Meditation Makes You More Compassionate

Meditation Room

Source: Josh Richardson, Waking Times

The qualities the world desperately needs more of, namely love, kindness and compassion, are indeed teachable. Scientists have mostly focused on the benefits of meditation for the brain and the body, but a recent study by Northeastern University’s David DeSteno, published in Psychological Science, takes a look at what impacts meditation has on interpersonal harmony and compassion.

“Potentially one can train oneself to behave in a way which is more benevolent and altruistic,” said Antoine Lutz, an associate scientist at theUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison.

Recent brain-imaging studies have suggested that the insula and the anterior cingulate cortices regions are involved in the empathic response to other people’s pain. But not much is known about how cultivating compassion might affect brain circuitry.

Several religious traditions have suggested that mediation does just that, but there has been no scientific proof–until now.

In this study, a team of researchers from Northeastern University and Harvard University examined the effects meditation would have on compassion and virtuous behavior, and the results were fascinating.

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