Compassion Is Not A Mood


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I'm reading about compassion in Emotional Awareness: A Conversation Between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman, PhD, and in it they discuss that compassion is not an emotion nor a mood. Compassion differs from emotion in 4 ways:

  1. Compassion doesn't distort our vision of reality, the way emotions do; rather, compassion makes us more sensitive to reality.
  2. Compassion, unlike emotions, is something that needs to be cultivated.
  3. Once compassion is learned, it is enduring, while emotions come and go.
  4. Compassion has a very specific focus, which is to relieve suffering, whereas emotions can serve different purposes.

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