Articles
People are actually nice by default, Stanford researcher says

People are actually nice by default, Stanford researcher says

Written by Julie Bort. As we head into the 2016 presidential race for real and all the mud slinging, the negative ads, the disrespectful political discourse that surrounds American politics, it’s easy to lose faith in humanity. So here’s some feel-good research to help vaccinate yourself from all that. It turns out that people are actually kind by default, says …

How the science of happiness could help you succeed

How the science of happiness could help you succeed

Written by Mary Brophy Marcus. Does it ever seem like happiness and success are pie-in-the-sky notions? And that only a lucky few seem to have found both a great job and a happy life? A new book suggests happiness and success aren’t as elusive as they appear — we may just be going about pursuing them in all the wrong …

A Stanford scientist says a simple psychological shift can make you more successful

A Stanford scientist says a simple psychological shift can make you more successful

Written by Shana Lebowitz. Back in the days when I was single and job-searching, my strategy for dealing with unsuccessful interviews and first dates was pretty much the same. As soon as I’d left the office or the bar, I’d burst into tears of frustration and silently chide myself for my incompetence. How could I be so stupid that I …

A doctor who found ‘Magic’ from an unusual encounter

A doctor who found ‘Magic’ from an unusual encounter

Written by Suzanne Koven. One hot day in the summer of 1968, a 12-year-old boy named Jim Doty, the son of an alcoholic father and a suicidal mother, wandered into a magic shop in a strip mall in Lancaster, Calif. The owner of the shop wasn’t in, but his mother, Ruth, was. Ruth took a liking to Jim and told …

Real Magic

Real Magic

Written by James Doty. The day I noticed my thumb was missing began like any other day the summer before I started eighth grade. I spent my days riding my bicycle around town, even though sometimes it was so hot the metal on my handlebars felt like a stove top. I could always taste the dust in my mouth—gritty and …

Why Compassion Serves You Better Than Self-interest

Why Compassion Serves You Better Than Self-interest

Can compassion be good for the bottom line? According to Emma Seppälä, author of The Happiness Track, the answer is a clear yes. In the following excerpt from the book, Seppälä tells the story of someone who used compassion to his competitive advantage. Drake is a happy, generous, and other-focused person. He is always interested in helping others whenever he …

The Surprising Link Between Compassion And Success

The Surprising Link Between Compassion And Success

Written by Emma Seppala. To many people, the idea of compassionate leadership is too touchy-feely at best and bad management at worst. But new research suggests that rather than making them look soft, acts of kindness and altruism increase leaders’ standing in a group. In some contexts, that can translate into a serious competitive advantage. When Nice Guys Finish First …

Helping others can lower your stress level, study finds

Helping others can lower your stress level, study finds

Written by Sarah D. Young. The body means well by flipping the “stress switch” on. Feeling stressed amid a life-threatening situation is good, of course, as it raises the chance for survival. But when the body deems a traffic jam “life-threatening,” the stress response is not quite as useful. When that stress switch gets flipped, experts say the antidote may …

16 Must-Read Business Books For 2016

16 Must-Read Business Books For 2016

Written by David Burkus. A few weeks ago, I rounded up my 2015 reading with a list of the best books of the year. But 2016 is shaping up to be as good a year for business books as 2015 was, if not better. I’ve been reading a lot of books that will release early this year, and here are …

The American Workplace Is Broken. Here’s How We Can Start Fixing It.

The American Workplace Is Broken. Here’s How We Can Start Fixing It.

Written by Carolyn Gregoire. This story is part of our month-long “Work Well” initiative, which focuses on thriving in the workplace. You can find more stories from this project here. The way we work doesn’t really seem to be working. Americans are working longer and harder hours than ever before. Eighty-three percent of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs, …

The best books to help you crack January

The best books to help you crack January

Help. It’s January – again – and what have we to show for it? Are we leaner, richer, calmer, wiser, as we so fervently intended? Perhaps only wiser. Last year, we had really been trying to change – or, at least, we had been reading about trying. The book sales are there to prove it, buoyant by grace of the …

9 leadership books to look out for this year

9 leadership books to look out for this year

Written by Erin Marshall. Here are a few handpicked books to help fulfill your New Year’s resolution of reading more often. The Washington Post has come up with a list of leadership reads coming out early this year. 1. The Right Kind of Crazy by Adam Steltzner, PhD, with William Patrick. Coming out Jan. 12, this novel is written by …

To Motivate Employees, Do 3 Things Well

To Motivate Employees, Do 3 Things Well

Written by Emma Seppala. Given the extraordinary low levels of engagement in the U.S. workforce — a recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of employees are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work — many leaders are looking for solutions. Some turn to material perks (bonuses, game rooms, free food) in the hopes of making employees happier. However, research suggests that these …

Nine leadership books to watch for in 2016

Nine leadership books to watch for in 2016

Written by Jena McGregor. In a category crowded with formulaic promises, bad writing and warmed-over common sense, it’s hard to know which books on the business book shelf are worth a look. To help you fill those new year’s resolutions to lead smarter, work faster and get ahead on the job, we scanned publishers’ lists, pored over book catalogs and asked a few top leadership thinkers about the books they’re …

What’s Happening in Your Brain During the Holidays

What’s Happening in Your Brain During the Holidays

Written by Melissa Bykofsky. There’s nothing quite like the holiday season when it comes to feeling all the feels. This time of year triggers different emotions for everyone. “We are used to running on adrenaline, going from one stressful deadline to another and trying to juggle work and our personal lives,” Emma Seppälä, PhD, science director of Stanford University’s Center …

Living with chronic fatigue: How I wish my friends would treat me

Living with chronic fatigue: How I wish my friends would treat me

Written by Lucy Mayhew. Bear Grylls and I have virtually nothing in common – the survival expert has a GTI turbo-charged body, whereas seven years ago, mine became my jailor. Grylls recently name-checked  kindness as an overlooked quality “critical to survival,” and in the midst of paralysing physical pain, fear and despair I have learned how true this observation is. …

Book Smart

Book Smart

Written by Elizabeth Floyd Mair. If you’re ready to turn some pages (or download some new stuff on your tablet), here’s what new on the business book front for 2016. “Breaking Through Bias: Communication Techniques for Women to Succeed at Work” By Andrea S. Kramer and Alton B. Harris (May 2016, Bibliomotion, $27.95) Kramer is a partner in the international …

Psychology researcher to study compassion at Stanford University

Psychology researcher to study compassion at Stanford University

Written by Kirsten O’Leary. It’s been a dream come true for a University of Queensland psychology researcher who received a fellowship to work at Stanford University in California. Dr James Kirby, from UQ’s School of Psychology was in shock when he initially read the email notifying him of his success in receiving an Endeavour Fellowship that will allow him to …

Be Kind, Unwind: How Helping Others Can Help Keep Stress In Check

Be Kind, Unwind: How Helping Others Can Help Keep Stress In Check

Written by Vanessa Rancano. Say it’s Monday and it’s a bad one. You overslept and definitely didn’t shower, so your hair might smell and maybe you spill some coffee on your shirt while you’re barreling toward the Metro, which is especially unfortunate because you’re meeting with your boss at 9:30. Just when you think your bloodstream has reached maximum cortisol …

How Meditation Benefits CEOs

How Meditation Benefits CEOs

Written by Emma Seppala. Mindfulness is quickly following yoga in becoming a billion-dollar industry. It’s no surprise, then, that the popularity of meditation – one way to practice mindfulness – is also growing among CEOs and senior executives. Why are business leaders embracing meditation rather than, say, massage or ping-pong? Because there’s something to meditation that appears to benefit CEOs …

Doty’s ‘life-changing magic’ memoir to Yellow Kite

Doty’s ‘life-changing magic’ memoir to Yellow Kite

Written by Katherine Cowdrey. Yellow Kite is publishing Into the Magic Shop by Dr James Doty – “a neurosurgeon’s true story of the life-changing magic of compassion and mindfulness”. The book tells the story of how Doty as a young boy, struggling to find a direction in life, found meditation and mindfulness by a chance meeting – through the mother of a magic shop …

Can compassion contribute to success?

Can compassion contribute to success?

Written by Amy Rees Anderson. Compassion. It is a word we often hear talked about when it comes to religion, but it is not a word used often enough when it comes to discussing what makes a business successful. Yet compassion can directly affect the bottom line. The Dalai Lama expressed it best when he said, “Compassion is not religious …

The power of positive thought: how mindfulness gave a boy peace and confidence

The power of positive thought: how mindfulness gave a boy peace and confidence

Written by James Doty. When I speak in my capacity as a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University or as an entrepreneur with a company worth $1.3bn, there is an assumption that I had a privileged background, one of affluence. In fact I grew up in poverty on public assistance with an alcoholic father and a mother impaired by a stroke …

This provocative new approach to giving can help you save more lives with your money

This provocative new approach to giving can help you save more lives with your money

Written by Colby Itkowitz. A severely malnourished Somali child receives Oral Rehydration Salts (O.R.S.) at Mogadishu’s Banadir hospital on July 28, 2011, where an estimated 3.7 million people– around a third of the population — are on the brink of starvation. Photo credit: MUSTAFA ABDI/AFP/Getty Images) When deciding where to contribute on this Giving Tuesday, or any day, most Americans …

Proof that positive work cultures are more productive

Proof that positive work cultures are more productive

Written by Emma Seppala & Kim Cameron. Too many companies bet on having a cut-throat, high-pressure, take-no-prisoners culture to drive their financial success. But a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, …

More awesome TED Talks on Positive Psychology

More awesome TED Talks on Positive Psychology

Written by Nico Rose. For those of you that can’t get enough of Positive Psychology-related TED talks – I’ve found some (more or less) new stuff for you. This list comprises Lea Waters, who focuses on the application of Positive Psychology in the field of education, James Doty, founder of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), …

Explaining the ‘Empathy Gap’ In Our Reactions To Paris And Beirut

Explaining the ‘Empathy Gap’ In Our Reactions To Paris And Beirut

Written by Carolyn Gregoire. After a coordinated series of horrific terrorist attacks in Paris left at least 129 people dead and 352 wounded on Friday, the world joined together in collective grief and mourning. The attacks — the deadliest in France since World War II — inspired a massive global outpouring of sadness, anger and solidarity. On the Internet, Facebook launched …

Searching for Characters

Searching for Characters

Written by Alisa Solomon. When Anna Deavere Smith was awarded a National Humanities Medal in 2012 by President Obama, the citation lauded how “she has informed our understanding of social issues” by conveying “a range of disparate characters.” Through her sustained project “On the Road: A Search for American Character,” which she began in the early 1980s, Smith has indeed …

Louisville Innovation Summit Brings Together 500 Executives and Entrepreneurs Focused on the Future of Aging Care, Oct 14-15

Louisville Innovation Summit Brings Together 500 Executives and Entrepreneurs Focused on the Future of Aging Care, Oct 14-15

Written by Laura Beck. In two weeks, the Louisville Innovation Summit will gather 500 executives and entrepreneurs from around the country focused on the Future of Aging Care. More than 70 industry visionaries will speak on topics ranging from Aging Innovations in Space to Compassion as Innovation in Healthcare Delivery. The Summit includes a startup pitch event of 15 companies …

New books by Stanford authors rethink healing and happiness

New books by Stanford authors rethink healing and happiness

Written by Clifton Parker. Scholars at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education have written new books that encourage people to think differently about healing and happiness. JAMES DOTY, for instance, argues that true healing is both biological and spiritual. Doty, the founder and director of the center, is also a neurosurgeon. In Into the Magic Shop, he …

The Neurology of Lending

The Neurology of Lending

Written by Wray Herbert. Back in 1976 a young professor in Bangladesh starting making dubious low-interest loans to the rural poor of his country. Muhammad Yunus had the crazy idea that even impoverished farmers — men and women without credit history or collateral or even steady employment — could be disciplined and trustworthy in repaying small loans, and he founded …

A New Understanding of the Power of Compassion

A New Understanding of the Power of Compassion

Written by Rylie Ortiz. Compassion is not always championed as relevant currency in today’s secular society, where material success and achievement often rule ahead of human virtues and social consciousness. Compassion has long been a central tenet in many major spiritual traditions, espoused as a powerful virtue by thought leaders including Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and the Dalai Lama. Only recently has …

This Buddhist Monk Has Unlocked The Secret To Happiness, And It May Help Us Save The Environment

This Buddhist Monk Has Unlocked The Secret To Happiness, And It May Help Us Save The Environment

Written by Carolyn Gregoire. Matthieu Ricard has lived many lives. As a young student in Paris during the late 1960s, he was writing his dissertation in biochemistry at the prestigious Institute Pasteur. Five years later, guided by an inner stirring to explore a deeper side of life, he was living Darjeeling, India, where he had moved to study under a …

A Birthday Gift for the Dalai Lama — Global Compassion Education

A Birthday Gift for the Dalai Lama — Global Compassion Education

Written by Emily Hine. The Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday Wish Is That We All Live #WithCompassion. While I love his wish, I say let’s take it a step further: Let’s give His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the gift of global compassion education by mainstreaming compassion training in schools, communities and businesses around the world. From my experience, we are much …

Bringing Compassion to Everyday Life with Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)

Bringing Compassion to Everyday Life with Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)

Written by Leah Weiss. Many of us are called to make the world a better place, but it isn’t necessarily clear where to start. We want to respond to the big and small suffering in our communities and the larger world but it isn’t straightforward how to do this in a way that is both sustainable for ourselves and objectively …

Stressing out? Good for you!

Stressing out? Good for you!

Written by Angela Hill. Kelly McGonigal nearly succumbed to the stress of grad school, had she not begun to dance with it instead. The tango, actually. It was 2000, and she’d just finished her first grueling year at Stanford. She’d aced her courses but felt overwhelmed and socially isolated. She was alarmed at the rate her fellow first-years were dropping …

Anger: The most evil emotion or a natural impulse?

Anger: The most evil emotion or a natural impulse?

Written by Becky Bach. Anger isn’t good for your health. It spikes your heart rate, exacerbating heart conditions and anxiety. It leaves an ugly residue, a sensation of unease and aggression and it can lead to violence against others or oneself. But in the west, we have an uneasy relationship with this powerful emotion, said Owen Flanagan, PhD, co-director of the …

Compassion is a wise and effective managerial strategy, Stanford expert says

Compassion is a wise and effective managerial strategy, Stanford expert says

Written by Clifton B. Parker. Compassion is a better managerial approach than toughness in today’s workplace, writes a Stanford psychologist in a new article. In fact, trying to make employees fearful and punish them for mistakes is typically counterproductive to the organization, says Emma Seppala, associate director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. “The more compassionate response …

6 Questions For Lloyd Dean ‒ President And CEO Of Dignity Health

6 Questions For Lloyd Dean ‒ President And CEO Of Dignity Health

Written by Dan Munro. The bio for Lloyd Dean on the Dignity Health website is fairly standard and  relatively austere. Mr. Dean is the president/CEO of Dignity Health. With over 20 years in health care operations and leadership experience, Mr. Dean is responsible for overall management, strategy and direction of Dignity Health’s hospitals, ancillary services, home health care and medical …

Why Compassion Is a Better Managerial Tactic than Toughness

Why Compassion Is a Better Managerial Tactic than Toughness

Written by Emma Seppala. Stanford University neurosurgeon Dr. James Doty tells the story of performing surgery on a little boy’s brain tumor. In the middle of the procedure, the resident who is assisting him gets distracted and accidentally pierces a vein. With blood shedding everywhere, Doty is no longer able to see the delicate brain area he is working on. The boy’s life is …

Dr. James R. Doty: What Is a Life of Meaning?

Dr. James R. Doty: What Is a Life of Meaning?

Written by Nicolae Tanase. Nicolae Tanase: Dr. Doty, what is the meaning of life? James R. Doty: I will rephrase the question to ask what is a life of meaning? At the end of our days, one wishes that what we have done in our lives will live on beyond our existence, that our actions in sum will have benefitted …

From suffering to compassion: Meditation teacher-author Sharon Salzberg shares her story

From suffering to compassion: Meditation teacher-author Sharon Salzberg shares her story

Written by Becky Bach. Mediatation master and author Sharon Salzberg showed her recent Stanford audience that she could field even the toughest questions about the nature of compassion. “What about the beheadings in the Middle East?” one audience member called out. Is it really possible to feel compassion for the perpetrators? “It’s not easy,” Salzberg admitted. “But I also think …

Compassion meditation reduces ‘mind-wandering,’ Stanford research shows

Compassion meditation reduces ‘mind-wandering,’ Stanford research shows

Written by Clifton B. Parker. The practice of compassion meditation may be a powerful antidote to a drifting mind, new Stanford research shows. Compassion meditation focuses on benevolent thoughts toward oneself and others, as the researchers noted. It is different in this aspect than most forms of meditation in the sense that participants are “guided” toward compassionate thoughts. The research …

Changing the world and ourselves through compassion

Changing the world and ourselves through compassion

Written by Jill Stark. Be kind and you will be well. It has been the cornerstone of Eastern philosophy for centuries. But what if recognising our shared humanity was more than just a sentimental ideal? What if consciously practising kindness could change the wiring of your brain and make you live longer? “Practicing compassion with intention has a positive physiological …

The Definitive Case for Being a More Compassionate Boss

The Definitive Case for Being a More Compassionate Boss

Written by Lisa Evans. During a late-night TV binge, I landed on Hell’s Kitchen. Watching celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay spit out fiery insults at his apprentice chefs—a tactic he justified as helping them to improve their skills in the kitchen—I laughed at the absurdity of his comments. Then I was struck by a terrifying thought. Is this really how some …

The Power of Breath in Post-War Healing

The Power of Breath in Post-War Healing

Written by Kristine Crane. Breathing is the first and last thing we do in life, but most of us take the breath for granted – unless we are scared, angry or winded. Some veterans throughout the country are using their breath to overcome wartime trauma. For many, the breath gives back what years of medication alone have not been able …

Rx for better health care: Kindness and compassion

Rx for better health care: Kindness and compassion

Written by Kathleen Doheny. (HealthDay News) — Want to give health care a boost? Try a little kindness, experts say. Various studies suggest that when health care workers approach patients with compassion, patients often heal faster, have less pain and anxiety, and even bounce back faster from common colds. “When health care is delivered with kindness and compassion, it has a …

Compassion Is Often the Best Medicine: Stanford Study

Compassion Is Often the Best Medicine: Stanford Study

Want to give healthcare a boost? Try a little kindness, experts say. Various studies suggest that when health care workers approach patients with compassion, patients often heal faster, have less pain and anxiety, and even bounce back faster from common colds. “When healthcare is delivered with kindness and compassion, it has a significantly greater effect than when it is given …

Contemplative Studies Grow At Brown University — And Beyond

Contemplative Studies Grow At Brown University — And Beyond

Written by Jaweed Kaleem. Three times last week, between classes in neuropharmacology, neural systems and journalism, Brown University junior Henry Langton changed into sweatpants, sat with dozens of classmates on cushions in a campus dance studio and meditated on his breath and his body for 25 uninterrupted minutes. One day, the focus was bamboo breathing, a Zen breath control technique. …

It’s Time to Confront Our Compassion Phobia

It’s Time to Confront Our Compassion Phobia

Written By Andy Fraser. When I was first invited to take part in Compassion Week, I had a bit of a reaction. It’s not that I didn’t want to get involved in next week’s events in San Francisco – it’s just that I have a problem with the word compassion. Maybe it’s a guy thing, but compassion has always sounded a little too …

A Recipe for Air Rage

A Recipe for Air Rage

Written by Stephanie Rosenbloom. Why do some travelers squabble about overhead bin space? Or feud over an armrest? Why, when a passenger reclines his seat, does another respond with rage befitting the pages of “Lord of the Flies”? What makes rational travelers like you and me suddenly explode? Some factors are environmental (packed planes, teeming gates); others are internal (stress, …

5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men

5 Habits of Highly Compassionate Men

Written by Kozo Hattori. I remember being a very compassionate child. While watching “The Little House on the Prairie,” I cried my eyes out when Laura couldn’t give Pa a Christmas gift. But 12 years of physical abuse and being forced to the confines of the “act-like-a-man box” wrung most of that compassion out of me by the time I reached …

Stanford scholar helps veterans recover from war trauma

Stanford scholar helps veterans recover from war trauma

Written by Clifton B. Parker. Breathing meditation is a powerful ally for military veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to Stanford research recently published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. For several years, Emma Seppala, associate director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and lead author of the article, has been studying the effects of breathing-based meditation practices on veterans …

Top 5 Ideas for Celebrating International Friendship Day

Top 5 Ideas for Celebrating International Friendship Day

Written by Kellie Edwards. Wednesday, July 30 is International Friendship Day. I can’t resist a good list or an excuse to celebrate. So I was curious: Based on mindfulness and the psychology of flourishing, what would be my top five ideas for celebrating friendship? We all have so much to gain if we take a few moments out of our …

Q&A: Emma Seppälä on the Power of Compassion

Q&A: Emma Seppälä on the Power of Compassion

Written by Emma Wheaton. Our connected world means we are increasingly aware of the tragedies and sufferings of others – whether it is the effects of war thousands of kilometres away or the struggles of someone closer to home. That empathy we feel toward others and the desire to help them is known as compassion. Powerful perspective The Australian Unity Wellbeing …

Cool Under Pressure

Cool Under Pressure

Written by Laura McKelvie. You’re at the service line, trying to focus. It’s late in the last set, and your team is down by one. If you miss this serve, the other team will win. As much as you want to relax or focus on the positive, you feel incredibly nervous. Your mind recalls the last serve you missed and …

Compassion as a Biological Imperative

Compassion as a Biological Imperative

Written by Amy Busek. If you ever find yourself in a conversation with Dr. James Doty, a pioneering neurosurgeon who revolutionized the idea that empathy and compassion are biological traits, don’t offer up Darwinian logic as a counter-argument. “A lot of people quote Darwin, saying, ‘Survival of the fittest,’” he said. “But that quote is not from Darwin. It’s from …

Compassion Week 2014

Compassion Week 2014

Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), the Tenzin Gyatso Institute, Inc. (TGI) and The Charter for Compassion will host Compassion Week 2014 in San Francisco from November 10 – 16, 2014.  This will include the 2nd Science of Compassion conference, the inaugural conference on Compassion & Healthcare, the 3rd Empathy and Compassion in Society conference, …

http://ccare.stanford.edu/event-registration/?ee=158

Scientists tie social behavior to activity in specific brain circuit

Scientists tie social behavior to activity in specific brain circuit

Written by Bruce Goldman. A team of Stanford University investigators has linked a particular brain circuit to mammals’ tendency to interact socially. Stimulating this circuit — one among millions in the brain — instantly increases a mouse’s appetite for getting to know a strange mouse, while inhibiting it shuts down its drive to socialize with the stranger. The new findings, …

Americans experience special session on spirituality at Stanford University session

Americans experience special session on spirituality at Stanford University session

Written by NDT Bureau. The United States saw a special session on spirituality when world-renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader Mata Amritanandamayi Devi interacted with leading neurosurgeon-philanthropist Dr. James Doty, the founder and director of the Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE), at Stanford University here. “For me, compassion is the most important factor in our lives,” said …

10% happier? Count me in!

10% happier? Count me in!

Written by Paul Costello. Dan Harris, author of 10% Happier – How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works (whew, now that’s a mouthful) acknowledges that he’s not a new-agey spiritual kind of guy who you’d naturally find wandering in the tranquil waters of meditation. And across the …

Amma highlights value of compassion at Stanford University session

Amma highlights value of compassion at Stanford University session

New Delhi: The United States saw a special session on spirituality when world-renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader Mata Amritanandamayi Devi interacted with leading neurosurgeon-philanthropist Dr. James Doty, the founder and director of the Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education (CCARE), at Stanford University here. “For me, compassion is the most important factor in our lives,” said Amma (as …

India’s ‘hugging saint’ shares her life experiences and insights as a spiritual leader

India’s ‘hugging saint’ shares her life experiences and insights as a spiritual leader

Written by Jenna Shapiro. Have you ever waited over an hour in line for a hug? Mata Amritanandamayi, better known as “Amma” (or “Mother”), has devoted her life to embracing the masses through her global charities known as “Embracing the World” and her magnetic message of love and compassion. To be more specific, Amma has physically hugged more than 33 …

James Doty’s Helper’s High:  He gave away his last $30 million and felt free—a case study in altruism.

James Doty’s Helper’s High: He gave away his last $30 million and felt free—a case study in altruism.

Written by Bonnie Tsui. James Doty is not a subject under study at the altruism research center that he founded at Stanford in 2008, but he could be. In 2000, after building a fortune as a neurosurgeon and biotech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, he lost it all in the dotcom crash: $75 million gone in six weeks. Goodbye villa in …

Compassion in the Workplace

Compassion in the Workplace

Written by Stephanie Castellano. Compassion training yields an early return-on-investment. Move over, exercise. Compassion is the new panacea. Mounting research shows that compassion can improve the health and well-being of individuals and corporations. A culture of compassion—in which managers and employees are friendly and empathetic—makes employees happier and more productive, reports the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, …

What Makes a Compassionate Man?

What Makes a Compassionate Man?

Written by Kozo Hattori. I remember being a very compassionate child. While watching The Little House on the Prairie, I cried my eyes out when Laura couldn’t give Pa a Christmas gift. But 12 years of physical abuse and being forced to the confines of the “act-like-a-man box” wrung most of that compassion out of me by the time I …

What would you do? The science of selflessness: When do we get involved and when do we do nothing?

What would you do? The science of selflessness: When do we get involved and when do we do nothing?

Written by Heidi Groover. On a cold February night, snow is falling in short spurts. A man lies bloody in the middle of the street. Do you stop? In Spokane last month, multiple drivers didn’t. Not the first driver who hit him and not at least two others who hit him afterward. Neither, presumably, did any number of cars that passed …

The Power Of Compassion To Drive Your Bottom Line

The Power Of Compassion To Drive Your Bottom Line

Written by Rob Asghar. Is kindness the missing piece of your brand—the ingredient that can allow your organization to stand out in an age in which consumers long to be treated as more than a nuisance? Lloyd H. Dean, president and CEO of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s five largest healthcare providers, tells a story about a member of …

Cashing In on Kindness

Cashing In on Kindness

Written by Bonnie Tsui. On February 24, the Dalai Lama came to Silicon Valley to talk business. As with most public appearances made by His Holiness, the event was mobbed. Four thousand people packed the Leavey Center, Santa Clara University’s basketball arena, for a glimpse of his red robes—occasional cries of “We love you, Dalai Lama!” were heard—and countless others …

Can cultivating compassion lead to happiness?

Can cultivating compassion lead to happiness?

Written by Danna Staaf. You know how Jesus said to love thy neighbor and Buddha urged compassion for all beings? Well, modern science agrees. Stanford psychologists recently found that cultivating compassion not only makes you kinder, it makes you happier—as well as less worried. But compassion is having a tough time in the age of the internet. We’re more connected than ever, …

The Dalai Lama talks business, compassion and happiness

The Dalai Lama talks business, compassion and happiness

Written by Emily Hite. One Christmas, my dad gave me and my siblings copies of the Dalai Lama‘s book The Art of Happiness – a quick read with a valuable missive. (“Be content with this book – you didn’t need other presents” was my takeaway.) I was reminded of this when reading about a recent visit – focused in large part on happiness …

Stanford research: Compassion aids well-being

Stanford research: Compassion aids well-being

Written by Clifton B. Parker. Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education co-sponsored the Dalai Lama’s visit to Silicon Valley for a talk on business, ethics and compassion. It highlighted recent achievements at Stanford’s center, which continues to make research progress in the “science of compassion” while calling attention to the importance of well-being in our society. …

Ethics ‘Dialogue’ at Santa Clara Univ. Features Dalai Lama, CEO Who Stripped Hospitals of Catholic Ties

Ethics ‘Dialogue’ at Santa Clara Univ. Features Dalai Lama, CEO Who Stripped Hospitals of Catholic Ties

Written by Matthew Archbold. In a heavily promoted event that is already sold out, Santa Clara University will host a dialogue between the Dalai Lama—who in the past has advocated abortion and population control—and the CEO of Dignity Health, who stripped the organization of any links with the Catholic Church after a hospital performed an abortion and was criticized by …

Evaluating the benefits of compassion

Evaluating the benefits of compassion

Written by Don Ingwerson. Compassion – in today’s hurried lives, is it worth personal time, energy, and money it takes to express compassion? The answer in terms of common humanity is yes. But many may not know the health-giving effects of compassion and its accompanying feeling of happiness. In “The Best Kept Secret to Happiness: Compassion,” Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D. …

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Speak at Santa Clara University

His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Speak at Santa Clara University

Written by Marika Krause. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit Santa Clara University Feb. 24 for a day of discussion entitled “Compassion, Business, and Ethics: A Dialogue with the Dalai Lama.” The event is co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University and Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. “As the Jesuit University of Silicon …

Are humans instinctively compassionate?

Are humans instinctively compassionate?

Written by Sara from Institute of HeartMath. com•pas•sion: noun \kəm-ˈpa-shən\ a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc. We reach out to those in pain, take in stray animals and dash off our checks to help strangers suffering across the globe. Humans are compassionate toward those in need. In fact, considerable scientific research suggests, …

Compassion’s curative power

Compassion’s curative power

Emma Seppala, PhD is the associate director of Stanford School of Medicine’s The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) and a well-known researcher and speaker on the science of well-being, social connection and compassion. BeWell spoke with Dr. Seppala to glean her latest insights and learned that strong medicine does not always come in a prescription drug …

Stanford spotlights compassion, innovation at technology conference

Stanford spotlights compassion, innovation at technology conference

Written by Clifton B. Parker. Social entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists explored how to open hearts in a world of cell phones, texting and computers at the inaugural Compassion and Technology Conference at Stanford on Dec. 6. “Science shows us that compassion is fundamental to our health and well-being,” said one of the panelists, Emma Seppala, a psychologist and associate director …

The First Ever Compassion and Technology Conference and Contest at Stanford University

The First Ever Compassion and Technology Conference and Contest at Stanford University

Written by Shawn Saleme. In a world where each day more people are becoming familiar with technology and its social utilities, Stanford University is playing host to the first ever Compassion and Technology conference, which will bring social entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists together for discussion about technology designed to enhance compassion. The conference is presented by the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and …

Medkänsla i ledarskapet lönar sig – mer än du tror

Medkänsla i ledarskapet lönar sig – mer än du tror

Written by Daniel E. Martin. Det är en ständig stress att flyga för Ryanair och det finns en skrämselkultur inom bolaget. Det får massor med effekter, bland annat att man inte sjukskriver sig när man är sjuk eftersom man dels inte får lön, dels riskerar att få sparken om man är sjuk mer än någon enstaka gång.” Så sa en …

Innovating Compassion

Innovating Compassion

Written by Irwin Kula. So a neurosurgeon, a visionary educator and a rabbi walk into a bar… I met Dr. James Doty and Angela Maiers a few weeks back at the BIF9 storyteller summit, a remarkable gathering of over 400 innovators from across fields – science, technology, business, health, music, education, design, and social justice. Thirty-two people were invited to …

Guaranteed health advice

Guaranteed health advice

Written By Eric Nelson. There is certainly no shortage of health advice these days, much of it contradictory. Today we are told that aspirin, coffee and nuts are good for us. Next week? Maybe not so much. There is little doubt, however, and plenty of evidence to suggest, that a diet that includes the following mental nutrients will always produce …

How loving animals can benefit your health

How loving animals can benefit your health

Written By Tommy Dean. Animals may be the key to alleviating stress and living a happier and healthier life. The health benefits of veganism are no secret. Any diet rife with plant-based superfoods and rich with vitamins and nutrients is bound to bolster physical well-being. But it may be more than quinoa and kale that makes veganism an exercise in health …

If we could all tap into this quality (which we can), the world would be a better place

If we could all tap into this quality (which we can), the world would be a better place

Written By Carolyn Gregoire. In the so-called age of narcissism, it’s been said that empathy is declining — and some research has shown that social media is causing us to become more self-obsessed than ever before. But whether or not selfishness is actually on the rise, it’s safe to say that we need compassion more than ever. Eastern spiritual practices have long touted the importance of …

The selfish reasons behind why we give

The selfish reasons behind why we give

Written by Maia Szalavitz. Although seeing or hearing about suffering children makes most people uncomfortable, that distress is not what drives them to dig into their pockets and donate. The reasons people decide to be altruistic, it turns out, may be slightly more selfish. In the study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers found that people are more likely to give …

The selfish benefits of compassion

The selfish benefits of compassion

Written by Elizabeth Svoboda. We can be healthier, live longer and make the world a better place by exploring our potential for compassionate behaviour. Neurosurgeon James Doty tells Elizabeth Svoboda about the surprising benefits of our better nature. Where does your strong interest in compassion, altruism and empathy come from? Having grown up in poverty with a father who was …

Empathy on the decline

Empathy on the decline

Written by Sara Konrath. In the early 1930s, Freud wrote about the happiness of hearing a loved one’s voice on the telephone, but recognized the tradeoffs of new technologies: “If there had been no railway to conquer distances, my child would never have left his native town and I should need no telephone to hear his voice.” New technologies can …

Stanford center holds technology innovation competition and conference to promote public compassionate action

Stanford center holds technology innovation competition and conference to promote public compassionate action

Emma Seppala, PhD Associate Director, CCARE (650) 723-3248 emmas@stanford.edu Scientists, engineers and social entrepreneurs to convene at Stanford University for discussion and contest on technology designed to enhance compassion. Stanford, CA – Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) is holding an inaugural Compassion and Technology conference on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 that will include talks …

The compassionate leader: Enhance employee loyalty and engagement

The compassionate leader: Enhance employee loyalty and engagement

Written by Karen Vernal. “In separateness lies the world’s great misery, in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”  —  Buddha Recently, it was reported that Green Bay Packer’s Head Coach Mike McCarthy is focusing on creating stronger relationships among team players. His theme for the year is: Protection, Connection and Reflection, and he believes that the potential success for the …

How ‘Mindfulness’ Can Curb Impulse Spending

How ‘Mindfulness’ Can Curb Impulse Spending

Written by Kelly Dilworth. If you’re a frequent shopper who is overwhelmed by credit card debt, chances are your urge to spend is driven by more than just a desire for goods and services. You may feel chronically stressed at work, for example, and shop to soothe your angst. Or you may feel jealous of a friend’s promotion, so you …

Compassion Season in Telluride

Compassion Season in Telluride

Written by Katie Klingsporn. In the summer of 2011, the Telluride Institute revived its Ideas Festival with a three-day event packed with experts, scientists, spiritual leaders and movies addressing the universal subject of compassion. Since then, Telluride Institute has helped organize an annual event that brings everyone from distinguished neuroscientists to Tibetan Buddhists and Native American scholars to town to …

Stanford University and Telluride Institute Announce Compassion Season 2013 Programs

Stanford University and Telluride Institute Announce Compassion Season 2013 Programs

Written by Samuel Adams. The Telluride Institute and Stanford University School of Medicine’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education host a series of events to celebrate the 2013 Compassion Season. Events will include discussions about recent developments in the field of compassion and altruism research. In 2009, at the request of His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama, CCARE partnered …

How to spend time alone and love it

How to spend time alone and love it

Written by Paige Brettingen. Party of One Nothing against our kids, partners or friends, but sometimes, all of us really just need a day to ourselves. And, as it turns out, you’ll be healthier and happier for taking it, says Emma Seppala, Ph.D, associate director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Alone time has a whole host …

SFO crash: If you were on Asiana Flight 214, would you help others or yourself?

SFO crash: If you were on Asiana Flight 214, would you help others or yourself?

Written by Julia Prodis Sulek. Rha Kyung Rhan experienced the best and worst of humanity during the crash of Asiana Flight 214: One man helped her with an extended hand and another hurt her when he yelled “Move!” then climbed over her and her teenage daughter in a panic to flee the smoking wreckage. If you survived a plane crash, …

Charter for Compassion Makes Surprising Progress

Charter for Compassion Makes Surprising Progress

Written by Karen Armstrong. When the Charter for Compassion was launched in November 2009, I didn’t know that by 2012 more than 85,000 people would have affirmed it online or that we would have 150 active partners around the world. I did know that if we were to make the Charter something more than a call to action, we’d have to come …

Are women more compassionate than men? What the science tells us

Are women more compassionate than men? What the science tells us

Written by Michelle Brandt. Great piece on compassion from Stanford’s Emma Seppala, PhD, whose work on PTSD and veterans was recently covered here. Tackling the question of whether women are more innately compassionate than men, Seppala outlines some of the scientific research on the topic before concluding: Rather than suggesting that [bonding and nurturing] tendencies might have made women more compassionate …

The Compassionate Mind: Science Shows Why It’s Healthy And How It Spreads

The Compassionate Mind: Science Shows Why It’s Healthy And How It Spreads

Written by Emma Seppala. Decades of clinical research has focused and shed light on the psychology of human suffering. That suffering, as unpleasant as it is, often also has a bright side to which research has paid less attention: compassion. Human suffering is often accompanied by beautiful acts of compassion by others wishing to help relieve it. What led 26.5 …

Branson’s B Team – Show Me Numbers!

Branson’s B Team – Show Me Numbers!

Written by David Erasmus. Branson posted yesterday about his intentions for his B Team, a high velocity group of people including Arianna who have a real shot at helping us reshape our expectations of business in society. Branson writes…. “We will address three initial Challenges: “The Future of Leadership,” “The Future Bottom Line” and “The Future of Incentives.” The aim of these …

Stanford rolls out Compassion Cultivation Training

Stanford rolls out Compassion Cultivation Training

Written by Sara Schairer. The Dalai Lama is now touring through the United States until May 21st, 2013 with the next stop in Portland at Maitripa College on May 7. I personally have a special affinity for his presence, as I’m nearing the end of the inaugural yearlong program through Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), …

Can Meditative Breathing Relieve PTSD Symptoms For Vets?

Can Meditative Breathing Relieve PTSD Symptoms For Vets?

Written by Rebecca Ruiz. Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the signature wounds of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; according to one estimate, as many as 20 percent of the service members who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan have the psychiatric condition. These patients often experience disabling symptoms, including feeling jittery or on constant alert. They also may have …

The Question That Ends Tension

The Question That Ends Tension

How Compassion and Being Present to End Tension from First for Women magazine. For the first part of the article, click here. For the second part of the article, click here.

The Promise of Yoga-Based Treatments to Help Veterans With PTSD

The Promise of Yoga-Based Treatments to Help Veterans With PTSD

Written by Michelle Brandt. A close friend recently told me about the post-traumatic stress disorder research of Stanford’sEmma Seppala, PhD, whom she knows from the yoga community in Madison, Wisc. (Seppala did her postdoctoral work there.) It was amazing stuff, I was told (and what a small world, I thought.) And so, I was eager to hear yesterday about one of Seppala’s studies, which found …

Compassion and the Bottom Line

Compassion and the Bottom Line

Written by Michael Kinsman. Compassion isn’t a word that is easily digested in the business world. More often, we like to define our businesses as results-oriented, hard-driving and able to steamroll any obstacles that stand in the way of an objective. Compassion is a word that seldom comes up in the workplace and when it does, it feels kind of squishy. …

Breathing exercises help veterans find peace after war

Breathing exercises help veterans find peace after war

Written by Brooke Donald. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects about one in five veterans, and traditional treatments that can include medication and therapy only relieve symptoms in about half of those who seek it, experts say. But new research by Stanford scholar Emma Seppala, associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, reveals an alternative way to …

Compassion will make you happy

Compassion will make you happy

Marketing executives want us to believe that happiness lies in a product that will taste delicious, magically fill our bank accounts, or transform us into a supermodel that looks not a day past 20. Our social norms promise that happiness will lie in status, accomplishments, relationships and possessions. We are always on the lookout for the next thing: once we …

Compassion, the Workplace, and Leadership

Compassion, the Workplace, and Leadership

Written by John Ballard, Ph.D. When we list leadership characteristics, compassion is probably not first on the list, or even on the list, but perhaps it should be. Emma Seppala has an excellent article on compassion in the May/June issue of theObserver, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science.  The implications for our leaders, organizations, the workplace, and ourselves are significant. Seppala defines compassion …

Offra Gerstein, Relationship Matters: The wonders of altruism

Offra Gerstein, Relationship Matters: The wonders of altruism

Written by Offra Gerstein. The recent acts of heroism seen immediately following the Boston Marathon explosions may have rekindled our public amazement at the courage of untrained strangers who put themselves at risk to aid others. What is the source of these altruistic acts commonly seen at times of extreme human suffering that defies the evolutionary instincts of self-preservation? The …

How the Stress of Disaster Brings People Together

How the Stress of Disaster Brings People Together

Written by Emma Seppala, Ph.D. Ever feel that stress makes you more cranky, hot-headed or irritable? For men in particular, we think of stress as generating testosterone-fueled aggression – thus instances of road rage, or the need to “blow off steam” after work with a trip to the gym or a bar. On the other hand, in circumstances of extreme stress such …

Business and Compassion

Business and Compassion

Written by Paula Pyne. I just returned from The San Francisco Bay area where I attended the inaugural Business events-science-of-compassion-conference-thumb2and Compassion Conference at Stanford University, School of Medicine. It was hosted by CCARE, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and facilitated by Dr. James Doty, Director and Founder of CCARE and Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, and his …

Stanford Center Highlights the Benefits of Compassionate Workplaces

Stanford Center Highlights the Benefits of Compassionate Workplaces

Written by Brooke Donald. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford brought together leaders in business and academia to talk about the role of compassion in business. The latest research suggests that a more compassionate workplace, where helpfulness and forgiveness are part of the business model, is a more productive, efficient and happy place to work. …

International Compassion Summit Launches Year-Long Effort in Anticipation of a Visit by the Dalai Lama

International Compassion Summit Launches Year-Long Effort in Anticipation of a Visit by the Dalai Lama

Written By Karen Armstrong. The 2013 International Summit Conference on Compassionate Organizations will bring an international group of representatives together on May 16th through the 18th to Louisville, Kentucky in anticipation of a visit by the Dalai Lama. This unique, first-of-its-kind event kicks off a year-long effort focusing on developing cultures of compassion in government, business, schools, faith groups, colleges …

Boston Marathon’s Heroes And The Science Behind Compassion

Boston Marathon’s Heroes And The Science Behind Compassion

Written by Tamarra Kemsley. The acts of heroism seen even within seconds of the detonation of the bombs at Boston Marathon included people who seemed to utterly forget fear for their own wellbeing in order to protect that of others. However, Tuesday’s events were not first time the world’s seen such selflessness before: firefighters and policemen and women during the …

Compassion important for our survival

Compassion important for our survival

Written by Agneta Lagercrantz. James Doty, the son of an alcoholic, became a neurosurgeon and founded a research center for compassion and altruism at Stanford, USA. At 13, his life changed – thanks to a woman who taught him positive thinking. Follow our new series of articles on the new research area compassion. Neurosurgeon James Doty knows how it feels …

Sustaining Compassion in Health Care

Sustaining Compassion in Health Care

Written by Robert McClure. As demands on health care providers increase, compassion becomes more difficult to sustain. But a new training holds the promise of helping them meet those challenges. After 30 years in health care, I was ready to retire. But instead I found myself walking into a classroom at the Stanford University School of Medicine for the first …

Mainstream media missing mark on mind-body medicine

Mainstream media missing mark on mind-body medicine

LOS ALTOS, CA, February 21, 2013 – Dr. James Doty is a world-class neurosurgeon and professor at Stanford University. He’s an inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who supports a number of global health initiatives; a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Medical Ethics, and is recognized by his peers as one of the top 5% of neurosurgeons in the country. …

How to Turn Gang Members Into Ex-Gang Members

How to Turn Gang Members Into Ex-Gang Members

Written by Bonnie Tsui. What is it that finally makes a gang member renounce his violent ways? Or a former Hamas extremist turn to reconciliation instead of suicide bombs? The answers are remarkably similar, based on a recent study from researchers at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. One of the study’s authors, Philip Zimbardo, is …

The Magic of Compassion Science

The Magic of Compassion Science

Written by Janis Daddona. Have you ever sat down with your doctor and talked about your brain—heart to heart?  Neither have I.  But that’s exactly what happened in our Forest Call with Dr. James Doty. Apparently he is capable of living several lives simultaneously.  Among other things – He is a neurosurgeon with top ratings from the Consumer Research Council …

Surviving PTSD: Helping Your Military Loved Ones Get the Help They Need

Surviving PTSD: Helping Your Military Loved Ones Get the Help They Need

Written by Ericka Souter. It’s frightening to watch a loved one go off to war, but what many military families have discovered is that another battle begins once they return home. Nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan that were treated at V.A. hospitals have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. “We …

What’s Your Meme? Changing the Climate Change Conversation

What’s Your Meme? Changing the Climate Change Conversation

Written by Rachel Nuwer. Yes we can! Ermahgerd. Occupy. I had a dream. Haters gonna hate. Tear down this wall! Gangnam Style. Drill, baby, drill. We are constantly bombarded by memes in our daily lives. Some spontaneously flare up and then burn out as quickly as they appeared, while others stick around for decades. We hardly consider their presence, much …

Mitt Romney, Man of Compassion?

Mitt Romney, Man of Compassion?

Written by Peter S. Goodman. One little problem with the compassion thing that Mitt Romney keeps touting in his recent television ads: He doesn’t seem to have any. We can safely assume that he cares about his wife and their boys. He must feel concern for the fellow congregants of his church and perhaps for some of his neighbors at …

The true meaning of Christmas and its implications for our health

The true meaning of Christmas and its implications for our health

There’s a poignant scene in the animated TV classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when Charlie Brown, frustrated with the over-commercialization of the holiday, exclaims, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” To this, his trusty and thoughtful side-kick, Linus, responds by reciting the story of Jesus’ birth as it’s described in the book of Luke: “And there …

Compassion Curriculum

Compassion Curriculum

Most English speakers who have attended the teachings of the Dalai Lama have actually heard his wisdom through the voice of Thupten Jinpa, who has served as translator for His Holiness since 1985. A highly trained Buddhist scholar and practitioner in his own right, Jinpa’s monastic training at the Shartse College of Ganden culminated in the distinguished Geshe Lharam degree. …

Tulane Medical Students Learn Healthy Cooking, Pass It On

Tulane Medical Students Learn Healthy Cooking, Pass It On

Tulane University School of Medicine has partnered with the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University to launch a new center for culinary medicine to teach students, residents and physicians the tenets of healthy cooking and nutrition. The cornerstone of the program will be a teaching kitchen—the first of its kind for a medical school. It will be …

How the Stress of Disaster Brings People Together

How the Stress of Disaster Brings People Together

Written by Emma Seppala. Ever feel that stress makes you more cranky, hot-headed or irritable? For men in particular, we think of stress as generating testosterone-fueled aggression – thus instances of road rage, or the need to “blow off steam” after work with a trip to the gym or a bar. On the other hand, in circumstances of extreme stress …

Yoga, Deep Breathing Used To Address Soldiers’ Post-Traumatic Stress

Yoga, Deep Breathing Used To Address Soldiers’ Post-Traumatic Stress

Written by Meg Jones. Rich Low dreamed of Iraq long after he returned home from the war. The memories haunted him when he was awake, too. About six months after his deployment, he was driving at night when a sudden burst of lightning snapped him back to Baghdad and the bomb that exploded near him during a thunderstorm. Low’s pulse …

A passion for compassion

A passion for compassion

“Why, in a country that consumes 25% of the world’s resources (the USA), is there an epidemic of loneliness, depression, and anxiety? Why do so many in the West who have all of their basic needs met still feel impoverished? While some politicians might answer, ‘It’s the economy, stupid,’ based on scientific evidence a better answer is, ‘It’s the lack …

Can a Compassionate Outlook Drive Our Professional Life?

Can a Compassionate Outlook Drive Our Professional Life?

Written by Vinciane Rycroft. As the Dalai Lama shares his message of dialogue and compassion in the UK in the coming days, we might find ourselves wondering whether a compassionate outlook can really be a driving force in our political, economic and social institutions. If we look at our private lives, whether we would like to admit it or not, …

Mass Murder and the Science of Empathy

Mass Murder and the Science of Empathy

Written by Lynn E. O’Connor Ph.D. I’m in Telluride Colorado, where I attended stellar scientific meetings, held by The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford U., while the nation has been watching the massacre in Aurora, Colorado and its aftermath. The take home message of the meetings is that we are wired for empathy, compassion and altruism, …

How Practicing Compassion Could Ease Or Eliminate Chronic Stress

How Practicing Compassion Could Ease Or Eliminate Chronic Stress

Written by Lia Steakley. In a post today on the Huffington Post, Firdaus Dhabhar, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford, explores how practicing compassion could prove effective in reducing or eliminating chronic stress. He writes: Self-compassion practiced wisely could help reduce your own chronic stress, while compassion toward others could reduce chronic stress for the compassion-giver …

Got Time For Compassion Tomorrow?

Got Time For Compassion Tomorrow?

Written by Alison Park. Last minute notice about the free Compassion Research Day at Facebook tomorrow (July 11th). Among the presenters and panelists are the good folks from Cal’s Greater Good Science Center and assorted educator/researcher folks, including Piercarlo Valdesolo, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, who is speaking on “The Social Tuning of Compassion”: What triggers, or …

Meditation, Happiness and Compassionate Altruism

Meditation, Happiness and Compassionate Altruism

Written by Lynn E. O’Connor Ph.D. I’m about to take off for a meeting organized by the Stanford University-based CCare, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, http://ccare.stanford.edu/ in Telluride Colorado. We’re presenting results from our current research on contemplative practices (the more heady expression for meditation) and various psychological variables, such as depression, anxiety, empathy-based guilt and …

Can Meditation Impact Entrepreneurship And The World? Google’s Happiness Guru Thinks So

Can Meditation Impact Entrepreneurship And The World? Google’s Happiness Guru Thinks So

Written by Terence Lee. Chade-Meng Tan, Google employee #107, smiled the moment he spotted the SGE team at the lobby of Orchard Parksuites, a stately service residence located in the heart of Orchard Road in Singapore. Although here on holiday to visit family and friends, the jovial “zen master of Google” had been giving talks about his latest book, “Search …

Stanford Studies Monks’ Meditation, Compassion

Stanford Studies Monks’ Meditation, Compassion

Written by Meredith May. Stanford neuroeconomist Brian Knutson is an expert in the pleasure center of the brain that works in tandem with our financial decisions – the biology behind why we bypass the kitchen coffeemaker to buy the $4 Starbucks coffee every day. He can hook you up to a brain scanner, take you on a simulated shopping spree …

Stanford Professor Says Compassion Is Essential To Health

Stanford Professor Says Compassion Is Essential To Health

Written by Eric Nelson. The story goes something like this: Years ago, a man living in the Middle East made some startling discoveries having to do with compassion and its relationship to health. What he found was that to the extent he expressed compassion toward others, their health and general well-being would improve. Sick people, those who were blind and …

Vacation Sabotage: Don’t Let It Happen to You!

Vacation Sabotage: Don’t Let It Happen to You!

Written by Matt Richtel. I’m heading into another vacation, and I’m nervous. I don’t want to kill again. I pretty much did in my last break, this past March. Not an act of premeditation so much as passion. I got so jacked up. Seven days in Hawaii. It was going to be the best vacation I’d ever had. And then …

This is Your Brain on Compassion: Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

This is Your Brain on Compassion: Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education

What happens when you bring together a bunch of neuroscientists, psychologists, educators, medical researchers and a scholar of Eastern religion who happens to be the Dalai Lama’s own editor in the creative, academic setting of Stanford University? You get CCARE, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Founded by Dr. James R. Doty, a clinical professor of neurosurgery …

Programs on the “Science of Altruism” Are Gaining Notice on Today’s College Campuses

Programs on the “Science of Altruism” Are Gaining Notice on Today’s College Campuses

A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on three graduate students at Rutgers University who, for the last year, have donated all their income except student stipends to charity (Chapman). It seems phenomenal, in this period of economic hard times, that young people could be so philanthropically inclined, yet there is evidence that altruism is increasingly gaining …

Science of Compassion and Altruism: Talks @ Facebook

Science of Compassion and Altruism: Talks @ Facebook

Written by Bill Miller. Last week, Facebook invited national experts to its Palo Alto campus to share the science behind compassion and altruism. In the audience, myself and other engineers listened intently to ideas about humanizing interactions. 10:00am – Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education Breaking down the components of compassion to build the case …

Opening The Heart At Stanford, Google and Beyond

Opening The Heart At Stanford, Google and Beyond

Written by Margaret Cullen. Five years ago, a professor of neurosurgery at Stanford had a revolutionary idea: open a center dedicated to compassion right in the middle of the university. Today, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) flourishes within this citadel of academia. Here, it quietly pursues its mission of supporting and conducting rigorous scientific studies …

Facebook tackling online conflicts with compassionate touch

Facebook tackling online conflicts with compassionate touch

Written by Suzanne Bohan. Facebook wants to grow more heart. The social media giant copes with a flood of complaints about objectionable photos, bullying hateful comments and other postings. The company doesn’t release data on complaints, but it is a “huge volume,” said Travis Bright, a product manager for site integrity. The online social network that counts more than 800 …

Compassion Curriculum – An interview with Geshe Thupten Jinpa

Compassion Curriculum – An interview with Geshe Thupten Jinpa

Written by Margaret Cullen. Most English speakers who have attended the teachings of the Dalai Lama have actually heard his wisdom through the voice of Thupten Jinpa, who has served as translator for His Holiness since 1985. A highly trained Buddhist scholar and practitioner in his own right, Jinpa’s monastic training at the Shartse College of Ganden culminated in the …

Keltner Explores Compassion From Evolutionary View

Keltner Explores Compassion From Evolutionary View

Written by Erin Inman. Dacher Keltner Ph.D., professor of psychology at UC-Berkeley and the faculty director of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, spoke Thursday night on compassion from an evolutionary, “survival-of-the-kindest” perspective. The talk was a part of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education’s (CCARE) Meng Wu Lecture Series, which celebrates researchers’ thoughts on compassion and related …

Charity, With Entrepreneurial Spin

Charity, With Entrepreneurial Spin

Written by Stu Woo. Pierre Omidyar founded online marketplace eBay Inc. and still serves as its chairman. But these days, he would much rather talk about Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm he started after leaving day-to-day duties at eBay in 1998. Omidyar Network makes donations to nonprofits and also invests in for-profit organizations focused on social change. It is …

Pay It Forward Parties

Pay It Forward Parties

When Paige McCarthy begin planning her annual dinner party for a small group of friends, she knew she wanted to create something unique, something with lasting impact. “I was really interested in how I could make something bigger out of the little that I have and create a good experience for everyone,” says McCarthy, a Portland, Ore., advertising executive. Could …

The Service of Democratic Education

The Service of Democratic Education

Written by Linda Darling-Hammond. At the commencement ceremony for Columbia University’s Teachers College on May 18, Stanford education professor Linda Darling-Hammond—a nationally renowned leader in education reform and former education adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign—was awarded the Teachers College medal for distinguished service. Professor Darling-Hammond marked the occasion by delivering the following address: I could not be more honored …

Stanford Scholar Vies To Become Next Tibetan Prime Minister

Stanford Scholar Vies To Become Next Tibetan Prime Minister

Written by Anthony Vasquez. Stanford scholar Tenzin Tethong, who chairs the Tibetan Studies Initiative, ran for ‘Kalon Tripa,’ or Prime Minister, of Tibet’s government-in-exile this March. Election results will be announced April 27. Following the Dalai Lama’s recent announcement that he will leave politics, the Prime Minister’s leadership will likely be more important in the near future. Tethong’s opponents are …

Four Students Named Truman Scholars

Four Students Named Truman Scholars

Written by Ivy Nguyen. Four juniors are part of the 2011 class of Truman scholars, according to a release in the Stanford Report. The foundation grants $30,000 graduate school scholarships to students who pursue careers in public service. Fellows also receive leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and internship opportunities within the federal government. One fellow, Ishan Nath ’12, …

Study: 20% of Americans have done heroic deeds

Study: 20% of Americans have done heroic deeds

Written by Sharon Jayson. New research would seem to support President Obama’s observation Wednesday night in Tucson that “heroism is here, all around us.” Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford University professor emeritus and colleagues used a nationally-representative sample of 4,000 adults and found that 20% qualified as heroes — they had helped during a dangerous emergency, taken a stand against injustice, …

Zimbardo begins Heroic Imagination Project

Zimbardo begins Heroic Imagination Project

Written by Ellora Israni. Three decades after his infamous Stanford Prison Experiment proved that “terrifyingly normal” individuals can commit alarming atrocities, Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus in psychology, has set out to communicate the opposite: that in all situations, these same people can speak out against evil and become heroes. Zimbardo has substantiated this notion through the inception of the Heroic …

Dalai Lama Talks Meditation with Stanford Scientists

Dalai Lama Talks Meditation with Stanford Scientists

Written by Kamil Dada. It turns out that even after 60 years of meditating and practicing compassion, the Dalai Lama still has much spiritual learning to do. “Even now, I cannot say my spiritual experience is something very high,” he said, laughing. “It is a little above zero. So it takes a lot of years.” Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai …

The Dalai Lama and CCARE: The Compassion Report

The Dalai Lama and CCARE: The Compassion Report

Written by Jim Gimian. This is Dr. Paul Ekman, co author of Emotional Awareness with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and noted pioneer of facial expression and emotion research, talking with his student/colleague/emotions researcher and Stanford University CCARE teacher Erika Rosenberg on the floor of Maples Pavilion on the Stanford University campus. Paul and Erika were there to join with …

Dalai Lama advocates a secular approach to compassion

Dalai Lama advocates a secular approach to compassion

Written by Cynthia Haven. “I want to stand to see more faces,” the 75-year-old Dalai Lama said, refusing a chair to address the capacity crowd in Maples Pavilion Thursday. There were plenty of them to see. The spiritual leader spoke to about 6,300 people on “The Centrality of Compassion in Human Life and Society” and, as this year’s Rathbun Visiting …

Why the Dalai Lama comes to Stanford

Why the Dalai Lama comes to Stanford

Written by Cynthia Haven. The Dalai Lama returns this week on his third visit to Stanford in recent years, but it’s more than palm trees and sunshine that draw him to the heart of Silicon Valley. It’s the research. Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE, pronounced “see care”) is at the forefront of a growing movement …

A Quest for Compassion

A Quest for Compassion

Written by Greg Miller. Guided by a passionate leader, a new research institute hopes to draw lessons from Buddhism to study altruism and make the world a better place. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education will study the biological roots of benevolent behavior and investigate whether mental exercises derived from the centuries-old tradition of Buddhist compassion meditation–but …

Radio
The Magic Shop of the Brain

The Magic Shop of the Brain

Brain surgeon James Doty is on the cutting edge of our knowledge of the brain and the heart: how they talk to each other; what compassion means in the body and in action; and how we can reshape our lives and perhaps our species through the scientific and human understanding we are now gaining. The backstory of James Doty’s passions …

Think Again Podcast – Compassion and the Prison State (feat. neurosurgeon James Doty)

Think Again Podcast – Compassion and the Prison State (feat. neurosurgeon James Doty)

In this week’s episode neurosurgeon James Doty, founder of the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and author of Into the Magic Shop, and Think Again host Jason Gots wrestle with questions spiritual, political, and neurobiological. It’s a lively good time. To listen to the interview, click here.

Into the Magic Shop: Stanford neurosurgeon Jim Doty’s captivating memoir

Into the Magic Shop: Stanford neurosurgeon Jim Doty’s captivating memoir

Doty has written an unusual memoir – Into the Magic Shop – detailing his life’s journey. In this 1:2:1 podcast I spoke with him about this most uncommon life –  one of potholes and promise, detours and dreams, redemption and revisions, and, yes, contentment and even possibly peace. To listen to the interview, click here.

“Into the Magic Shop” with neurosurgeon Jim Doty

“Into the Magic Shop” with neurosurgeon Jim Doty

When he was 12 years old, Jim Doty met an unusual woman named Ruth in a magic shop in Lancaster, CA – the town where he grew up.  She would become a central figure in his life and teach him a series of exercises to ease his childhood angst and envision a world of possibilities. They were possibilities that a …

Brain Plasticity

Brain Plasticity

A new book – written by a Stanford neurosurgeon – examines the impact of mindfulness on the heart and the brain. He uses his personal story to illustrate how the brain can re-wire itself and the effect of meditation. He and a local doctor discuss emerging research on the subject. Guests: James Doty, MD, author of ‘Into the Magic Shop: …

INSPIRE NATION: How to Find Magic in Your Life and Discover Hope, Meaning & Direction with Dr. James Doty

INSPIRE NATION: How to Find Magic in Your Life and Discover Hope, Meaning & Direction with Dr. James Doty

Michael Sandler from INSPIRE NATION interviews Dr. James Doty on how to find magic in your life and discover hope, meaning and direction. To listen to the interview, click here.

KZUM 89.3 FM: Dr. James Doty on Kindness Research and His Work at Stanford

KZUM 89.3 FM: Dr. James Doty on Kindness Research and His Work at Stanford

Nick Hernandez from Community Matters KZUM 89.3 interviews Dr. James Doty on kindness research and his work at Stanford. To listen to the interview, click here.

WHIV LP 102.3 FM: Interview with Dr. James Doty

WHIV LP 102.3 FM: Interview with Dr. James Doty

Judge Johnson interviews Dr. James Doty who started the compassion, altruism and empathy research center at Stanford University. To listen to the interview, click here.

Open House Radio: Interview with Dr. James Doty

Open House Radio: Interview with Dr. James Doty

Could compassion be the answer to the world’s problems? This is the premise of our conversation with Professor James R. Doty M.D., founder of Stanford University’s Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. In this podcast, Professor Doty discusses where compassion comes from and the benefits of choosing compassion. To listen to the interview, click here.

Putting It All Together

Putting It All Together

Host Dara Sanandaji wraps up “Empathy & Compassion” month by sharing highlights of interviews with the first four guests on the show: Dr. Kaveh Adel, Dr. Helene Moore, Puja Mohindra, and Dr. James Doty. To listen to the full interview, click here.

The Science of Compassion

The Science of Compassion

Host Dara Sanandaji welcomes Dr. James Doty, director of CCARE (Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) at The Stanford University School of Medicine, to discuss the nexus between neuroscience and compassion. To listen to the interview, click here.

The Shift Network: Interview with Dr. James Doty, Greg Fischer, and Ronny Bell

The Shift Network: Interview with Dr. James Doty, Greg Fischer, and Ronny Bell

Compassion in Action: Compassion in Business and Government This interview is part of the Summer of Peace Summit a free global telesummit featuring interviews of many of the world’s leading peace builders! The Summer of Peace is a call to action – inviting us all and providing specific actions and steps we can take to create both inner peace in our own lives …

Inner Peace is Manifested by Compassion

Inner Peace is Manifested by Compassion

Interview with Dr. Doty… The problems we see in the world be it war, poverty, global warming or ecological destruction are manifestations of “wounds of the heart”.  All of us sustain wounds of the heart but for some they are deep and never heal causing constant pain. It is this pain that manifests itself as lack of compassion to those around …

The Science of Compassion

The Science of Compassion

Lynne Malcolm: That’s ‘Compassion’ from Symphony No.5 by Philip Glass. Lynne Malcolm with you and today on All in the Mind we explore what happens in our minds when we open our hearts and empathise with the suffering of others. Meet James Doty, he once had tens of millions of dollars but he gave it all away. James Doty: Giving that money away turned …

Through Meditation, Veterans Relearn Compassion

Through Meditation, Veterans Relearn Compassion

Marine Esteban Brojas is rocking back and forth in his chair in a rehabilitation center for veterans in Menlo Park, Calif. He rubs his hands together so quickly you can hear them.”You know, you’re going into a building, and you know there’s a grenade being popped in there,” he says, “and there’s a woman and a child in there … …

Neurosurgeon James R Doty on How to Practice Altruism

Neurosurgeon James R Doty on How to Practice Altruism

When all his investments paid off some years ago James was seriously rich; he owned a multi-million dollar apartment, a Tuscan villa and even his very own island in New Zealand. When his investments crashed James was left with just one parcel of shares, still worth millions. But as a philanthropist he’d promised to give those shares away, and he …

Can Meditation Ease PTSD in Combat Vets?

Can Meditation Ease PTSD in Combat Vets?

Among veterans, mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder are epidemic. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that one in every four Iraq or Afghanistan vets is suffering from PTSD. It’s one reason suicide is now the leading cause of death among active-duty soldiers. This crisis has led the VA to explore treatments that would have been considered decidedly from-the-fringes …

‘Evil Scientist’ Wants To Teach People To Do Good

‘Evil Scientist’ Wants To Teach People To Do Good

In 1971, at Stanford University, a young psychology professor created a simulated prison. Some of the young men playing the guards became sadistic, even violent, and the experiment had to be stopped. The results of the Stanford Prison Experiment showed that people tend to conform — even when that means otherwise good people doing terrible things. Since then, the experiment …

TV
Why Compassion is Good for Your Heart

Why Compassion is Good for Your Heart

Extraordinary things happen when we harness the power of both the brain and the heart. Dr. James Doty, author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart joined us today to share how extraordinary things can happen when we harness the power of both the brain and …

How to be happy

How to be happy

Dr. Emma Seppala of Madison wants you to be happy, as so many aren’t, and don’t know how to achieve that. Seppala has degrees from Yale, Columbia and Stanford. At those high-achieving places, she saw all around her people pushing for excellence to the detriment of their own happiness. Seppala doesn’t just write about happiness. She backs it up with …

How-To Guide on Mindfulness Meditation from a Stanford Neurosurgeon

How-To Guide on Mindfulness Meditation from a Stanford Neurosurgeon

The simple practices of mindfulness meditation can help us accomplish major goals in life. Just concentrating on our pattern of breathing, for example, brings us into a more reflectional state that helps us quite our inner, distracting dialogue. In this interview, Stanford Neurosurgeon James Doty reflects on his own experience with meditation and explains how taming your mind and opening …

‘Into The Magic Shop’ Author Dr. James Doty

‘Into The Magic Shop’ Author Dr. James Doty

Compassion guru Dr. James Doty joins us to discuss his new book “Into the Magic Shop.” He explains how we can harness the power of our hearts and minds. To watch the interview, click here.

A psychologist reveals a simple way to be more successful at work

A psychologist reveals a simple way to be more successful at work

Dr. Emma Seppala is science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Her new book, “The Happiness Track: How to apply the science of happiness to accelerate your success” details the scientifically proven ways you can have a happier life without sacrificing success. She explained to us why spending too much time focusing …

Human Selfishness Is Secondary — Compassion, Primary

Human Selfishness Is Secondary — Compassion, Primary

From social applications of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to Richard Dawkin’s book The Selfish Gene, human beings have been misunderstood as purely, or at least primarily, self-interested creatures. During Emma Seppälä’s time as science director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, she has observed behavior that challenges much of this received wisdom. To view the …

Mindfulness and compassion are good for business bottom line

Mindfulness and compassion are good for business bottom line

Neurosurgeon Dr. James Doty from Stanford University talks to Weekend Breakfast about the benefits of compassion, mindfulness and altruism. To view the video interview, click here.