Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

1.19.2015

Making the Resolution Actionable

Finding a bit of sky from the hospital room window.

In my last post I asked: How can we create a habit of instinctively offering and accepting vulnerability, starting each interaction by seeking understanding . . . ?  Some people seem to love everyone.  Can we all learn to do that?

Here's a bit of answer:
Want To Train Your Brain To Feel More Compassion? Here’s How

After only two weeks of online training, participants in our study who practiced compassion meditation every day behaved more altruistically towards strangers compared to another group taught to simply regulate or control their negative emotions. Not only that, the people who were the most altruistic after receiving compassion training also were the individuals who showed the largest changes in how their brains responded to images of suffering. These findings suggest that compassion is a trainable skill, and that practice can actually alter the way our brains perceive suffering and increase our actions to relieve that suffering. . . .

After the experiment, we’ve made these trainings available for free to the general public. As of April 2014, over 3,700 people have downloaded the compassion meditation training in over 60 countries (see map above).

People from the general population have reported beneficial effects such as, "I feel after practicing compassion meditation, I can monitor my emotions better. I can sympathize with other people better and I get upset with them less often." People also felt better about themselves. One person said: "After compassion training, I feel far greater kindness and self-acceptance towards myself. The harsh self-critic is gradually unraveling." Some struggled, especially with the difficult person in their lives. That’s to be expected, and it may be helpful to consult therapists, teachers, or mentors to help navigate them.

We hope that by providing the public with scientific knowledge and tools, people can be empowered to make changes that can benefit themselves and their communities. To try the trainings, visit the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds website.
There are, of course, more details in the article.  And now I have a way to begin turning those questions into an answer with action.

As a follow-up thought: Since compassion can be improved through training, I imagine its opposite can as well.  I won't name or list them, but many examples come easily to mind.

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