Exploring Compassion-Driven Interaction:
Bridging Buddhist Theory and Contemplative Practice Through
Arts-led Research-through-Design
Compassion cultivation focuses on developing a genuine concern for others and a willingness to alleviate their suffering. As understandings of the benefits of compassion cultivation on wellbeing have evolved, an increasing interest in designing technologies for this context has followed. However, while scientific research focuses on measuring and evaluating compassion, designerly understandings of compassion informing human-computer interaction have been less explored. 
We are currently confronted with huge global challenges, and our entanglement with technology brings paradoxes and existential tensions related to wellbeing and human flourishing. Viewing technologies as mediators of values and morality, human-computer interaction has a stake in shaping our possible futures. A shift in the field to welcome a plurality of worldviews invites opportunities to authentically integrate knowledge from ancient wisdom traditions into how and why we design. This research aims to advance understandings of compassion cultivation for designing technologies by developing novel approaches to research inspired by Buddhist philosophy and practice. 
This thesis draws upon an arts-led research-through-design approach and spiritual practice. The findings and insights from the studies contribute primarily to the areas of soma design, first-person research, and design for wellbeing. The main contributions to knowledge are design guidelines emerging from three case studies: Understanding Tonglen, Wish Happiness, and Inner Suchness, comprising one autoethnography and two concept-driven design artefacts for public exhibition. While in the act of researching, the contemplative practitioner-researcher, a research persona, emerged to support authentic engagement and embodied understandings of the dynamic unfolding processes of the practice. A contemplative framework to train self-observation and the concept of designerly gaze were developed to help investigate the phenomenon.
Read my thesis, Exploring Compassion-Driven Interaction: Bridging Buddhist Theory and Contemplative Practice Through Arts-led Research-through-Design, https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/31509
Compassion, Buddhism, Bodhicitta, human-computer interaction, compassion cultivation, Tonglen, compassion-driven interaction, first-person research, embodied research, mind-body cultivation, self-cultivation, contemplative research.
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