I read a story when I was studying to become a mindfulness teacher. I have no reason to believe that it is not true. I am writing from my memory from the book “Buddhas Veje” by Peter Elsass, 2011.
Western Medicine found that various meditation techniques were useful when dealing with various forms of suffering deriving from the nervous system, such as stress, anxiety and depression. A research team wanted to measure the brainwaves of tibetan monks who had been meditating for many, many hours, more than 10.000 hours.
It was difficult for the research team, however, to find monks who were willing to have the waves of their brain measured. They could not see how a measuring of the brainwaves itself would improve compassion in the lives of human beings.
The research team asked the Dalai Lama for help, and the Dalai Lama found some 20 or maybe even 30 monks who were willing to have their brain waves measured. The associates working with the project noticed over time that all the monks involved had a certain smile on their face.
At last the associates decided to ask one of the monks what this smile meant. The monk said, smiling: “You are measuring the brain. But this is the area of importance”. And the monk held his hands over his heart.
What we can learn from this is that what we call a cultivation of the mind is an opening of the qualities of the heart. If you look at children up to 2 – 3 years of age you will see that they are spontaneous, loving, happy, curious, learning. Of course when taken care of and having their needs met.
The more you train with your meditation practise and the more you are able to integrate the awareness of the present moment in your daily life, the more kindness and compassion you will radiate from your heart as it opens in secure places and moments. The craving and desire for love, for someone to love you, will slowly transform into your love and care for others, just like (most) parents who love and care for their child. The ability to love is living inside us and it will grow strong when cultivated and cared for.
Anne Moloney, 15.09.2018, vignet Lotte Rosenkilde