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?
-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.
Listen to Gerhard Roth in 2012: