“This is for the do-ers, myself included.It seems like we are always doing something, even when we aren’t doing anything. Doing nothing means different things to each of us, but it usually boils down to not getting anything meaningful accomplished.”
People often tell me that they don’t have time to practice mindfulness and I tell them that you don’t need time to practice mindfulness. In fact Mindfulness is the one thing that you don’t need time for. You can only practice now!
Big Empathy is about expanding our empathy to embrace the suffering and well-being of more of life, more deeply, more competently, and more seamlessly than we normally do.
Below are six potentially complementary paths – not methods, but general approaches – to developing greater empathy. Of course, in order to enhance empathy, they must be undertaken with a desire to truly connect with the Other....
1. LISTENING – I’m speaking here of deep listening, empathic listening, reflective listening – listening intended to deeply understand the Other so that they feel truly understood....
2. SELF AWARENESS – We are all universal beings....
3. NARRATIVE ARTS – Stories can help us experience the inner and outer life of the Other. ...
4. IMMERSION – It is one thing to listen to, read or think about someone else’s life experience. It is quite another to actually live our life like theirs for a while. This is immersive empathy....
5. SCIENCES – Understanding causal and functional dynamics can deepen our capacity to enter into experiences and realities otherwise alien to us. ...
6. RESPONSIVE CARING – In caring, our empathic sensibilities merge with our will.
It is interesting that Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk, suggested atheists were as likely to be good Christians as Christians. Character is not only measured in what we say we believe, but in the proof offered in our actions.
The eyes really are a window to the soul, according to scientists.
Patterns in the iris can give an indication of whether we are warm and trusting or neurotic and impulsive, research has found.
Everyone has a different structure of lines, dots and colours in their iris.
So scientists at Orebro University in Sweden compared the eyes of 428 subjects with their personality traits to see if these structures in the iris reflected their characters.
They focused on patterns in crypts - threads which radiate from the pupil - and contraction furrows - lines curving around the outer edge - which are formed when the pupils dilate.
Their findings showed those with denselypacked crypts are more warmhearted, tender, trusting, and likely to sympathize with others. In comparison, those with more contraction furrows were more neurotic, impulsive and likely to give way to cravings.
The researchers argued that eye structure and personality could be linked because the genes responsible for the development of the
iris also play a role in shaping part of the frontal lobe of the brain, which influences personality.
They say the findings could one day be used in psychoanalysis and by companies screening candidates for jobs.
The results will be published in the American journal Biological Psychology. 'Our results suggest people with different iris features tend to develop along different personality lines,' said Matt Larsson, a behavioral scientist who led the study at Orebro University.'These findings support the notion that people with different iris configurations tend to develop along different trajectories in regards to personality.
'Differences in the iris can be used as a biomarker that reflects differences between people.'
The scientists suggested these differences are due to genetic variation, and pointed to the involvement of a gene called PAX6. This gene helps control the formation of the iris in embryos. Previous research has shown that a mutation of it is linked to impulsiveness and poor social skills.
The speed and accuracy with which irises can be mapped means there is growing interest in using photographs of eyes for security as well as research purposes.
The Government is testing the use of digital photographs of the iris on 'biometric' passports and identity cards.
Trials of the iris technology have been taking place at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airports.
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