We need to get to know our emotions. Right now, they are strangers to us. When we come across them, sometimes we react as if we were being confronted by a bandit. Instead, we should make their acquaintance, and then gradually make friends with them or create a wholesome relationship with them. In the end, the fact that anger or some other emotion no longer arises is not a result of forcefully shutting it out, but a matter of very naturally or even joyfully coming to the point where you make friends with it and are naturally in control. ~ 17th Karmapa
Compassion is more than sympathy and more than empathy. With sympathy and empathy, most of the time there is a sense of placing the object of your sympathy over there and having some understanding of their situation or where they come from. Compassion is deeper and more strongly felt than that. With compassion you do not experience the person as an object over there, separate from you, but rather you have the wish or the feeling that you have become the other. That is the sort of feeling we are aiming for. Compassion has a sense of coming out from where you are, and going over to the position of the other – even jumping across to their position.
In short, compassion makes us a part of others. It brings us out from our own space and moves us into the place of the other. Compassion is not a matter of staying in our own space, looking down at their suffering and calling ourselves compassionate. ~ 17th Karmapa