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Changing the world and ourselves through compassion

Stashed in: #kindness, Awesome, @dalailama, Love is Chemicals, Compassion, @emmaseppala, @emmaseppala, interconnected, Altruism

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It's great to see CCARE's research getting coverage around the world.

"We are seeing a revolution in how the mind works. As little as two weeks of practicing compassion with intention has a positive physiological effect on the body. It can lower blood pressure, boost your immune response and increase your calmness," Dr James Doty, Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University told Fairfax Media.

"People are much happier and live a better life if they are able to maximise their genetic potential for being compassionate, and it has a significant contagion effect on others, motivating them to be more kind."

It's a small world. My friend Emma Seppala is associate director for CCARE!

Please stash findings about compassion and kindness anytime, Eric!

This is the key passage in the article, to me.

Borrowing from Buddhist mind training traditions (Dr Doty's center was set up with the largest donation ever made by the Dalai Lama to a non-Tibetan cause), compassion practice uses meditation, visualisation, breathing and mindfulness techniques to enhance wellbeing and foster connection by focusing on shared experiences.

Recognising common fears or vulnerabilities rather than differences – be it with a difficult friend, an abrasive colleague or a noisy neighbour – calms the nervous system, boosting feelings of contentment and self worth. Practising self compassion for your own pain, rather than self criticism, is also a key component.

"There is no-one who has not, will not, or does not suffer. By trying to identify common traits which you share it starts breaking down this barrier of defining someone as an 'other"', Dr Doty said. "You can see a dynamic happen when a person walks into a room with a sense of openness, kindness, connection, vulnerability, how the room reacts. It is much more positive than when a person is demeaning, unkind, rude or aggressive."

Encouraging people to sit silently for 20 minutes a day and contemplate kindness may seem an unlikely money spinner for drug companies but they are looking at compassion science with interest, particularly data relating to the "cuddle chemical", oxytocin.

How do you do these fancy inline quotes?

Checking the "edit as html" box above the comment textarea and using a blockquote tag.

One day we will add markdown support too, but today is not that day. 


I don't think I've ever seen you use bold before Geege!

somewhat surreal to read this and Eric's post on psychopaths in series. 

Interesting that the buddhist perspective can interpret these seemingly mutually exclusive constructs :-)

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