Did you know that you can actually train yourself to be not hateful, to be compassionate, and empathetic? Cultivating compassion and kindness through meditation affects brain regions that can make a person more empathetic to other peoples’ mental states, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
When meditating subjects were exposed to emotion eliciting sounds during their sessions, they found that there was an increased amount of activity in the insula in the brain. The insula is extremely important in detecting emotions in general and specifically in mapping bodily responses to emotion. Studies have implicated this area as important in processing empathy, especially in perceiving the mental and emotional state of others. So essentially, through meditation you can develop skills to promote compassionate and empathetic feelings within yourself.