Would you like to be more compassionate, empathic, or kind?
Well, scientific researchers are discovering that compassion or kindness meditation practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks can alter peoples responses to be more compassionate. They measured participants brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
There still may be hope for some of us!!
Brain Blogger: Topics from Multidimensional BioPsychoSocial Perspectives had an article entitled, “Meditate to Learn Compassion” by Jennifer Gibson, PharmD. The following is an excerpt from the article:
The researchers concluded that the brain can, therefore, be trained to exhibit more powerful responses to empathy. People can learn to regulate thoughts and emotions and promote happiness and compassion through practicing compassion meditation regularly. Techniques for compassion meditation include concentration exercises that train attention, behavioral training such as practicing generosity, and cognitive strategies of self-reflection and visualizing the suffering of others. The long-term goal for practitioners of compassion meditation is to decrease egocentric traits, allowing altruistic behaviors to arise more frequently.
Scientists hope that these techniques may be useful for teaching compassion to children and adolescents and decreasing bullying and violence, as well as helping people prone to depression learn compassion for themselves. The researchers are planning a study to examine brain changes over a longer period of time of people who practice compassion meditation.
Meditation practices impact physiological pathways that regulate stress and disease-causing processes. Much attention is focused on meditation to improve attention, develop mindfulness, and calm the mind. However, there is now evidence that physiological processes are activated in meditation focused on cultivating compassion. An additional study found that engaging in compassion meditation might reduce stress-induced immune and behavioral responses.
The research is at the beginning stages and previous research has shown that any type of meditation or prayer has a positive effect on the brain, but they had not previously studied this area. To me, it has fascinating implications. More empathy, compassion and kindness would sure make the global garden beautiful with vibrant, healthy, colorful flowers.
Would you be willing to practice this type of meditation or other forms of meditation or prayer to achieve this in your life? Why or why not?
What can you do in the Garden to help it grow flowers of empathy, compassion and kindness?
All comments are compassionately welcomed!!