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.
Currently, the Gift of Compassion is working with the Gift of Love, a foundation in Tijuana that is affiliated with a refugee/migrant sanctuary. The Migrant Support project focuses on the sanctuary, which provides food and shelter for about 300 people, a third of whom are children. The volunteers who support this project are encouraged to see the work of delivering donations, helping build capacity to grow food, creating clean, safe space for children as mediation and compassion in action.
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. At times, the program activity 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.