Filmed during Mind & Life Institute’s “Mind & Life XX: Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems” on April 9-11, 2010. 

Compassion, Empathy, Altruism, and Prosocial Behavior
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Daniel Batson
Tania Singer
Richard Davidson
Matthieu Ricard

This session includes short presentations summarizing the Buddhist, neuroscientific and psychological views on empathy, compassion and pro-social motivation, and why these qualities are relevant for society and well-being at large.

This theoretical introduction will be supported by an explanation of why and how Buddhist practitioners cultivate pro-social motivation and compassion and include an overview of the most recent neuroscientific findings on the effects of compassion training on brain, behavior and health.

INTERPRETER: Thupten Jinpa

MODERATOR: Roshi Joan Halifax


Richard J. Davidson, PhD

William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Founder and Chief Visionary for Healthy Minds Innovations, Inc.

Matthieu Ricard, PhD


Convening Faculty, Fellow

Thupten Jinpa, PhD

Compassion Institute

Board Chair

Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD

Upaya Institute and Zen Center

Convening Faculty, Fellow, Founding Steward

Mind & Life Connections