The Gift of Compassion focuses on under-served and under-resourced communities, integrating ancient practices with current conditions to help bring clarity and healing into the lives of both youth and adults.

The program uses art as a portal to meditation and contemplative practice, creating opportunities for difference to merge as oneness. In pursuit of this experience, the Gift of Compassion supports on-going practice in the form of workshops, fellowship programs, mentoring, and gatherings that enhance the ability of individuals to take their experience with meditation deeper.

Projects over the past three years have reached young adults out of foster care institutions and systems, individuals returning to community from incarceration, immigrant youth in middle school, and social change/justice workers seeking self-care methods and practices to promote healing and wellness. In some instances, the work has been to simply introduce the concept of contemplative practice and a form of meditation to create the experience of being in silence. In other instances, the work has been to offer meditation as a healing practice, for both individual and community.

Every project includes the creation of original works of art by Ying Ming Tu (aka Tu2), in the form of photography, film, or portraiture. The energy of the artwork produced holds its own healing effect, both for the viewer and the creator, making the experience of mediation seamless, engaged, and connected as one.

Gift of Compassion Directors

Ying Ming Tu (Tu2) is a Taiwan-born visual artist, whose extraordinary exhibit, 108 Faces of Compassion had its international opening in the Commonweal gallery in 2013. In the 1990s, Tu2’s body of work entitled Mao-ology was presented in Taiwan and Europe (Belgium) creating 50 iconic images—MickeyMao, MinnieMao, AndrogynousMao, ZeroMao, and many more—the conceptual work was met with critical acclaim. Following Mao-ology, was Timeless, a family retrospective in paintings that captured three generations of the Tu clan and its history. After a prolonged sabbatical to reset his spiritual compass, the remarkable new body of work that premiered at Commonweal emerged. Deep blue background, using silver point pencil, Tu2 creates portraits that illuminate the essence and interior qualities of each subject. The work is considered meditation as manifest through the artist. Each portrait expresses awakening, affinity, and compassion. Together, they illustrate the infinite ways in which humanity is connected through space and time. Find out more on Tu2’s website.

Angela Oh is a Zen Buddhist meditation teacher, attorney, and a nationally recognized leader on social and racial justice issues. Known as a clear voice of the Korean American community after the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, Angela served on President Bill Clinton’s Initiative on race and as an appointee to the Los Angeles Commission on Human Relations. Angela currently works as a mediator of disputes involving civil rights violations, and has served as a consent decree monitor for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a hearing officer in LA Police Department officer discipline proceedings, and a consultant on issues of diversity and race. She was chair of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s Federal Judicial Nominations Committee, Lawyer Delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, member of the Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Panel in the Central District of California. Angela has lectured across the U.S. and in China, Korea, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Find out more on the Gift of Compassion website.

The mirrors of self: six voices from Ming Tu on Vimeo.