Eightfold Noble Path–Understanding Compassion

Topics Include: 1) The meaning and position of right thought in the overall eight path factors of the Noble Eightfold Path. 2) The aspirational qualities of right thought and their recognition of our human frailties. 3) The opposite of compassion: cruelty, and how it plays out in our lives. Manifestations of hatred and cruelty in the world. The rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and the roots of slavery and racism in our country. 4) Compassion is not only a feeling. It’s an act. 5) The difficulty of opening to our own suffering as well as the suffering of others. 6) How do we respond when we see the suffering of others? 7) Being mindful of our reactions to suffering both within ourselves or with others. 8) learning how to create a budget in our lives about how much compassion and resources we can afford to face suffering in the world. 9) Understanding compassion not as a beautiful concept but an actual practice that we bring into our lives. Making compassion the default action in our lives. 10) Compassion and equanimity: learning to let things in without drowning in the difficulties. Using mindfulness to be aware of our emotions without getting flooded by them. 11) Empathy or the ability to feel the suffering of others only happens when we understand our own suffering. 12) How to be more open to the suffering of others. 13) The challenge of empathy in an increasingly divided and polarized society.
December 5, 2020
55 min.

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