Empathy is the ability to recognize another’s feelings, and it comes in different forms. Cognitive empathy is simply recognizing how another person is feeling or thinking through verbal, tonal, and behavioral cues. Compassionate empathy is more of a developed skill, allowing us to connect with the emotions of another without taking on the full weight of those emotions ourselves. It’s often what most people mean when they refer to empathy or say someone is an “empathetic person.” Emotional empathy is physically reflecting how another person is feeling: if you see someone feeling upset, you also feel the same upset in your own body. It can tune us in deeply to another’s pain, but it can also paralyze us from effectively helping. Some call those who experience emotional empathy “empaths.” Some empaths also deal with hyper-empathy, feeling what others feel so acutely that it becomes unmanageable or disorienting.


Happy Hour: Empathetic Joy for All Beings

Dharma talk live streaming from the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA.


Lama Rod Owens: Vulnerable Compassion

"Compassion is perhaps one of the strongest practices we have in Buddhadharma, because compassion is a liberatory force that moves us into the suffering of the world" - Lama Rod Owens.