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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: compassion

Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 09, 2013

Surprising ally for snow leopards: Buddhist monks

Tia Ghose, LiveScience: The endangered snow leopard has some allies in unexpected places.

The leopards are being protected by hundreds of Buddhist monasteries on the Tibetan plateau, new research suggests.

The scientists, who detailed their study last week in the journal Conservation Biology, found that half of the monasteries are within the snow leopards’ habitat and that monks patrol the wilderness to prevent poachers from killing the rare cats.

“Buddhism has as a basic tenet — the love, respect, and compassion for all living beings,” said study co-author George Schaller, a biologist with the endangered cat conservation group Panthera, in a statement. “This report …

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Rick Hanson PhD

Aug 23, 2013

What matters most to you?

RickHansonIn every life, reminders arrive about what’s really important.

Two years ago, I received one myself, in a form that’s already come to countless people and will come to countless more: news of a potentially serious health problem. My semi-annual dermatology mole check turned up a localized melanoma cancer in my ear that needed to come out immediately. The prognosis was very positive – the melanoma was “non-invasive,” whew – but it was certainly an intimation of mortality. Hopefully this particular bullet will whiz by, but the whole experience was an uncomfortably concrete message that sooner or later something will catch up with each one of us.

When all this happened back in June, …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jul 26, 2013

Meditation’s next frontier: Improving customer service

Knowledge@Wharton: The role of meditation in enhancing individual performance, leadership and productivity is well documented. However, a recent study captures its uses in evoking compassion — as the Buddha originally intended. Businesses could use that insight and meditation as a tool to foster closer bonding between employees and to spur them to serve customers better, according to Wharton management professor Sigal Barsade.

A recent article in The New York Times by David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, describes how he, along with psychologist Paul Condon, neuroscientist Gaelle Desbordes and Buddhist lama Willa Miller, conducted an experiment in meditation that…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 19, 2013

3 key mindfulness practices for calm, self-compassion and happiness

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., PsychCentral: When it comes to mindfulness, there are a number of great short practices that help us be more present to our lives. In this post I’m going to reveal three key mindfulness practices that can help us pause, break out of auto-pilot, step into emotional freedom and even open up to a source of connection that is ultimately healing to ourselves and the world. Plus, I’ll reveal a new practice that people are starting to love.

I know it sounds lofty, but give them a shot and let your experience be the teacher…

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Bodhipaksa

May 31, 2013

There is no one to have compassion, no one to have compassion for (Day 50)

100 Days of LovingkindnessA couple of times people have contacted me saying that self-compassion is not possible. Both times they’ve quoted dictionary definitions that present compassion as something that’s inherently directed toward others. For example:

com·pas·sion n. Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. [Emphasis added]

And the etymology of compassion — “[to be] with suffering” — has also been cited as a reason for rejecting the notion of self-compassion, because that’s taken to suggest that we be with the suffering of others.

But it can be misleading to insist that the etymology of a word defines or exhausts its present meaning. Sure, com- means with …

Bodhipaksa

May 30, 2013

An awareness imbued with compassion (Day 49)

100 Days of Lovingkindness

“…an individual keeps pervading the first direction — as well as the second direction, the third, and the fourth — with an awareness imbued with compassion. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, and all around, everywhere and in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with compassion: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.”

I want to focus on the phrase, of the Buddha’s, “an awareness imbued with compassion,” because I think it’s rather important.

Here’s something you can try in your meditation. When I’m teaching, often at the beginning of a period of practice I’ll suggest that people become aware of the light, and …

Bodhipaksa

May 29, 2013

Compassion and impermanence (Day 48)

100 Days of LovingkindnessAs I wrote in my book, Living as a River:

Relating to someone as a “self”—on the basis of how we see them right now—is like seeing a video reduced to a single frame, or seeing a ball hurtling through the air in a freeze-frame photograph. It’s life-denying. It’s a static way of seeing things. In taking a snapshot of a thing we lose its sense of trajectory, the sense that it’s headed somewhere. We’re disconnected from the reality of change and process. But imagine if we could consistently see a person not as a thing but as a process—if we could, at least in our imagination—see that person

Bodhipaksa

May 27, 2013

Living with a heart of tenderness (Day 46)

100 Days of LovingkindnessYesterday I wrote about how the Buddha, when he was in agony after having been injured, kept the suffering of self-doubt at bay by lying down “with sympathy for all beings.”

The word for sympathy here is “anukampā,” which literally means “to tremble with” or “to vibrate with.” Taking the meaning of “to vibrate with” we could even understand anukampā as being “resonating” with others, or having empathy for them.

Anukampā is closely related to karunā, or compassion, although karunā is from a root meaning “to act,” and so it’s a more active and dynamic term, while anukampā is more receptive. When we have anukampā we’re receptive to the feelings of …

Bodhipaksa

May 26, 2013

Compassion as an antidote for our own suffering (Day 45)

100 Days of LovingkindnessI’ve often written about how experiencing compassion for ourselves can naturally spill over to experiencing compassion for other people. When someone says something that you find hurtful, that hurt is a form of suffering. Often what we do is try to become angry, ultimately in an effort to rid of the “cause” of the suffering (the other person) and thus remove the hurt. This is a kind of double aversion, because not only are we experiencing aversion to the person whose words gave rise to the feeling of hurt, but we’re turning away from the hurt itself.

A compassionate approach to dealing with hurt, on the other hand, is to …

Bodhipaksa

May 25, 2013

Seeing with the eyes of compassion (Day 44)

100 Days of LovingkindnessWe can see beings with the eyes of compassion, or with the eyes of utility. We almost literally live in different worlds depending on which eyes we use to see with.

When we see with the eyes of utility we gauge beings by their usefulness to us.

If the checkout clerk performs smoothly we’ll remain neutral, maybe even friendly, but if he or she has trouble looking up the code for an item, or — heaven forbid — has to call in a supervisor for help, we’ll quickly become irritable. This person has become an obstacle to the smooth functioning of our life.

When the child is slow getting ready for …