Erika Rosenberg offers scientifically-
and practically-based training and consultation in a wide range of
areas associated with the study and/or understanding of human
emotion, facial expressions of emotion, and the improvement of
emotional functioning through meditation.
Erika has been practicing meditation for
over 20 years. She is a senior teacher for Project Compassion at
the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education
(CCARE) at Stanford University where she teaches the 9-week
Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT). The training combines
science, mindfulness and Compassionate Communications traditions.
Conference: Science and
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Bringing Compassion into Everyday Life
"Compassion is a gift that keeps on giving. When you develop a sense of
connection and genuine concern for others, you not only help them with
your presence and actions, you also give yourself a gift. How? By
engaging in each moment with an open mind and heart, you learn not to
run from any experience. As such, you become increasingly able to handle
whatever life throws your way. Opening the heart develops strength, not
One can practice compassion both on and off the cushion. Here I offer a
simple sitting meditation practice as well as 10 informal exercises for
bringing compassion into your daily life. Pretty soon, the distinction
between these modes of practice loses meaning. All of life becomes
with Erika Rosenberg on the meaning & cultivation of compassion
You studied with Paul Ekman and have done Contemplative Practices. What is Compassion?
truly connecting with the condition of another, whatever
that condition may be.
Buddhism says suffering, she sees it going beyond that.
suffering with another's pain, connecting with it and
offering to help relieve the suffering
my definition as a mother and mindfulness
Science just starting to study this
Compassion is connecting with the suffering of others. How
is that distinct from empathy?
compassion is not a slice through time, it's a process,
you can feel at a movement compassionate
the quality of mind and heart of compassion is
connecting to the other - their suffering
Buddhism talks about feeling the others suffering to be
motivated to alleviate it.
somehow you have to feel it yourself.
shared feeling of empathy is part of the development of
once you can do it, it can happen quickly.
then you don't need a long time of sympathy and empathy
to get to the compassion state.
wish to do something about it. ease their burden
Buddhism - feel the sadness - bitter sweet.
Sadness is beautiful
5:45 You want to be honest about sorrow - needs to be
present in compassion? Can you take it too far and fall into the sorrow
the near enemy and far enemy of
sympathetic or empathetic joy
the near enemy masquerades as that state but is not it.
the far enemy is it's opposite
near > grief - get stuck in it,
far > cruelty
when you cultivate compassion or loving kindness it has a
Opens you up to the mystery of the universe?
right and you can't have to much of it.
don't want to confuses it with notion of compassion
they're talking about the near enemy
or you could say it's empathy burnout
stuck in the stage of sharing the feeling and not move
8:30 How do you measure it?
scales and questionnaires - have some place but are of
self reporting has difficulty capturing this complex
can only approximate it from different angles
I think it is immeasurable
What is compassion supposed to do? What does it
measure if there's more reaching out
or a reduction of negative responses
Can look at states of compassion descriptively
we map the territory
11:30 Are we looking at the right areas? how do we know
we don't know.
create behavioral tests in the mix
what would compassion as a construct, as a theory look
are people acting compassionately?
implicate association tests
we can't measure it like we can blood pressure, etc
we want multiple indicators
the CCT program to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Stanford University.
compassion be cultivated?
wired for compassion
have become disconnected from that
program is secular
accessible (simplicity) to many people
is also a research tool
Progression of skills
settling of mind
open the heart
(bringing up memories of concerns)
(return to caring for one selves - soothing self -
(cultivating an empathic connecting with other
(see our sameness and interdependence)
Sample Class 4: Enhancing
connection with others
settling the mind
pedagogy and discussion
(empathy research, mirror neurons)
empathy exercises in pairs
imaging being in their shoes - empathic shared
compassion for others
CCT Teacher certification program
disseminate program widely
New speaker: Training Results
New speaker: Empathy and Compassion for convicted killer