David H. Breaux
P.O. Box 72893
Davis, CA 95617
The Compassion Tour is a multi-city tour to raise awareness around compassion. It grows out of the life work of David H. Breaux who, when not on tour, resides in Davis, CA, where he spent the majority of 2009-2016 working to bring awareness to compassion within that community. Now David is expanding his reach, spending approximately three weeks at a time in different communities.
David works mainly by asking people to share their written concept of the word compassion in a notebook. David's intent is to bring awareness to compassion by encouraging people to think about what compassion means to them. Through this simple gesture, people are moved to contemplate compassion and inspired to act toward the alleviation of suffering in the world.
While on tour, David also facilitates community-based discussions. He gives interactive presentations on the concept of compassion, as well as reflections from his work and personal experience. As opportunities arise, David also participates in television, radio and press interviews and discussions.
The Compassion Tour is the amplification of an endeavor that began on June 3rd, 2009. Since that day, David has been inviting people to share their thoughts on compassion, first at the corner of 3rd and C Streets in Davis, CA, and now within diverse communities while on tour.
So far, he has asked over 20,000 people and received over 10,000 responses. With a small fraction of these responses, David published a compilation book on compassion, Compassion: Davis, CA, that is available on Amazon as an e-book. David also regularly facilitates discussions on compassion and provides a presence wherever he stands - a listening ear, a caring heart and in some cases, “street therapy.”
In early 2013, David was part of an effort to envision a monument in Davis to honor compassion. This effort lead to the creation of the Compassion Corner Earthbench. An Earthbench is a structure made from cob and bottle-bricks (plastic 20 oz. bottles stuffed with inorganic waste material). The project was collaboratively realized by international Earthbench builder Brennan Blazer Bird, local mosaic artist Mark Rivera, and close to 200 people - volunteers, community members and passers by - over the course of a few weeks. The City of Davis, its Civic Arts Commission, and property owner AT&T, all enthusiastically supported this project because of its central location, community value, and compelling message of unity and compassion.
The bench has created one more space within the Davis community for people to connect, hold conversation or reflect upon the concept of compassion. It also inspires residents to re-conceive sustainability and how to use waste as a resource!
David's work led him to the Dalai Lama Foundation, a Northern California-based organization founded in 2002, whose mission is to support the development of a shared global capacity for ethics and peace through non-dogmatic compassion. The DLF partners with other organizations and initiatives related to ethics, peace, and compassion. Thus was born the David H. Breaux Compassion Initiative, a program encouraged and supported by the foundation.
David's work was partly inspired by Karen Armstrong and the project she founded, Charter for Compassion. Charter for Compassion’s mission is to invite whole cities to align their public and civic mission with the principles that lie at the heart of compassion. David's work and The Compassion Tour have been able to expand interest in the Charter. The Tour has helped promote city-based efforts to become part of the Charter and to enliven the existing efforts within cities already part of the Charter for Compassion. David also has a blog presence on the Charter for Compassion website.
Previously, The David H. Breaux Compassion Initiative collaborated with CompassionIt, a San Diego-based organization that made and distributed compassion bracelets. David served as a project coordinator for CompassionIt, though the effort has since been discontinued.
David's impact is both measurable and immeasurable. The sheer numbers of people who have been directly impacted by David's work are impressive: over 10,000 entries in the notebooks, hundreds of books sold, 200 volunteers at the bench building parties, hundreds of attendees at various community presentations, and so on. The outcomes of these efforts and projects are tangible: the book Compassion: Davis, CA and the Earthbench on the corner of 3rd and C Streets. Numerous newspaper features and blogs have been written about David, documentaries and videos produced, and awards given to David in his honor. After standing quietly on the corner in Davis for over five years, most people know who David is. He is also leaving an imprint in the others cities he is visiting.
What is not measurable, but even more compelling, is the extent of the ripple effect. For every person who interacts directly with David, there are dozens, if not hundreds more, who are impacted. How many people have wandered by, noticed the Compassion Corner Earthbench in Davis, studied the bench, or sat on the bench? How many have read the compassion compilation book? How many have watched David on television or listened to him on radio? What about the stories that have been told by those who have met David, who have shared their concept of the word compassion in David's notebook, who have worked on the bench, or attended a talk?
Once you've had a conversation with David, you view the world differently. If he talks to you about the experience of the homeless, you are never again comfortable ignoring their plight. If he talks with you about the experience of listening with an open and non-judgmental heart, you find yourself listening harder and hearing more. A conversation with David is life changing and that energy ripples outward from person to person, as people share their own experience of compassion and, importantly, act on that experience.
There is no doubt David has opened the minds and hearts of thousands of people by his steady, peaceful, and open spirit. His simple gifts are measurable, but the impacts, ever expanding, are immeasurable.
Goals and Vision for the Tour
In each of the cities David visits, he will work with community members and community based organizations to carry out his mission. He will stand in a central location, gather people's written concepts of compassion and offer a space of deep listening.
Along with a daily street presence, David will be available for speaking engagements or community discussions on compassion. He will also gladly participate in television, radio and press interviews and discussions to extend further his invitation to contemplate compassion.
Blogs, photos and shared stories are regularly posted through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help document the experience. Video blogs are also shared via Youtube. The tour's website, www.compassionis.com, includes stories from David, as well as others who wish to share about compassion.
The Compassion Tour is a multi-city tour to raise awareness of compassion. Host cities must identify a person to serve as Coordinator and a Host. The Coordinator may be one individual, or a small team, who prepares for David's visit 1-3 weeks in advance and serves as a point person during David's visit. A Host provides David a place to stay. It is possible for the Host and Coordinator to be the same person, but it is not necessary.
The Coordinator's responsibilities include:
Before David's arrival
Meet with David and his planning team via video conference or through regular email correspondence to ensure that all necessary arrangements are in place.
Identify a family, couple or individual willing to Host David in their home for the length of David’s stay.
Get the word out to the community about The Tour and notify appropriate public officials of David’s standing in the community.
Make arrangements for David to facilitate community-based discussions on Compassion. These can be stand-alone events or part of a larger event based on compassion or similar themes. (Make sure to verify dates and times with David in advance of scheduling and advertising in order to synchronize calendars and avoid double/over booking.)
During David's visit
Help David secure a central and welcoming place to stand to collect written concepts of compassion.
Facilitate opportunities in the local media for David such as interviews with newspapers, TV or radio shows.
Connect David to city leaders, city officials and other local figures willing to help him network within the community and connect with other potential host cities.
Assist David in locating natural food stores, yoga studios and other places of interest.
The ideal Host
is centrally located and/or near a transportation line.
has a wifi connection.
provides a kitchen for preparation of simple meals.
The Tour to Date
September 2014: Keene Valley, NY
October 2014: Burlington, VT and Lodi, NJ
November 2014: Louisville, KY
December 2014: Tampa, FL
January 2015: Austin, TX
February 2015: San Antonio, TX and Tulsa, OK
March 2015: Carlsbad, CA
April 2015: Nashville, TN
May 2015: Louisville, KY and Davis, CA
June 2015: Boise, ID
July 2015: Portland, OR
August 2015: Seattle, WA
Below is an accounting of David’s approximate expenses while on tour.
Transportation/ Within city = $60
Airfare/Bus/Train = $300
The tour is run completely by donations. Host cities are expected to help with fundraising. Any contributions that can be made by the hosting city or hosting organizations with access to funds is very helpful. David typically encounters spontaneous donations of money, transportation and food from the individuals David encounters within the city.
There are various methods to make a donation:
1) Make a check payable to David H. Breaux in the amount you wish to contribute and send to:
David H. Breaux
P.O. Box 72893
Davis, CA 95617
2) Via http://www.gofundme.com/compassionproject. You can make a one-time donation or a recurring donation of any amount.
For More Information
The Compassion Tour General Overview
Charter for Compassion
Funding and Donations
David Breaux’s Blog http://dhbreaux.tumblr.com/
Charter for Compassion Blog http://charterforcompassion.org/blog/2076
Vlog (Video Blog) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq5JS-GQyL6GVfQ6i1RAdVg
The Davis Enterprise http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/hell-spread-his-passion-for-compassion-far-and-wide/
Stories from the Road, Video
Story Corps Interview https://soundcloud.com/l-walker-2/david-breaux-storycorps-interview-by-lesa-walker-austin-tx-1-17-15
Standing Compassion, Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D7-CpieVFc&feature=player_embedded#at=15
Life of Wry, Blog http://lifeofwry.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/on-the-road/
Brown-Dudley, Profile http://www.brown-dudley.com/Brown-Dudley/David_Breaux.html
In the Studio, Talk Show Interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUV1-mM4RKk
Compassion Corner Earthbench, Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3taybO9U18A