A personal blog by a graying (mostly Anglo with light African-American roots) gay leftist leaning liberal progressive fit married college-educated former Baha'i NPR-listening Professor Emeritus now following the Dharma from California to Minas Gerais, Brasil.
"Having empathy for another means your heart is breaking, because you understand the intensity of their experience, and at the same moment, you are absolutely, equanimously present. You are not clinging to anything, just watching the phenomena of the universe change.
It’s then that your acts can be compassionate. That is where the root of compassion is. The root of compassion is not empathy; that’s along the lines of kindness, and that’s good, but it’s not compassion. The ultimate compassion is the act itself, which has the potential to relieve every level of suffering, not just the food in the belly, or the mattress to safely sleep on at night. The suffering that comes from separateness is only relieved when you are present with another person."