Stanford University and Telluride Institute Announce Compassion Season 2013 Programs
by Samuel Adams
Jul 19, 2013 | 2086 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print

All Events Free to the Public; Bring Only an Open Mind.

The Telluride Institute and Stanford University School of Medicine’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education host a series of events to celebrate the 2013 Compassion Season. Events will include discussions about recent developments in the field of compassion and altruism research.

In 2009, at the request of His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama, CCARE partnered with institutes and universities around the world to research and develop a deeper scientific understanding of compassion, altruism and mindfulness. Because many of CCARE’s conferences and research findings have been private, it has partnered with organizations like the Telluride Institute to hold public forums.

“We hope to get the chance to be involved in the most recent research into the nature of what it means to be human,” said Pamela Lifton-Zoline, founding director of the Telluride Institute. “We also hope to build with CCARE and other higher education that will serve to advance our understanding of ourselves, our social and environmental relationships and the know-how to act on that understanding.”

The Compassion Season features Jonathan Barfield, PhD., a scholar and practitioner of Buddhist psychology and ecopsychology (the academic study of the relationship between humans and the natural world viewed through ecological and psychological principles), who helped develop new ethnographic research methods in the field of psychology and has presented throughout Asia and the United States.

“I am more of a practitioner than a scholar,” Dr. Barfield said. “Most of my ‘real’ education came from living in a tipi for years on the Colorado Plateau and hiking for weeks and months at a time in the wilderness,” 

During the Compassion Season, the Telluride Town Council will discuss the Telluride Institute’s proposal for adopting the “Charter for Compassion,” a charter that would have Telluride join many cities in restoring the Golden Rule to the center of civic life.

Telluride is one of 129 cities worldwide actively organizing to become a compassion city (to date, the only Colorado city to sign the Charter for Compassion is Basalt). For more information, visit


A Guide to the Compassion Season


Sunday, July 21: Wilkinson Public Library hosts two presentations. Joel Finkelstein, a researcher and founding member of CCARE, presents an “Overview of Science of Compassion News and Research.” Dr. Jonathan Barfield presents “From the Living Earth to the Dharma: 4 Thoughts that Turn the Mind to Living in right Relationship,” an examination of the way traditional Mahayana Buddhism serves to cultivate compassion. The pair of presentations will begin at 8 p.m. with a discussion to follow.  


Monday, July 22: At 6:45 a.m., Dr. Barfield conducts a Sunrise Meditation at the Town Park Stage. That evening (8-10 p.m.), the Wilkinson Library screens Project Happiness. Brian Rusch, chief operating officer of Project Happiness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals to create happiness through innovative education, will be present for the screening, followed by a discussion.


Tuesday, July 23: The Palm Theater hosts a culminating panel discussion about “The Science of Compassion: News From the Front.” Panelists include distinguished professors and researchers Dr. Clifford Saron from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California Davis, Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Jim Doty of CCARE at Stanford University School of Medicine. Moderated by Joel Finkelstein, 9-10 p.m.

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