According to recent scientific research:
Meditation Increases Empathy
Meditation enhances empathy by increasing mindful awareness. When people become non-judgmentally aware of the present moment, they shift their attention from being immersed in their thoughts & feelings and viewing them as fixed parts of the self, to dis-identifying with their thoughts & feelings and viewing them from a distance as floating states of the mind. Even very brief mindfulness exercises have the potential to enhance empathy.
University of Amsterdam & Stanford University
Meditation Increases Compassionate Response
The power of meditation to increase compassionate responding to suffering, even in the face of social pressures to avoid so doing is clear. It provides scientific credence to ancient Buddhist teachings that meditation increases spontaneous compassionate behavior.
Condon & Desbordes,
Northeastern University & Massachusetts General Hospital
Meditation Increases Emotional Intelligence
Meditative traditions aim for a twofold process of emotional rebalancing: to reduce destructive emotions and to cultivate positive affects such as joy, love, and compassion, even to the point where they become nonexclusive and unconditional.
Long-term meditation can raise the happiness set point, which psychologists usually assume to be tightly genetically constrained. Meditators show reduced anxiety, hostility, and depression, together with enhanced subjective well-being.
Walsh & Shapiro, University of California, Irvine
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