Yes, Meditation Can Make You A Better Person

Posted on February 26, 2015 at 3:40 PM



We humans can be nasty things. Dr Zimbardo’s now famous 1971 psychology experiments and any basic history lesson make that abundantly clear. I didn’t go to a private girls school but I’m often told that’s a whole other lesson in meanness itself. We get drawn into separating "us" from "them" to the point of inter-group conflict (on minor and mass scales) and our brains (yes, our brains) are hardwired to discriminate and categorize our human brothers and sisters according to surface similarities.


On the other hand, we humans can also be an awesomely benevolent, compassionate and loving species. Hot off the research presses, we have a creative study exploring how a six-week practice of loving-kindness meditation can reduce stigmatizing and discriminatory attitudes towards homeless people. Interestingly, just talking about loving-kindness didn’t produce the same positive result — it turns out you have to actually do the practice.


To obtain these results, the researchers assigned participants to one of three conditions: a six-week loving-kindness discussion, a six-week loving-kindness meditation, or a wait list as the control. In addition to suggesting a reduction in negative attitudes toward the homeless, the study also showed that participants' racist attitudes were tougher to shift than their bias regarding homeless people.


We can hope that this interesting (albeit disturbing) finding provides a challenge to researchers and prompts further research into the mechanisms of discriminatory behavior, in addition to the strategies to help us be better animals.


But for the rest of us, the question is: How can we use this research in our own lives and meditation practices? For starters, it’s time to put down the meditation book (and get off the internet, right now!) — reading about meditation isn't the same as actually doing it.


Perhaps more important, practice loving-kindness. It may be helpful to get honest with yourself first: Who do you judge? Make sure you gently move toward including this person or group within those to whom you feel loving-kindness.


If you’d like to see the original study, make your way here.

Categories: None

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply interne
4:44 PM on August 3, 2022 
cialis buy Loss of appetite can cause unintentional weight loss.
Reply DwerClerb
9:04 PM on February 8, 2022 
Plaquenil He denies seeing any gross blood in his urine.
Reply DwerClerb
12:35 AM on January 27, 2022 
Plaquenil Zqidih Non Presciption Indocine
Reply Poimentee
9:19 AM on January 24, 2022 
Simple magnifiers using a single convex lens had been known for centuries in the form of the classic magnifying glass. prednisone dosage for 60 lb dog
Reply Heignee
2:35 AM on January 24, 2022 
Rezeptfrei Cialis namsLopypymn
Reply fluemia
12:17 PM on December 30, 2021 
kamagra venta sin receta kamagra kamagra generico
Reply buy azithromycin 500mg
7:35 PM on December 19, 2021 
comprare viagra
Reply where buy viagra
5:08 AM on December 19, 2021 
is cialis an hormone
Reply Issuenuep
10:54 AM on December 9, 2021 
gabapentin half life
Reply gabapentin and ibuprofen
6:33 PM on December 8, 2021 
Levitra How To Take
Reply enenoff
5:27 PM on December 7, 2021 
gabapentin benefits
Reply half life of plaquenil
6:16 PM on December 5, 2021 
Zithromax And Flagyl
Reply purchase cialis online cheap
4:06 PM on December 5, 2021 
Buy Amoxicillin Mexico
Reply plaquenil and covid19
2:56 PM on December 4, 2021 
Healthy Man Viagra Radio Ad
Reply prednisone without prescription canada
6:34 AM on November 13, 2021 
Venta Viagra En Espana
Reply expinia
11:49 PM on November 12, 2021 
prednisolone use
Reply Stromectol
11:16 PM on November 12, 2021 
Keflex And Grapefruit Juice Interactions
Reply priligy kaufen
9:58 PM on November 12, 2021 
Potenzmittel Cialis Billig
Reply molvemows
4:50 AM on November 11, 2021 
candian pharmacy lasix pills
Reply Cialis
4:47 AM on November 9, 2021 
How Long Does Vardenafil Last