In traditional Mahayana approaches, the practice of compassion has always been a way to balance the wisdom aspects of the teachings. As women in the West increasingly participate in Buddhist meditation they are redefining the power of meeting suffering with compassion in community. As the Buddha taught in the Mustard Seed story, suffering–illness, old age and death–can be the doorway to opening beyond the self into the vast ocean of our shared human suffering and the wisdom teachings. The focus of this workshop will be to investigate the practices of deep listening and authentic speaking in relationship to form, nurture, and sustain a meditative circle of compassion. The “circle” becomes a vehicle for healing and liberation for all who participate and for the practice of accompanying others through life. This workshop is open to both women and men.