Jun 18, 2013
Noah Shachtman, Wired: Chade-Meng Tan is perched on a chair, his lanky body folded into a half-lotus position. “Close your eyes,” he says. His voice is a hypnotic baritone, slow and rhythmic, seductive and gentle. “Allow your attention to rest on your breath: The in-breath, the out-breath, and the spaces in between.” We feel our lungs fill and release. As we focus on the smallest details of our respiration, other thoughts—of work, of family, of money—begin to recede, leaving us alone with the rise and fall of our chests. For thousands of years, these techniques have helped put practitioners into meditative states…
Jun 17, 2013
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., PsychCentral: Whether you like it or not companies know exactly how to get in your brain and control what you’re paying attention to. Everything today is about tricking our brains into a state of urgency. Think about how the news is delivered, “Breaking News.” Or how about how your phones is configured, everything plays to a sound or blinking light that tells our brain, this is something we need to pay attention to right now. Applications have become increasingly popular because they give you up-to-the-minute update alerts on whatever you want from news, to sports scores, to the newest Groupon or sale…
Jun 14, 2013
June 11: 50 years ago today, a Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Duc calmly sat down in the middle of a street in South Vietnam in front of the Cambodian Embassy, while a fellow monk poured gasoline over his head. A moment later, he set himself on fire.
He was protesting the systemic religious discrimination against Buddhists by the Roman Catholic regime of dictator Ngo Dinh Diem. Although Catholics were very much a minority in the country, they enjoyed majority status and privileges. Buddhists were not allowed to practice their religion in public, serve in the army, and were routinely discriminated against.
Jun 13, 2013
He was 29 at the time – the average age for adults who suffer from the condition.
Now the 61-year-old, from Woodmancote, is continuing his work to help others suffering from the same symptoms he did.
In the last 30 years, he has raised more than £250,000 for charities connected to the illness.
His therapy is driven through meditation, which allows sufferers to gain a foothold in their hectic lives which can lead to MS via stress or restless nights…
Jun 12, 2013
A study of school pupils found that performing two 20-minute sessions of Transcendental Meditation each day improves academic achievement.
The practice involves sitting still with eyes closed while chanting a mantra – also sometimes derided as “oming”.
It became synonymous with hippy culture in the 1960s after The Beatles embraced it following a visit to India where they were taught the technique by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Now a growing body of…
Jun 09, 2013
Lavanya Sankaran, The Guardian: There’s this thing I do, every now and then. I will step away from the comforts of my life: my spouse and child, my home and dog. I pack a small bag with two pairs of old linen trousers, three T-shirts, a thin cotton wrap and flip-flops. Then I make the trek to a Vipassana meditation centre and begin a monastic life for 10 days.
These centres are scattered around India and all over the world. I have been making this trip for more than 10 years, varying my location each time. Wherever you go the retreat has an identical structure…
Jun 09, 2013
Fred Travis of the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa has won a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Defence for research on the use of meditation to help veterans from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts cope with stress.
Dr Travis, who is speaking in Sydney this week, believes its application with Australian Defence Force staff should also be investigated.
Three US studies have shown that transcendental meditation can have remarkable results…
Jun 07, 2013
Dr. Daya Hewapathirane, Lankaweb: Mindfulness is a technique that is integral to the Teachings of the Buddha. It is the seventh element of the Noble Eightfold Path which encapsulates the principal teachings of the Buddha. Mindfulness or ‘sati’ is a whole-body-and-mind awareness of the present moment. It is awareness of body, feelings, thoughts and phenomena that affect the body and mind. It is the detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. Being fully mindful means being fully attentive to everything as-it-is, not reacting to or making judgments of what comes to your mind. In the practice…
Jun 07, 2013
K. Sharp, toledofreepress.com: How many of you have stepped completely outside your normal comfort zone to try something new and challenging? I recently completed a mentally and physically intense ten-day course in Vipassana meditation technique. This technique has been in practice since the time of The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. In short, its aim is to focus the mind on the true cause of suffering in order to properly understand our responses to the joys and miseries we encounter. It seeks to teach how we associate outside sensory objects as the cause of our joy or misery and so we transfer the power…
Jun 06, 2013
Is there an American Catholicism compared to what Catholics practice the world over? An American Judaism? Perhaps, but only from a demographic or political perspective.
Buddhism in the US, however, has developed a distinct American flavor. The very philosophical tenets of Buddhism have been adapted since the religion reached the United States in the 1960s. How, then, do “American Buddhists,” if they indeed exist, relate to the rest of the world?
American Buddhists are clearly part of a global Buddhist community. For one, the Buddhist movement Soka Gakkai International (SGI)…