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Compassion Behind Bars

Written By Dr. Emma Seppala

A few weeks ago, an unprecedented letter arrived at our office at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Here is an excerpt: The purpose of the inmate’s letter was to request reading materials pertaining to research on meditation and the brain. His goal upon his release is to get a Ph.D. in psychology or …


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Science suggests that compassion may well be the most important thing in your life. 1. It makes us happy (as happy as getting money)! A brain-imaging study headed by neuroscientist Jordan Grafman from the National Institute of Health showed that the “pleasures centers” in the brain, i.e. the parts of our brains that are active when we experience pleasure (like …


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As I walk down bustling Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, I often pass homeless people who ask me for spare change. Sometimes I let myself feel compassion for these individuals. But other times I don’t want to get emotionally involved, so I look away and keep walking. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. Pondering such experiences has led …


The Science of Compassion

Written By James R. Doty, MD

It is indeed a paradox that so many from what are considered developing countries wish to come to the West, where we have an epidemic of depression, isolation, and loneliness, while the U.S. alone consumes 25 percent of the world’s resources. However, it is often these “third-world” cultures that offer some of the most profound wisdom and insights that have been garnered over …