Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

In America all kids should have Opportunity

https://pixabay.com/users/cocoparisienne-127419/

.

.

In the so-called greatest country in the world, The United States, all children should have opportunity. My opinion.

Birth is the ultimate lottery of life.

If birth has dealt you abusive parents, maybe no parents, a dark skin tone or abstract poverty, suffering ensues.

In America, every kid should have opportunity.

Opportunity consists of security, shelter, food, support, equal schools and teachers.

Mindfulness (happiness) is not about accumulating wealth and isolating from the undesirables, it is about giving to others in need.

To see kids go hungry, to suffer in abject poverty and crime, tears at my soul now.

If we truly cared, protests would not be needed.

Our energy could be used to help our kids.

Thoughts?

.

.

Building Self Compassion

988EA717-1AB5-4F68-9AF8-D9E5253A4859
.
.

The Self Compassion Skills Workbook”:

1. “There is a specific circuit in your brain that scientists call the Care Circuit, which creates the experience of compassion, warmth, and love.

2. Self-compassion training strengthens your Care Circuit—like exercising a muscle.

3. With enough compassion training, your Care Circuit can literally grow in size so that the increase is visible on a brain scan.

4. The Care Circuit is one of the primary emotional circuits in the brain that creates happiness and well-being.

5. Activating the Care Circuit through self-compassion training reduces every form of emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and anger.

6. Compassion training for 30 minutes a day for 14 days creates significant changes in the brain and leads to more prosocial and altruistic behavior.

7. Eight weeks of compassion training can make your temperament or personality significantly more positive.

8. Scientists have documented that Buddhist monks with intensive training in compassion have the strongest markers for happiness in their brains that have ever been recorded.”
——
There is no limit to the amount of compassion (for yourself and others) that you can develop in your life if you are willing to practice.

Your body and your brain are designed to feel compassion, and the more you engage your Care Circuit, the stronger and bigger it becomes.

There is nothing stopping you from developing a radically new way of relating to yourself—with kindness and love.
.
.

My two cents:  This is a roadmap made by Neuroscientists, pointing out the road less traveled, “The Happy Path”.

 

If you want to be happy, adopt a daily mindfulness/meditation practice.

.

.

Part 2: narrative based and immediate based selfs

https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/

.

.

Neurological research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has shown that these two forms of self-awareness—narrative-based self and immediacy-based self—are located in two separate areas of the brain (Farb et al. 2007).

Using neuroimagery, which can detect which “self” people are operating from, this study compared novice meditators to people who had participated in an eight-week program in mindfulness meditation.

When participants shifted from a narrative focus to their immediate experience, fMRIs indicated that the experienced meditators had less activity in the region associated with the narrative-based self.

In other words, through the practice of mindfulness meditation we can disidentify from the self we’ve created with our stories and discover a new sense of self based in the present moment.

The narrative-based self lives in a continuum of past and future, and as such is the source of wanting, dissatisfaction, and judging—in short, suffering.

The immediacy-based self exists only in the here and now.

These two orientations in the world are fundamentally (and neurologically) different.

The immediacy-based self lives with the inescapable emotional pain of being human, yet it is also present for the breeze on your face or the birdsong that you cannot feel or hear when you’re preoccupied with thoughts and stories.

The narrative-based self can help you avoid much of the emotional pain that’s inevitable when living in the here and now, but you pay the price, as you must instead live with the suffering that self-limiting stories create.

.

.

Meditating on Compassion

https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/

.

.

Of course, Matthieu Ricard:

“A few years earlier, Davidson had studied the asymmetry between the right and left prefrontal cortexes of an elderly Tibetan monk who had meditated on compassion several hours a day throughout his life.

Davidson had noticed that the predominance of activity on the left was far higher in the monk than in the 175 “ordinary” people tested to that point.

This time again, the figures registered by the meditators were outside the distribution curve representing the results of tests on several hundred subjects.

The most astonishing was the spike of so-called gamma activity in the left middle frontal gyrus.

Davidson’s research had already shown and that fluctuations in its balance are generally modest.

But the data drawn from the experiments with the meditators were striking.

As they began meditating on compassion, an extraordinary increase of left prefrontal activity was registered.

Compassion, the very act of feeling concern for other people’s well-being, appears to be one of the positive emotions, like joy and enthusiasm.

This corroborates the research of psychologists showing that the most altruistic members of a population are also those who enjoy the highest sense of satisfaction in life.

Using fMRI, Lutz, Davidson, and their colleagues also found that the brain activity of the practitioners meditating on compassion was especially high in the left prefrontal cortex.

Activity in the left prefrontal cortex swamped activity in the right prefrontal (site of negative emotions and anxiety), something never before seen from purely mental activity.

Preliminary results obtained by Jonathan Cohen and Brent Field at Princeton University also suggest that trained meditators are able to sustain focused attention upon various tasks over a much longer period of time than untrained controls.”

.

.

.

Let’s talk “Gratitude” in a different light

Revelatori

.

.

I have written posts on gratitude and shared one from Pat Cegan at the “Source of Inspiration” detailing 909 different things to be grateful for. ( https://ptsdawayout.com/2020/04/04/spend-a-little-time-identifying-your-gratitude-instead-of-worrying/ )

Now, I want to explore self gratitude (self compassion).

I am grateful for the tools needed to face my challenges, willpower, courage, humility and the power to take action in the face of unrelenting fear.

I am grateful for the ability to sit in the middle of my unworthiness, observing, without judgment how my abuse tainted my self image.

I am grateful my childhood abuse and decades of suffering has not left me jaded or a victim, but a giver of hope to others.

I am thrilled to see perfection in the most mundane spaces from time to time.

I am also thrilled for the ability to-forgive myself of guilt and regret.

I have enormous gratitude that my need for approval from others has dwindled. There is a quiet confidence, a worthy soul inside me for the first time in my life.

Lastly, I am grateful for my ability to help others in a pure form, not needing reward or status, a gift that occupies the time unworthiness cultivated that field of suffering inside my mind.

I do not ask to be free of challenges, I only ask to have the skills to wage my daily battle.

Attitude and effort, I have learned are what I control.

It is my direct choice if I choose not to have a great attitude and give all out effort.

Failing is impossible when I can muster a good attitude and determined effort in the face of adversity.

Our journey is the important part, goals or reward are above our pay grade.

.

.

Compassion for Every Part of Ourselves from “The Self Compassion Workbook”

https://pixabay.com/users/FrankWinkler-64960/

.

.

“We all have parts of ourselves that we wish were different.

We might wish our depression would go away, or our clumsiness, or our quick temper.

However, this desire to grow and improve can become harmful if it turns into hating aspects of ourselves.

There’s a difference between wanting to worry less and hating myself when I worry.

One is motivated by the desire to grow and the other is motivated by the belief that I am unacceptable as I am.

The deepest meaning of self-compassion is relating to every part of ourselves with compassion.

We have compassion for our anxiety, for our loneliness, and even for our self-criticism.

It means that every thought, every feeling, and every behavior can be embraced with compassion.

In fact, when we learn how to have compassion for the parts of ourselves that give us the most discomfort and pain, we discover that growth and healing become much easier.”

.

.

.

Mindfulness versus Selfishness

https://pixabay.com/users/bknis-2559320/

.

.

A mindful existence resembles a giver, a person with a healthy list of things he/she is grateful for. A selfish existence brings a sense of lack, a takers mentality.

Kindness, compassion and empathy are other traits a mindful person strives to incorporate into daily life.

Selfishness could be considered as the antithesis of mindfulness.

Mindfulness strives to do no harm, first to ourselves, then to all we meet.

Selfishness leads to suffering, a heightened sense of lack haunts us.

Happiness is not found out there, that sense of lack is created by our unworthy “Ego”.

Change your behavior, be kind instead of selfish, be a giver not a taker, use compassion, be a helper instead of a harsh critic.

Possessions, status, and power are fleeting, kindness to others, giving, lasts beyond our death.

We are on this journey together, not in competition.

There is plenty for all of us, realize happiness is tied to how we treat those less fortunate.

Release that sense of lack, increase your awareness of the gratitude before you.

Smile, be kind, be compassionate, give and be happy.

.

.

What is your life’s purpose?

https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/

.

.

Mine has changed drastically as I have aged. Fame and fortune blinded my early years.

Childhood trauma stole years from my mid 20’s until mid 50’s.

Lost and suffering clouded any purpose I had.

Healing and meditating brought clarity and a clear purpose, to be happy.

Matthew Ricard says our purpose in life is to be “Happy”.

Happiness takes surrendering to your fears, stockpiling enormous amounts of gratitude, then helping others less fortunate on this path.

Happiness comes to humble, aware souls who let the “Egos” selfishness fade with a lack of attention.

Happiness has nothing to do with achievement, adulation, success or approval.

Can you imagine being happy in stressful, awkward situations.

Accepting life’s challenges is the fork in the road we need to choose.

As long as I show up enthusiastic and give all out effort, the results do not matter.

Behaving like this gives us the best chance for success anyway.

.

.

We should train our soldiers, PTSD WOULD DECLINE

.

.

Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, Tenzin Choedrak, the personal physician of the Dalai Lama, was first sent to a forced labor camp in northeastern Tibet along with some one hundred others.

Five prisoners, himself among them, survived.

He was transferred from camp to camp for nearly twenty years and often thought that he would die of hunger or of the abuse inflicted on him.

A psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress and who treated Doctor Choedrak was astonished that he showed not the least sign of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

He was not bitter, felt no resentment, displayed serene kindness, and had none of the usual psychological problems, such as anxiety, nightmares, and so on.

Choedrak acknowledged that he occasionally felt hatred for his torturers, but that he always returned to the practice of meditation on inner peace and compassion.

That was what sustained his desire to go on living and ultimately saved him.

.

.

.

My two cent: Suicide is extremely rare or non existent for these world class meditators.

Amazing what we can endure if we let our judgments go, then stay present.

Inner peace and compassion sustained this monk for twenty years.

.

Unintended Consequences

Pixabay: Ben_Kerckx

.

.

My healing path was anchored by hours spent each day devoted to meditating. A byproduct of this action, besides healing, was the opening of my compassion center.

This unintended consequence has brought anguish. Suffering a childhood like mine, then to be disowned by my family currently, felt lonely. I mean all you hear from people is family means everything.

I felt somewhat damaged, a little sorry for myself.

Yesterday, outside the grocery, I encountered a homeless man.

I could tell he was a loner, immediately. Somehow, I felt his isolation, his suffering, his fear.

It was cold and he had no family, no one who cares in the world, I almost cried. Now, this was real loneliness. As far as I could see, he had one tooth when I approached.

His gratitude for my small offering touched my soul.

In our society, we have so many homeless now, we look on them as subhuman.

Meditation has curbed my appetite for needing things. Giving and gratitude smother the desire for possessions, power or status.

I have dreams of having Bezos type money and power, then using it to eliminate suffering.

Without forethought, meditation has changed my life is so many unintended ways.

Carry a sandwich, an apple or a small treat to give to those in need.

This act of giving leads to an increase in gratitude and a better chance at being happy.

.

.

%d bloggers like this: