We Can Free Ourselves

Excerpt from "What Does Science Teach Us About Well-Being?" by Richard J. Davidson, Huffington Post, May 10, 2013:

Equanimity and generosity both contribute to well-being and are associated with distinct patterns of brain and bodily activity.

The Dalai Lama has frequently urged us to be kind toward others and has suggested that kindness is a direct route to happiness. Modern research has borne this out and indicates that kindness and compassion toward others is associated with peripheral biological (i.e., biology below the neck) changes that are salubrious.

Equanimity can be cultivated through simple contemplative practices and is associated with being attentive to the present moment and not getting lost in worrying about the future and ruminating about the past.

Modern research indicates that the average adult American spends nearly 50% of his waking life mind wanderingnot paying attention to what he is actually doing. By learning to remain aware of the present moment, we can free ourselves from being slaves to the past and future. This in and of itself can powerfully facilitate well-being and reduce suffering.

Read the entire essay...


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