Empathy – with mindfulness pt.1

What is empathy

Empathy has something to do with feelings. It is the ability to understand or recreate what others just think or feel. Simply put: feel yourself in something, experience something, feel yourself sco. into another person. For example, traditionally at funerals, it is common for the mourners to express our sympathy.

Short excursion into neurobiology

-Feelings and emotions

We all have experienced a lot of feelings in our lives, and this perception is already in the prenatal stage. We have forgotten our emotional world for the most part, but it is still present in a memory that remains closed to our conscious experience. And when we make a decision – of whatever kind – our ‚ stored ´ emotions ‚ play the decisive role´, without realizing that. They are almost part of a second of our thinking upstream, without being consciously perceived. This means that all our decision-making and action patterns are emotionally controlled. And whoever believes that he/she can free himself from it and decide and act rationally, he is very mistaken. The neurobiologists as in particular. Gerhard Roth (l.a. appendix) delivered the decisive evidence. But we do not want to discuss the complexity of these processes in our brains in this context.

More empathy with mindfulness

When we hear the word mindfulness, some people have a problem with it. ‚ Always this esoteric stuff ´ or ‚ Should I still learn this concentration exercise at all the stress? ´ may think of some. But what is mindfulness? Does it have anything to do with concentration? Let us go into this question once. Initially, mindfulness means that one respects oneself. A typical example is the road traffic. We must observe traffic rules while driving and take account of others. And this form of mindfulness requires concentration and can generate stress, although most patterns of action are automatic. We are dealing with a form of mindfulness that is linked to dangers and is bound by rules-road traffic regulations, road signs-to guide us safely through traffic. The form of mindfulness, however, which is at stake here, is free of stress, not subject to rules, unbound and affects only ourselves.

Watch out for yourself

In the age of the Internet, many have forgotten how to do that. We are moving increasingly in some cloud of the internet, have many friends on Facebook (mostly not real friends), communicate via our smartphone, PC, laptop etc. pp, we are inundated on TV with news, advertising, movies and information of every kind and know even No more, ‚ where our journey goes ´. And that was not always the case. What today is the monitor, the tablet etc., was formerly the fire that has warmed and relaxed us. and the monitor – in the broadest sense – has an extreme effect on our mind, our understanding of life, which is more and more distant from the `bottom of reality´. We have mutated into a socially-enduring society, and our thinking moves between reality and virtuality. This awakens needs that we want to meet, our thoughts move in the future, we plan to optimize our lives and perhaps think that we might have missed something. Simply put, we have lost most of our time the ‚ ground under our feet ´ and do not perceive ourselves anymore. Our minds in the media world suppresses our emotions. We think instead of feeling how it looks in us. These statements should not be generalised. But each of us should think about the extent to which he/she perceives and respects himself emotionally in his life-style and in particular his life problems.

Our sense of time at odds

We live today in a time of stimulus overload, one more the other less. And so our sense of time has increasingly changed. Everything is fast and the media world is striving to become even faster. This may be the following example: If we think about 50 years back, we wrote a letter to send a message to someone. And this letter reached his recipient by post in a few days. Today, in the age of the Internet, we are so far that billions of information are almost at the same time around the world. It is similar to travelling, no matter where, it is always faster, by airplane, car etc.pp. Now the question arises as to why people have less time in our country today? Again and again one hears ‚ have just no time ´ and the word stress has so many fully under control. Question: Why do we have less time, although everything goes faster? Isn’t that a contradiction in itself? I think everyone should think about his time management.

Mindfulness – How does this work?

Let me think..

-Mindfulness of a cat

Cats have a very special form of time management. And this distinguishes them in their probably unique form of mindfulness. Have you ever thought about why cats can catch mice so well, even though the mice are lightning fast and can even climb up walls when they escape a danger. How does the cat do it anyway? – It is strategically very clever, and this can only be explained by an example that I have observed:

My cat spotted a mouse on the lawn. Because she can see better than we humans, she is lightning fast with the mouse and wants to take it. But the mouse is even faster and disappears into your mouse hole. The cat relaxes and lays down in front of the mouse hole. The mouse does not come out again because the cat is in front of it and wants to catch it. Only after about 2 hours the cat caught its prey, the vanished mouse, and distorted it. How did she do that? Do you want to know what the cat did?

She did nothing. She didn’t even move and that for over 2 hours. For two hours she paid attention to the mouse hole. 2 hours of increased mindfulness with full awareness.

Has the cat been in the waiting position or was it stressed? No, quite the opposite! It has consistently maintained its position and has not moved. One could also say that she was resting with mindfulness and waiting for her prey.

Already in the Bible Jesus said:

„´Be like a servant who waits for the return of the master ´, the servant does not know at what hour the master will come. So he stays awake, attentive, balanced, still, so he doesn’t miss the master’s Arrival“(Eckard Tolle p. 117).

Let`s do it like the cat


The cat can’t be impressed by anything

Can one learn mindfulness, perhaps from the cat, or practice in it? It would be worth a try. Find a comfortable place. Put yourself in the position of the cat and find yourself a mouse hole (metaphorically speaking), such as a beautiful picture on the wall or a beautiful fantasy, such as your favorite dish, sex on the beach etc. Watch your breathing and persisting in this posture for at least 5 minutes, calm and relaxed, without any movement.

You will be amazed at what you perceive. I want to leave it in this little exercise first. You will perceive more than you imagined in this heightened vigilance, by the way. And that makes your mindfulness. Why? We are quite relaxed in an elevated level of consciousness more true! And this 5-minute exercise you should practice several times a week in the home area until you are ready to perform it in any other environment an esp. the stress-related situations. And best of all: It works!


Mindfulness is an elevated form of consciousness.

Those who linger in this level of consciousness rest in themselves.

We are connected by mindfulness.

Mindfulness can be improved by exercises.

How are we now connected by our mindfulness – more or less – with each other? Clear: We pay attention to other people and they pay attention to us, as long as they encounter us with mindfulness rather than communicating with a headphone or any mobile. Everything is a matter of the ‚ emotional antennae ´ that connect us analog (!).

This also includes ‚ moments of happiness ´, such as joy, laughter, success etc. pp. This must be shared equally. The love of people, sexual pleasure, humor and much else, the joke, a fine example, because we even laugh together about it.

Leslie Jamison is a woman who has dealt with mindfulness and she has intensively dealt with the subject of empathy. She asks herself the following questions:

Can you learn empathy?

How is empathy learned?

Can empathy be turned off?

Where are the limits for empathy?

Let’s do it to Leslie Jamison. Let’s deal with our capacity for empathy. Let’s talk about the feelings we feel, even when other people are suffering. Let us not hide behind our feelings let`s express it. Let us share, because, after all, suffering is divided in empathy.

In addition

Listen to Gerhard Roth in 2012:


Leslie Jamison – EMPATHY

What is `Achtsamkeit´ in English? `attentiveness´, `awareness´, `mindfulness´? I haven`t found an adequate translation. I opt for `mindfulness´.

When we hear `Achtsamkeit´ in Germany, many may have a problem with that word.

They might think: ‚Again and again this esoteric stuff ´ or `how should I learn this concentration exercise for all the stress I have, I want to have my peace´….Btw… as the German singer Roger Cicero said „Daß wir im Hier und Jetzt sein sollen, steht auf jeder Litfaßsäule…“ when he gave his impression to Eckhart Tolles current book `Jetzt´. But Eckhart Tolle had taught him how to do it, how to receive the `Hier und Jetzt´, Cicero added. We must not forget the famous Eckhart Tolle in this Forum.

 But…actually, what is mindfulness?

The second critical remark gives rise to thought. Mindfulness has something to do with concentration? Let`s follow this question.

Originally, mindfulness means that you pay attention to yourself. You could also say `my mindfulness looks out for me´. This is similar to the dreams, they watch on us. Nightmares included. Alexa Szeli has funded this connection in her article about dreaming (http://www.taste-of-power.de/deine-traeume/). If we are careless, we risk E.g. to be run over by a car or to fall for an insurance fraud.

Cats have a unique form of mindfulness. Have you ever thought about why cats can catch mice so well even though the mice are lightning fast and can climb on walls if they escape a danger. How can the cat still do that? – She`s working strategically, very smart and that can be explained only by an example:

The cat discovered a mouse on the lawn. Because she can see better than we humans, it is very fast with the mouse and wants to catch it. The mouse is faster and disappears into her hole. The cat relaxes first and lay down before the mouse hole. The mouse never comes out, because the cat infront of the mousehole. After 3-4 hours the cat has caught her prey, the missing mouse, and distorts it. You want to know how the cat did it, how the cat worked it out?

Anything she did, nothing but rest. She has not even moved about 4 hours long. 4 hours she has looked on the hole. 4 hours increased mindfulness with full awareness. Did the cat work hard on it? Did she have any stress? No, on the contrary, she has consistently maintained her position, not moving. You could also say she has `rested with mindfulness in herself´. Can one learn mindfulness, perhaps from the cat, or in practice? It’s worth a try.

Put yourself in the position of the cat (figuratively speaking) and find a hole, take care of it and stay in this position just for 15 minutes. You will be surprised what you suddenly all perceive. Take notice o fit. I would like to leave this little exercise. But you will perceive more in this increased vigilance – as you imagined. And that’s what means mindfulness, it`s the warness of your mindfulness Why? We perceive more in a relaxed higher level of consciousness! And you can practice this.


Mindfulness is a higher form of consciousness. Who stays in this increased level of consciousness, rests in himself. We are connected through mindfulness. Mindfulness can be improved through exercises.

How are we through our mindfulness – more or less – connected? We note other people and they note us. We take each other into account, we make us even. We watch other people. We see how the refugees from Syria are humiliated and mistreated…

If you now imagine those pictures, you realize that your feelings come into it, if you imagine the suffering of these people, their pain and feelings, `feel with them´. But people feel very different. The one says: `just off it in the oven ´. The others, however, can hardly stand this suffering of these people.

It is a matter of `empathy ability´. We know that terrorists lost it completely. They are no longer reachable as well we are for them. Nowadays many `young people´ are in danger to get  emotionally blunt of  their feelings through many terrible images in the media. That is why it is so important that our children are trained as early as possible in the emphatic sense, because finally, empathy is an essential part of our cultural life.

On the other side there are so-called moments of happiness, such as joy, laugh, success etc.pp. This applies as well to recreate it. The love of people, sexual pleasure, humor and much more, the joke, a good example, because we even laugh together.

Leslie Jamison is a woman who is gifted with high level of attention. She has dealt intensively with the issue of empathy. She is working on questions like:

Can you learn empathy?

How do I learn empathy?

Can you turn off empathy?

What are the limits for empathy?

Let`s do it with Leslie Jamison. Let`s deal with our empathy. Let’s talk about our empathy.

I`m with Leslie with this comment:

`Empathy is the most wonderful experience in life. The more empathy the more sense.´

Thank you!

Pete J. Probe

In addition


The cat isn`t impressed by anything