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Cultivating Loving Kindness: A Two-Stage Model of the Effects of Meditation on Empathy, Compassion, and Altruism
Short Title: Cultivating Loving Kindness
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2005
Pages: 391–408
Sources ID: 21687
Visibility: Private
Abstract: (Show)

Abstract. We explore the role of meditative practice in cultivating experiences of compassion, empathy, and altruism and address an apparent paradox: Meditation often is associated with solitary retreat, if not preoccupation with one's own concerns. How, then, does such a practice promote compassion for others? We propose a two-stage model. The first stage involves disengagement from usual preoccupation with self-reinforcing, self-defeating, or self-indulgent behaviors and reactions; the second involves a focused engagement with a universal human capacity for altruistic experience, love, and compassion. Reference is made to the limited research literature and to clinical applications of loving kindness (metta) meditation in cultivating these processes.

Classical Buddhist Contemplation Practices
Practices of Buddhist Contemplation
Contexts of Contemplation Project
Buddhist Contemplation
Contemplation by Tradition