Cognition — Compassion

Budha low res.jpg
Budha low res.jpg

Cognition — Compassion


W 10 ½” x 11 ¼”

Limited Edition Giclée Print, 150 units

Not only millions of Buddhist practitioners over the last 2500 years, but even the most advanced brain scientists are now telling us that the Buddhist practice of Mindfulness Meditation can make real change in our brains, a change towards a more compassionate attitude towards ourselves and others. Taking hold of our brain, our minds, our thoughts, beliefs, and other “interior monologues”, can help us and those around us have a life where the heart, and not just the brain, thrives.

A Personal Note:

Personally, the realization that how we think can make a change in how we feel, towards ourselves and toward others, has made a big change in my life over the years. It takes a lot of hard work to change a Jewish-Kibbutznick’s brain (especially of my particular family extract), suffused as it often is with guilt and judgments. 

My path towards that change started with Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving), then with Ellis and Harper (A New Guide to Rational Living), then with David Burns (Feeling Good), then Caprio and Berger (Helping Yourself with Self-Hypnosis), and finally, with my practice of meditation with the help of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching, and other teachers.

I believe that the Buddha was a great Cognitive Therapist, who started his life suffering from some kind of “wealth-itis”, and became so clinically depressed that he had to leave home and find a cure for himself and others. Find he did, gratefully, and he must have influenced not only many students and teachers in his time and place, but also the Cognitive Therapists of our own time and place, thus helping millions and millions of people to be more compassionate towards themselves and towards others, which, as far as I’m concerned, defines mental health.

This painting is dedicated to all these teachers, and many more, who would make too long of a list to mention here, that have helped me be more compassionate towards myself and towards others, especially in my volunteer work at the Bay Area Crisis Hotline since 1998. 

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