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16524Re: [Meditation Society of America] New Center At Stanford To Study Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism

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  • krishnan sundaram
    Jan 25, 2009
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      Inscription in an Indian temple "compassion can never come to a flesh eater"

      --- On Sun, 25/1/09, Bruce Morgen <editor@...> wrote:
      From: Bruce Morgen <editor@...>
      Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] New Center At Stanford To Study Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism
      To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, 25 January, 2009, 7:50 AM

      That's a pretty popular opinion
      on the subcontinent -- I refrain
      from eating flesh myself, but I
      also refrain from judging those
      do. Folks who really want to
      promote vegetarianism would do
      well to be as careful about what
      comes out of their mouths as
      they are about what goes in --
      guilt is a very poor motivation
      for lasting lifestyle change.
      Direct insight into the karma
      involved is much more effective,
      and sudden interjection of
      guilt mongering into a topic not
      directly related is usually

      sean tremblay wrote:
      > Huh?
      > --- On *Sat, 1/24/09, krishnan sundaram /<krish_cost@yahoo. co.in>/* wrote:
      > From: krishnan sundaram <krish_cost@yahoo. co.in>
      > Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] New Center At
      > Stanford To Study Brain's Role In Compassion, Altruism
      > To: meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com
      > Date: Saturday, January 24, 2009, 1:29 AM
      > Compassion can never be found in a non-vegetarian.
      > --- On *Sat, 24/1/09, medit8ionsociety /<no_reply@yahoogro up
      > s.com>/* wrote:
      > From: medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogrou p 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: Saturday, 24 January, 2009, 12:29 AM
      > 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.
      > <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.
      > <http://mednews. stanford. edu./>
      > Stanford University Medical Center
      > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
      > ----------
      > Article URL: http://www.medicaln ewstoday. com/articles/
      > 136540.php <http://www.medicaln ewstoday. com/articles/ 136540.php>
      > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
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