Dictionary: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
Synonyms: compassion; noun sympathy, understanding, charity, pity, humanity, mercy, heart, quarter, sorrow, kindness, tenderness, condolence, clemency, commiseration, fellow feeling, soft-heartedness, tender-heartedness, aroha N.Z.
OPPOSITE: indifference, callousness, cold-heartedness, hard-heartedness
When empathy is felt, compassion takes action.
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
HH the Dalai Lama:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Note: This page is being developed, much more practical material will be added within the next few weeks.