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