Compassion. Bridging Practice and Science

New multimedia eBook published.

September 16, 2013

Editors: Tania Singer and Matthias Bolz

What is the difference between empathy and compassion? Is it possible to train compassion? Is it measurable? How is compassion training useful in schools, clinical settings, and end-of-life care? Can the brain be altered through mental training?

In 2011, the Department of Social Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig organized the workshop How to Train Compassion to address many of these questions. Hosted at the studio of artist Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, the workshop brought together scientists researching compassion with clinical psychologists and contemplative scholars to explore how secular compassion training programs could serve science and society.

To help spread the ideas of the workshop, all participants have created the eBook "Compassion. Bridging Practice and Science" together for free. The book describes existing secular compassion training programs and empirical research as well as the experiences of practitioners. The state-of-the-art layout of the eBook includes video clips and a selection of artistic sound collages as well as images by Olafur Eliasson.

The documentary film "Raising Compassion" (ca. 35 min.) captures the unique exchange between science, art, and contemplative practice around the topic of compassion.

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