The Power of Empathy

Joey led our reflections this past Sunday. To understand the four Brahma Viharas–lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity–as embraced within the larger framework of Empathy can give new depth to our understanding, new life to our practice.

Here are the talks she played:

Brahmaviharas as relational practices by Akincano Marc Weber

Practicing with Views and Opinions: Cultivating empathy Donald Rothberg

“For Warmth
I hold my face in my two hands.
No, I am not crying.
I hold my face in my two hands
to keep the loneliness warm –
two hands protecting,
two hands nourishing,
two hands preventing
my soul from leaving me
in anger.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems

Compassionate action starts with seeing yourself when you start to make yourself right and when you start to make yourself wrong. At that point you could just contemplate the fact that there is a larger alternative to either of those, a more tender, shaky kind of place where you could live.
– Pema Chodron