NYTimes OP-ED: The Morality of Meditation

A recent article in the NYTimes discusses an experiment on whether meditators might be more willing to help others.

meditation mindfulness compassion Paul Condon NYTimes New York Gaëlle Desbordes Boston Harvard Willa Miller
NYTimes Ilustration by Olimpia Zagnoli

“..[W]hat ..interested us was whether those who had been meditating would exhibit greater compassion in the face of suffering. To find out, we staged a situation designed to test the participants’ behavior before they were aware that the experiment had begun.

 

 “Although only 16 percent of the nonmeditators gave up their seats — an admittedly disheartening fact — the proportion rose to 50 percent among those who had meditated.”

 

Read the full article here

Meditation Appears to Produce Enduring Changes in Emotional Processing in the Brain

A new study has found that participating in an 8-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating.

This study highlights how Compassion and Mindfulness Meditations affect the brain differently. Mindfulness meditation helps with stability and decreasing reactivity, while “Compassion” meditation appears to open the practitioner to empathy towards human suffering.

Eric Schwartz, PhD, Lobsang T. Negi, PhD, Thaddeus Pace, PhD, Alan Wallace, PhD & Charles Raison, MD

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112150339.htm