Compassion is a far greater and nobler thing than pity. Pity has its roots in fear and carries a sense of arrogance and condescension, sometimes even a smug feeling of “I’m glad it’s not me.” As Stephen Levine says: “When your fear touches someone’s pain it becomes pity; when your love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion.” … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Two legendary teachers shine a Buddhist light on a classic Christian teaching: love of enemies. Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg are working together on how we relate to that which makes us feel embattled from without, and from within. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Learning to love. We must learn to love, learn to be kind, and this from earliest youth; if education or chance gives us no opportunity to practice these feelings, our soul becomes dry and unsuited even to understanding the tender inventions of loving people. Likewise, hatred must be learned and nurtured, if one wishes to become a proficient hater; otherwise the germ for that, too, will gradually wither. … [click on title to read and view more]
What if there is something fundamental about empathy such that when we cannot act on it, we lose part of ourselves, perhaps even our humanity? What if we have unwittingly created a world in which we chip away at our capacity for empathy, and with it, one of the unique traits of humankind: the ability to love beyond kinship and species boundaries? Can we continually be exposed to violence and degradation, particularly through the media, and maintain empathy towards the suffering of others, or must we begin to shut down, feeling a little less compassion in exchange for a sense of safety, if not hope? … [click on title to read and view more]
Outrospection is all about empathy. (hat tip to Smiling Buddha Cabaret) Introspection is out, and outrospection is in. Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric explains how we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves. Empathy can cause revolution it says. I'm in agreement. … [click on title to read the rest]
Compassion is a kind of fire ... it disturbs, it surprises, it ignites, it burns, it sears, and it warms. Compassion incinerates denial; it especially warms and melts cold hearts, cold structures, frozen minds, and self-satisfied lifestyles. Those who are touched by compassion have their lives turned upside down. That is not necessarily a bad thing
Self-compassion, empathy towards oneself and the willingness to be vulnerable paired with ongoing awareness are the qualities we need to nurture so that we might heal our mind and body and after that the mind and bodies of others and then the planet too. Bringing mindfulness to our own lives with these powerful states of consciousness can be part of the beginning of change. Paying attention to a process is changing the process!
Making people out to be evil when they are simply unconscious obfuscates the problem. When we are clear on how unclear others can be we begin to be able to find compassion and empathy and thus a way to communicate too. We learn this by traveling through and recognizing our own lack of clarity.
Nonviolent Communication NVC often functions as a conflict resolution process. It focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one's own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).