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George Takei on ‘Being Gay, Being Buddhist’

wildmind meditation newsThe Purpose and Practice of Buddhist Meditation by Sangharakshita (ebook) George Takei, Lion’s Roar: The actor, author, and undisputed King of Social Media reflects on his fascinating personal history: his childhood and his family’s internment during World War II, his life as a gay man and activist, how far we’ve all come, and why we must press on together.

I was born to a Buddhist family — my father was Zen and my mother was Shin, and both were rather casual about it. Before Internment all I remember of Buddhist temples are the funerals and the weddings.

Then the …

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Meditation and mindfulness

wildmind meditation newsClick here to check out our online meditation store Georgette Gilmore, Baristanet: Can you remember the last time you ate a meal without checking your email or taking a photo of it to share on Instagram? Are you able to watch a television show without tweeting about it? How often do you perform one task and ONLY one task at a time? We’re willing to bet it’s been a long time, which is why the practice of meditation and the effort to obtain mindfulness, is becoming a popular practice.

Whether you want to slow down your day-to-day life and …

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Jan 22, 2015

Another free book giveaway!

Dipa Ma largeWe’re giving away another copy of Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master by Amy Schmidt!

Simply sign up for Wildmind’s bi-monthly newsletter for a chance to win!

We will choose one new subscriber at random on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm (US EST). The winner will be notified by email.

“Dipa Ma’s profound wisdom and compassion continue to inspire and guide an ever-growing number of spiritual seekers and practitioners of every persuasion. Weaving together her powerful words and techniques with heartwarming biographical stories and encounters shared by her family, her students in India and the West, and prominent teachers of Buddhism and meditation in America,

Please don’t start meditating (unless you’re willing to change)

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Calmness, Awareness, and Love Lodro Rinzler, Huffington Post: A Buddhist teacher I respect a great deal once proclaimed a warning about meditation: Don’t do it unless you’re willing to change. If you’re one of the two gazillion people aiming to launch a meditation practice in this new year, please heed that warning. But here is the good news about that warning: You will change for the better.

It’s that time of year when self-reflection is at an all-time high, so I shouldn’t be surprised at my wall. It’s covered in all the various activity …

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How meditation is finally hitting the mainstream

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Busy People Alena Hall, Huffington Post: As more influential men expound on the mindful benefits of meditation, from Congressman Tim Ryan to media entrepreneur Russell Simmons, the practice may seem more accessible — or even masculine — to men around the country. ABC’s Dan Harris joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to discuss how this trend among public figures could help the practice of meditation grow in popularity among men with mainstream sensibilities.

“More men who don’t wear robes or describe themselves as gurus… People like that will slowly over time make this seem more acceptable,” …

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How stress kills our ability to feel compassion

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction Carolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post: Stress isn’t just bad for our physical and mental health — it may also inhibit our ability to empathize with others, according to new McGill University research.

The study, recently published in the journal Current Biology, found that a drug that blocks stress hormones can increase the ability of both humans and mice to “feel” others’ pain.

The researchers studied the phenomenon known as “emotional contagion of pain,” a key component of empathy which has to do with our ability to experience the pain of strangers.

Previous research by …

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Meditation changes the brain’s wiring and mindset, Harvard studies show

wildmind meditation newsMeditations to Change Your Brain, by Rick Hanson PhD & Richard Mendius (3CDs) Debra Stern, HNGN: Sarah Lazar’s voice was calming even over the phone as she demonstrated, for this interview, a typical start to a mindfulness practice. “Notice you are breathing in and breathing out. Can you just be aware and really feel what it feels like as air passes through your nostrils?” she asks, gently.

“It may sound incredibly boring,” she says with a chuckle. “But things start to quiet down inside.”

According to Lazar, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University, observing your breath without self …

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Meditation may prevent absenteeism by stressed public servants, MPs claim

wildmind meditation newsGuided Meditations for Stress Reduction (CD) Robert Booth, The Guardian: Stressed out teachers, prison officers and nurses should be trained in ancient techniques of mindfulness meditation, a cross-party group of MPs and peers said on Wednesday.

An eight-month inquiry by the all party group on mindfulness found frontline public servants could be less likely to fall ill with stress, or quit altogether, if they engage in the increasingly popular meditation practice which involves increasing awareness of the present moment to help control anxiety and depression.

A rash of small pilot studies about mindfulness meditation’s potential impact in the public …

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Meditation class helps student stay mindful of stress

wildmind meditation newsMeditation MP3 – Guided Meditations for Stress Reduction (complete album) Chelsea Mulligan, The Oracle: “Mindfulness mediation” is a term talked about everywhere from drum circles to corporate gatherings. It is a practice in which one attempts to be observant and non-judgmental of his or her thoughts, emotions and sensations in order to focus awareness of the present moment.

There are now more than 20 million Americans who practice meditation in order to reduce stress, pain and anxiety, according to a National Health Interview Survey. There has also been research that suggests mindfulness meditation can have physical, tangible benefits.

Now a twice-weekly …

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Jan 14, 2015

Could meditating as a cure for insomnia backfire?

Sleeping BuddhaWhen I find myself awake in the middle of the night, perhaps after a trip to the bathroom or a weird dream, I often practice some kind of meditation to quiet my over-active mind. I’ll usually pay attention to my breathing, or do a body scan, and most times this will help me calm down and nod off.

But could meditating in the middle of the night create its own problems? Someone asked me whether this practice could either lead to us developing the habit of falling asleep during meditation, or keep us awake because mindfulness is so associated with alert attention that we can’t fall asleep.

I don’t think the first …