Can love and compassion really reduce racism?

A recent study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion by the University of Sussex says so. The study showed that just 7 minutes of Loving-Kindness Meditation reduced racial pre-conceived ideas.

Lead researcher Alexander Stell, a Doctoral student in Psychology, said:

We wanted to see whether doing LKM towards a member of another ethnic group would reduce the automatic preference people tend to show for their own ethnic group.

loving kindnessA Long History of Loving Kindness Meditation

The practice of cultivating compassion through meditation has long been at the crux of Buddhist practices.

Meditating on the form of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara is common throughout Tibet and Nepal. You can often find his mantra Om Ma Ni Pei Mei Hung carved in stones on mountain tops. Or hear monks and lay meditators reciting millions of ‘mani’ mantras as they circle stupas in Kathmandu.

In the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism the idea of the bodhisattva is essential.

These so called Bodhisattvas are those with high realization that dedicate themselves to the benefit of all beings. That their eventual enlightenment is a byproduct of this wish for all beings to experience endless joy in the here and now.

Science, Race and Meditation Meet

Racism and unconscious racial bias is something difficult for all people to work with. It’s really wonderful to see science proving that cultivating love and kindness can help remove this age old problem.

That when we stop thinking about ourselves we recognize each other’s qualities.

See original University of Sussex article: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/broadcast/read/33129

Academic Study: Brief loving-kindness meditation reduces racial bias, mediated by positive other-regarding emotions

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