Compassion is Engaging in Perspective Taking
By Annick Neveja, August 26, 2011 Postgraduate Studies in Mindfulness MSc, Aberdeen University
Compassion is the ability to be sensitive to the suffering of self and others with the deep wish and commitment to relieve it.
In this paper I explore suffering in relation to the Buddha`s Four Noble Truths and the latest research on (self)compassion. I will use myself as a subject of study to understand more about how suffering and the awakening of compassion work for self and others. What kind of suffering do I recognise in my own life that made me look for a spiritual path like Buddhism that promises the discovery of true happiness?
How do I understand the cause of suffering and the possibility of freedom from suffering?
In part two I describe the effect of compassion training in my professional work as a trainer and counselor in relation to evidence-based research on the use of (self)compassion. It is part of the fourth noble truth where the practice of compassion offers a path to liberation from suffering. Compassion is engaging in perspective taking, and it offers valuable strategies for contemplative psychology that need to be developed further.