Jun 16, 2015
Brooke Lumsden, Domain: Most of us deal with some form of stress on a regular basis, whether from workplace pressure, the weight of exams, family dynamics, or a myriad of other reasons, and, let’s face it, we’d all like to keep it at bay.
Staff at the Mayo Clinic recommend starting with a meditation session as a way to keep yourself more calm throughout the day, while researchers from Harvard suggest meditation is particularly useful for treating conditions such as anxiety, pain and depression.
Fortunately, you don’t have to climb to the top of a mountain with your guru to achieve this. Like …
Jun 10, 2015
Joel Villaseca, Inquirer.net: Phil Jackson holds the record for the biggest number of NBA titles (six with the Chicago Bulls and five with the Los Angeles Lakers). Behind his coaching success is the Zen principle “one breath, one mind” (Huffington Post). “As much as we pump iron and we run to build our strength up, we need to build our mental strength up… so we can focus… so we can be in concert with one another,” he says. This he accomplished with his teams by having them practice mindfulness through meditation.
Athletes, Fortune 500 corporate leaders, Silicon Valley techies, the US Marines, hardened criminals …
Jun 09, 2015
Brian Levine, The Star: Pushing away bad memories can be unproductive.
Imagine learning about the death of your father, but then feeling the surprise and pain freshly each time you hear about it for years afterwards. That was the experience of the world’s most famous amnesiac, Henry Molaison, the subject of the book Permanent Present Tense.
These days, we’re constantly being encouraged to “live in the present” to reduce anxiety and improve well-being. It’s good advice, but pushing away bad memories — or being cut off from them like Henry Molaison — is unproductive. Nobody would enjoy living in the permanent present tense …
Jun 08, 2015
Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm, The Conversation: Mindfulness as a psychological aid is very much in fashion. Recent reports on the latest finding suggested that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is as effective as anti-depressants in preventing the relapse of recurrent depression.
While the authors of the paper interpreted their results in a slightly less positive light, stating that (contrary to their hypothesis) mindfulness was no more effective than medication, the meaning inferred by many in the media was that mindfulness was superior to medication.
Mindfulness is a technique extracted from Buddhism where one tries to notice present thoughts, feeling and sensations without judgement. The …
Jun 04, 2015
Barry Morris, The Practical Buddhist: In Zen, meditation is about sitting, standing, or walking in total awareness. Steve Hagen, Lead teacher at the Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis, MN and author of the best book on meditation I’ve ever read, Meditation Now or Never, puts it this way:
“Meditation, and it’s Japanese translation ‘Zen,’ is the practice of awareness, openness, and direct experience of here and now.
That’s what we need to know about meditation. It’s not about becoming more relaxed, healthy or even enlightened. In fact, the moment we think we’re going to get something out of meditation, we take ourselves …
Jun 03, 2015
David McMillian, Shreveport Times: There is an abundance of scientific research that is being published to confirm the values of meditation and that’s encouraging people to take up the practice, along with people like your friend at work talking firsthand about their experiences. You don’t have to join a group to learn to meditate, although some find that helpful; there are many good books and resources available on the internet. Be aware that meditation can be discouraging especially for our packed “western minds” because it’s not easy to stop the thoughts, calm your mind, and get into a space that is quiet. Since …
Jun 02, 2015
Cathy Thomas Brownfield, Salem News: In this fast-paced world in which we live there is so little time to think about anything in depth. But that is not in anyone’s best interests. Rushing from home to work to school to home to dance classes, sports practice, Scout meetings, Lions Club Meetings, Book Club you name it. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for everyone to do all the things they would like to do or feel they have to do. This can lead to a few “issues,” not the least of which is burn-out.
What’s the first thing you think of …
Jun 01, 2015
Jon Levine, Science.Mic: Meditation, according to its spiritual gurus, is a universal panacea. Enthusiasts have long preached its benefits, which include its ability to lower anxiety, improve concentration, help treat those with HIV and even extend one’s life expectancy.
While it’s undeniable meditation contributes to a sense of inner piece, its physiological benefits remain less certain. That is, until a team of researchers confirmed them. What they uncovered is more than surprising.
“We found several brain regions that had changed,” Sara Lazar, an associate research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Mic. Lazar conducted a major study on meditation in 2011 and was one …
May 29, 2015
Claire Moodie, ABC News (AU): Teenagers are used to being told that they have to study hard to get ahead.
But one West Australian girls’ school is advocating another, less conventional route to success.
As well as stimulating the mind, Santa Maria College, on the banks of Perth’s Swan River, is teaching the importance of stilling the mind.
The school has been incorporating meditation into the timetable over the past 18 months to try to reduce exam stress and safeguard students’ mental health.
Senior school head Carol Bell said the regular meditation sessions aimed to give the girls the inner resources to cope with …
May 28, 2015
Jaime T. Licauco, Philippine Daily Inquirer: There are many books and articles that have been written about the effects of stress on health.
Such modern ailments as ulcers, high blood pressure, gastritis, insomnia, asthma, cardiovascular problems,have been attributed to stress, or at least aggravated by it.
In the 1950s, experimental psychologist Robert Ader, for example, discovered that “rats that were restrained at the peaks of their activity cycles, and so presumably felt more frustrated by the restraint, were significantly more likely to develop gastric erosions.”
Because many human diseases have been associated with stress, many programs or techniques have been developed to control …