This talk focuses on karuna, the Pali and Sanskrit term for compassion. Peter described compassion as a “subset” of metta, lovingkindness, with a focus on empathizing with the dukkha one is aware of in oneself and others. Contemporary research on mirror neurons (neural pathways we all have that allow us to “read” each other through mimicry and empathic attunement) and attachment theory (psychological research that strongly suggests the innate interpersonal dynamics of us that extends from infancy throughout life) are easily associated with Buddhist compassion meditation practices. The Tibetan Buddhist tonglen, a compassion meditation practice, was described as an effective way to practice compassion, both formally while meditating and informally during daily life routines. This description was followed by general discussion about how karuna can be integrated into one’s life.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk; they include some suggestions regarding various contemplations in the practice: THE VALUE OF COMPASSION
Next week’s topic will be mudita, sympathetic joy.