Cultivating compassion

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The first of three pieces of wisdom from a ground-breaking book, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. The New York Times bestseller is the product of the deep friendship between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Along with author Douglas Abrams, it attempts to blend contemplative wisdom and modern science.

Compassion can be cultivated and nourished each day.

Although Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama come from very different traditions, Christianity and Buddhism, they both train their minds and hearts in cultivating genuine concern for the well-being of their neighbours. For example, the Dalai Lama refers to the Chinese oppression of the Tibetans. Essentially, he takes in their anger, hatred and abuse and returns this destructive energy with love, forgiveness, and peace. Archbishop Tutu speaks of a similar practice that he developed during his major struggle with the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and he is now known as a model of compassion throughout the world.