The heart of compassion centers on the selfless compulsion to alleviate suffering. While compassion is similar to empathy and sympathy in the ability to commiserate and feel another’s emotions, the spirit of compassion moves a person to act in order to reduce pain. Compassion is the central tenet of many belief traditions, most notably Buddhism, and has been rigorously studied in recent decades for its physical and mental health benefits. Learning to be compassionate toward others—and ourselves—is a cornerstone to many aspects of well-being.
One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, Islam, and Buddha—now gives us an impassioned and practical book that can help us make the world a more compassionate place.
Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she's learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.
The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.