What is compassion
"A deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it." —Tania Singer
"Now compassion is not just about a moral position of anything as simple as ‘If I’m nice to you, you’ll be nice to me, but is actually a way of training our brains that affects connections in them in a very important way." —Paul Gilbert
"Compassion is...not feeling sorry for people. [It] is aptly summed up in the Golden Rule, which asks us to look into our own hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else. Compassion can be defined, therefore, as an attitude of principled, consistent altruism."—Karen Armstrong
We can train the mind and heart in empathy and compassion.
We learn to...
—imagine how others are thinking and feeling
—cultivate empathy, understanding and a sense of connectedness
—respond compassionately and effctively to another's distress
—focus on the needs and wishes of others
—develop self-compassion and kindness towards ourselves
—explore the benefits of helping others
What is compassion?
"Many forms of compassionate feeling are mixed with desire and attachment... True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively." —Dalai Lama
"Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection —or compassionate action." —Daniel Goleman