Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Join the International Conference on: How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion?

Empathic Design
Empathy Circles

  Restorative Empathy Circles
Empathy Tent

Expert Interviews
Obama on Empathy


    Empathy Tests


Culture of Empathy Builder:  James R. Doty M.D.

Current State of the Empathy & Compassion Movements
 and where do we go from here?

James Doty



James Doty is Stanford Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and founding director of the Center for the Study of Compassion and  Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). CCARE is striving to create a community of scholars and researchers, including neuroscientists, psychologists, educators and philosophical and contemplative thinkers around the study of compassion.

Edwin Rutsch is director of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. The center has many projects to help raise the level of empathy in our global society and culture.


A discussion about the current state of the empathy and compassion movements and where they might be headed. We discuss the Empathy Circle process as a way to hold constructive dialogues. CCARE becomes a cosponsor of the project to hold Empathy Circles between Congressional Representatives from the
political left, right and center.



The Current State of the Empathy & Compassion Movements
James Doty & Edwin Rutsch



 Dialogs on How to Build a Culture of Empathy & Compassion
James Doty & Edwin Rutsch







TEDxGoldenGateED - James Doty 



Video: Innovating Compassion.
A Discussion with Irwin Kula, Angela Maiers and James Doty, M.D.




James R. Doty, MD: Getting Our Evolution Right - Video

  • Dalai Lama say's western woman will save humanity

  • Allows men to flourish as well

  • Importance of authenticity


Stanford's James Doty Unlocks the Heart-Brain Connection
Tue, Feb 23, 2016

"Can we rewire the brain to become more compassionate? That's one of the questions central to the work of James Doty, director of Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Doty's new book, "Into the Magic Shop", chronicles his journey from a chaotic childhood in Southern California to a scientist at the cutting edge of the heart-brain connection."



The Place for Compassion in a Modern Age from Wisdom 2.0 Conference on Vimeo.

Talk: "The Place for Compassion in a Modern Age"
Jim Doty, CCARE, speaks at the 2012 Wisdom 2.0 Conference.


  • The west has loneliness, depression

  • Scientists - mindfulness

    • non judgment

    • living in the present

  • James' Story - alcoholic father/ mother invalid

    • no power

    • despair, hopelessness, self destructive

    • Magic Shop

      • learned mindfulness

      • ability to change your mind and brain

      • no longer saw himself as a victim

  • Mindfulness benefits

    • transformation - inward journey

    • has dangers - can be isolating, narcissistic

    • can lead to insight, awareness in the moment  cant' offer what we seek

    • We seek transcendence - connection with the other

  • Compassion

    • It is through compassion that transcendence is possible

    • the recognition of another's suffering and desire to alleviate the suffering

    • suffering is part of the human experience

    • instead of sharing our suffering and being vulnerable

      • create a mask

      • no fears, anxiety

      • accumulation of things

    • Compassion is in the heart

      • stress leads to heart attacks

    • Compassion practice creates calmness and empathy

      • creates social connectedness

      • helps your health

      • giving to charity

    • Looking for a mate

      • highest value sought was compassionate and kind

    • Stressed girls talking to mothers.  raised Oxytocin

    • Lot's of data shows that caring for other raises our wellbeing

    • Our pain and wounds

      • need to focus science on the maters of the heart

    • Darwin - didn't mean survival of the fittest

      • survival of the kindest

    • We feel isolated and alone and are suffering

      • failure of science and technology and our society

      • Science can take us up or down

    • Compassion leads to the highest

      • See our common humanity of all people and  with nature

      • now at tipping point -

      • Love and compassion are no long luxuries but necessity



Conversations on Compassion with Dr. James Doty and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Symposia Contemplative Studies