Lessons on Empathy & Compassion from the Classroom

Empathy and compassion are some of the greatest life lessons we can ever hope to learn. While expanding our minds is (and should be) a goal of our educational systems, lessons that help to expand our hearts are often (sadly) less of a focus. In this award-winning documentary, Mr. Toshiro…

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Separating Violence from Masculinity

More than twenty years after the war in the Balkans, generations of young men & women are still thick in struggle. Desperation, anger & frustration have led to increased violence by many young men and ideas about what masculinity entails have fueled the fire. According to Aleksandar Slijepsveic, youth coordinator…

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Empathy v. Sympathy

Merlin | Empathy v. Sympathy

On a recent ‘Little Philosopher’s Walk’, one of our fun ‘Merlin Meanderings’ that we held here at Merlin Nature Preserve, we discussed & explored the importance and value of imagination.  In the course of our conversation, the work of Dr. Brené Brown, Research Professor at the University of Houston Graduate…

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Zen and Explaining Death to Children

Zen on Explaining Death to Children

Making sense of death is hard enough for adults, but what about children?  Author Maria Popova explores this topic by examining the life work of Zen teacher Seung Sahn Soen-sa (1927-2004) who, in his book Dropping Ashes on the Buddha, offers a wealth of insight aimed at helping young minds…

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Eulogy Virtues: Cultivating an Inner Light

Merlin MCC | Cultivating an Inner Light

Living a virtuous life involves much more than what’s included on a resume.  It involves cultivation of a particular sort — a striving for and obtaining of what David Brooks — New York Times columnist and author — refers to as ‘eulogy virtues.’  In a heartfelt discussion about the sorts…

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