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Understanding empathy

FOLLOWING on from the Frome Kindness Festival, local nonprofit group, The Good Heart, is planning a year-round programme of events exploring how to deepen our capacity for kindness and compassion.  

The first event, on Tuesday evening, 5th April, is titled ‘Understanding Empathy.’ 

“Are you struggling to stay open and warm-hearted in the face of all the suffering that’s going on in the world? In that case, you’re not alone,” says facilitator Alison Murdoch. “There are so many calls on our kindness, empathy and compassion at the moment: from stories of conflict in the Ukraine and elsewhere, to the hardships of rising living costs, not to mention the pandemic and the climate crisis. What can we do to remain loving and resilient, and to avoid emotional contagion and fatigue?” 

The evening will include opportunities to reflect on personal experiences of empathy; to discuss recent scientific research; and to try out some simple universal tools and strategies for managing our mind and emotions.  

Doors will open at 7pm for tea and cake, and the session will run from 7.30pm to 9.00pm. It’s free of charge, but as numbers are limited, it’s essential to book in advance at Cash donations will be welcome on the night to help cover costs.  

Before she moved to Frome in 2014, Alison was founder and CEO of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom and travelled internationally as a speaker and facilitator. She has been a regular contributor to BBC Radio programmes such as Good Morning Sunday, the Chris Evans Show, the Moral Maze, Beyond Belief and Prayer for the Day, speaking about Buddhism, happiness and values.

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