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 …
May 19, 2015
David Stroud, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Tina Encheva is sitting in a chair in front of five women, all of them lying on their backs on top of spongy yoga mats. The women’s eyes are closed and their hands rest palms down just above their hearts.
The hypnotic sounds of lilting flutes and humming Tibetan singing bowls are playing over a meditation tape, and Encheva’s delicate voice floats in and out like wind chimes tousled by a soft breeze.
Encheva guides them through the relaxation of their …
May 18, 2015
News-Medical: Certain meditation techniques can promote behavior to vary adaptively from moment to moment depending on current goals, rather than remaining rigid and inflexible. This is the outcome of a study by Lorenza Colzato and Iliana Samara from the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition at Leiden University, published in Consciousness and Cognition.
Different meditation types, different effects
Colzato and her fellow researchers were the first to investigate if meditation has an immediate effect on behavior, even in people who have never meditated before. “There are two fundamental types of meditation that affect us …
May 15, 2015
Lynne Malcolm, Radio National: Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn became interested in the Buddhist practice of mindfulness more than 35 years ago. With the scientific community skeptical, the at the University of Massachusetts Medical School professor decided to develop a more secular approach in the hope of opening the minds of people in the west.
By 1979 he’d designed a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which today is one of the world’s most well-respected secular mindfulness programs.
That was only the beginning of scientific interest in mindfulness, though. Psychiatrist Dr Elise Bialylew has practised mindfulness for …
May 14, 2015
Tayana Simons, Huffington Post: The ancient practice of mindfulness meditation has received a lot of hype over the past few years. Tens of thousands of people are signing up for courses all over the country, therapists are using it as a core part of their treatment for depression and anxiety, and millions have downloaded an app called ‘Headspace’ allowing them ‘meditation on the go’. Even Emma Watson calls it ‘genius’.
The funny thing is, its not like it’s a new discovery. Besides the fact that the basis of mindfulness is a form …
May 13, 2015
Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post: Are we about to enter the era of the political Buddhist?
On Thursday about 125 U.S. Buddhist leaders from across the spectrum will gather in Washington for what organizers say may be the biggest conference ever focused on bringing their faith communities into public, civic life. After the conference, the group will meet with officials at the White House, which longtime writers on U.S. Buddhism say is a first.
The daylong conference represents, some experts say, the start of a civic awakening not only among U.S. Buddhists, …