Why a Moment of Compassion Can Change Everything

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Why a Moment of Compassion Can Change Everything

Thupten Jinpa

Posted on September 17, 2019

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I’m humbled and honored to welcome Thupten Jinpa to the donothing podcast. Born to displaced Tibetan refugees, Jinpa was raised in India. At just 11, he decided to become a monk and join a monastery. While there, he was connected with His Holiness (H.H.) the Dalai Lama as a new translator. Jinpa has been the Dalai Lama’s principal translator since 1985.

After over a decade in the Tibetan monastic order, Jinpa left to pursue a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both from Cambridge University—all with an emphasis on compassion studies. He achieved both and also holds the Geshe Lharam degree.

Today, Jinpa is the founder and president of the Compassion Institute, the Chair of Mind and Life Institute, founder of the Institute of Tibetan Classics, and an adjunct professor at the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. He’s also the main author of CCT (Compassion Cultivation Training), an eight-week formal program developed at Stanford University.

Over the years, Jinpa’s translated and edited numerous books by the Dalai Lama including the New York Times Bestsellers, Ethics for the New Millennium, and The Art of Happiness. He’s also written several works of his own including Mind Training: The Great Collection, Self, Reality, and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy, A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives and co-authored Dispelling the Darkness: A Jesuit’s Quest for the Soul of Tibet.

In this episode of the donothing podcast, you’ll learn:

  • Why Jinpa believes in setting intentions
  • What Jinpa’s daily meditation practice looks like
  • When Jinpa learned how to speak English
  • What Jinpa’s first experience with the Dalai Lama was like as a child
  • Why his father was against Jinpa becoming a monk
  • Which questions potential monks have to answer before being accepted
  • How monastic debates work
  • What Jinpa’s time as a Tibetan monk in India was like
  • How Jinpa first started translating for the Dalai Lama
  • What advice Jinpa received when he began training for this role
  • Jinpa’s initial thoughts about Europe and then, the U.S.
  • What made Jinpa decide to leave the monastic life behind
  • Why it was so hard to tell the Dalai Lama he was leaving the monastery
  • What the Dalai Lama’s reaction to Jinpa’s decision was
  • How Jinpa was accepted to Cambridge University
  • Why Jinpa focused his studies on compassion
  • How science explains the benefits of mindfulness
  • Why Jinpa established the Compassion Institute
  • What advice the Dalai Lama gave Jinpa about starting the Compassion Institute
  • Why the Compassion Institute promotes only non-religious, universal practices
  • What Jinpa sees for the future of the Institute
  • Why Jinpa pushes to promote science and research-backed practices
  • What Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is
  • Why leaders will benefit from practicing compassion
  • How compassion decreases burnout
  • Why compassion emerges during certain events and hides during others
  • How training will elevate compassion not just during hard times—but all times
  • Why just seconds of compassion can change everything
  • And so much more…

Connect Jinpa and the Compassion Institute






Also, watch out for a 6-part online course, Building Compassion From Inside Out, to be offered at www.compassioninstitute.com


Order Jinpa’s Books

Mind Training: The Great Collection


Dispelling the Darkness: A Jesuit’s Quest for the Soul of Tibet, with Donald S. Lopez Jr.


A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives


Self, Reality, and Reason in Tibetan Philosophy



Dalai Lama’s Books, Translated by Jinpa

Ethics for the New Millennium


The Art of Happiness



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