Mindfulness: enhancing the experience of the arts

August 10, 2017
wildmind meditation news
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Jessica Haessly, Post-Crescent: Mindfulness is the art of awareness, using the five senses (six if you count intuition), to bring attention to the present moment. Whether performer or audience member, whether making art or viewing it, we can benefit from bringing mindfulness to our experience.

When we practice mindfulness, we are not concerned with past or future, nor are we making judgments on what is happening in the moment, but rather we are simply observing the moment through sight, smell, sound, taste, touch and intuition. We may not use all senses in the …

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Fully embracing this present moment

August 1, 2017

It was late in the evening when my son told me he’d left his backpack in the car. That’s not a huge deal, but there were things in it that he needed for camp tomorrow, and because of where I live my car’s parked a few minutes’ walk away from my apartment. Again, not a huge deal, but I was tired and I was in the middle of getting both kids together for bed, and would have to wait until they were asleep before I went to retrieve the backpack.

So, with the kids asleep, and my energy failing, I trudged downstairs to fetch the forgotten backpack. I was grouchy and a little resentful — … Read more »

The meditation cure

August 1, 2017
wildmind meditation news
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Robert Wright, WSJ: A basic practice of Buddhism turns out to be one of the best ways to deal with the anxieties and appetites bequeathed to us by our evolutionary history.

Much of Buddhism can be boiled down to a bad-news/good-news story. The bad news is that life is full of suffering and we humans are full of illusions. The good news is that these two problems are actually one problem: If we could get rid of our illusions—if we could see the world clearly—our suffering would end. …

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How I brought mindfulness into my life

July 19, 2017
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Check out Wildmind’s Guided Meditations for Inner Peace, by Bodhipaksa (Special Edition)!
Elle Taylor, Popsugar: Mindfulness is certainly having a moment, but it’s not a contemporary fad — it’s an ancient practice that’s been around for millennia. In simple terms, being mindful involves being in the present. It’s about focusing your awareness on the current moment, while acknowledging your thoughts, sensations, and feelings in a calm manner. It’s about connecting your body and mind and experiencing each moment fully. There are various ways to practice mindfulness, from meditating to working on colouring books, and I’ve tried a lot of them. Here’s how I’m attempting to …

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How meditation can do wonders for your sex life

July 12, 2017
wildmind meditation news
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Lea Rose Emery, Bustle: When it comes to the link between sex and meditation, it may be something that you’re a little nervous to explore. Even growing up with parents who meditated regularly, I still have a tendency to find it really intimidating. But with all of the health benefits of meditation— from reducing anxiety to improving sleep — it seemed time to get serious about trying it. Plus all of these potential benefits have to translate into the bedroom, right?

So I spoke to Khajak Keledjian, founder and CEO of …

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How to calm your mind, quickly and easily

June 30, 2017

We can use our attention in two ways: either as a flashlight or as a candle.

Flashlight attention is where we have a narrow, focused beam of awareness. We observe one aspect of our experience, and because our focus is narrow, we don’t notice much else. This is how we tend to use our attention during the day. You’re almost certainly using your attention like a flashlight right now as you focus on these words. You’re mostly aware of one word flowing after another, building up a pattern of meaning in your mind. You’re probably not aware (until I mention it) of the feeling of your bottom on your seat, or your shirt touching your … Read more »

Science and Buddhism agree: there is no “you” there

June 26, 2017
wildmind meditation news
Check out The Enlightened Brain: The Neuroscience of Awakening, by Rick Hanson (7 CDs)!
Lori Chandler, Big Think: Evan Thompson of the University of British Columbia has verified the Buddhist belief of anatta, or not-self. Neuroscience has been interested in Buddhism since the late 1980s, when the Mind and Life Institute was created by HH Dalai Lama and a team of scientists. The science that came out of those first studies gave validation to what monks have known for years — if you train your mind, you can change your brain. As neuroscience has begun studying the mind, they have looked to those who have mastered …

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A head start with mindfulness

June 23, 2017
wildmind meditation news
Check out Mindfulness Meditations for Teens (MP3) by Bodhipaksa!
Craig Hassed, Times Higher Education: Don’t dismiss the meditation technique as a fad: its well documented benefits for those in demanding careers make a strong case for teaching it at university, says Craig Hassed.

Mindfulness is a hot topic these days, but its potential importance to higher education has not yet been broadly recognized.

It can be described as a form of meditation and a way of living. It is a mental discipline that involves not only sharpening present-moment attention but also cultivating the attitude with which we pay attention: one of curiosity, acceptance, openness …

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How meditation and yoga can alter the expression of our genes

June 20, 2017
wildmind meditation news
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Alice G. Walton, Forbes: For those who are still skeptical about whether mind-body practices like meditation, yoga, and Tai Chi actually work, a new study goes further in laying out how they affect us—right down to the level of our genes. The meta-analysis, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, looks back over a number of previous studies on the effects of the different practices on gene expression. It turns out that the practices all seem to have a beneficial effect on the expression of a slew of different genes …

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New course formats on Wildmind, coming Monday

June 17, 2017

Believe it or not, I’ve been running online courses through Wildmind since 2001! I believe in fact that I may have been the first person to offer meditation courses online.

A lot’s changed since I started this. Although we’ve offered courses in various formats, for the entire time I’ve been teaching online I’ve provided a mixture of background reading material and guided meditations in audio format, supported by discussion.

That’s worked pretty well, but more and more people are accessing our courses on mobile devices, on which reading is less enjoyable. I think many of us are finding it harder to stay focused while reading on electronic devices.

So we’re trying an experiment with courses … Read more »