16506Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism
- Jan 24, 2009Thanks for that JeffI'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, SeanRSIC SouthTeam ViperAPO, AE 09355and to the vego-naziThe 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
Date: Saturday, January 24, 2009, 6:48 AMHi Sean,
That natural state of compassion
and connection with other people
is something I've observed in
young children as well.
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
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.
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
> --- On Fri, 1/23/09, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroup s.com>
> 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
> Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information,
> 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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