Want to reduce anxiety, and increase cognitive ability and memory? Try meditation

January 5, 2016
wildmind meditation news
2016: A Year of Waking Up
Nicole Tsong, Seattle Times: Meditation can help your brain become more mindful and conscious, creating stability, clarity and emotional balance.

Like a workout, meditation has its good days and its tough ones. Some days when I meditate, I spend much of the time making lists, hoping desperately I’ll remember them by the end of my 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, I can barely sit still. Some days, I feel calm. I spend more time focusing on my breath than distractions.

Like a physical workout, no matter how it felt during the activity, I always feel better afterward.

Meditation is a training …

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Five mindfulness blessings for 2016

January 1, 2016
wildmind meditation news
2016: A Year of Waking Up
Aubrey Nagle, Philly Voice: As we begin 2016, may you make an ever-increasingly courageous dedication to embody the energy of love. There is no healing power greater than this force on earth. It takes only a cursory read of headline news to see how the absence of love creates profound suffering. May you work to cultivate connection, compassion, and empathy. In the process not only do you transform, but so does the world.

If you enjoy reflecting on the intersection of philosophical musings about love and neurobiology, consider reading “A General Theory of Love” by Thomas Lewis, M.D., Fari Amini …

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Science and meditation: integrating a first-person experience into the scientific process

December 31, 2015
wildmind meditation news
The Enlightened Brain: The Neuroscience of Awakening, by Rick Hanson (7 CDs)
Marjorie Woollacott, Huffington Post: As a long time meditator and neuroscientist, my interest in the effect of meditation on brain function is both personal and professional. The benefits meditation has brought to my life mirror first-person accounts of other meditation practitioners–basically, a sense of greater peace and more joy.

In addition to being even-minded in the midst of life’s challenges, many meditators describe having experiences that might be called mystical–and not just in the state of meditation but also after their session of meditation has ended. Some individuals say that their …

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Mindfulness meditation a ‘pause button’ for teens

December 28, 2015
wildmind meditation news
Mindfulness Meditations for Teens, by Bodhipaksa (audio CD)
Nina Smiley, Poughkeepsie Journal: Everyone, especially teens, wants to feel connected to others. The proliferation of social media, however, has exposed the insidious side of too much connectivity. As teens spend more and more time online – as much as nine hours a day, according to a recent CNN article – they often fall victim to FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. Comparing their own Facebook status and Instagram photos with others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. In fact, a 2015 Australian National Stress and Well-being Survey of teenagers found a strong correlation between hours spent online and higher levels of stress and depression.… Read more »

A gift to yourself

December 23, 2015

wildmind meditation newsLara Fielding, Huffington Post: Now that the holiday shopping is (mostly) finished, and we look to the New Year, perhaps it is a time when you may be selfish… in the best sense of the word! Building your self-awareness is the best gift you can give yourself, and ultimately to share with those you love.

Before you can know what you need, you have to know how to listen to your needs. While we tend to believe we know ourselves pretty well, the skill of self-awareness is not always intuitive. Our true authentic needs often get buried under layers of encrusted patterns of beliefs …

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Mindfulness key to dealing with holiday stress

December 21, 2015

wildmind meditation newsTom Ayers, Chronicle Herald: The holiday season can be stressful, what with office parties, gatherings of friends and family, and nearly constant reminders to shop for presents.

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, have proven health benefits and can help with the stress, said Simon Sherry, a practising psychologist and researcher at Dalhousie University.

But while people may believe the Christmas holidays are the most stressful time of year, studies show they are actually beneficial to people’s mental health, he said.

“There is actually a substantive body of research on the Christmas season,” he said. “It shows that Christmas has a generally positive and generally …

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Mindfulness pain relief distinct from placebo effect

December 18, 2015

wildmind meditation newsJustin Karter, Mad in America: A new study demonstrates that the practice of mindfulness may ease pain in a way that is mechanistically distinct from the placebo effect. Research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that mindfulness meditation not only outperformed placebo and fake meditation for pain relief but that it also activated different brain regions than the placebo treatments.

There is an accumulating body of evidence that mindfulness meditation, defined in this study as “a cognitive practice based on developing nonjudgmental awareness of arising sensory events,” can reduce the subjective experience of pain in various settings. However, scientists have yet to determine …

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Kindness and compassion to all? Show some goodwill to yourself first

December 17, 2015

wildmind meditation newsVidyamala Burch, Kindness Blog: There is no doubt that ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a great way to bring us back to the true sense of charity and empathy towards others, but this is a one off seasonal donation. How is it possible to maintain kindness and compassion to others in our daily lives throughout the whole year, when we have so many demands from family, friends and live in a world where we witness others, and the environment, lurch from crisis to despair and back again?

To complicate matters, compassion and kindness can sometimes be viewed as ‘soft’, possibly even a bit weak? But nothing …

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Kindness changes everything

December 16, 2015

wildmind meditation newsNoah Levine, Lion’s Roar: The Buddha first taught loving-kindness to a group of monks who had been practicing meditation in a forest. The monks were fearful that the spirits of the forest did not want them there and that the spirits were going to attack them. Although the monks were probably just afraid of the dark, their fear became anger toward the forest, and their anger became hatred. And, of course, when one is feeling angry, unsafe, and resentful it becomes more and more difficult to meditate. So the group of monks went to the Buddha, asking for advice on how to deal with …

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Building a community of self-compassion

December 15, 2015

wildmind meditation newsBetsy Hanger, Mindful Schools: At the Brooklyn public high school where I worked as an English and mindfulness teacher, the principal came in one afternoon during a guided practice on self-compassion. He quietly took a seat among my ninth grade students and closed his eyes. Though he’d encouraged me to start the school’s mindfulness program, he hadn’t witnessed our daily practice.

We were silently repeating short statements meant to cultivate self-compassion. “May I be safe and protected from inner and outer harm. May I be healthy. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I experience joy in my life.” I offered students the …

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