Recent quotes:

Is lower stress the secret to finding empathy?

A drug that blocks stress hormones increases the ability of college students and mice to “feel” the pain of a stranger, the study shows. That phenomenon, known as “emotional contagion of pain,” is one form of empathy. In even better news, a shared round of the video game Rock Band worked just as well as the drugs among those undergrads.

A Path With Heart by Carlos Castaneda

You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. Each path is only one of a million paths. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe. The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use.

Remembering David Carr - Twiangulate Blog

This amazing man -- the boy from Hopkins, Minnesota, brilliant writer, father of three, recovering crack addict, recovering alcoholic, cancer survivor -- was followed by more Times-tweeps than powerful newspapers (WSJ: 300 NYT followers), presidents (Obama: 244), former Presidents (Clinton: 181), stars (Lena Dunham: 182; Jon Stewart: 175), moguls (Bloomberg: 172), or political honchos (David Axelrod: 159.) David also had far more NYT followers than fellow staffers like @nickkristof (1,563,804 followers, 378 from NYT staff) or @NYTimeskrugman (1,309,170 followers, 263 NYT staff.)
In one study, researchers first assessed the baseline mindfulness of 45 doctors, nurses and physician assistants by asking them to respond to statements like, “I tend to walk quickly to where I am going without paying attention to what I experience along the way,” “I find myself listening to someone with one ear, doing something else at the same time,” and “I forget a person’s name almost as soon as I’ve been told it for the first time.” Then the investigators recorded the clinicians’ interactions with more than 400 patients and interviewed the patients to gauge their level of satisfaction. After analyzing the audio recordings and the patients’ responses, the researchers found that patients were more satisfied and more open with the more mindful clinicians. They also discovered that more mindful clinicians tended to be more upbeat during patient interactions, more focused on the conversation and more likely to make attempts to strengthen the relationship or ferret out details of the patient’s feelings. The less mindful clinicians, on the other hand, more frequently missed opportunities to be empathic and, in the most extreme cases, failed to pay attention at all, responding, for example, to a patient’s description of waking up in the middle of the night crying in pain with a question about a flu shot. Significantly, the most mindful doctors remained efficient. They accomplished just as much medically for their patients as their least mindful colleagues, despite all the extra conversation with patients about experiences and relationships.