Compassion is at the heart of Christian and Buddhist teachings, and yet compassion is one of the most challenging spiritual practices to develop. As we have entered our 40’s the reality of our aging parents is upon us. For six months of the year my father-in-law travels from India to live here in the United States—three months at our home and three months at his youngest son’s home. His routine, customs, and eating habits are very different than ours, but normally we coexist fairly well. This year during his visit he began to experience pain in his mouth. What would have been perhaps a routine visit for most Americans turned into a summer long project for “Appa’s smile”.