The Science Behind Compassion – Marvelous Mirror Neurons

Did you know that humans (and a few other select mammals) are equipped with something called mirror neurons?  Mirror neurons are what allow us to have empathy – the ability to feel what others are feeling.

If you don’t believe in mirror neurons watch this clip of Sargent Bill Hawes surprising his six-year old son then come back to this post……  Did you watch it?  Why are you crying?  You just experienced the power of mirror neurons.  The ability to empathize, or to feel compassion, is strengthened through mindfulness.  Mindfulness meditation helps us open our hearts, attune with our friends, neighbors, and community, and make decisions that not only benefit ourselves, but our environment and our world.

I’d like to spend more time polishing this post, but my adorable eleven-year old son is staring at me with big brown eyes, asking me to tuck him, causing a cascade of mirror neuron activity.  Sorry for any typos.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

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This post was inspired by the documentary, I Am, and Rick Hanson’s book, Buddha’s Brain(available on our resources page), and my son’s big brown eyes.

Do you have a story about mirror neurons you’d like to share with mindful hub? Please do!

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