The Summer School on “Empathy and Compassion: from Contemplative Traditions to Neuroscience” in the beautiful town of Gerace (Reggio Calabria, Italy) is promoted and supported by Sapienza University of Rome, the largest European university, one of the oldest universities in the world, and Consciousness, Mindfulness, Compassion – CMC – International Association.
Empathy and compassion are fundamental human mental states, with a crucial importance for mental health and salutary interpersonal attitudes and human relationships. Compassion in particular plays a key role in contemplative training, as reflected in different time-honored contemplative traditions. In Buddhism, in particular, the cultivation of compassion is generally associated to the cultivation of mindfulness and wisdom (insight).
More recently, mental training programs based on mindfulness, compassion and related meditation practices have been successfully applied in a broad range of clinical, educational and workplace contexts. The unifying theme in the growing arts and sciences of mindfulness and compassion has been an effort to lessen suffering and bring more happiness in this world. Together with mindfulness, empathy and compassion have been increasingly studied in cognitive, affective, social and developmental neurosciences, as well as in different areas of clinical (medical and psychopathological) and wellbeing research, with important insights and implications.
The Summer School will thus provide an international forum about empathy, compassion and the aspects above for students, researchers and professionals (e.g., in clinical and educational contexts), as well as contemplative (meditation) practitioners. The Faculty of the Summer School includes leading experts about contemplative, neuroscientific and clinical facets of mindfulness, empathy and compassion. Based on such expertise, the Summer School will focus on effective practices to cultivate and apply empathy and compassion in different contexts, as well as on the latest research. The programme will offer a balanced mix of research and theory, contemplative practice, experiential activity, as well as formal and informal exchanges.