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Blog

Apr 23, 2014

Reaching out for compassion

20100514_大仏At a weekend workshop I led, one of the participants, Marian, shared her story about the shame and guilt that had tortured her. Marian’s daughter Christy, in recovery for alcoholism, had asked her mother to join her in therapy. As their sessions unfolded, Christy revealed that she’d been sexually abused throughout her teen years by her stepfather, Marian’s second husband.

The words and revelations Marian heard that day pierced her heart. “You just slept through my whole adolescence!” her daughter had shouted. “I was being violated and had nowhere to turn! No one was there to take care of me!” Christy’s face was red; her hands clenched tight. “I was afraid to tell …

4 ways mindfulness meditation benefits so many conditions

wildmind meditation newsPsyBlog, Dr Jeremy Dean: Four central components of how mindfulness meditation works, psychological research finds.

With studies pouring in on the benefits of mindfulness, psychologists’ attention is turning to why mindfulness works, and the results are fascinating.

For example, mindfulness meditation has been shown to have therapeutic benefits in depression, anxiety, substance abuse, chronic pain and eating disorders.

Its benefits extend out to physical features like lower blood pressure and lower cortisol levels.

How is it that this type of practice can have these beneficial effects on such a broad range of conditions?

A recent study by Hölzel et al. (2011) finds four central …

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Apr 22, 2014

“Fearless at Work” by Michael Carroll

fearless at workI jumped at the chance of reviewing ‘Fearless at Work’. A close workmate in my business died very suddenly before Christmas. She went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up. I miss her. My workload has temporarily doubled and I’m practising the art of muddling through, with a brain befuddled by shock and grief. So I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of ‘Fearless at Work’ in engaging with this particular phase of life.

The stated aim of this book is to draw on Buddhist philosophy and the practice of mindfulness in helping readers to become more confident and open to possibility in their work lives. Michael Carroll is the founding …

Does meditation have health benefits?

wildmind meditation newsFred Cicetti, LiveScience.com: Meditation definitely reduces stress. And too much stress is bad for your health.

There is some research that indicates meditation may help with: Allergies, anxiety, asthma, binge eating, cancer, depression, fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, sleep difficulties and substance abuse.

I started meditating in 1976, when Dr. Herbert Benson published his book, “The Relaxation Response.”

The techniques he advocated work. In the years since, I’ve found that, when I forget to meditate, I get a stress buildup. As soon as I meditate, I feel better. And the effects of the meditation carry through the day.

I studied Zen Buddhist …

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Meditation improves productivity

wildmind meditation newsBeth Taylor, PayScale.com: When we think of meditation, we may think of relaxation, breathing, and emptying the mind of stressful thoughts. It may be surprising to learn that the act of quiet meditation increases mental acuity and makes us more productive at work. Instead of meditation emptying our minds, it actually helps fill them with improved concentration and creativity.

Psychology Today reports on a plethora of benefits from including meditation in your routine. Decreasing stress is one, and improving physical health is another. Some of the benefits, however, are directly related to work productivity.

Improved Attention
A study published in 2007 found that after …

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Apr 17, 2014

Is the “self” real?

portrait of beautiful man model sepia tonedIs the “Self” real? What’s the nature of the sense of being that remains when parts of the psyche fall away?

The answer depends on how you define “Self.” I use that word to refer to the central “I” that’s presumed in Western psychology and philosophy (and everyday usage) to be the owner of experiences and agent of actions, and which is defined and constituted by three attributes: unification (there’s just one “I”), permanence (the “I” stays the same, things happen to it but it doesn’t change), and independence (the “I” is just there, an innate part of the psyche, not created by anything, and fundamentally …

Try meditation for anxiety relief

wildmind meditation newsDr. Eddy Lang and Dr. Zoe Oliver, Edmonton Journal: This viable alternative approach has little downside, study shows.

Glenda is a 52-year-old woman who has recently experienced a divorce. She has not slept or eaten properly for months. In turn, her work and relationships have been affected. Her thoughts were scattered and her irritability was raising eyebrows among her co-workers.

Generally averse to taking medicines, Glenda asked her doctor if there was something “that didn’t involve a poke or a pill” that could help her better cope with her developing anxiety problem. While advertisements might have you believe that antidepressant or antianxiety drugs …

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Apr 16, 2014

Bringing accountability to your practice

The Steppe Eagle is a bird of preyI’m just getting over a bad habit relating to meditation that’s plagued me for over thirty years.

It was reading a blog post on developing good writing habits that helped me. The idea came from Brett Cooper who, like me, found that he tended to write in fits and starts, with long periods of non-writing, followed by spurts of intense production.

Two ideas came to his rescue. The first was that he realized he needed to establish “a small, non-threatening daily writing habit,” and that a goal of 100 words a day was innocuous enough to be doable.

The second idea was the realization that he …

New trend: meditation studios

wildmind meditation newsThere’s a new studio opening this week in Santa Monica where clients can come in and…sit. Unplug Meditation’s only offerings are 45-minute meditation classes, each led by an instructor who guides students through sessions as they sit on padded cushions. It’s designed to be like a cycling studio, offering nearly-identical classes on the hour, every hour, so busy adults can choose one that fits their schedule and then get on with their day.

While Unplug Meditation is unique in its meditation-only focus, yoga studios and spiritual centers in cities across the country are increasingly offering meditation classes or time slots where you can …

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Telomeres for life

wildmind meditation newsKUSA, 9News.com: Which choice are you most likely to make: you have had a stressful day, the drive home was challenging to say the least, and you aren’t craving steamed broccoli – more like an entire bag of potato chips. When you finally get home do you grab a glass of grape derived “medicine” and plop down in front of the news or take a seat on your meditation cushion and center yourself? Opting for meditation over marinating in stress hormones may help you to live longer and stronger.

The “fountain of youth” can flow when you are under the influence of meditation …

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