I am reading this amazing book: Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
Here is something on Empathy from the book.
Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. The Chinese philosopher Chuang-Tzu stated that true empathy requires listening with the WHOLE being: "The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing. The hearing of the understanding is another. Bu the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence it demands the emptiness of all the faculties. And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens. There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you that can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind."
In relating to others, empathy occurs only when we have successfully shed all preconceived ideas and judgements about them. The Austrian-born Israeli philosopher Martin Buber describes this quality of presence that life demands of us: