brothers in sunset

Moving Beyond Empathy to Compassion

A virtual convening with Dr. Barry Kerzin
Wednesday, 27 May • 9:00 AM –10:30 AM ET

Empathy is emulating the feelings of another person.

We often “take on” or “own” the pain of others, which can be overwhelming and lead to burn out. Especially in today’s time of the Covid-19 pandemic, when we see so much suffering around us, there are ways we can have a broader perspective of the situation; to have clarity of mind to make better decisions.

Compassion is the wish and action, when we are able, of reducing suffering. There is compassion for others, as well as compassion for ourselves. When we shift from empathy to compassion, emotionally we can see the situation more fully with an eye on what we can do to help.

During this interactive session, Dr. Kerzin asked the group to explore the journey towards compassion. 


Dr. Barry Kerzin

Barry Kerzin is a medical doctor, an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, an Affiliate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh (pending), a Visiting Professor at Central University of Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), an Honorary Professor at the Mongolian National University of Medical Science, and a former Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. Barry is a Fellow at the Mind and Life Institute and consults for the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig on compassion training. 

He is Founder and President of the Altruism in Medicine Institute  (AIMI) and Founder and Chairman of the Human Values Institute (HVI) in Japan.

For over 30 years, he has been providing free medical care to the poor up to the highest lamas, including HH Dalai Lama. Barry has completed many meditation retreats including a three-year retreat. His brain was studied at Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin - Madison, as a long-term meditator. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk, synthesizing monk and doctor work through harmonizing mind and body, lecturing around the world in Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Mongolia, India, Korea, Europe, and North America.