"In looking at the various means of developing compassion, I think that empathy is an important factor, the ability to appreciate another's suffering. . . . One can attempt to increase compassion by trying to empathize with another's feelings or experience, by using your imagination, your creativity, to visualize yourself in another's situation.

"Whenever I meet people I always approach them from the standpoint of the most basic things we have in common. We each have a physical structure, a mind, emotions. We are all born in the same way, and we all die. All of us want happiness and do not want to suffer. Looking at others from this standpoint rather than emphasizing secondary differences, such as the fact that I am Tibetan, or a different color or religion, or have a different cultural background, allows me to have a feeling that I'm meeting someone just the same as me. I find that relating to others on that level makes it much easier to exchange and communicate with one another.

"I think that empathy is important not only as a means of enhancing compassion, but I think that generally speaking, when dealing with others on any level, if you're having some difficulties, it's extremely helpful to be able to try to put yourself in the other person's place and see how you would react to the situation."