Compassion

Last week I wrote about Dr. Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist and researcher of meditation. His research shows how meditation changes the brain and benefits us profoundly. Fascinating to find research that actually proves there is something we can do right here, to improve overall health. Meditation is one of them.

Dr. Davidson has been looking at war veterans who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. If you did not get a chance to read it, here it is

Today my post is about the connection between meditation and compassion. Dr. Davidson’s research shows that our ability to be compassionate, increases when meditating regularly and our capacity actually increases the more we meditate.

Compassion, including self-compassion! is such an important capacity  – when we are met with compassion, we are more relaxed, we are happier, we perform better, we laugh more, we enjoy life more -we grow and feel nourished. When we feel compassion, we are better parents, friends and lovers.

The Dalai Lama heard of Dr. Davidson’s research and invited him to Dharamsala India, to interview monks with extensive experience in meditation. Davidson was amazed by the level of compassion he experienced there.

I hope you will give yourself time to see this interview about compassion, with Dr Davidson here – it is a great interview!

Meditation is an act of self-compassion. It fulfills a need – a deep underlying need for just being, in peace and stillness. When we satisfy our needs and allow ourselves to be with whatever is, we reconnect to love and compassion residing inside us. Research shows that it builds the area in the brain, adding to the capacity of compassion.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”  The Dalai Lama

Meditation changes the brain

I recently read some research concerning how meditation affects and supports us. I always find it encouraging to find research that proves it is possible to improve our health and life-balance naturally – research that challenges and changes the way we think of the world.  Professor of psychology and psychiatry, Dr. Richard Davidson, a pioneer in the research of neuroscience, has made revolutionary discoveries. He became fascinated with meditation in the 60s and has been meditating since he was a medical graduate student at Harvard University. He is passionate about meditation and his research concentrates on how meditation affects us and changes the brain.

Professor Richard Davidson’s latest research has been with war veterans from Iran and Afghanistan. Soldiers who returned home with deep traumas and wounded souls, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and high anxiety. He studied how meditation affected them. And he has shown that meditation has a tremendous positive effect on the war veterans suffering from  PTSD and anxiety.

His research shows that the brain is elastic and that it is an organ that is transformable.

A Danish Documentary (in English) called Free The Mind, has been made about Richardson’s work – it has just been released.

Free The Mind – read more about the documentary and see the trailer here 

“You should sit in meditation for 20 min a day -unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour” – Old Zen adage