The Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics (a.k.a. the Emory Compassion Center) invites you to join us November 6-11, 2023 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our founding.
Since this unique partnership was formed in 1998, our programs have expanded, our staff has grown, and we have supported individuals and communities around the world in recognizing the value of compassion. Coinciding with our annual observance of Tibet Week, this week-long celebration will feature events exploring Tibetan culture, the history of the Emory Compassion Center, and the global implementation of our programs and our plans for scaling, all in service of the Compassion Center’s vision for a compassionate and ethical world for all.
History Of the Emory Compassion Center
At its core, the work of the Compassion Center is the product of a special relationship between Emory University and the Nobel Peace Laureate, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. This story begins when Lobsang Tenzin Negi, then a Tibetan Buddhist monk, entered Emory’s Institute of Liberal Arts and began work with his advisor, Dr. Robert A. Paul. Paul was an ideal mentor given his extensive knowledge of both Tibetan and western models of the mind. A cultural anthropologist and psychoanalyst, Paul played a significant role in encouraging Negi to develop links between the western and Tibetan traditions. This mentor-student team worked with the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Emory’s central administration, led by Dr. Gary Hauk, to formalize a series of agreements culminating in the establishment of the Emory-Tibet Partnership (ETP).
Over two decades, ETP matured into a multidimensional organization bridging the best of the Tibetan and western academic traditions. Through its collaboration with the Dalai Lama on innovative educational programs, ETP evolved into a true, bi-directional academic endeavor with an international footprint. Encouraged by this effort, the Gaden Phodrang Trust of the Dalai Lama expressed its wish to support continued collaboration through the establishment of a new center at Emory to carry on this work and accompanying research. The Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics was formed in 2017 to house the programs formerly administered under the Emory-Tibet Partnership, including ETSI, CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training), and SEE Learning® (Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning), while supporting further program development, scaling, and assessment.
Compassion Center Programs
Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (ETSI)
The Robert A. Paul Emory-Tibet Science Initiative is a landmark undertaking promoting the convergence of science and spirituality. A comprehensive and sustainable educational program specifically designed to teach modern science to Tibetan monastics, ETSI began when His Holiness the Dalai Lama invited Emory University to collaborate with the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives on the development of a curriculum. The goal of ETSI is to build a bridge between two complementary systems of knowledge by cultivating the skills and dialogue needed for scientific collaboration that can contribute to new discoveries in the science of mind and body.
Compassion Shift Initiative
CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) offers a comprehensive method for training compassion that draws on the ancient lojong tradition of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism while being fully accessible to people of any—or no—faith tradition. The training begins with exercises to improve attentional stability and increase emotional awareness, followed by analytical reflections to foster, and sustain a more compassionate relationship with self and others. The learning objectives include increased insight into how to shift inner reactions and attitudes to enhance psychological resiliency; a more inclusive and accurate understanding of others; and an intensified altruistic motivation.
SEE Learning® (Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning) is a holistic approach to education for students of all ages that supports well-being by explicitly cultivating compassion and other prosocial behaviors. Increasingly, scientific research demonstrates that human values can be developed as skills; such skills development can result in measurable benefits for both physical and psychological health. When students develop prosocial skills, it leads to ethical action in real-world situations that yield better outcomes for themselves and others. SEE Learning provides educators and students with specific methods, practices, and activities to cultivate basic values important for individual and collective flourishing.
Download the Compassion Center e-brochure to learn more.
For more resources, courses and other offerings available through the Compassion Center
This event is made possible through the generous support of: The Center for Contemplative Science and Compassion-Based Ethics, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University Office of Global Strategy and Initiatives, Emory University Department of Religion, and Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc.