Is Compassion the Secret Ingredient of Happiness?

The dalai lama

dalai lama

Meditative science’s expert on happiness, Matthieu Ricard  and Richard Davidson et al. at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds think so. The Dalai Lama has said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

It doesn’t appear to be coincidence that most of the research done on the effects of meditation on brain change are done by focusing on compassion.  The results in strengthening attention, focus and general sense of well being are remarkable. (See the results in upcoming posts.)

Here are the 5 areas that compassion is focused on during meditation:

1. Compassion focused on a loved one,

2. Compassion focused on someone you see regularly but don’t necessarily know,

3. Compassion on someone who has caused you pain,

4.  And probably most importantly, compassion focused on yourself.

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

copyright

Stress Management is a Benefit of Meditative Science

What would happen if you came up with one idea that changed the course of your life forever? What if you could learn to control the landscape of your mind so that you could change whatever you need to change to live fully, to live out your unique purpose for being on this wonderful planet earth.

What would that be worth to you? What if you could eliminate all the negative stress in your life and calmly and creatively meet all the inevitable obstacles and interruptions in life with thoughtful solutions without allowing derailment to be be an option?

Stress Management

 It is well known that putting the body under consistent long term stress has harmful effects. It weakens the immune system, making it either under or over active or alternating between the two. Many studies have shown that over 98% of trips to the family physician are for stress related illnesses. Migraines, tension headaches, digestive problems, muscle tension, and aches and pains, not to mention anxiety, overeating, and other addictive and escapist behaviors.

In our corporate stress management division, we greatly reduced the absenteeism associated with migraines at a major managed health care facility. Using relaxation techniques, we fostered body awareness and were able to significantly reduce shoulder and neck strain injuries and the number of surgeries for carpal tunnel injury.

We taught pregnant women to create their own anesthesia during childbirth through the power of their own mind.

So what is going on here?

People learn to access parts of their mind/brain that they have possessed all along time but no one has ever taught them how to use.

We all know that our mind controls our physiology. Think of your favorite sexual fantasy and the resulting physicality, or how your body feels when you get very angry.

What if you could consciously control your physiology? Any professional athlete will tell you that mental fitness is the key to their success, for without it, they could not train harder and push themselves through pressure and inevitable disappoints that arise in competitive sports.

Many community healthcare departments have trained their EMT’s and paramedics to give just the right suggestions to trauma victims to stop excessive bleeding and reduce or speed up heart rate as needed as part of the stabilization process.

Wouldn’t you love to have that kind of control over your own mind to modify eating habits, increase your physical activity, motivate yourself to write that book or article that is living inside of you. Or how about to just sail calmly and peacefully through life not getting tripped up on events and personalities that you cannot change, but taking control to change that which you can change and the internal wisdom to know the difference?

All this involves the accessing of the wisdom  part of your mind/brain or to use an old term “expand your consciousness” without external substances. The techniques are relatively simple, but practice is required to claim permanent usage of the newly acquired real estate that has been lying fallow between the ears.

How can you not want the competitive edge to create your own life rather having it created by those who have perfected programming your brain…media, marketing advertising.. your friends..almost everything in in your environment.

Take it back, take back control of mind, take back control over your life.

Take it back from junk food, television, mindless Facebook games, whatever your personal life waster(s) may be and start living out your purpose for being here.

Research has shown that everyone has a life purpose and those who know and live it are happier, healthier and weather the inevitable storms of life more gracefully, turning problems into opportunities.

Mental Fitness Is A Benefit of Meditative Science

forest-by-moyan-Brenn-210x210

Meditative science is a vital ingredient in mental fitness.

We live in an age where intellectual capital is our greatest individual and collective asset. And superior mental fitness is the key to creating and sustaining intellectual capital. Mental fitness is the key to good health, physical fitness, a sense of well being, calmness under pressure, focus and creativity, and intellectual longevity. A commitment to studying and practicing meditative science will provide superior mental fitness.

 

 Change

Change is the biggest stressor in everyone’s life, and life is changing at a more rapid pace than ever. The rapid pace of change, driven by the technological gains, affects everyone differently, but it affects us all.

It has gotten to the point today where computers not only process information much faster than the human brain, but have the capability to manipulate the entire repository of human knowledge accumulated over hundreds of thousands of years. Artificial intelligence also has the ability to keep up with every new discovery and piece of research published. This phenomenon  is a large part of the LOAR (law of accelerating returns) in the rapid progress of innovation in science, the evolution of medicine, information technology, and the creation of new products.

So where does that leave us – the human side of it all? Many feel that they are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Jobs are disappearing as technology and machines replace what once took human labor. Those jobs will not return. It is simply more efficient and cost effective to let machines take care of the redundant, mind numbing work that really encompasses most of manufacturing as well many sales, management, and professional jobs. And then we have the rapid evolution of nanotechnology and 3-D printing to produce parts on demand that is predicted to be common in the not too distance future.

The Evolution of Stressors

The traditional stressors of life were major life changing events: loss of spouse, loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, marriage, birth of a child. Those stressors are still there, but the impact has been supplanted by the worldly stressors of uncertainty, working long hours, loss of leisure time, the need to constantly upgrade skills to stay employable, rising prices and lower income, and the conundrum of educating and guiding children  to not only thrive but survive in an uncertain global future.

These factors mean that more and more people of all ages and in all socioeconomic circumstances are experiencing chronic stress in daily life and this takes a toll on health, sense of well being, relationships, ability to think clearly, focus and really every aspect of life. Our medical industry is bursting at the seams with stress related illnesses it is ill equipped to handle.

There is an old saying in the world of social sciences that one cannot control the random comings and goings of the events of life, but the one thing we can control is our responses to these events. Though I tend to agree with that statement, I also know it is much easier said than done, and often our greatest challenge in life. Setbacks in life can have the cumulative effect of wearing us down, robbing our energy and sense of wellbeing. Mental resilience has become more important then ever. It is the underpinning of a healthy, balanced life.

Radical changes have occurred in the science of mental fitness and conditioning. Technology has evolved to enable us to scientifically compare change therapies to one another by viewing the actual changes in the brain to help determine which ones produce both the most effective and sustainable results. This has enabled us to narrow down the techniques producing the greatest change in the shortest amount of time and, thus, design programs creating sustainable mental fitness.

Meditative Science is based on techniques that show significant positive changes in the brain in most people in about 2 weeks of training for 30 minutes per day. After 30 days of training, most people report an increased sense of well being, a greater sense of calmness in their lives and an increased ability to deal the stresses of everyday life.

Like any form of fitness program, it takes commitment to the process and regular practice. The more one practices, the stronger and more resilient the brain becomes.

CC BY-NC-SA

Intellectual Capital is the New Sexy

This is the why and how studying meditative science is so important. The short answer is intellectual capital. Intellectual capital is probably the most valuable commodity traded in socioeconomic systems as they all run on creativity, innovation and compassion with the skill sets to back up whatever is being created (tennis skills, design, wordsmanship,etc.). As individuals, we  are all cells in the ecosystem of which economics is a piece, the strongest, happiest, most successful  players hold the greatest amount of intellectual capital and on demand cognitive control.

intellectual capital and cognitive control are the new sexy
Photo credit: Mike Hewitt, Getty Images
Intellectual Capital and Cognitive Control are the New Sexy

Marion Bartoli, the 2013 Wimbledon Women’s Tennis champion, was a good example of that. When interviewed before the match about why she was not the media’s pick to win, she commented that she was not blonde enough, nor fit (swim suit model) enough, nor did she smile enough. I listened to the commentators before the match comment on and poke fun of her “quirkiness.” It was thrown in for good measure that she had an IQ of 175. Pre match, John McEnroe was getting pretty annoying with poking fun at Bartoli’s lack of “in the box”  athleticism.

And then, a few minutes into the match, McEnroe changed his tune, with an almost reverent tone applauding Bartoli’s understanding of the game and her thoughtful plays and understanding of the geometry of the court and angles of the shots.

The end result being she simply mentally psyched out her opponent. Of course she had the tennis skills and physical conditioning to back up this win. But as any astute observer of human behavior could see, she simply out thought her opponent on a point by point basis. This takes incredible cognitive control in every area of the brain. It requires the ability to dampen down the emotional centers of the brain allowing the prime power sources of oxygen and glucose to be shunted to the prefrontal cortices along with the other areas of the brain that control focus, being in the moment, spatial ability and projections, eye-hand coordination, muscle memory and all the skills of athletic championship.

Bartoli’s opponent, who pre match was known for her smiles and swimsuit potential will be  known more for her tears and breaking down on the court. Bartoli mentally broke her by being more mentally fit. The point, when the media was chidding Bartoli for lack of fitness (swim suit attractiveness), the real test of fitness was in the mind. Bartoli played an astounding game of tennis cashing in on her intellectual capital, while leveling the playing field for those lesser swim suit model types who understand the importance of mental fitness as the key not only to physical fitness, but to happiness and success in life in general.

Intelligence:  the ability to to apply knowledge, skills and data situationally in order to maximize desired outcome.

 

CC BY-NC-SA