Earlier during Tania’s talk they discussed a lot about the difference between empathy and compassion (as they were defining the terms) and how empathy can be emotionally exhausting, while compassion brings “joy tinged with sadness” because of the commitment to relieve suffering. This was supported by research where novice subjects viewing sad pictures had much less negative and more positive reaction after compassion meditation training. My experience suggests that this ties in with the importance of view in the Buddhist tradition: view, meditation, and action. In this case my experience is that someone who is rigidly attached to a materialist or physicalist view, is somewhat obstructed from receiving this benefit of compassion practice because the mind that is solidifying the belief in separate minds existing in separate brains will tend to maintain a hopelessness that the compassion could benefit the infinite ocean of suffering beings. That is why I think that in some cases it is worth making that argument. On the other hand, often the argument itself causes more suffering than benefit.

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