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.

Cultivating Compassion

How to love yourself and others.

Greatest Love of All

When you incorporate Buddhism’s four immeasurables into your life, your love won’t be attached to just one person, says Lodro Rinzler. It will flow freely, and you can offer it to everyone you encounter.

How to Be a Bodhisattva

It may seem like an unattainable ideal, but you can start right now as a bodhisattva-in-training. All you need is the aspiration to put others first and some inspiration from helpful guides like the Buddhist teachers found here.

How to Train the Compassionate Brain

Research finds that training in compassion makes us more altruistic.

What Type of Meditation Is Best for You?

One of the most in-depth meditation studies to date shows that different practices have different benefits.

Cultivate a Metta Mind: Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation (metta) challenges us to send love and compassion to the difficult people in our lives, including ourselves.


The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.