The Ultimate Compassion Formula For Uncompassionate People
As humans, we are capable of understanding each other on a level that transcends logic. When your friend is feeling troubled, you might understand their situation even if they don't say a word. In fact, you don't even need to know the other person personally. Even when you come across a stranger, you might instinctively get a 'feeling' that they are suffering from something.
This quality is known as compassion. It's the ability to recognize and be concerned about the sufferings of others. It also involves taking action to help them in whatever way possible. In many respects, you could say that this quality is what makes us human. It is what gives meaning to our relationships with one other.
Even though you'd expect everyone to be compassionate, reality tells a different tale. A good chunk of the human population is uncompassionate. This often leads to complex and unpredictable problems, both on the microscale and the macro scale. Fortunately, though, compassion is something that can be learned, just like any other skill. And according to researchers, there is one ultimate way that stands out from the rest.
The Ultimate Compassion Formula
In a research study published in 2013, scientists showed that compassionate meditation could help people cultivate compassion. This technique of meditation is attributed to ancient Buddhists, who used it to generate feelings of care for people experiencing agony. But what exactly is it, and how does it work?
When a person is practicing compassionate meditation, they are required to imagine a time in their lives when they had witnessed someone suffering. Then, as they hold that mental image in their minds, they are required to wish for relief for that person. This is done over and over again until this state of wishing relief for other people becomes a natural instinct. In a way, this technique of meditation trains your brain to become sensitive to other people's suffering.
This is exactly what the researchers in the study mentioned above asked the participants to do. In addition to it, they were also asked to practice compassion for different types of people. They had to first feel it for someone close to them, like a friend or family member. Then they were told to replicate this feeling for a stranger and someone they had a conflict with.
The researchers discovered that this type of meditation can actually lead to changes in the brain that can make a person more compassionate. They conducted fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) tests on the participants before and after they practiced compassionate meditation. They found that the area of their brain that is associated with empathy and understanding saw increased neural activity. This made it clear that compassionate meditation had a tangible effect on the participants.
So, if you feel like you or someone who you know needs to have more compassion, it is a good idea to practice compassionate meditation. If it worked for ancient Buddhists and even scientists, it is highly likely that it will work for you too!
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