State –> Mood –> Trait

I’m taking an 11 week meditation course called Cognitively-based Compassion Training (CBCT). This week (wk 2) we focused on attentional-stability. We meditated for 10 minutes, focusing our attention on our breaths. We also thought about a moment in our lives when we felt cared for and meditated on that feeling.

Tim, the director, explained how CBCT will help us become compassionate individuals and physicians. We all have passing states. For example, we might be angry because something happened. If we remain in this state for a long time, this state becomes our mood. If we remain in an angry mood for prolonged periods of time, this becomes a trait, or a characteristic of our personality. For most people, traits are not conscious decisions. We think of them just as part of who we are. But we can change our traits and our personality by focusing on our mood and our states. We can train ourselves to become happier (well, they didn’t use this word, but long story short, I think short states and moods of happiness can become a long-term trait of joy). We can also train ourselves to become compassionate by focusing on states of compassion.

I’ll end with that thought. I hope you all have experienced a moment of peace, happiness, compassion, or wholeness today and that you carry that experience and feeling with you for the rest of the week.

Golden rays glint through nature’s stained glass. Beauty is all around if we stop and look. Even though I’m not in the mountains, I am still finding ways to enjoy Nature, which persists and pervades, regardless of our attention.

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