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When @Brian and I started this site in 2004 while a college student in my home state of Pennsylvania, I hadn't yet even acknowledged I am gay. This past Saturday I was married to my boyfriend of more than five years, Aaron. The reading was from Obergefell v. Hodges which got a standing ovation from 150 of our friends and family here in Detroit. What a journey it's been.
The results were striking. Although only 16 percent of the nonmeditators gave up their seats — an admittedly disheartening fact — the proportion rose to 50 percent among those who had meditated. This increase is impressive not solely because it occurred after only eight weeks of meditation, but also because it did so within the context of a situation known to inhibit considerate behavior: witnessing others ignoring a person in distress — what psychologists call the bystander effect — reduces the odds that any single individual will help. Nonetheless, the meditation increased the compassionate response threefold.