Experiencing Formal Practice
For over 2,500 years, mindfulness meditators have been refining the capability of:
1) Reproducing positive states
2) Iterating them to create and strengthen neural networks, pathways and firing patterns in the brain
3) Imprinting them as mental habits
In this way, they have successfully engineered processes for converting positive attributes (including love and kindness, empathy and compassion, kindness and care, gratitude and generosity, acceptance and forgiveness) into important social and emotional skills.
One of the most fundamental of these formal practices is “Metta” (Loving-Kindness) - an exercise that models states of compassion, self-compassion and kindness.
A 2008 UNC study found that seven weeks of practicing Loving-Kindness increased love, joy, contentment, gratitude, pride, hope, amusement and awe - as well as markers for clarity of purpose, decreased illness and increased life satisfaction.