Jan 21, 2014
Sarah Matheson, Oxford Mail: Mindfulness meditation has gone viral.
With its adoption by the medical establishment, it is now considered one of the most effective treatments for a whole range of conditions from depression, anxiety and addiction to eating disorders and chronic pain.
Its success is widely documented with intriguing evidence of very particular patterns shown in the brain scans of meditators. But where did this practice originate?
Taught by the Buddha 2,600 years ago, the tradition has been kept alive in Buddhist monasteries throughout Asia. It has now spread amongst lay people throughout the world as its benefits have become increasingly widely …
Jan 20, 2014
Jacoba Urist, Time: To be fair, I’m not sure how I would have responded had my surgeon suggested I meditate before or after surgery to ease my anxiety or post-operative pain. My guess is, like many women, I would have been skeptical: what exactly did sitting in half-lotus pose or breathing deeply have to do with the tumor in my right breast? And why was a doctor— whose job and training and every measure of success is rooted in science and clinical outcomes— prescribing a spiritual or religious method of therapy?
But a new review study, published last week in the Journal …
Jan 16, 2014
Ellie Donahue-Miller, The Brock Press: Meditation is not a new concept. Mindfulness and meditation have been used by some cultures for centuries. The incorporation of these practices into Western culture, though, is relatively new and it offers promising benefits.
Although there are few conclusive studies that document the health benefits of meditation, many therapists and psychologists recognize that it plays an important role in maintaining mental health. It is particularly helpful for treating anxiety and depression.
“The evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation programs could help reduce anxiety, depression and pain in some clinical populations,” said a report published on Jan. 6 by the …
Jan 14, 2014
David L. Kirp, SFGate: At first glance, Quiet Time – a stress reduction strategy used in several San Francisco middle and high schools, as well as in scattered schools around the Bay Area – looks like something out of the om-chanting 1960s. Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can’t sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds.
This practice – meditation rebranded – deserves serious attention from parents and policymakers. An impressive array of studies shows that integrating meditation into a school’s daily routine can markedly improve the lives of …
Jan 08, 2014
Warren Rojas, Roll Call: When last we checked in with Rep. Tim Ryan, the contemplative pol was still laying the groundwork for a stress relief initiative he hoped fellow lawmakers and staffers would rally around.
A year after floating his mindfulness plan, the Ohio Democrat can now point to semi-regular staff meetings and a weekly, members-only powwow as proof that he’s not the only one in Congress desperate to shut out all the mind-numbing noise reverberating throughout the Capitol.
Ryan’s suggestion that everyone carve out room for self-reflection has evolved into professionally led meditation sessions open to anyone that works on Capitol …
Dec 18, 2013
Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld: A software engineer walks down a hallway at Intel, not thinking about the emails he needs to send or that he has a meeting later in the day about a new project.
Instead, he’s focusing his thoughts on his breathing and how the light feels as it comes through the windows in the hallway. His cellphone isn’t in his pocket. It’s back on his desk.
When he meets with colleagues to work on a critical software problem, he has pushed away any distractions, his mind is clear and still, and he’s focused solely on the problem in front of him …
Dec 08, 2013
Julie Hare, The Australian: Just over four months ago, Ryan Daniels (not his real name) made a life-changing decision. He started practising meditation.
“I’d upped my game and was exercising more and eating better,” says the 40-year-old executive for a not-for-profit organisation. “But I realised despite doing everything right I still wasn’t coping well. Nothing dreadful, but things kept getting on top of me, especially at work.
“Now I meditate every day. I describe it like brushing my teeth. I get up in the morning and do it; I can’t start my day without it.”
Simone Pedersen feels the same way. The business…
Dec 06, 2013
Dr. Arnie Kozak, beliefnet: I recently gave a talk at the University of Vermont College of Medicine called “Beyond Stress Reduction: Mindfulness as a Radical Technology. In this talk, I spoke about the indictment that the healthcare and corporate-related applications of mindfulness are tantamount to “McMindfulness.”
If you read my post on this issue, you know that I think the criticisms of secularized mindfulness go to far. In my talk, I made the point that secular dharma is a uniquely Western dharma.
Secular Buddhism, which seeks enlightenment, accords with the Enlightenment era values of rationality, empiricism, and skepticism…
Dec 05, 2013
Jill Sakai, Medical Xpress: With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.
A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.
The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels…
Nov 04, 2013
Thomas Pollick, The Daily Northwestern: The first time I really learned about meditation was during my sophomore year of high school in an Eastern Religions class. A Buddhist speaker came in to talk about his experiences. Following the talk, I asked him how I could incorporate meditation into my everyday life. He said that every day right after I get up, I should sit on the side of my bed for five minutes and focus on my breathing.
That’s all it was. Just five minutes, focusing on my breathing. Contrary to what I expected, there was no talk of spirituality or references…