Empathy: Establishing Connection : Blue Beryl Blog
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Empathy: Establishing Connection

by Hyoun Bae on 10/11/18

 World Mental Health Day

Mindfulness and Beyond: How Meditation can Improve Relationships

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson and science writer Daniel Goleman provided a sweeping review of the field of contemplative neuroscience in their recent work Altered Traits. They established the question of what amounts to meditative development, and how practice over time might begin to shape our experience, bringing about positive trait changes.

They locate these shifts in actual structural changes in the brain.

The acknowledgement of neuroplasticity has extended to other human capacities taken up by the field of the social neurosciences. These domains of scientific research and scrutiny intersect with work in the affective realm, employing data from both animal and human studies to better understand how we have evolved and various roles for cooperation and communication.

Meditation is often looked upon as a practice of contemplative inquiry, to help one look deeply within.

The notion of empathy, though, is often translated as ‘entering into the experience’ of another. Tania Singer, noted social neuroscientist and empathy researcher, continues to unpack this vast arena of human development.

Singer and her various colleagues have helped define and distinguish the various shades of empathic relationship that has continued to inform medical and therapeutic care, and also inspired contemplative researchers to look directly at their own traditions for the types of practices that cultivate care and awareness of others.

Traditional Medicine Research Database