Compassion for Courage: Dr. Rick Hanson

Dr. Rick Hanson, author of the New York Times best seller Hardwiring Happiness, is one of my favorite teachers. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Hanson for The Compassion Interviews Series. This interview was one of the most enjoyable, enlightening, and useful interviews I have ever done. I guarantee that if you listen to and practice Dr. Hanson’s advice, your happiness will grow exponentially.

In the full interview, we discuss:

  • How to “wake down” from deadness, numbness, or oppression
  • How compassion is a strength that develops courage
  • The difference between wanting and liking, and how this difference can make your life heaven or hell
  • How to aspire without attachment
  • How Dr. Hanson is a real-life version of Ender from Ender’s Game

For the complete interview visit:

For more Compassion Interviews, including Thich Nhat Hanh, visit:


Compassion Can Make You More Attractive–Thich Nhat Hanh Re-load

A week ago, I published an article about a conversation I had with Thich Nhat Hanh. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. James Doty and the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, I am able to share the video of this short interview with you. To see the whole Conversation on Compassion with Thich Nhat Hanh go to:

For more interviews with compassionate men visit

Compassion and Money

At my other website, I’m starting a new series called The Compassion Interviews, where I interview some of the most compassionate people I can find.

The series kicks off with Dr. James Doty, founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University.

In this interview we discuss:

  • Why compassion is more important than money
  • What it is like to be in close contact with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
  • How transcending socially conditioned roles can save the world
  • What we can do today and everyday to cultivate peace, compassion, and happiness in our lives

I’ve included a short excerpt from the interview below that discusses how losing 70 million dollars during the dotcom crash, then taking a company public for 1.3 billion dollars of which he donated all of his shares to charity were two of the best things that ever happened to Dr. Doty.

For the full interview click here:

Thank you for watching, smiling, and/or sharing.

Have you learned valuable lessons through failure or charity? Please share.

Powerful Compassion with Thich Nhat Hanh

Last week, Thich Nhat Hahn spoke to a sold out crowd at Stanford University as a part of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education’s (CCARE) Conversations on Compassion series.

Thich Nhat Hanh

I once heard Thich Nhat Hanh described as “a cloud, a butterfly, and a bulldozer.” Hearing him speak I couldn’t agree more. He is so soft, gentle, and egoless, yet surprisingly powerful. Here are some highlights:

  • “You don’t have to run into the future to find happiness.”
  • “Mindfulness holds suffering like a mother holding a baby without knowing what is causing the suffering.”
  • “Holding our suffering is like holding our own baby.”
  • “You cannot be; you can only inter-be.”
  • “The art of suffering goes together with the art of happiness.”
  • Tell your loved ones, “I know you are there, and I am so happy.”
  • The person who makes you suffer has a lot of suffering in him.

When they opened up the mics for Q&A, I happened to be sitting right next to one of the mic stands, so I got to ask the first question. I told Thay that being a man in Western culture I had been taught not to cry, to take advantage of others weaknesses in sports, and to never show weakness in business. My specific question was “how can we make compassion more attractive to men?”

Thay started his reply by saying that there must be a misunderstanding of what compassion is. “Compassion is not weakness. Compassion is powerful.” He then listed all the ways that compassion benefits the person being compassionate. “Compassion heals our bodies.” It makes us live happier lives. It is good for business. (I apologize for not having direct quotes, but Thay was staring at me while he answered the question, so I didn’t want to be rude and start taking notes.)

Then he said something that resonated with me, “Compassion protects us more than guns, bombs, or money.” He said that we often try to accumulate lots of money to protect ourselves from suffering, but money cannot protect us from suffering. Money can disappear in an instant. What I realized is that compassion is the true refuge from suffering in life.

I have been struggling to make money since losing my job in 2012, but now I realize that all the work I have been doing to cultivate compassion has brought me more than money can buy. I feel confident that compassion will protect me and my family from suffering in a way that money, guns, or insurance can never protect us. I am grateful for the present moment of taking in so much wisdom from amazing teachers. One day, I hope to spread these teachings with others.

Thank you for reading, smiling, and/or sharing.

Where do you seek refuge? Please share.