How to Train Compassion



Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

by Kristin Neff, Ph. D.

This video, Raising Compassion, brings together a diverse group of neuroscientists, mental health professionals, and Buddhist monks in a remarkable exchange between science, art, and contemplative practice. In a series of informal conversations about compassion, initiated by neuroscientist Tania Singer and artist Olafur Eliasson, the protagonists discuss the public perception of compassion, talk about compassion-training programs at various research centers, relate their experiences about working with prisoners and in hospitals, and promote the practical uses of compassion-training in dealing with social and political issues.

Commissioned by the Max Planck Institute and produced by Studio Olafur Eliasson, Raising Compassion arose from the multidisciplinary workshop, How to train Compassion, organized by Prof. Dr. Tania Singer, director of the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, Leipzig, and hosted, in July 2011, at Studio Olafur Eliasson, in Berlin.

Many of the other participants in the video have appeared in other articles on this site.

My good friend and dharma teacher, Zen Master Roshi Joan Halifax sent me an email which linked to the video.

Also, Professor Kristin Neff, whose work on self-compassion was featured in The Neuroscience Of Compassion and in The Mistress Of Self-Compassion, contributed great insights to the video. Her book, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind, is a wonderful exposition on compassion and is highly recommended.

The Tibetan Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, was also present and contributed many great insights.

Dr. Paul Gilbert, head of the Mental Health Research Unit as well as Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby, also appears in the video.

On a day that began rather gloomy for me, I watched this video. The quality of the discussion and the presence of teachers I have known before lifted my mood completely.

Do you want to have your mood lifted? Please watch the video and share your ideas on how to train compassion.

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