Jul 03, 2014
Rohan Dixit is a former neuroscience researcher who studied meditation and the brain at Harvard and Stanford University. He also spent a year measuring the brainwaves of meditating monks in the Himayalas, which is nice work if you can get it.
Rohan has a fascinating project that he’s Kickstarting at the moment. It’s called the Lotus and it’s essentially a hand-made brass flower that blooms with your mind.
The Lotus responds to your brainwaves through a supported brain-sensing headset, which is hooked up to a smartphone app. When the headset detects that you’re calm and relaxed, the flower blooms and begins cycling through colors.
The Lotus gradually closes and slowly changes colors when it’s time …
Jul 02, 2014
Sara Bliss, Yahoo!: There’s a particular buzz around meditation right now, probably a direct result of more than half of working American adults being seriously concerned about their stress levels. Studies—and history—have shown that regular practice can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and keep depression and anxiety at bay. If you’re more concerned with the external effects of stress, how’s this: regular meditation might even make you look younger. Recent studies show that long-term practice changes your body on a cellular level that might actually slow down aging. Vedic Meditation instructor Charlie Knoles says, “People are spending a fortune on anti-wrinkle creams even …
Jun 29, 2014
Patricia Pearce: Each morning I begin my day by reading a poem by Mary Oliver. Yesterday morning I read one, “Humpback,” from her book American Primitive that brought me to tears. Oliver has a unique gift of opening herself to Reality, the Reality so many of us spend our days asleep to, and of finding words to convey it such that its radiance can pierce our own minds.
It got me thinking about how the poet’s foremost job is to be awake to life and to notice things that most of us don’t. Only by being awake does the poet have anything to …
Jun 28, 2014
Tomas Rocha, The Atlantic: For some, meditation has become more curse than cure. Willoughby Britton wants to know why.
Set back on quiet College Hill in Providence, Rhode Island, sits a dignified, four story, 19th-century house that belongs to Dr. Willoughby Britton. Inside, it is warm, spacious, and organized. The shelves are stocked with organic foods. A solid wood dining room table seats up to 12. Plants are ubiquitous. Comfortable pillows are never far from reach. The basement—with its own bed, living space, and private bathroom—often hosts a rotating cast of yogis and meditation teachers. Britton’s own living space and office are on the …
Jun 27, 2014
The News International: Mindfulness is fast emerging as the hottest meditative tool, which is known to contribute to our wellbeing and productivity.
Mindfulness is all about being focussed on the present moment, which has the power to liberate one from the shackles of past failures or pointless day dreaming about the future.
Given its global sweep and popularity, Time magazine featured mindfulness on its covers early this year as “the science of finding focus in a stressed out, multi-tasking culture”.
“The key to success in a fast paced world is a calm, resilient and non-judgmental inner being, steeped in mindfulness,” Santhosh Babu, a …
Jun 27, 2014
Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard: New research finds acceptance of moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings can greatly reduce the impact of stress on your health.
Emotional stress is undeniably uncomfortable. But the real danger it poses is the damage it can do to our bodies, causing or exacerbating health problems ranging from headaches to high blood pressure.
If we could experience emotional pressure strictly on an intellectual and emotional level, rather than a physical one, we’d certainly be better off. Newly published research suggests there’s a secret to doing just that: Mindfulness.
Confirming previous research, a study finds that “strong identification with, or judgment of, …
Jun 26, 2014
Brogan Driscoll, Huffington Post UK: Once upon a time mindfulness was reserved for spiritual types sitting cross-legged on the tops of faraway mountains, but these days the mind-calming practice has well and truly gone mainstream.
Now, everyone is doing it, from comedian and HuffPost UK blogger Ruby Wax to high-flying bankers ditching the city for a life of peace.
But what exactly is it? Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique that involves focusing on the present moment while acknowledging and accepting feelings and thoughts – whether positive or negative.
While the practice is certainly helping adults deal with negative tendencies such stress, self-doubt and anxiety, …
Jun 25, 2014
Gail Innis, Michigan State University Extension: It’s not just another way to get your kids to pay attention to you.
“Pay attention!” or “Why can’t you pay attention?” How many times have you said this to a child? We often expect that children should pay attention to us, their surroundings and their actions yet how do they actually learn to pay attention? According to Michigan State University Extension, paying attention isn’t easy when there are lots of things going on vying for your attention.
Research shows that when children are able to manage their own emotions and get along well with others (social …
Jun 24, 2014
Sarah Rudell Beach, Huffington Post: You’ve begun your meditation practice. You know all the amazing benefits of meditation and are excited about this change in your routine.
And then problems set in: body aches, itching, thoughts, sleepiness. Who ever thought just sitting could be so hard?!
I’ve practiced meditation for several years, and while I enjoy meditating, I’ve hit some bumps along the way, too. We all encounter bumps along the way, don’t we? The thing is, there are no problems in meditation.
A problem is only a “problem” when we perceive it as such. In fact, meditation is a great way to …
Jun 23, 2014
Dr. Judson Brewer, Huffington Post: There is a new medication in early clinical trials that will likely revolutionize our ability to pay attention. Interested in learning more? Yes, we all are. The paradox here is that right now, because of this interest, you’re paying attention. We naturally pay attention when we are interested.
Given what we now know about the science behind how our brains learn best, what if we could tap into our natural interest to train ourselves to pay attention? Do I still have your attention?
Over 100 years ago, Edward Thorndyke described a neural process now known as reward-based learning. Many …