Compassion is an awareness of others' suffering coupled with a willingness to take action to relieve the suffering.
Actively practicing compassion boosts your courage to be present and resourceful in the face of life's challenges.
Compassion can calm your nervous system and strengthen your capacity for meaningful relationships, connections and intimacy with others. It enhances your well-being and happiness by reducing stress, anxiety, loneliness and empathy fatigue.
Compassion can also connect you with your values and purpose to increase your clarity and focus.
Compassion is perhaps the most powerful and effective tool you can use to care for yourself and others. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama famously said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
And yes, compassion is learn-able!
There are specific exercises you can do to build your compassion muscle. Like a great workout, it feels amazing.
Be the calm in the storm: Compassion Cultivation Training
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an 8 week course designed at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and taught around the world by Certified Facilitators. CCT includes practical tools and exercises designed to enhance your awareness, compassion and resilience. Studies demonstrate CCT students experience more compassion for themselves and others, reduce mind-wandering, and increase flexibility, adaptability and caring behavior.
"This class exceeded my expectations."
"I'm more calm. Not as quick to react."
"My life and my family's life is forever changed for the better."
“After the 3rd or 4th week I knew that I wanted to incorporate this with the rest of my life and work.”
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.”
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“When people hear the word compassion, they tend to think of kindness. But scientific study has found the core of compassion to be courage… kind people don’t always have the courage to behave compassionately.
Compassion is not just about kindness or ‘softness’ and it is certainly not a weakness – it is one of the most important declarations of strength and courage known to humanity.”
– Paul Gilbert, from Compassion: Universally Misunderstood