Compaixão & Gratidão

Um dia de Mindfulness (Atenção Plena) na Google

Foi a primeira vez que o Google teve um Mestre Zen presente na sede da sua empresa em Silicon Valley. Thich Nhat Hanh facilitou durante uma tarde um workshop sobre Mindfulness (Atenção Plena) aos funcionários.
A Google quer assim encorajar mais saúde, felicidade, equilíbrio e reconhecer que as meditações Mindfulness são cruciais para a saúde mental e sucesso dos funcionários.

Veja este vídeo e delicie-se!

Formas Simples de Fazer a Diferença…

Ontem fiquei inspirado pelo filme “Reações em Cadeira” (recomendo vivamente). No caminho para o trabalho, decidi dedicar a algumas pessoas momentos de qualidade durante a minha rotina de trabalho. Entrei no edifício e abordem um dos seguranças de uma forma mais atenta e consciente. Perguntei-lhe como tinha sido o turno da noite, quantos filhos tinha, o que mais gostava de fazer, etc. É incrível que apenas com pequenos gestos como este se pode fazer a diferença no outro. E sobretudo uma grande diferente em nós mesmos. Já pensaste sobre isso? Passamos 85% dos nossos dias de um lado para o outro e não tomamos atenção aos pormenores. No instante em que continuava a fazer mais algumas perguntas, tive de imediato um sentimento de presença e satisfação interior bastante gratificante. A mudança de atitude e atenção muda mesmo tudo, até mesmo um mau dia de trabalho.

De regresso a casa, lembrei de mais algumas ideias simples que gostava de partilhar contigo:

. Ajuda alguém que tenha dificuldade em levar um saco pesado.
. Dá sangue.
. Dá um bilhete de loteria a um estranho.
. Paga o café a um estranho quando terminares o tua refeição.
. Ajuda o teu vizinho na jardinagem.
. Leva um chocolate e coloca na mesa de um colega.

Queres partilhar a tua ideia?

7 Maneiras Simples de Expressar Gratidão

Post escrito por Allan Sousa.

Está satisfeito com o que tem? Em quê é que está grato hoje? Sentes-te grato pelas pessoas à sua volta?

Nos próximos dias desafio-o a trazer para a sua atenção algo que seja profundamente grato. Ao mesmo tempo, tome consciência do sentimento de paz que isso lhe trás.Consegue sentir isso? Esse é o desafio para si.

Há sempre alguma coisa para sermos gratos, deixo-lhe aqui algumas ideias simples que pode fazer para praticar a gratidão:

1. Observe o nascer ou pôr-do-sol.

2. Caminhe na natureza e aprecia a sua beleza e perfeição.

3. Dê um abraço inesperado a alguém que ame ou a um amigo.

4. Envie um email para alguém que precise da sua ajuda.

5. Respire profundamente e sinta o ar a entrar e a sair dos seus pulmões.

6. Diga obrigado mesmo por coisas negativas na sua vida. Tente ver a parte positiva numa situação menos boa.

7. Telefone a alguém e agradeça a pessoa por algo que tenha feito por si.

Breathe mindfully into Your Heart


When we’re feeling unmotivated, it’s helpful to reconnect with our desire to contribute to and serve others. A great yogic exercise for doing this involves breathing into the energetic center in our bodies called the heart chakra, which is located in the heart area.

According to yoga, energy flows more freely through the heart chakra when we breathe into it and focus our attention on that area – energy flow where attention goes. When this happens, we deeply feel our sense of compassion toward others, and regain our desire to give to the world through our work.

Right now as you are reading this, breathe into the heart chakra, put your hands together at the level of your heart.Then, breathe deeply so that nourishing oxygen fills your upper chest area. Feel the warmth and openness in your heart area, and notice any tension melting away.

You can practice this exercise at your work, home, car, bus in a standing or sitting position.This is a powerful tecnique you can practice anywhere because it can be done in 1 or 2 minutes and then you can go back to your work or responsabilities.

With compassion,

Study shows compassion meditation changes the brain

Can we train ourselves to be compassionate? A new study suggests the answer is yes. Cultivating compassion and kindness through meditation affects brain regions that can make a person more empathetic to other peoples’ mental states, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Published March 25 in the Public Library of Science One, the study was the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to indicate that positive emotions such as loving-kindness and compassion can be learned in the same way as playing a musical instrument or being proficient in a sport. The scans revealed that brain circuits used to detect emotions and feelings were dramatically changed in subjects who had extensive experience practicing compassion meditation.

The research suggests that individuals — from children who may engage in bullying to people prone to recurring depression — and society in general could benefit from such meditative practices, says study director Richard Davidson, professor of psychiatry and psychology at UW-Madison and an expert on imaging the effects of meditation. Davidson and UW-Madison associate scientist Antoine Lutz were co-principal investigators on the project.

The study was part of the researchers’ ongoing investigations with a group of Tibetan monks and lay practitioners who have practiced meditation for a minimum of 10,000 hours. In this case, Lutz and Davidson worked with 16 monks who have cultivated compassion meditation practices. Sixteen age-matched controls with no previous training were taught the fundamentals of compassion meditation two weeks before the brain scanning took place.

“Many contemplative traditions speak of loving-kindness as the wish for happiness for others and of compassion as the wish to relieve others’ suffering. Loving-kindness and compassion are central to the Dalai Lama’s philosophy and mission,” says Davidson, who has worked extensively with the Tibetan Buddhist leader. “We wanted to see how this voluntary generation of compassion affects the brain systems involved in empathy.”

Various techniques are used in compassion meditation, and the training can take years of practice. The controls in this study were asked first to concentrate on loved ones, wishing them well-being and freedom from suffering. After some training, they then were asked to generate such feelings toward all beings without thinking specifically about anyone.

Each of the 32 subjects was placed in the fMRI scanner at the UW-Madison Waisman Center for Brain Imaging, which Davidson directs, and was asked to either begin compassion meditation or refrain from it. During each state, subjects were exposed to negative and positive human vocalizations designed to evoke empathic responses as well as neutral vocalizations: sounds of a distressed woman, a baby laughing and background restaurant noise.

“We used audio instead of visual challenges so that meditators could keep their eyes slightly open but not focused on any visual stimulus, as is typical of this practice,” explains Lutz.

The scans revealed significant activity in the insula — a region near the frontal portion of the brain that plays a key role in bodily representations of emotion — when the long-term meditators were generating compassion and were exposed to emotional vocalizations. The strength of insula activation was also associated with the intensity of the meditation as assessed by the participants.

“The insula is extremely important in detecting emotions in general and specifically in mapping bodily responses to emotion — such as heart rate and blood pressure — and making that information available to other parts of the brain,” says Davidson, also co-director of the HealthEmotions Research Institute.

Activity also increased in the temporal parietal juncture, particularly the right hemisphere. Studies have implicated this area as important in processing empathy, especially in perceiving the mental and emotional state of others.

“Both of these areas have been linked to emotion sharing and empathy,” Davidson says. “The combination of these two effects, which was much more noticeable in the expert meditators as opposed to the novices, was very powerful.”

The findings support Davidson and Lutz’s working assumption that through training, people can develop skills that promote happiness and compassion.

“People are not just stuck at their respective set points,” he says. “We can take advantage of our brain’s plasticity and train it to enhance these qualities.”

The capacity to cultivate compassion, which involves regulating thoughts and emotions, may also be useful for preventing depression in people who are susceptible to it, Lutz adds.

“Thinking about other people’s suffering and not just your own helps to put everything in perspective,” he says, adding that learning compassion for oneself is a critical first step in compassion meditation.

The researchers are interested in teaching compassion meditation to youngsters, particularly as they approach adolescence, as a way to prevent bullying, aggression and violence.

“I think this can be one of the tools we use to teach emotional regulation to kids who are at an age where they’re vulnerable to going seriously off track,” Davidson says.

Compassion meditation can be beneficial in promoting more harmonious relationships of all kinds, Davidson adds.

“The world certainly could use a little more kindness and compassion,” he says. “Starting at a local level, the consequences of changing in this way can be directly experienced.”

Lutz and Davidson hope to conduct additional studies to evaluate brain changes that may occur in individuals who cultivate positive emotions through the practice of loving-kindness and compassion over time.

March 25, 2008
by Dian Land

Source: http://www.news.wisc.edu/14944

5 Reasons Why You Should Cultivate Compassion


Yesterday at my work I had a strange reaction from a colleague. He was having some anger behaviors which I didn’t understand. So I thought to myself I have 2 options here. To respond with the same energy or hold that person on is greatness with all the compassion I could give to him.

I must confess that it was very difficult to manage the emotions that were arising within me. I was feeling hurt. There were moments that I was even doubting about myself, thinking things like: “Probably I did something wrong here”. As time passed I realized that it wasn’t about me and that I couldn’t take the responsibility for his way of being. It tooked me some hours to let go from that emotions but in the end I did managed it successfully.

So after this situation, I came with 5 reasons, why learning to be compassionate has helped me in my professional, social and family life.

1. It Makes You a Better Person

When you learn to be compassionate, you become an overall better person. You are upset a lot less and you experience happiness more frequently. Compassionate people generally are patient and kind because they respect others under any circumstance, holding them in their Greatness.

2. You Get Along With People Better

When you’ve learned to be compassionate, it’s a lot easier to throw away the hurt when someone is upset and yells at you, or if someone is being rude. You learn to forget about your hurt and focus your energy to comfort that other person and try to understand what is the real cause of that behavior.
Eventually, these people will apologize, realize that you’re a compassionate person, and become friendlier towards you.

3. You Become a Better Friend

When you are compassionate, you can understand the type of suffering your friend goes through, and you’ll know exactly how to make them feel better (your brain will be trained to think – what would make ME feel better if I were in his shoes) and you will be able to say and do the right things to help your friend when they are hurt.

4. You Become a Better Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Father or Mother

Most, if not all, fights come from when two people go through a miscommunication. But if you are compassionate, you can understand where that person is coming from, and you can tend to their needs, and end the fight faster.

5. Gain Better Control of Your Emotions

When you’re more compassionate, you become more in control of your emotions. When someone hurts your feelings, you have the gift to understand why they said that, or why they didn’t do that, and you can readily forgive someone for it.
By readily forgiving someone, you become less angry, and you become more in peace with yourself. This helps you keep full control of your emotions, and prevents you from blowing up at others, or feeling bored all the time.