Western academics are looking at their work through a new lens, contemplating matters like the nature and origins of consciousness.
One result has been the development of cognitively-based compassion training, a secular mediation program proven to improve empathy.
The partnership has had other, more practical applications.
Social worker Linda Hutton, whose clinic treats sexually abused children and families in Greenville, South Carolina, teaches her patients to practice mindfulness, and how to use meditation and breathing to cope with trauma.
“I draw from a lot of medical research, but what I have found here [at Emory] transcends that,” Hutton said.