. When I got to the end I started all over again, fitting for the Celtic belief in life as a circle. What a fucking beautiful book. Seriously. I want to read it over and over again and glean every last morsel. The author's untimely death in 2008 was a serious loss to us all. But the Celts believe he's not really gone here's still here, just not writing any more books. So many parts of this book I ...
  • Heather
    I meant TEN STARS! Is this the new gorgeous Bible yet? Is it poetry hiding as prose? Is this religion hiding as beauty? Is this a guide on how to live hiding as love? You don't read this book; it reads you. You float on it, you dive into it, you are cleansed by it. I read fast like a fiend and this book I had to eat slowly. Every line is a meditation.No one I have ever met who has read him is not head over heels. He is our favorite PhD in philoso...
  • Heidi
    It would be hard to describe all the different ways this book impacted me. O’Donahue’s style took a little getting used to; it’s radio-esque, with short sentences and seeming pauses for effect, and because of that some his deeper points were a bit difficult to follow.But his notes on friendship and the role of a person’s soul and the intensely careful care it needs are so important that I had many moments of needing to stop and think. It ...
  • Tiffany
    This Irish poet/former Jesuit is quite an amazing human being, may his soul rest in peace. I bought this CD because I thought his voice would make this book more palatable. I read it about 15 years ago and found it syrupy, and in the intervening years I have changed a lot so I assumed my reading of it would be different and the richness would be more palatable, and yet there was still something slightly saccharine to me about it. A brilliant man ...
  • Glenn Murphy
    If you're not spiritual or religious, this book is probably not for you. The Anam Cara, or “soul friend” is a Celtic/Christian concept, and that fusion of Celtic mysticism and Christian theology is at the core of O'Donohue's writing.I wanted to like this book more, but I just couldn't get into O'Donohue's writing style. He tried way too hard to be “poetic”, and it just didn't work for me. I also thought that he used too many quotes from o...
  • Lynda
    This is not a book one reads just to check off a list. It is a book of very deep reflections, invoking the reader to slow down, be mindful. It is a book about the human soul, love, spirit, wisdom, relationships and more. I refer to this book several times a week, just to re-read a few pages or a chapter. It's always on the table, next to the sofa, for quick reference and solace.--lynda
  • Kirsten
    This book confounds me. It changed my seeing as I read and I felt like I was inside a poem, with such a heightened awareness, and yet the language is overall simple, abstract, and even perhaps, empty. Somehow O'Donahue transmits pure substance into language, but it's invisible to me how he does it.
  • Christen
    It couldn't be more beautifully written.
  • Stephen
    John O'Donohue was a beautiful soul. We need more of him in every field. I love his poems so tried this book. There are some nuggets of wisdom here. First is the view of Celtic culture that we're all interwoven with each other and nature. Second is the advice throughout the book, in different forms, that the best self-help we can perform is to be both kind and gentle to ourselves. And then consider some of these excerpts:-Respectability and secur...
  • Anna
    I think this book was a little too much on the religious side for me. It’s specific focus was Christianity and while I am spiritual I tend to be turned off by too much “God talk.” With that being said, certain parts spoke to me. It’s like they jumped off the page and went straight into my heart where I now think about them occasionally. Then there were parts of the book that just seemed to ramble on. It reads more like a collection of quo...
  • Beth
    This is truly a handbook for being a soul in a human body. If you've ever read anything else by O'Donahue (although I suspect if you have read something else by him, you have also read this) you know his words and phrasing are beautiful as well as the subject matter he writes about. I read this book over the course of a couple of months to let it soak in and found myself copying passages into my iphone's notes feature and by hand onto paper - the...
  • Emily Bibens
    While at times a bit scattered, this book is a comforting, warm, and challenging look into the mystery and wisdom of Celtic spirituality. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a reminder of the mystery and wonder of being alive or inspiration to reconnect with your soul.
  • Katie
    I don't usually highlight books. But I highlighted so much out of this book. There is so much wisdom and insight into life, love, friendship, living, death, and much more. Some of it gets a little more mystic than I connect with, but for the most part, this book was such a delight to read. It is one of those that I want to share with people and discuss and then read over again.
  • Evvie Williams
    A book to be ready slowly and savored. It includes essays on friendship, aging, grief and our final journey. I am sure I will revisit it from time to time.
  • Karla Maree
    Probably the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. An incredible journey to the soul. O’Donohue writes with such heart. A must read for any Irish person interested in and looking to connect with their culture, and their spirit.
  • Erika
    At the closing of my visit to four generations in Philadelphia, my daughter Sylvie offered this book to me. I am passionately reading and enjoying this book at the close of my visit to the US.
  • Ellen
    This is one of the most beautifully written spiritual books I have ever read (and I’ve read many). I saw “Gravity” while reading it and the movie echoed some of the book’s words in a visual way:“In a vast universe … All of our life, everything we do, think and feel is surrounded by nothingness… This cosmic loneliness is the root of all inner loneliness…There is the infinity of space that reaches out into the depths of the cosmos...
  • Jason
    I love this book. It is a bible and a guide for living a truly deep life and recognizing our belonging in the universe. It teaches love in the deepest sense: encountering the sacred in others and in ourselves. Every paragraph and every reading reveals another gem, which is why this just might be one of those books to carry everywhere: it is multifariously deep. There are times I am impatient and look for a practical guide to help me 'get there'. ...