It’s been said that when we practice, practice, practice for some 10,000 hours we will have mastered whatever it is we want to master. Recent research also shows that our brain is 50% plastic and that we absolutely can change, change, change – radically. We, who have been telling ourselves for a very long time that this is how I was born; this is my genetic makeup, will have to find a different excuse, and good luck with that, -more and more studies are indicating that we are capable of much more than we realize.
In the extraordinary book The Compassionate Life – WALKING the PATH of KINDNESS author Marc Ian Barasch wrote this: “. . . while our project may be to see through thought itself, thus earning our full name Homo sapiens sapiens, the creature that is aware of being aware.” I had to read that a few times . . . “thus earning our full name. . .” it felt right.
French born Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard, who, with his father Jean-Francois Revel, wrote the book THE MONK and the PHILOSOPHER A FATHER AND SON DISCUSS THE MEANING OF LIFE has been studied at leading institutes to discover how exactly has his brain changed after years of meditating. When the writer talked with the monk he mentioned that “ten thousand hours sound a bit much”; the monk replied that there are more recent studies of groups of people being taught compassion, and his rough prediction is that “you’ll see a sharp upward cuvre, maybe the most dramatic change, in the first six months.” Though about meditation he said it’s more like seven years, that “it’s not the seven-day cure for self-centeredness.” As I read the book I thought, so good to know, so good to know, so good to know.
Arianna Huffington praised the book with these words: “Refreshingly real, beyond right or left, just straight to the center of the human heart. If you want to help save the world today, then give someone-anyone-this startling, truthful, and passionate book.” And from William Ury, PhD, coauthor of Getting to Yes, “If I had to pick one skill that was most important for a negotiator – meaning everyone, every day – it would be the ability to put yourself in the other side’s shoes. In this extraordinary book, Marc Barasch helps us understand why and how.”
Put a dry book in my hand and I’ll end up reading the same sentence over and over. The Compassionate Life is not that. Along with excellent research, it’s personal and humorous and was written by “an award-winning writer, editor, and television producer.” He’s also the founder of the Green World Campaign: www.greenworld.org
Why am I telling you this? Well, I’m thinking that there are a lot of reasons to read this book, especially since many of us are realizing that the world in which we live is not what it could/should be.
Ode Magazine wrote an article on The Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard titled the world’s happiest man. Should you want, check it out at: www.odemagazine.com
Have a lovely weekend – rain or shine.