Oct 09, 2014
Linda Heuman, Tricycle: Neuroscientist Catherine Kerr is concerned about how mindfulness meditation research is being portrayed in the media.
Last May, an article about mindfulness on a popular mainstream news website finally spurred neuroscientist and meditation researcher Catherine Kerr to act. The article cited 20 benefits of meditation, from “reducing loneliness” to “increasing grey matter” to “helping sleep,” and painted a picture of meditation as a kind of golden elixir for modern life. Kerr posted the article on her Facebook page. “It is not like any of this is grossly inaccurate,” she wrote in her post. “It is just that the studies are too …
Oct 08, 2014
Kristine Crane, US News: When Carla Riechman laughs, you hear it.
With her big laughter, the former District of Columbia school teacher has been compared to the laughing Buddha, and it’s a comparison she welcomes. She helps people laugh, which in turn helps them meditate.
“Laughter brings one to silence,” says Riechman, 63, who calls herself the professional “giggle lady.” She established the “laughter revolution,” a laughter meditation program based in the District of Columbia that provides people with hourlong sessions in which they laugh and then meditate. She hosts laughter sessions at people’s homes and local wellness centers, as well as online at …
Oct 07, 2014
Mihir Patkar, Lifehacker: Meditation does not require a large chunk of sustained time, nor is it too difficult to get into. Psychologist Mike Brooks busts the misconception that it’s about emptying your mind. Instead, meditation is about focusing on one thing.
Brooks is talking about mindfulness meditation, which we’ve discussed before, which focuses on being fully in the moment. One of the biggest problems people have with meditation is the assumption that it requires emptying your mind entirely—I’ve seen several people who misconstrued it as that and gave up on meditation far too quickly. Brooks explains it better:
People think the goal of …
Oct 06, 2014
Mack Paul, The Norman Transcript: Buddhism is not a religion in the usual sense. There is not a God to believe in.
Some Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma although neither are central to the faith. The Buddha said that he taught one thing only, “suffering and the end of suffering.”
Buddhist practice developed from their observation that human existence is characterized by the experience, dissatisfaction, impermanence and a shifting sense of self that is unsatisfactory and impermanent. This makes for a potentially bleak view of the human condition.
We want to believe in progress. We want to believe that if we get …
Oct 03, 2014
Janice Marturano, Mindful Magazine: Mindfulness training is about your life. It isn’t about the time you meditate on a cushion or chair. It is about learning to be awake for each moment of your life. So bringing your training into the moments in the day is a necessary requirement.
The good news is that you can bring your training into everyday moments without adding any more demands on your already too-packed schedule. I like to call these moments Purposeful Pauses. It isn’t just about stopping, it is about noticing what is here to be noticed when you stop. And it is about redirecting …
Oct 02, 2014
Dave Shaw, The Epoch Times: A new survey of early childhood education teachers shows that mindfulness is linked with alleviating lasting physical and emotional effects of childhood adversity.
The findings are especially important because adults who were abused or neglected as children typically experience poorer health, according to Robert Whitaker, professor of public health and pediatrics at Temple University.
“Previous research has shown that childhood traumas worsen adult health through changes in how the body responds to stress,” says Whitaker, who led the new study in Preventative Medicine. He adds that some people might adopt poor health behaviors, like smoking, to cope with …
Oct 01, 2014
Rupert Hawksley, The Telegraph: Mindfulness is all the rage right now, but what, if you don’t mind, does mindfulness actually mean?
The subtitle to a new book on the subject, How to find calm and contentment in the chaos of the city, gives us a hefty clue. Calm and contentment? Sounds good. So what better place to meet the author, Tessa Watt, than central London at rush hour, a time and location that is guaranteed to be chaotic?
My plan to rigorously test Watt’s methods in this hostile environment backfires, however. By the time she whisks me off Oxford Street, away from the …
Sep 30, 2014
Joyce Marter, LCPC, PsychCentral: Large and rapidly moving, ominous clouds of negativity roll into my mind, infuse my thoughts and deeply darken my mood. As I exhale, I feel the irritability fume from my nostrils like fiery smoke from a dragon’s. As I bristle with defensiveness and hostility, I feel the energetic spikes of anger jet from my spine, creating a non-verbal warning to others to steer clear. My eyes narrow and shoot lasers of fury. My tongue sharpens and my words become cutting and biting. As waves of anger ripple through my body, my energy and power grows. My walk becomes a …
Sep 29, 2014
Amy Capetta, Today.com: The positive power of meditation has made the news once again. Research from Carnegie Mellon University states that practicing mindfulness meditation for 25 minutes per session for three consecutive days can alleviate psychological stress. An analysis of previous studies compiled earlier this year showed this type of meditation—which involves paying attention to your surroundings while concentrating on your breathing—to be “moderately” effective in battling depression, anxiety and pain.
“One of the most important benefits of mindfulness meditation is the ability for us to more fully live our lives,” states Janice L. Marturano, executive director of the Institute For Mindful Leadership and …
Sep 26, 2014
Brittany Dingler, The Skidmore News: Generally, meditation is a mindfulness-based practice in which an individual sits quietly, focuses on breathing, and tries to clear their mind of any distracting thoughts or worries. Some meditators even choose to supplement their meditation practice with repeated mantras (think “ohmmm…”) or visualization (“imagine you’re a stick, floating down the river of zen”). Though often viewed as a wacky, spiritual practice reserved only for yogis, hippies, and monks, meditation is a critical tool that has recently gained more support as a source of daily restoration for CEOs and doctors as well as an effective, supplemental treatment for chronic …