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Friday, March 03, 2006

Compassionate Meditation

In April 2005, I had referenced a blog on the topic of compassionate meditation. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by the principal researcher of that topic.

Dr. Richard Davidson, a psychology professor at UW-Madison,, presented "Be Happy Like a Monk" at the Milwaukee Public Library. The presentation was very well attended, the group had to be moved into the main auditorium. I estimate that about 200 people attended it.

I am trying to come up with a review of the details of the presentation. Unfortunately I did not take notes. Unlike Holly, who sat next to me, who as it turned out had seen the description of my "Mind Aerobics" class at UW-Parkside. This was a nice aha for both of us.

Anyway, about fifteen years ago, Dr. Davidson was asked by the Dalai Lama to study the meditation brain waves of monks. The overall emphasis being to discover if meditation can help us learn to be more happy. It turns out that monks can sustain gamma wave activity in their meditative state for much longer times that the typical adult. This is due to the years of practice that they have invested in meditation - that is the premise. My understanding is sketchy.

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