The Brain Co-Opts The Body To Promote Pro-Social Behavior

“[T]he feeling or emotional reactions in the body may sometimes prompt
introspection, and can ultimately promote moral choices and motivation to help
or emulate others. ” (Article)

This is very interesting research. I wonder what the implications are for those of us who practice Passage Meditation or Lectio? Following in this article:

In one instance cited in the article, a participant responded to a story of a
little boy’s selflessness toward his mother by reporting that he felt like there
was a “balloon or something under my sternum, inflating and moving up and out.”
While pondering this physical sensation, the participant paused for a moment and
considered his own relationship with his parents. Ultimately, he voiced a
promise to express more gratitude toward them.

This is an excellent description of what I attempt to teach people about Lectio. Of course, in Lectio we are exclusively focused on Jesus, but I always emphasize that the idea is not so much to do in-formational reading, but rather formational.  And the “forming” I am after is that to be formed in the likeness of Christ. So a lot of effort needs to be put towards searching and connecting with Christ’s heart in each story, in each word. To discover that connection and to feel it.

It trains us to feel like He felt, to see things His way, which is enlightenment. We move our minds to “co-opt” our bodies, to teach us, imbue us, with Jesus’ character, mind and heart. This leads to profound transformation.

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About spaceloom

An urban monk, and an experienced spiritual director with a Masters in Psychology. Married with two children. Want to know me better? Read my thoughts.
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