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

Link Between Workplace Stress and Coronoray Heart Disease

“New research has produced strong evidence of how work stress is linked to the biological mechanisms involved in the onset of heart disease…”

“..we found that chronic work stress was associated with [Coronary Heart Disease] CHD and this association was stronger among both men and women aged under 50 — their risk of CHD was an average of 68% more than for people who reported no stress at work.”

“”The effect [of work stress] on the [Autonomic Nervous System] (ANS) and neuroendocrine function in turn affects the signals to the heart, leading to cardiac instability.”




Possible Link Between Negative Emotions, Anxiety and Heart Disease

From “Heart 411: The Only guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need”

“Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by intense anxiety, tend to have more calcium (a marker of coronary blockages) in their hearts’ arteries than do soldiers without the disorder. On the civilian front, people who suffer from panic disorders face an increased risk of developing heart problems.”