In Field Notes, Barasch, a former editor of the New Age Journal, uses humor and fine reporting to ask: What is compassion? Instead of casting himself as a guru, Barasch portrays himself as a selfish everyman, albeit one striving to become more mindful. In one chapter he describes living on the streets of Denver for a week in order to empathize with the homeless. By week's end he taps into a sort of economy of compassion, finding that "we owe a debt to those who suffer, because they draw forth tenderness in us." Barasch notes that in most religions compassion is a core value (Do unto others...), but few of us practice it. How can a performance of Les Misérables elicit tears, yet departing theatergoers will spurn a panhandler who is "living the updated version" of the play's urchins? Rather than a whifty compendium of spiritual musings, Notes builds upon relevant observations from surprising sources including Audrey Hepburn, who once offered this beauty tip: "For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people."