Medicine & Compassion


Do you ever feel tired of helping? Or are you just worn out, haven’t slept enough, or simply irritated to be asked to do one more thing. And this is even though it may be part of your paid job.


People in health care speak of this as the burnt-out symdrome -- it hits as a feeling of an acute lack of empathy. What to do? Is there a way to replenish kindness and compassion?


These were the questions my old friend Dr. David Shlim raised to Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, one of the prominent Buddhist teachers in the Kathmandu Valley. David had for many years looked after the health of Rinpoche’s father, as well as the monks and nuns in Rinpoche’s monasteries.


It was therefore no surprise to me when David invited Rinpoche to be the main speaker at a conference on the nature of compassion and how to be compassionate even in difficult circumstances. The audience were almost all from medical professions.


Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche introduced the possibility of a type of compassion which was new and radical to many of the participants. A compassionate atmosphere from within, which is basic, effortless and free from our ordinary concepts. And yet, right within reach at any moment.


I was the interpreter and tried my best to make even the most subtle and important points come through in clear English.


David must have been pleased with the result because he wrote down the talks and edited them into this book. I can highly recommend it for doctors, nurses, therapists, healers and anyone who has to deal with difficult people, situations, or with the tiring sides of one’s own personality.




You can order the book here: