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.

Compassionate Mind, Healthy Body

Compassion research is at a tipping point: Overwhelming evidence suggests compassion is good for our health and good for the world.

Reaching Out for Compassion

At a weekend workshop I led, one of the participants, Marian, shared her story about the shame and guilt that had tortured her.

The Helper’s High

Suffering is inevitable. But James Baraz and Shoshana Alexander argue that responding to pain with compassion, care, and generosity is key to a joyful life.

Help When Your Heart Breaks

Caring for people who are suffering is a loving, even heroic calling, but it takes a toll. Roshi Joan Halifax teaches this five-step program to care for yourself while caring for others.

Fearless Compassion in the Face of Violence

The willingness to face suffering can give rise to compassion.

Inspiration and Joy Amidst Suffering and Loss

As Buddhist teaching says, suffering has the potential to deepen our compassion and understanding of the human condition. And in so doing, it can lead us to even greater faith, joy and well-being.

Stand Up for What You Love

I have been hearing from a lot of people lately that something has broken open and it’s harder to ignore the suffering around us.

A Conversation with Alice Walker

The bestselling author discusses her role as a global citizen and her connection with nature, history, and activism

Turning to Face the Dark: A Conversation Between Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger and Parker Palmer

n May of 2019, Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger sat down with educator and writer Parker J. Palmer for an unscripted conversation. What emerged was a wide-ranging contemplative dialogue on suffering, healing, and joy.


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