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Meditation changes your brain

wildmind meditation newsMaria Isabel Garcia, Rappler: ‘Meditation’ used to be the exclusive province of robed and hooded men enacting an ancient tradition. Now, science has joined them.

This could be one of the most powerful ways to change your brain and yet, all you have to do is be still. It will help you focus, be keenly observant but not obsessive, and essentially, be a kinder human being.

Meditation. We all have the basic equipment – the 3-pound matter inside our skulls – yet, we generally think that it is only for the religious or for our odd relatives and friends who dress funny.

Two …

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Meditation covers Scientific American November 2014 issue

wildmind meditation newsCarolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post: In 2013, the New York Times declared that mindfulness was “having a moment” (pun intended), and just a few months later, a January 2014 TIME cover story announced that a “Mindful Revolution” was underway, challenging the stressed-out, tech-addicted American status quo. This month, Scientific American has featured meditation on its November 2014 cover, representing another major step toward a meeting of the minds between ancient Eastern wisdom and Western science.

Although Western psychologists have been studying the ancient contemplative practice since the 1970s — mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn created Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in 1979 — scientific interest in mindfulness has escalated in the past decade. …

Oct 15, 2014

Ebola: the Buddhist connection

mukpoThere’s an unusual connection between Ebola and Buddhism.

Ashoka Mukpo, one of a handful of Americans who have contracted Ebola, was identified soon after his birth as a reincarnated lama, or Tulku.

Mukpo is the son of Diana Mukpo, who married Tibetan lama Chogyam Tungpa in Scotland. Ashoka is not Trungpa’s biological son, but was raised as his child after his mother became pregnant while romantically involved with another of Trungpa’s followers, Dr. Mitchell Levy.

As a child, Ashoka was identified as the reincarnation of Khamyon Rinpoche, and he was enthroned as a tulku in Tibet.

Although Mukpo regards himself as a practicing Buddhist, he decided not to pursue a monastic life, and he …

Five common myths about meditation debunked

wildmind meditation newsMihir Patkar, Lifehacker: You’ve probably heard that meditation can be beneficial, but how much do you actually know about it? Many aspects of meditation are often misunderstood or misinterpreted. Let’s debunk some of these myths so you can start reaping the rewards.

Myth: Meditation is About Clearing Your Mind of All Thoughts
In its purest form, meditation is about focusing on emptiness. However, you don’t have to do that. Meditation is effective as long as you merely minimize distracting thoughts.

Mindfulness meditation is perhaps the most accessible form of meditation. And as psychologist Mike Brooks puts it, with mindfulness meditation, it’s not about …

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Oct 15, 2014

Earworms and meditation

Head gear wheel2Earworms are those tunes that get stuck in your head. Sometimes you’ll be meditating and have a favorite song stuck on replay. Sometimes it’s a song you hate. Either way, earworms aren’t very helpful to our meditation practice. In fact they can be so persistent that they drive us nuts!

Over the years I’ve tried a whole bunch of techniques to try to get rid of ear-worms. I’ve tried just listening to the song, accepting its presence and using it as an object of meditation, but songs can be intoxicating and I’ve found that I don’t develop much mindfulness and end up rocking out.

Sometimes I’ve listened to the lyrics closely to …

The magic of mindfulness

wildmind meditation newsIsabelle Lai, The Star Online: How many of us realize that the now is the only real moment we have? That regardless of what has happened or what will happen, the only thing that truly matters is what is happening now?

But holding on to the present is no easy feat. Our thoughts tend to slip and slide all over the place, triggered easily by the constantly changing environment around us.

This is where the magic of mindfulness comes in.

Before I continue, let’s first try a quick mindfulness meditation exercise. No, you don’t have to close your eyes if you don’t want …

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Man behind meditation app goes from monk to millionaire

wildmind meditation newsNilufer Atik, The Telegraph: How a meditation app brought mindfulness to the masses, and success to its creator.

“We all need to get a little head space” – it’s a catchphrase that has become ingrained into the psyches of more than a million people worldwide. And it’s all thanks to the quiet ambition of one man who wanted to help stressed-out executives achieve more calm. A few years on and the app to which the phrase belongs – Headspace – has not only transformed the lives of those who use it, but also that of its founder, Andy Puddicombe.

Bristol-born Andy set up …

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Students relieve stress through meditation

wildmind meditation newsJoseph Francis, The Fauman Online: Registered nurse and meditation guru Kurt Valle help students cope through academic pressure through meditation.

“Meditation is not just for the spiritual or religious being,” Valle said. “Meditation is about the release of the mind from the physical world and the opening of the heart. This leads to a healthier lifestyle.”

Valle suffered from a stress disorder stemming from a few traumatic incidences during grade school and college. Receiving the opportunity to travel and study abroad, Valle began to explore ways to deal with the difficult times and found a release through yoga and meditation.

“I’ve studied therapy …

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The skeptic’s guide to meditation (infographic)

wildmind meditation newsHappify, Huffington Post: Lately, it seems that meditation has become as prominent in the workplace as weekly meetings — and there couldn’t be a greater reason for it.

Research suggests the practice can help boost focus, lower stress and make us more compassionate — not to mention the calming ritual also has a myriad of physical health benefits. Yet, despite the overwhelming positives meditation has, people still have reservations about committing to it.

For the more apprehensive folks out there, Happify, a website dedicated to helping people build skills for happiness through science-based activities and games, put together an infographic to conquer that skepticism.

Read …

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Don’t believe the hype

wildmind meditation newsLinda Heuman, Tricycle: Neuroscientist Catherine Kerr is concerned about how mindfulness meditation research is being portrayed in the media.

Last May, an article about mindfulness on a popular mainstream news website finally spurred neuroscientist and meditation researcher Catherine Kerr to act. The article cited 20 benefits of meditation, from “reducing loneliness” to “increasing grey matter” to “helping sleep,” and painted a picture of meditation as a kind of golden elixir for modern life. Kerr posted the article on her Facebook page. “It is not like any of this is grossly inaccurate,” she wrote in her post. “It is just that the studies are too …

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