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The Emory Compassion Center

  • Healing

The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation is delighted to partner with the Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics at Emory University (the Emory Compassion Center) on The Compassion Shift: a new, ten-year-long initiative designed to foster a global culture of compassion.

The partnership is fueled by an ambitious vision. By transforming interpersonal behavior and corporate cultures the Compassion Center hopes to instill compassion into all areas of human activity. Through a research-based approach, they aim to scale these efforts and stimulate human flourishing across the globe. With an extensive and wide-ranging effort, they intend to promote the need for compassion worldwide—and to ensure that compassion is recognized by the United Nations as a basic human need.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Ms. Melani Walton, humanitarian and co-founder of the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, opening up the dialogue on The Necessity of Compassion for the Survival of Humanity with His Holiness the Dalai Lama joining by video link from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on December 9, 2020. Photo by Ven Tenzin Jamphel

Initiated through a virtual discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2020 at the peak of the global coronavirus pandemic, this work comes at a vital moment. For millions of people, conflict, apathy, and distress are affecting daily life. His Holiness speaks of the need for “a compassion revolution.” The Compassion Shift is designed to help meet this need through a comprehensive strategy to spread compassion throughout the world.

“2020 has been a wake-up call, a year of great trial and suffering. It has shown us that compassion is as essential as water. It has also escalated the urgency for response.” – Melani Walton

The Emory Compassion Center is in a unique position to design and implement this vital initiative. In partnership with the Dalai Lama for more than two decades, the Emory Compassion Center has long been at the vanguard of a growing movement that seeks to advance a culture of compassion worldwide through research-based contemplative programs.

By building on its extensive experience, the Emory Compassion Center is refining, tailoring, and disseminating programs to strengthen social cohesion, teach healthy coping strategies, reduce stress and loneliness, and unleash prosocial motivation and compassion. The Compassion Shift represents a crucial next stage of that effort, and an exciting opportunity for societies and institutions to infuse compassion in areas as diverse as education, healthcare, business, and human services.

Already, visitors can explore some of the ways The Compassion Shift is making compassion more accessible, more teachable, and more comprehensible to all. The Compassion Shift website features a Compassion Quiz to identify what form of compassion speaks to people today. Self-guided journeys through inspiring short videos and eight guided meditations can help users discover the compassion within. Free, live online compassion practices that offer space to learn, practice, share, and connect—with no previous experience necessary—are available to all, five times per week, facilitated by one of Emory University’s certified CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) instructors.

From strategies encouraging people to reflect on their experiences, to opportunities for sharing daily acts of compassion with others, The Compassion Shift is already working to make a difference and help create the more compassionate society humanity needs and deserves.

We invite you to visit the inspiring work of the Emory Compassion Center HERE.