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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meditate and Teach Your Brain Compassion!

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).

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."

For more information on what compassion meditation is go to the following links: Healing with Awareness and Science Daily.

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.


Mike Golch said...

thanks for the link,I'll be checking it out.Hugs my friend.

Queen Of Relationships said...

I always wanted to meditate but I can't ever seem to sit still long enough.

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