YES! Magazine Nominated for General Excellence. Read All About It.
Sections
Home » Issues » Sustainable Happiness » Compassion is Good for the Brain

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.
[SAMPLE]
link

HomeBannerAd_Bookshelf

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!

 

Compassion is Good for the Brain

Happiness-in-Action Heroes banner


Ricard’s brain lights up

When Matthieu Ricard meditates, his mind is filled with infinite compassion. That’s his experience. When Dr. Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin used magnetic resonance imaging to look at Matthieu Ricard’s brain he saw a prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain associated with happiness and other positive emotions—lit up in a way never before seen by researchers. Ricard, a PhD geneticist and Buddhist monk who’s been meditating for decades, had off-the-charts gamma wave activity, which corresponds with focused thought. Davidson tested 30 other Buddhist monks and got similar results. Testing of 150 other subjects showed no such patterns, although it did show low-level changes among subjects who were newly trained in meditation techniques.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Ricard Matthieu&8217;s brain. Photo courtesy Waisman Brain Imaging Lab, University of Wisconsin
Photo courtesy Waisman Brain Imaging Lab, University of Wisconsin
10 of 12


Dalai Lama Renaissance: The Dalai Lama invited the West’s most innovative thinkers, including YES! Magazine’s Fran Korten, to discuss solutions to the world’s problems.



Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Kevin picks a pillow fight Joe's 82 and still breaking records Happiness class at Harvard Bhutan's king guages bliss Kurt paddles close to home Tina quits her day job
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Thumbnail image for Happiness-in-Action Heroes
Mark keeps the Secular Sabbath Ceclie savors the slow life Titus offers a wet-nose touch Ricard's brain lights up Madan laughs out loud A prison meditates

 


 

The Happiness-in-Action Heroes are part of Sustainable Happiness, the Winter 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.
Email Signup
Sustainable Happiness
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus


You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.




Subscribe Generic Utne Award

Personal tools