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date: 11 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Various conceptions of compassion are articulated in diverse Buddhist contemplative traditions. These variations are due in part to the divergent models of mind and reality found within and across these traditions, as well as the ways in which compassion is understood to be either supportive or necessary for spiritual development or awakening. These diverse Buddhist models in particular have influenced the development modern, secular mindfulness- and compassion-based contemplative programs that have been selected for scientific study. In spite of growing interest from the scientific community in these compassion-based contemplative programs, there is little discussion of the differences between diverse contemplative and scientific accounts of compassion, and the implications of these differences for research. This chapter therefore offers an overview of the ways in which compassion is variously conceptualized in diverse Buddhist and scientific traditions.

Keywords: Compassion, mindfulness, secular mindfulness, Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT), Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT), Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), contemplative theory

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