Sympathy

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Sympathy (anukampà or saïgaha) is the ability to identify with another person’s feelings, state or situation. Like compassion, sympathy empathises with others’ pain and distress but it also understands their point of view, is convivial towards them and wants to find commonalities with them. Thus we may say that sympathy is that place in the heart where love, compassion, vicarious joy, patience and tolerance meet. According to the Buddha the four most important expressions of sympathy (saïgaha vatthåni) are sharing things with others, speaking to them kindly, helping them and treating them with equality (D.III,145).

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