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Thupten Jinpa holds his Ph.D. from Cambridge University and has been the principal English translator to the Dalai Lama since 1985. He has translated and collaborated on numerous books by the Dalai Lama including the New York Times Bestsellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness. He is also the author of A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives and is the main author of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) developed for Stanford University in 2009. 

In this conversation - Jinpa and I sat down to explore a variety of topics related to compassion including:

  • How compassion differs from empathy

  • How compassion can be trained and the some of the neuroscience behind it

  • What Jinpa has learned about compassion from the Dalai Lama

  • How compassion training may be the next big wave (particularly in healthcare settings) after mindfulness

  • How compassion may be able to help bring us together, overcome tribalism and decrease polarization

Professional Background

Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. was trained as a monk at the Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University, South India, where he received the Geshe Lharam degree. Jinpa also holds a B.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in religious studies, both from Cambridge University.

Jinpa has been the principal English translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama since 1985, and has translated and collaborated on numerous books by the Dalai Lama including the New York Times Bestsellers Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness, as well as Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World. His own publications include A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives and translations of major Tibetan works featured in The Library of Tibetan Classics series. Jinpa is the main author of Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) developed for Stanford University in 2009.

 A frequent speaker at various international conferences on mindfulness, compassion, and contemplative practice, Jinpa serves as an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal and is the founder and president of the Institute of Tibetan Classics. He has been a core member of the Mind and Life Institute and its Chairman of the Board since January 2012.

People, references, and resources mentioned