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Empathy and humor

Chapters 46 and 47

Part of a series of talks based on An Open-Hearted Life given at Sravasti Abbey’s monthly Sharing the Dharma Day starting in April 2017. Co-written with clinical psychologist Dr. Russell Kolts, the book offers practical Buddhist and Western psychological approaches to developing compassion.

  • Empathy is crucial to cultivating compassion
  • Having compassion and empathy means listening
  • Four options for responding to unpleasant situations
  • Reflection: Empathy and compassion in conflicts
  • Introducing humor into a difficult situation
  • Laughing at our absurdity
  • Reflection: Bringing humor into a situation

An Open-Hearted Life 45: Empathy and humor (download)

A guided meditation led prior to the talk can be found here.

Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.