Jun 08, 2015
Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm, The Conversation: Mindfulness as a psychological aid is very much in fashion. Recent reports on the latest finding suggested that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is as effective as anti-depressants in preventing the relapse of recurrent depression.
While the authors of the paper interpreted their results in a slightly less positive light, stating that (contrary to their hypothesis) mindfulness was no more effective than medication, the meaning inferred by many in the media was that mindfulness was superior to medication.
Mindfulness is a technique extracted from Buddhism where one tries to notice present thoughts, feeling and sensations without judgement. The …
Jun 04, 2015
Barry Morris, The Practical Buddhist: In Zen, meditation is about sitting, standing, or walking in total awareness. Steve Hagen, Lead teacher at the Dharma Field Zen Center in Minneapolis, MN and author of the best book on meditation I’ve ever read, Meditation Now or Never, puts it this way:
“Meditation, and it’s Japanese translation ‘Zen,’ is the practice of awareness, openness, and direct experience of here and now.
That’s what we need to know about meditation. It’s not about becoming more relaxed, healthy or even enlightened. In fact, the moment we think we’re going to get something out of meditation, we take ourselves …
Jun 03, 2015
David McMillian, Shreveport Times: There is an abundance of scientific research that is being published to confirm the values of meditation and that’s encouraging people to take up the practice, along with people like your friend at work talking firsthand about their experiences. You don’t have to join a group to learn to meditate, although some find that helpful; there are many good books and resources available on the internet. Be aware that meditation can be discouraging especially for our packed “western minds” because it’s not easy to stop the thoughts, calm your mind, and get into a space that is quiet. Since …
Jun 02, 2015
Cathy Thomas Brownfield, Salem News: In this fast-paced world in which we live there is so little time to think about anything in depth. But that is not in anyone’s best interests. Rushing from home to work to school to home to dance classes, sports practice, Scout meetings, Lions Club Meetings, Book Club you name it. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for everyone to do all the things they would like to do or feel they have to do. This can lead to a few “issues,” not the least of which is burn-out.
What’s the first thing you think of …
Jun 01, 2015
Jon Levine, Science.Mic: Meditation, according to its spiritual gurus, is a universal panacea. Enthusiasts have long preached its benefits, which include its ability to lower anxiety, improve concentration, help treat those with HIV and even extend one’s life expectancy.
While it’s undeniable meditation contributes to a sense of inner piece, its physiological benefits remain less certain. That is, until a team of researchers confirmed them. What they uncovered is more than surprising.
“We found several brain regions that had changed,” Sara Lazar, an associate research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Mic. Lazar conducted a major study on meditation in 2011 and was one …
May 29, 2015
Claire Moodie, ABC News (AU): Teenagers are used to being told that they have to study hard to get ahead.
But one West Australian girls’ school is advocating another, less conventional route to success.
As well as stimulating the mind, Santa Maria College, on the banks of Perth’s Swan River, is teaching the importance of stilling the mind.
The school has been incorporating meditation into the timetable over the past 18 months to try to reduce exam stress and safeguard students’ mental health.
Senior school head Carol Bell said the regular meditation sessions aimed to give the girls the inner resources to cope with …
May 28, 2015
Jaime T. Licauco, Philippine Daily Inquirer: There are many books and articles that have been written about the effects of stress on health.
Such modern ailments as ulcers, high blood pressure, gastritis, insomnia, asthma, cardiovascular problems,have been attributed to stress, or at least aggravated by it.
In the 1950s, experimental psychologist Robert Ader, for example, discovered that “rats that were restrained at the peaks of their activity cycles, and so presumably felt more frustrated by the restraint, were significantly more likely to develop gastric erosions.”
Because many human diseases have been associated with stress, many programs or techniques have been developed to control …
May 26, 2015
Brigid Schulte, The Washington Post: Sara Lazar, a Harvard neuroscientist, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain. She explains:
A friend and I were training for the Boston marathon. I had some running injuries, so I saw a physical therapist who told me to stop running and just stretch. So I started practicing yoga as a form of physical therapy. I started realizing that it was very powerful, that it had some real …
May 22, 2015
Shakti Sutriasa, Huffington Post: We hear a lot about being mindful – not just within spiritual circles – but more and more in the work place.
What exactly is mindfulness?
Simply, mindfulness is awareness of the present or the ability to be present in all aspects of our lives. It’s a honing of the mind to focus on what is happening right now.
Since the 1970s, there’s been a growing recognition and movement towards embracing mindfulness in the United States. This is due in large part to the many Buddhists teachers who have come here as well as the American practitioner …
May 20, 2015
Rhonda Magee, GGSC: When I was promoted to tenured full professor, the dean of my law school kindly had flowers sent to me at my home in Pacific Heights, an overpriced San Francisco neighborhood almost devoid of black residents. I opened the door to find a tall, young, African-American deliveryman who announced, “Delivery for Professor Magee.” I, a petite black woman, dressed for a simple Saturday spent in my own home, reached for the flowers saying, “I am Professor Magee.”
The deliveryman looked down at the order and back up …