compassion: a definition

Compassion is most generally understood as a sense of sympathy and concern for the suffering or misfortune of another along with an ability to resonate with that sorrow. It
is not to be confused with feeling sorry for someone, which carries with it a sense of superiority. Instead, a pre-cursor for the establishment of compassion is empathy, the appreciation for the feeling experience of another and the understanding that as human beings we will all encounter difficulties from time to time. Kindness and compassion when extended toward oneself and directed outwards toward others, tend to relax the judgements we have of ourselves and of others and is characterized by a deep state of caring.

Training Professionals in Mindfulness: The Heart of Teaching
Susan Lesley Woods

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