We have already written about the work of Richard Davidson and his work at the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience in the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was featured in an interesting article last week in the New York Times where the Dalai Lama contributed 50,000 dollars to his recently established Centre for Investigating Healthy Minds. The short article is worth reading and charts the increasing scientific interest into the effects of meditation on the brain.
The center is now working on an exciting new project, teaching meditation skills to school children in Madison. Based on earlier research, they wish to see what the effects of teaching compassion and loving-kindness meditation has on the children. The children are led in meditation focusing on kindness thoughts toward loved ones, strangers, even enemies. Previous research by Barbara Friedrickson would indicate that this will boost positive emotions and a general sense of well-being in life. The research which Davidson has commenced is longitudinal, and so the children will be followed into middle school to see how their behaviour compares with a control group of non-meditators.
For the fully article check out www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/us/27happy.html?_r=3&th&emc=th
Photo taken from the New York Times