More on the Science of Compassion

More on the Science of Compassion


As a Passionist High School Seminarian I was taught to meditate daily. I remember very little actual instruction. It was just part of our daily schedule and I simply followed everyone else, sitting quietly in the Chapel after a day of doing chores, studying and playing outside. The time was just before dinner and I must admit, much of my time was spent wondering what was for dinner, especially if the nuns were making bread.


We all were assigned a spiritual director and mine was Fr. Randal Joyce, C.P. Our spiritual director helped us choose reading material, which we had time to read for the fifteen minutes preceding meditation. Fr. Randal encouraged me to kneel (we actually sat in a kind of half kneel and half sit position) and think about what I had just read for help in meditating. That’s the only instruction I can recall.


I dropped that very valuable activity when I left the novitiate and didn’t return to it on a regular basis for the next twenty years. At that time I was reintroduced to meditation and have since done it on a fairly regular basis.


In today’s TED talk brain researcher, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, tells us about her experience having and recovering from a stroke. It’s an amazing story as witnessed by the fifteen million plus views of her talk. More than her experience she tells the science of what actually happened and what happens to us when we choose to live in our right brain.


Why did I categorize this talk as compassion you wonder? Jill chose brain research because she had a brother who suffered from mental illness. Her compassionate choice has given us a remarkable insight into life and especially into a life of prayer and meditation. Thanks Jill.

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