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16506Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism

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  • sean tremblay
    Jan 24, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Thanks for that Jeff
      I'm in Zabul Province Afghanistan, And since we are on the topic of compassion I'm collecting things for Afghan kids, coloring books crayons, small stuffed animals, warm clothing ect and small candies, they like chocolate. They can be sent to:
      SSG Tremblay, Sean
      RSIC South
      Team Viper
      APO, AE 09355
      and to the vego-nazi
      The Afghans slaughtered a fresh goat for me last week and we feasted!
      So put your broccoli where your mouth is!

      --- On Sat, 1/24/09, Jeff Belyea <jeff@...> wrote:
      From: Jeff Belyea <jeff@...>
      Subject: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism
      To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, January 24, 2009, 6:48 AM

      Hi Sean,

      That natural state of compassion
      and connection with other people
      is something I've observed in
      young children as well.

      As examples:

      If you don't mind a ride in
      Mr. Peabody's Wayback machine...

      When a young child I was
      fortunate enough to spend
      a few years with back in
      the 70s was not quite
      2 years old...a couple
      of instances of this
      compassion and connection
      struck me powerful and
      are still fresh in my
      memory:

      We were waiting at the
      airport, and I was holding
      this young boy in my arms.
      His older sister had been
      away for a couple of weeks.
      When she came off the plane
      and into the reception area...

      I was startled to see the
      eyes of this young boy
      tear up upon seeing her.
      It was surprising to me
      that a child so young would
      feel this much intensity
      of emotion, compassion and
      connection. I wouldn't have
      expected that reaction in
      someone so young.

      Secondly, again, while
      holding this same young man:

      We were at a restaurant
      waiting by the counter
      for a table.

      Seated at the counter
      was a man eating a sandwich.

      The young boy leaned over
      as asked, "What are you eating?"

      The man smiled and said,
      "A cheeseburger. "

      Obviously feeling a connection,
      and comfortable with the
      concept of sharing,
      the young boy said...

      "Can I have a bite?"

      I still burst out laughing
      whenever that comes to mind.

      Best,

      Jeff

      PS: Are you back in the states?
      Oh, and the man at the counter
      just turned away, without
      offering to share a bite.

      --- In meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com, sean tremblay
      <bethjams9@. ..> wrote:
      >
      > Great article,
      > This is something I would like to know more about. The biology of
      compassion.  As a father I observed that thier is a natural state of
      compassion that we as a species are born with.  baby on solid food
      will want to share with every one around him family and strangers
      alike.  What changes in the brain occur in life that disconnects us
      from our Natural State of being? As a soldier, my concern is what
      changes occur in the brain that causes seemingly normal people to
      commit savage acts, It seems there is a switch to self destruct mode
      that happens in the brain on a collective level, that thier are acts
      that many individuals are capible of commiting in a group setting and
      not individualy. Again what is the neural root of collective insanity?
      > Good topic
      > Sean
      >
      > --- On Fri, 1/23/09, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
      wrote:
      >
      > From: medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
      > Subject: [Meditation Society of America] New Center At Stanford To
      Study Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism
      > To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
      > Date: Friday, January 23, 2009, 1:59 PM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > New Center At Stanford To Study Brain's
      > Role In Compassion, Altruism
      > 23 Jan 2009
      >
      > A new Center for Compassion and Altruism
      > Research and Education has been launched
      > at the Stanford University School of Medicine,
      > with the aim of doing scientific research on
      > the neural underpinnings of these thoughts and feelings.
      >
      > His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,
      > provided $150,000 in seed money for the center-the
      > largest sum he has ever given for a scientific
      > venture-and has agreed to return to Stanford for
      > a future visit, according to Geshe Thupten Jinpa,
      > a translator for the Dalai Lama.
      >
      > The center is the brainchild of Jim Doty, MD,
      > a clinical professor of neurosurgery who recently
      > returned to Stanford after a period of
      > entrepreneurship, and neurologist William Mobley,
      > MD, PhD, the John E. Cahill Family Professor in
      > the School of Medicine. Doty is the director of
      > the center, which is housed within the Stanford
      > Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences,
      >
      > The impetus for the center began in November 2005,
      > when the Dalai Lama visited Stanford for a dialogue
      > with scientists and Buddhist scholars that was moderated by Mobley
      > and focused on spiritual and scientific
      > explorations of human experience in the areas
      > of craving, suffering and choice.
      >
      > Following the visit by the Dalai Lama and based
      > on his own experiences and interest in these
      > areas, Doty initiated informal meetings with a
      > number of Stanford scientists including Mobley,
      > who is co-director of the center; Brian Knutson,
      > PhD, associate professor of psychology; and Gary
      > Steinberg, MD, PhD, professor and chair of
      > neurosurgery, in an effort to spur rigorous
      > scientific research in mind/brain interactions
      > focused on compassion and altruism. He also
      > connected with University of Oregon neuroeconomist
      > Bill Harbaugh, PhD, who examines altruistic
      > giving using functional magnetic resonance imaging.
      >
      > In March 2008, a delegation from Stanford flew
      > to Seattle, where the Dalai Lama was attending a
      > conference related to compassion. On hearing from
      > the Stanford group about the goals of the planned
      > center and the pilot studies under way, the Dalai
      > Lama agreed to a return visit to Stanford and s
      > pontaneously volunteered the $150,000 donation
      > to spur continuing exploration in this area.
      >
      > This event marked the transition from what was
      > initially an informal gathering of like-minded
      > scientists to the formal creation of the center
      > by medical school Dean Philip Pizzo.
      >
      > "As a neurosurgeon, I can only affect a few
      > patients each day," Doty said. "Through the
      > activities of the center, we have the potential
      > to impact thousands to millions of people to
      > live fuller and more positive lives."
      >
      > The center has now raised more than $2 million
      > in donations and has initiated a number of
      > pilot studies, some involving Buddhist and
      > Catholic contemplative practitioners. For example,
      > brain-imaging studies have demonstrated a burst
      > of activity in an area of the brain known as
      > the nucleus accumbens when these practitioners
      > think compassionate thoughts. The center is also
      > examining individuals' response to the suffering
      > of others, which can be either disgust or recognition
      > of another's suffering, followed by empathy and
      > a desire to take action (this is signaled by
      > activation of the prefrontal cortex, the seat of
      > initiation of motor movement).
      >
      > Questions the center wishes to address, Doty
      > said, include:
      >
      > - Is it possible to create a set of mental
      > exercises that individuals can be taught to
      > make them more compassionate without them
      > having to spend thousands of hours in meditation
      > (common for Buddhist monks)?
      >
      > - Is there an explanation for why a child becomes a bully?
      >
      > - Are there ways in which children or their
      > parents can be taught to be more compassionate?
      >
      > - Can we create a set of exercises that will address
      > the issue of "compassion fatigue" in clergy and
      > hospital personnel?
      >
      > - Would such training benefit prison inmates to
      > decrease violence and recidivism?
      >
      > - Is there a place for such training in the corporate
      > environment to decrease the incidence of depression
      > and anxiety in workers?
      >
      > The center is also sponsoring a symposium, slated
      > for March, that will bring together a multidisciplinary
      > group of scientists from around the world. Attendees
      > will include philosophers, contemplative scholars,
      > psychologists, developmentalists, primatologists,
      > neuroeconomists and neuroscientists working in the
      > area of compassion and altruism research.
      >
      > Doty brings a unique perspective on altruism to
      > the center. At one point, he accumulated a $75
      > million fortune, part of which he committed as a
      > multimillion- dollar pledge to Stanford University.
      > But following the dot-com meltdown, Doty was $3
      > million in debt even after liquidating essentially
      > all of his assets.
      >
      > To honor his charitable commitments, he sold his
      > only remaining asset: stock in Accuray Inc., a
      > publicly traded company he had previously headed
      > as CEO. This allowed Doty to fulfill pledges of
      > $5.4 million to the university and another $20
      > million to other charities. Part of his Stanford
      > donation is being used to fund the center.
      >
      > The center is located at 1215 Welch Road (Module B/room 55). More
      > information is available at the center's Web site at
      > http://compassion. stanford. edu.
      >
      > Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical
      > education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford
      > University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and
      Lucile
      > Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information,
      please
      > visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication
      &
      > Public Affairs at http://mednews. stanford. edu.
      >
      > Stanford University Medical Center
      > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
      > ----------
      >
      > Article URL: http://www.medicaln ewstoday. com/articles/ 136540.php
      >


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